“You can try to handle it like an adult, being open and honest – but you will go down a notch on the friendship ladder,” agrees Nana Wereko-Brobby, director of Social Concierge, a London dating service.Nana points to the story of her friend Katie, a 27-year-old Londoner who lost a friendship when an ex got involved. Tell him what his friendship means to you,” suggests Irene La Cota, president of dating agency It's Just Lunch International.If you're swept up in love and you simply must date the ex of a close friend, experts recommend you sit your friend down. Even if it hurts your pride, check with him that it's OK. La Cota stresses the conversation is worth having if you really think the girl might be your 'special someone'.“And keep in mind that your friend is most likely going to say 'go ahead', even if he doesn't mean it,” she says.
“Friendships typically last a hell of a lot longer than romantic relationships, particularly 'potential' romantic relationships.The last thing you want to do is burn your bridges with those who will continue to support you and be around you the longest,” explains Callow.Particularly if you were in a long-term relationship with her,” he says. If it's just an acquaintance from work, and he dated a woman you like, they broke up, then there is no reason why you couldn't date her,” says Sebastian Callow, a London-based dating coach for men. Experts recommend considering how long your friend and his ex dated (anything over six months is tricky territory as the emotional ties tend to be stronger); how old you are (one expert suggested that in our twenties, perceived slights carry more weight than when we're older and “more realistic”); why you're interested (do you lack the self confidence to approach a stranger?But what if you really, really fancy Sally, to the point you're picturing sleepy Sundays and all sorts of lovely, luscious romance? ); how much stress you're willing to endure; and ultimately what the friendship is worth.During the conversation, pay attention to your friend's non-verbal communication.
“As guys, we often say we're OK with the situation to put on a brave face, when really we're anything but,” adds Callow.