Caution: This is a very opinionated post. What I’m gonna be sharing here is my opinion, it’s not the law neither is it what is universally acceptable but it is what I consider right. Let’s see if you agree with my reasoning. If you disagree, be free to share your view and perhaps we can learn one or two things.
It is often said that a man’s meat could be the other’s poison. That saying spells the diversified interest of humans. I always say that if God had created everyone the same way with the same interests, reasoning and approach to issues, oh, what boredom we would have to live with. The entire population that spans the earth cuts across different nations, tribes, belief systems, cultures, languages and habits that all contribute to the beauty of existence. It’s interesting how siblings can grow up with the same measure of instructions, teachings and discipline and still turn out differently with totally different personalities. I mean when I am going on and on about the newest animated movie, my sister just stares at me like I have suddenly grown horns.
When we make choices, sometimes they are poor, perhaps because we didn't know better and immaturity was at play or we allowed sentiments and emotions get ahead and threw reasoning to the back seat. The average human being has made poor choices at one point in life, a poor choice in friends, a poor career choice, poor institution choice, poor house choice. It is comforting to know that some of these choices can be rectified but a poor spousal choice can be the beginning of the end. Little wonder so much is being said about how important it is to choose right and choose well when it comes to a marital partner. Our choices and decisions in life can either make or mar not just the future but everything we have worked for.
So, you meet someone and decide to date/court…..along the way, you discover some issues that present incompatibility, perhaps you alone can see those issues, perhaps its mutual. Any hoo, the relationship ends and you go your separate ways, having moved on to other people or maybe not. Fast forward a year or two, a very good friend of yours wants you to meet his/her intended and it turns out to be your Ex. Then comes this feeling of betrayal, because you feel your friend who knew your history with this person shouldn't have gone ahead with the relationship and even if they didn't know you dated your Ex at a point, you just cannot be happy for them, just because……?
This issue has caused a lot of rifts and cracks in beautiful friendships so much that I need to talk about it because I just don’t get it; maybe someone can explain it to me? Is it the level of familiarity that makes it unacceptable or perhaps because you have shared a lot of secrets with this friend? Or is it because of the circumstances that led to the break up and the fact that it wasn't you who ended it? Could it be that you have some regrets and wishful thinking, still hanging on and cannot let go? Really, I want to understand why it feels so much like back stabbing when a friend gets involved with an ex, and this is especially common with ladies. Why does it feel like you still own an Ex and nobody in your network is allowed to have access to him/her?
I sought the opinions of a couple of friends on this dicey topic and the disparity was quite interesting. While some would feel a great sense of betrayal if a friend dated their ex, some others just couldn't be bothered, matter of fact, a couple have been known to introduce close friends to their ex because they felt they would be compatible. Some wouldn't feel uncomfortable about it if they have moved on to other relationships while some outrageously think it is ungodly for a friend to date their ex (I think God is amused, no?)
Am I wrong to say maturity is a factor here? Isn't it petty and somewhat arrogant to try to control who your friend can date/court? Is it perhaps a mistake your Ex met you before your friend and just because they couldn't be happy with you, they have no chance with your friend? I think we need to get ‘born again’ in our thinking and leave emotions and sentiments behind.
Here’s where my opinionated self will be butting in: There is a reason why an Ex is an Ex, not necessarily because the person is bad but because both of you are not meant to be together. I do not see a reason why a friend is banned from dating your Ex, especially if they were not aware of your relationship and even if they know, I don’t think it is right to sit upon another person’s chance at finding the right one. It just so happens that you know each other but really if you have truly moved on from that Ex, there shouldn't be hard feelings about who dates them, albeit your friend or even a sibling. Perhaps because your friend loves you a whole lot, he/she could seek your blessing/approval before they go ahead with the relationship but sweetie, really, they are not obligated to bend towards whatever sentiments you may have. It’s not like you were double crossed and had the person snatched from you, you were done and over before your friend came along.
As long as there was clearly no emotional attachment between them while your relationship with the ex lasted and your ex didn't cheat on you with your friend……you were well done and over before they became involved, why are you losing sleep? I just don’t get it! Your friend does the needful and informs you about his/her intention, all you owe that friend is your advice. Hopefully your reasons why they shouldn't be together are genuine and not borne out of jealousy and ill feelings. People, live and let live. Some people do not get it right in relationships the first, second, third time. Along the way, they meet someone they truly gel and can be happy with……alas! This someone is an ex’s friend, should that be the end? Don’t be the Philistine to their Israel, don’t be a party pooper or show stopper, if you think they wouldn't work, offer your advice and let them make their decision……you are not God!
I understand there are situations that can make having an ex close messy, maybe it reminds you of a past you would rather forget, perhaps it is irritating to share a former sexual partner with your friend, perhaps the break up hurt you so much and you can’t get over the bitterness and its possible you still have feelings for your Ex. We do need to protect ourselves and guard our hearts, so share your reservations with your friend and let them make a decision, DO NOT THREATEN THEM. The truth is your friend is not obligated to accommodate your misgivings because he/she also has to protect his/her interest but there can be an understanding borne out of love. Just because I love my friend so much and I cherish the friendship and can understand how my relationship with that Ex would alienate her (reasonably so), I can decide not to pursue it, but this decision is solely mine and not my friend’s.
I am a girl but I have not been one to follow the ‘girl code’ and this is because I don’t believe in rules, I follow only principles. I don’t let what some people have decided to be acceptable control my world; God’s standards are my words to live by. We need understanding in what all we do, we can’t just follow rules blindly because the situations are not usually the same. People can reason together to reach a decision that works for all parties but when all is said and done, each individual is responsible for his/her choice and no one has any right to control it, even God doesn't He gives us our free will.
Mo’ Omoregee 2012