Question: I have a close friend that told me the other day that her and my ex have feelings for each other. I dated this guy for almost a year and we decided things weren't working out between us. A couple of months ago, we decided it would be better to be just friends. We always hang out with the same circle of friends, including this one friend who has been wanting him ever since I've been going out with him.
I couldn't believe she told me this! I told her that's it's not okay with me because I'm going to have to see them together when we all hang out together. She said she doesn't want this to change anything between us but I feel like they are still going to pursue their relationship and it's definitely going to change things between us! Help me! (Alameda, CA)
Social Shrink: For starters, good for you for telling your friend straight-up that you were not okay with them being together. The fact that you didn't beat around the bush and was honest with her is a great starting point. You're right, however, that it will ultimately be up to your friend and your ex on whether or not they want to pursue their relationship given how you feel about it. Ironic that out of all the fish in the sea, your friend has to choose your ex...
In general, our rule of thumb is that exes are hands off - it's about being loyal to your friend since significant others come and go all the time. Your friend may be caught up in her feelings for your ex and not thinking big picture. Did you communicate your same feelings to your ex? If not, it might be a good idea to sit both of them down and tell them at the same time. If that's not an option, you are going to have to put faith in your friend to choose who is more important to her.
If she values friendships she should back off and maintain her integrity. If she does decide to pursue your ex despite your wishes, this will show you the type of friend she is. In the end, you will be better off knowing her true colors and when things fizzle between her and your ex, she'll be left with no one.