Not my ex


[dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you follow me on twitter, you may have caught a few of my outraged tweets after Private Practice ended on Thursday night. Not to go into too much detail for those of you who aren’t into the show, but it ended with Addison getting together with her best friend’s ex-husband.

I freaked the fuck out. Which led to a big discussion with my sister about whether it’s ever okay to get it on with your friend’s ex. See my sister, far more benevolent and level-headed than I, is of the probably correct opinion that we cannot make unilateral rules about whom our friends can date. And while I partially agree with her, I do think that in this particular case, what Sam and Addison are doing is unilaterally foul.

So does this mean that it’s never okay to get with our bestie’s ex? Depends who you ask. My usual internet poll yielded a whole lot of “it’s not okays”. But surprisingly, I don’t agree. I actually had a similar discussion with the lovely _melissa of commenting fame not too long ago in which we both expressed that we don’t believe in the hard-and-fast “absolutely not” mentality when it comes to sloppy seconds exes. At the time, I shared with her my rules of thumb for gauging whether it’s safe to tread into ex territory and now I will share with you.

To get the greenlight to thronx an ex you have to answer the following questions correctly:

1. How good is the friend?

If you are talking about your bff, the number one on your speed dial, the only one you told about your drunken hook-up with your boss, your most trusted confidant, you must cease and desist immediately. Especially when we’re talking about women. You never know until you get in the situation how the friend is really going to react and it’s not worth putting the friendship in jeopardy.

However, if you’re talking about an air-kiss friend, a new friend, a work friend or something of that ilk and you know that you will skip along your merry way when if the friendship mashes up, proceed to step two.


2. How significant is the ex?

Significance comes in many forms. If it’s an ex that your friend was in love with or a relationship that was longer than a year, abort the mission. You’re wading in shark-infested waters my friend. Those are obvious ones; but short relationships can be dangerous ground as well. Bad breakups, tumultuous and dramatic relationships, and unresolved relationships are all landmines you probably don’t want to be dragging your private parts through.

3. Where were you when the relationship (and especially the breakup) was happening?

This is the most important variable as far as I’m concerned. If we’re talking about a new friend and an old ex, I could deal with it. The friendship might end, but I wouldn’t slice the bitch’s throat over it or anything like that.  However, a friend who was there during the whole relationship, who hung out with me and the dude, witnessed our struggles, and provided a shoulder to cry on when shit went sour? Oh no she’s dead if she goes anywhere near him. He should be dead to her after the relationship ends. Okay that might be a bit over the top, but you get what I’m saying.

Sidebar: Not to beat the whole Private Practice reference to death, but this is the part where I just can’t with Addison and Sam. Addison was there for their whole marriage. She delivered their daughter! She witnessed the whole thing and to then up and get with the man causes Naomi to go back and question everything that has ever happened between the three of them. That is effed up in my book. But anyway.


4. What’s your objective?  

Now this may be slightly backward, particularly in light of my views on the subject of casual sex, but a friend who just slams my ex for the sake of filling up her sugar bowl is a dead woman walking. We know I love pipe more than life, but it is so not worth the level of aggravation that will ensue when I find out. And I will find out. However, if they are genuinely in love, if there’s a future, if it’s something…real (for lack of a better word) then I probably won’t kill her.

So if you’re my friend and you’re contemplating retracing my steps, you have my blessing so long as you land on the right side of the line on these variables. I’m not sure that’s possible….but give it a shot. Plus all my exes are so worthless you deserve whatever disease you get if you mess with them.

Sidebar: When I was in love with Snickers but before we got together one of my good friends asked me if I would still be her friend if she got with him. I told her no and she was crushed…but she did it anyway. Obviously, he was her ex when I finally wore him down got with him but I did it anyway and felt no shame about it.

That’s my take on it, but what say you, dear readers?  Have you gone there with your friend’s ex? Would you? How would you react if your friend did this to you?

bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 14

  1. MadScientist7 says:

    it's never ok in my opinion for ANY of my friends (read friends and not acquaintances) to ever get with any of my ex's. i would never do that to any of my friends. and as far as private practice is concerned addison is a slore. she basically slept with the entire practice and let's not forget her husband's best friend. i'm guess her moral meter was a little off already so i wasn't really surprised.

  2. Sam Sharpe says:

    There's always an exception to a rule, but generally I think the ex flex is a definite no no unless you're prepared to take an ass whoopin'.

    Have I gone there with a friends ex? No. But I did go there with my ex's friend.

    Would I? It's possible, but unlikely. And would likely depend a whole lot on some of the variables you outlined in your post.

    How would I react if my friend did this? Straight ass whoopin'.

  3. maxfab says:

    You know, I know you're right about Addison but I don't like to think of her that way. I had hopes for her that she would do the right thing and stay away from Sam.

  4. Skye Blue says:

    Ms. Max – I agree with points 1-3 wholeheartedly (we're on a roll here), but if they check out I believe there should be a statute of limitations on #4. If a woman's friend/acquaintance is happily dating 5+ years post her break up with an ex, isn't he then fair game for the beats by anyone?

    Not saying I would do this – I try to stay out of murky waters whenever I can – but at some point something has to give no?

  5. Reecie says:

    First time commenting.

    I agree with your list, especially #3 being the most important. I do watch Private Practice, and while I don't think it was cool, I like Addison and Sam together! I always felt it was forced with Pete. But since Naomi is supposedly her "best friend" (that also was with her brother–also awkward) and she was around during their breakup not to mention all of their marriage, she shouldve fallen back. but we all know Addison is loose, lol.

  6. Patrice says:

    Yup! I co-sign this comment %1Gazillion times! I couldn't go there with any of my friends' exes, nor would they go there with mine.
    I feel weird even hooking up with a dude that I know knows someone that knows someone in my general circle…it just makes for awkward situations. Now don't get me wrong, there are those heffas that like to do that "beat you to the punch" nonsense…you know, flying into the bed of someone just because they want to guarantee you stay away…Hmpth! I have it in me to be just as trifling and still rub up on where she once did…but just the thought of it grosses me out, so I don't…but still.

  7. maxfab says:

    I think I'm lucky because I only have two exes that I wouldn't want my friends to touch…one is married and the other one passed away. So I guess it's easy for me to say I might be okay with it in certain circumstances when I'm pretty sure it will never happen.

  8. maxfab says:

    I don't think a friend's ex can ever be fair game…whether you decide to proceed or not you have to consider the friend's feelings.

  9. Streetz says:


    I cosign this post. I also wrote a post about the claim game, and how people will claim individuals off GP so no one can get with them…

    You find these rules have even more caveats when you talk about fraternities and sororities…lol

  10. maxfab says:

    Welcome Reecie!
    Yeah that was just all kinds of wrong. But I think Addison loves pipe even more than I do 😛

  11. __melissa says:

    yay…i have access. so, access means comment.

    like we discussed, i don't believe in what i consider the "girl code" (based on that hills ep when audrina said it's girl code that kristin can't date justin, even tho they weren't even friends, just acquaintances), where a guy is off limits completely just because a friend got there first.

    but i agree with skye. points 1-3, bang on. but point 4…i do think there is an expiration to "claim" and once that expires and given that you/they fall in line with points 1-3, the ex is fair game.

    then again, i don't have any past dudes that i would care that much about…maybe if/when i do, my tune might change.

  12. A. Gabrielle says:

    I agree with the four questions, because no rule can be completely unilateral–for all anybody knows (if you believe in the whole soulmate bit) that ex of your friends is the person you are meant to be with. But at the end of the day, we have to be realistic–in general, females can be very jealous and vindictive. So while your friend might eventually give the OK for it to happen, it's likely in the back of both of your minds you'll forever be comparing (am I better in bed than she was? Did he like her [insert body part or trait here] better than mine? etc.) which is definitely not going to result in a healthy friendship.

    (By the way, stumbled upon your blog from another. Will definitely continue to read!)

  13. Nick_L_Odeon says:

    ain't this some ish.. this came right on time.. my "good friend" confessed some ish like "oh, he asked for my number and called me late one night.. and we ended up makin out.. but i stopped it.." like i was supposed to get her a cookie..
    she suffers from depression, so i couldn't be as nasty as i wanted to be.. but honestly, she did this ish with the n***a i was gonna marry.. so you can imagine.. the only thing that pretty much saved her was the fact that it was over a while ago (4-5 years) and i have no feelings left for him.. apparently, her loneliness cancels out any keeping of the "woman code".. which made me wanna slap the monkey doo doo out of her..
    and the b***h told me in an email.. RIGHT AFTER i had gotten off the phone with her.. needless to say, our friendship has never been the same.. cuz now i just see her as a coward..
    there is no hard and fast rule.. but yeah,i called this girl one of my "walk in my wedding" (whenever THAT is) friends.. now, she's barely a "drive to Sonic with you to get a limeade" type a chick.. i hope he was worth it..

  14. @honeymatthews says:

    Max, great post! I agree with your run down as well.

    I’m currently in the middle of a situation like this where a friend of mine is starting out with a guy whom I’ve already dated. Sure, it was short term relationship I shared with him, but we didn’t end on bad terms- we drifted apart and it’s pretty likely if he and I were to meet up again that we’d continue where we left off.

    After confronting my friend about her actions and the fact that she isn’t respecting the friendship code, she let me know that she didn’t appreciate the way I was “portraying” her.

    Now I’m starting to question if I’m the one with the problem…? Anyway, the more I research the topic, the more I see that my thinking is in line with the majority. I personally have not and would NEVER knowingly pursue a guy my friend has dated, slept with or expressed real interest in. I try to be a loyal friend all around…Apparently not all women think the same. Whats funnier is that she has done this sort of thing before to others…

    I am truly torn.

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