Dating a friend of your ex boyfriend

Editor's note: Audrey Irvine is a senior assignment manager for CNN.

Her experiences in the dating world inspire her "Relationship Rant" column.

Maintain your distance: You probably don't want to get any closer to the action than you need to, so when you're stuck in the same social scene, take the seat at the opposite end of the table, or strike up a conversation with the cute guy or girl at the other end of the bar.

Until you're comfortable with the situation, it's best to avoid confrontation -- it can only make you upset and say or do something you may regret.

Jennifer Aniston and bestie Courtney Cox were both romantically linked with Counting Crows frontman Adam Duritz - and Katy Perry and Taylor Swift both had relationships with John Meyer (though that one did cause Bad Blood).

Simply say, “Look, I just thought you should know that (their exes name) and I have gone on a few dates.

This will destroy trust, and with it any chance of maintaining the friendship. There is probably a reason that your friend and the ex broke up in the first place, and over time your friend will most likely realize that.

Maintain your distance: Same advice, different meaning. Don't force them to come to that conclusion any sooner than they are comfortable with.

However, when you're in different camps, and a friend dates your ex (or vice versa), this can lead to big trouble -- anything from awkward social interactions to permanent rifts within groups of friends.

You also do not need to talk about her ex around her regardless of how close you are or aren't. If you have a close friend who is reeling from a break-up then you absolutely need to speak to her and talk to her about her feelings about you possibly dating her ex.

If you have made a definite decision to date him then let her know that and reassure her that you will date him but will be low key about it You may also want to find out what went wrong.

Keeping your thoughts limited to this tightly knit circle will also prevent you from blabbering your opinion about the new couple to everyone.

Don't overcompensate with fake happiness: You don't have to pretend to like what's happening, so don't overdo it with sappy sweet congrats and good wishes ... If you get caught in a confrontation, just smile, have a pre-planned friendly sentence or two to recite, keep it short and sweet, and move on.

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