College Dating Advice: Can You Date Your Friend's Ex?

Is college dating worth your friendship?

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College dating can be a tricky business to navigate. You’re constantly meeting new people and doing new things. You might get to know someone in a class one semester and then never see them again. Friends in your dorm might break up and then have to live with each other for the rest of the year.

One particularly difficult question to answer, especially if everyone shares the same group of friends, is whether it’s okay to date a friend’s ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend in college. Dating a friend’s ex can be dangerous to your friendship, but it doesn’t have to ruin everything.

Ask these five questions to make sure you know whether dating your friend’s ex is appropriate.

1. How long were they together?

If they went on one date, it’s probably safe to say that he or she is fair game. Once you get into the months or years territory, it’s generally considered bad etiquette to date your friend’s ex. It doesn’t mean that it’s impossible, but unless you’re completely head-over-heels, there are probably plenty of other potential college dating opportunities out there for you.

2. How long has it been since they broke up?

No matter how long they dated, if they just broke up a few weeks ago, you should give them time to cool off. If they dated freshman year and you’re already an upperclassman, it might be okay to ask your friend how you should proceed.

3. Who broke up with whom?

If your friend did the breaking up, it’s more socially acceptable to date your friend’s ex. Under all circumstances, it would be a nice idea to just ask your friend politely if he or she is okay with it. Things get more difficult when it’s your friend who got dumped. He or she may still have feelings for the ex, even if it happened a long time ago.

4. Does your friend have a new boyfriend or girlfriend?

If your friend is still single, it’s probably a sign you shouldn’t proceed. If he is already dating again, then it’s a much easier task to ask for permission.

5. Is it worth it?

In the end, no one can stop you from pursuing your friend’s ex, but remember that college dating can be fickle thing. If you hurt your friend in the process, you may never get him back.

Weigh the pros and cons before do anything, and always keep in mind that your actions could have an adverse effect on your friendship.

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