Should Ex-Boyfriends Always Be Off-Limits to Friends?

In high school, I used to joke that my friends and I dated like we were Amish. We tended to stay within our own group, and as a result, many of us ended up dating the same friends as each other, almost on rotation.

I have yet to figure out why I was the only girl within my group to get grief for dating my friends’ exes. We all did it, so why was I singled out? My boyfriends received no grief because they’re guys; they can’t help themselves. They’re slaves to their anatomy, I was taught. But girls… Well, we should be thinking clearly because we know better. (Ha.)

Some of the girls slandered my name mercilessly behind my back. But, that’s just it; only the girls were out for blood and fussed about me for ignoring the “off limits” rule. The guys didn’t seem bothered that they were all dating each others’ exes. It was seen as an exclusively girl-on-girl crime. (Or, rather, a me-on-girl crime.)

As I’ve progressed into my twenties and out of the shallow emotional bonds of adolescent politics, I can understand that it would be awkward for one of my friends to date one of my long-term exes. That’s a given. But, with that said, if one of my exes might be a really great match for a friend, I would feel selfish clinging to the ol’ “finders keepers” code. I wouldn’t recommend risking a friendship for just a hot date, but can’t we be adults about territoriality over people? We’re all looking for happiness. Meaningful, intimate relationships are often a great way to spend our time and energy, and new romances are exciting!

Let’s end these wars and make more love, y’all.

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