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Carolyn Hax: Don’t deny friend a chance with your ex

Dear Carolyn: A friend forwarded to me the online-dating profile of a former boyfriend of mine, and asked if that was him. She said they had spoken on the phone and were to meet in person. Apparently she was trying to feel out what I thought about it.

I said I couldn’t tell her what to do, but I’m sure she knew I was upset.

I would never do that to a friend, and I feel that if she is my friend, then she would not contact him. What do you think? – Curious

Yours is a common view, so over the years I’ve tried to see things that way, to have your perspective of feeling betrayed by friends who date your exes.

Nevertheless, I agree only in one very narrow circumstance: when the ex caused you significant and deliberate harm.

It can be awkward, even painful; I get that. I picture, say, a sibling with an ex-spouse and I wince. But even that doesn’t justify throwing our hoodies over people as if they’re chairs in a middle-school cafeteria.

There’s also this counterargument: If you were her friend, then she’d have your blessing to seek happiness wherever she thinks she’ll find it.

There are other men on Earth, of course, but for whatever reason you and he didn’t work; meanwhile, she apparently sees something in him that works for her. While men may be abundant, promising connections are not. I can’t endorse denying a friend such a chance.

Email Carolyn at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ carolyn.hax or chat with her online at 9 a.m.each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.


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