How do you feel about Your Friends Dating A Former Beau? 3

How long do you keep an ex- out of circulation, on the shelf as it were, before you consider him or her released to the general community?  How long would you have to have broken up with an ex before you’d want a good friend to date him or her?

Does it depend on how long you dated?
How long ago you dated?
How deep the relationship went?

Back in my dating days, one friend introduced me to a former boyfriend and knew we’d exchanged numbers but then got upset when we began to date.  “I didn’t expect you to actually go out,” she lamented.  Across from the spectrum, another friend had quite a serious relationship with my husband many years before I knew either of them yet she doesn’t seem to have minded a bit because he was released from her heart years before.
I have a couple of friends who have married or had serious relationships with former beaus of mine.  Just because they didn’t work out for me doesn’t mean they might not work out for them or someone else.

I’ve tried to pass along a couple of former boyfriends, who were really good guys but just weren’t right for me, to people I’ve thought they’d be more compatible with. (Reading this, I am struck by how possessive this sounds.  I have to get over myself!)  One friend rejected the offer to be introduced outright because she couldn’t date someone another friend had been intimate with – no matter that 15 years had passed since the relationship existed.

Hey, especially as concerns U.S. Blacks and women over a certain age, I don’t believe in hoarding the supply of available good guys.  Release them, sisters.  Let ‘em go forth because there’s a whole lot of good women waiting for the too few good men.

“The marriage rate for African Americans has been dropping since the 1960s, and today, we have the lowest marriage rate of any racial group in the United States. In 2001, according to the U.S. Census, 43.3 percent of black men and 41.9 percent of black women in America had never been married, in contrast to 27.4 percent and 20.7 percent respectively for whites. African American women are the least likely in our society to marry. In the period between 1970 and 2001, the overall marriage rate in the United States declined by 17 percent; but for blacks, it fell by 34 percent. Such statistics have caused Howard University relationship therapist Audrey Chapman to point out that African Americans are the most uncoupled people in the country.” From ‘Marriage Is for White People’ by Joy Jones, published in Washington Post, 3/26/06.

I have many friends who don’t want to be married, but for every one who doesn’t want marriage, there are a number who do even though they’ve given up on it as a remote possibility for their lives.

So, if a relationship has ended…truly ended…release that ex into the realm of possibility for someone else – like one of your friends.  The more happiness there is in the world, the more there can be.

About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

3 thoughts on “How do you feel about Your Friends Dating A Former Beau?

  • Jim

    Doesn’t matter who, what, where, when or how. Nobody, not single people, not married people, not jealous or possessive people, not women, not men, not recent lovers or platonic friends, nobody owns exclusive rights to a relationship with anyone. We all act on our own free will and if that means a 30 year marriage is dashed, that’s sad, but the consequences are for the parties to deal with. Eyes open, people. I’m not advocating that anyone break any vows, I’m simply saying that a choice is made over and over again, or it is not and no woman or man has the right to “hold” another away from anyone else. For whatever reason, any man or woman who lets him or herself be held that way wants to be held. And anyone who attempts to hold that way deserves whatever they get. Choices, that’s it.

  • Candelaria

    Wow! You clearly feel strongly about this. I agree with your thoughts. They are powerfully written.

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