Female friendships are not to be trifled with. You mess with one, you mess with her BFF. Sometimes, however, men tend tofall in love with their ex-flame's bestie post-breakup. It happens.
Women aren’t exactly immune to it either. According to Brandy Engler, Ph.D, author of The Women on My Couch, the fact that your ex-girlfriend’s friend thinks you’re off limits, at least, initially, means that she’s more likely to act like herself around you. It’s this authenticity, Engler reveals, that makes for a real connection.
Now this might seem like the green light you need to pursue your ex-girlfriend’s friend, but before you proceed with your plans, here are a few things you need to come to terms with:
1) It has to be really worth it.
If you’re just looking for a rebound or a way to get back at your ex, don’t. It’s not worth the bad blood. If you’re just physically attracted to her, if it’s just lust, there are plenty of other attractive fish in the sea.
But if you think this girl might be the one—and she just happens to be your ex’s friend—then you’re at least doing it for reasons you can actually get behind. For Geoffrey, 34, it was definitely love. Within three months after ending his year-long relationship with Roxanne, he found himself falling head over heels for his ex’s friend, Sophia.
What started as a shared love for basketball quickly developed into something more. “‘Di ko siya kinonsider na rebound, kahit sabi nila ganun,” he says.
2) No matter how good your intentions are, the people you care about will get hurt.
What you’re about to do will almost definitely cause a rift between you and your ex and will most certainly cause one between your ex and her friend.
Angel, 23, admits that she took it badly when her high school ex-boyfriend and her friend started dating a month or two after their breakup. At that time, she recalls posting some pretty immature status messages on Facebook and dropping contemptuous remarks about said friend whenever she could.
It was the kind of treatment that Sophia, 28, was familiar with “Nung time na naging kami [ni Geoffrey], hindi na ako pinapansin ni Roxanne. Grabeng issue talaga.” It was even worse because she worked together with her in the same office. “Matagal kaming ‘di nagpansinan.”
3) You can’t be anything less than honest.
You and your ex had a real relationship, so do her the courtesy of telling her first. She might not give you her blessing—and you’re not asking her to—but at least she won’t be caught off guard when word starts going around. Don’t make the mistake of making your move while you’re still together with your ex either.
In 23-year-old Eri’s case, she thought she and her then boyfriend had a healthy and fun three-month relationship until she discovered that he had been cheating on her with one of her friends.
“They were having an affair behind my back, and no matter how hard they tried to keep it hidden, the people around them have eyes,” she shares. “What’s more, both of them refused to talk about it. Yes, they didn’t deny it, only choosing to stay silent.”
4) Not all stories have happy endings, but there are some that do make it.
Like any other relationship, yours won’t necessarily end well just because you did it for love (insert audible gasp here). But for Geoffrey and Sophia, their shared love for basketball—and yes, maybe the fact that they do love each other very much—resulted in marriage and a family.
As for Roxanne, the ex, well, the happy couple reports that she was there during their baby’s christening. “Friends na ulit talaga,” Sophia shares. “Siguro kasi nakita niya na nag-build na kami ng family ni Geoffrey.” After five years and two kids, perhaps it was, indeed, time to move on.