7 Crucial Rules for Dating Your Friend’s Ex

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Lots of people have told me unequivocally that they would never date a friend’s ex. They wholeheartedly believe that it’s wrong, disrespectful, and if a friend did that to them, they’d never talk to that person again. They believe this is something everybody knows, that they’re just following the rules.

What I’ve noticed, though, is that every person I’ve heard espouse this worldview was straight. This rule is almost never stated or enforced among queer communities. If you’re gay, you will almost inevitably date a friend’s ex at some point. Queer communities are often small and insular, and once you’ve found one, you tend to hold on to it for dear life. It’s difficult to meet people you’re romantically interested in beyond an already-defined circle, and outside of your city’s queer scene, most people you run into are likely to be straight. Even if you meet someone to whom you think you have no previous connection, a 10-minute conversation almost always reveals that she went to high school with your college roommate, used to be on a volleyball team with that girl from your book club, and had a six-month stand with your favorite barista.

Queers don’t tend to expect our dates to come into our lives completely free of prior complication. We know our backstories will be tangled and intertwined. I can count the degrees of hookup separation between my closest friends and myself, and usually come up with no more than two or three. In fact, when we met, my now-partner was on a date with my best friend. They dated casually for a few weeks before they split up and we got together, and three years later the same friend gave one of the readings at our wedding.

1. Don’t gossip. It’s common to assume that anything shared with you is by default shared with your partner as well; however, your friend might be much less comfortable speaking to you in confidence if she thought the details of her personal life were going to be relayed to someone who used to share her toothbrush. (I’m going to use female pronouns for your friend, and male pronouns for your sweetie, for the sake of simplicity; however, every rule here applies no matter the genders of the participants.) Keep your friend’s secrets. The reverse is also true; no matter how much you love discussing your dude with your besties, his ex can probably live without hearing the details of his current sex life. Save it for your diary or for anyone who didn’t date him.

2. Don’t trash talk. It’s OK to come to your partner for advice if you’re arguing with your friend, or vice versa, but absolutely resist the urge to belittle or insult one of them to the other. This can be extremely tempting if they ended on bad terms and you know you’ll find a sympathetic ear. However, in order to maintain a healthy relationship with both of them, it’s crucial that you never seem even a little like you’re taking sides in their breakup or casting either one as the bad guy, even months or years after the fact. If you need to vent about one of them, find a neutral party.

3. Respect boundaries without making assumptions. For instance, if your friend doesn’t want to go to parties where her ex will be in attendance, don’t pressure her. But don’t assume she doesn’t want an invite if you haven’t asked! In general, allow your friend and your sweetheart to decide how much contact they want with each other, and don’t push them to associate if they’re not into it. Remember that you can love them both without them necessarily having to enjoy each other. This goes for friends and partners who haven’t dated, too, now that I think of it. Set aside time for each of them and honor it — don’t drag your lover along on girls’ night out (not even if your lover is a lady; queer chicks are so bad about this), and don’t invite your friend to what was supposed to be a romantic dinner at home.

4. No comparisons. Don’t ask your man if you’re prettier/smarter/better at Scrabble than his last girlfriend. Don’t do this ever, but especially not if his last girlfriend is the person you’re going rock climbing with Sunday. No matter what his answer is, it’s going to make things weird. Besides, comparing yourself to anybody — even if you come out ahead — is always going to lead to feeling crappy, because basing your self-esteem on where you stand relative to someone else is Not Healthy. So don’t seek out comparisons, and if your dude brings up the topic, tell him you’re not interested in hearing it. You and your friend are not in competition, except when you’re actually playing Scrabble.

5. Don’t be paranoid. Don’t try to keep your boyfriend and your bud from associating because you’re afraid they still have feelings for each other, and don’t constantly seek reassurance that that’s not the case. Trust that your dude is with you because he likes you and you’re awesome, not because he’s biding his time until your friend takes him back. Trust that your friend is happy you’ve found someone you dig, not plotting to sabotage your love. And don’t ever use jealousy or insecurity over their past relationship to excuse irrational or controlling behavior on your part. Of course, if your sweetie gives you a legitimate reason to believe he’s untrustworthy, get out of there stat, but if there’s really nothing wrong, don’t create problems where none exist.

6. Don’t pry into their relationship. It may be tempting ask your friend to analyze what happened between the two of them so that you can avoid making the same mistakes, but resist that urge. Likewise, don’t grill your boyfriend on what went wrong or insist that he account for his behavior throughout the entire time they dated. Their relationship is between them; it’s not your cautionary tale or your soap opera. If they choose to share details with you, that’s fine — you don’t need to stick your fingers in your ears, unless an overt comparison is being made (see No. 4) — but don’t push. Your relationship and theirs are separate things, and you don’t need to know anything they don’t care to tell you.

7. Recognize that some exes really are off-limits. It’s easier, of course, to have hard-line rules — “exes are never OK” versus “exes are totally fine” — but that’s not the world we live in. If someone seriously mistreated your friend (we’re talking emotional or physical abuse, infidelity, lying, stealing, etc.), don’t date him, no matter how awesome his butt looks in jeans. This has nothing to do with some kind of Eternal Dibs situation, and everything to do with the fact that, by choosing to build a relationship with someone who treated her horribly, you’re telling your friend you don’t think what he did to her was all that bad. Just walk away. There are lots of people out there who are just as good in bed and haven’t traumatized anyone you care about. Set the precedent that people who are awful to your friends are people who don’t get to see you naked, and your life will be the better because of it.

9 Ways NOT To Impress A Woman

n-BAD-FLIRT-large570From revealing romantic feelings for a friend to crafting a spiffy e-opener, catching the interest of someone you’d like to date can be hard. (Seriously, we sympathize with any single woman or man.)

But while the methods one can use to woo a lady have definitely expanded, some should just never be used.

Redditor Alexander_Dumass asked the ladies of the AskWomen forum to weigh in on the worst pickup techniques. Here are nine things men do to impress women that really don’t work:

1. Talk trash about women. “It literally makes no sense but it’s so common.”

2. Insult the person you’re currently dating. “As if that will make me change my mind and hop on your dick instead.”

3. Show off their wealth. One Redditor put it perfectly:

It’s not douchey to have money or to spend money on nice things. It is douchey to brag about how much money you make and the nice things you own, to make a big show of spending your money so everyone can see how rich you are, or to act as though being wealthy somehow makes you better than those around you.
4. Send unsolicited dick pics. “You’re gross.”

5. Give you a “resume” of why you should date them. “‘I’m real buff, I’ll treat you real nice, I make lots of money, I’ll buy you gifts…’ Like I’m some sort of a shallow brainless twit that is looking to hire a boyfriend.”

6. Brag about how many women they’ve slept with. “He went from talking about pound town to asking me downtown. It was, sadly, not a joke.”

7. Lie about their interests to make it seem like the two of you have more in common. “If you’ve never seen Blade Runner, for example, don’t say you have just because its my favorite film. I can always tell when they’re lying about this and I don’t think it’s sweet.”

8. Follow you around the gym. “I’m busy, bro.”

9. Talk only about themselves. “I’m glad that you assume that you’re more interesting than I am.”

 

Originally posted on at Huffington Post.

7 things women find unattractive about men

Unattractive female habits

One minute you’re making our hearts all warm and fuzzy, and the next we feel a little bit sick because of your gender-specific habits. We know you gentlemen aren’t all the same, but when a man has any of the following habits it’s unattractive. Here are seven things women find unattractive about men:

Unattractive male habit 1: Boasting

Some guys big themselves up so much that it would appear they’re trying to prove to themselves that they’re a good catch. We’ve heard about how amazing your job is, how much money you’re earning, how hot your exes were, how everyone loves you. Now time to talk about ourselves… nope, because you haven’t finished bigging up your car and your house and your hilarious personality (erm, really?). Do you think that all this bragging will make us overlook the fact that you’re so boring? Being egotistical won’t make the ladies stick around so employ a bit of modesty and try asking questions about us rather than blabbing about yourself all the time.

Unattractive male habit 2: Having no old-fashioned values

We don’t expect you to act like one of the gentlemen from a Charles Dickens’ film, but not being gentlemanly at all is a huge turn-off. You can take us on a few dates and treat us like a queen but the day you leave us to walk down a dark alley to find our car is the day we suddenly realise we’re not attracted to you anymore. We want a man who has old-fashioned values and treats his women with respect. We like to be looked after and feel safe when we’re with you, not feel as though you could ditch us at any moment because you’ve remembered you’re late for the pub with the lads.

Unattractive male habit 3: No sense of humour

If there’s one thing a man must possess to make us feel attracted to them, it’s a sense of humour. It’s a powerful tool in a conversation, particularly when overcoming awkward moments, and not having one makes you seem overly serious and boring. When we’re laughing until we can barely breathe at something undeniably hilarious, it’s not very attractive when you sit there straight-faced and serious. The guy who is having a laugh with his friends, however, always looks like a fun person to be around. We like the guy who is intelligent enough to make us laugh until our ribs hurt and won’t give us an evil stare when we start breaking out into a giggle.

Unattractive male habit 4: Scratching your private parts

They’re the big manly hands we like to hold, the hands that make us feel safe, the hands you cook the tea with on the odd occasion, and the hands you er… scratch your privates with – nice. It’s definitely a turn-off for women when men shamelessly scratch ‘down there’ without a care in the world. It gets worse when you insist on stealing our chips. You don’t pinch one off the top; you rummage right the way down to the bottom with your scratching hand. At least get your scratching fix in the bathroom when you’re not in full view of everyone else. And then wash your hands afterwards.

Unattractive male habit 5: Lack of ambition

Most women are attracted to men who have a focus in life, and we find it repulsive if you have no ambition to achieve anything. It makes it hard for us to respect you if you can’t speak to us about your goals, ideas, and things you want to achieve. No one wants to settle down with the guy who gets his kicks out of lazing around on the sofa watching day time television while we’re working hard to achieve our dreams. Getting your kicks out of video games and nothing else is sad and boring.

Unattractive male habit 6: Expecting us to clean up after you

So you get annoyed at us for nagging, right? Well don’t give us a reason to nag then. If you didn’t leave a trail of clothes, food, and towels around the house then we wouldn’t have anything to nag about. You make out as though we’re clean freaks whose lives revolve around cleaning and tidying when, in actual fact, we just don’t want to live in a pig sty. You suddenly lose your attractiveness once we’ve seen your boxer shorts scattered around the floor and your beard hairs in the sink. We’ll clean our stuff up, you clean yours. We know this will never happen, but you’d be a million times more attractive if it did.

Unattractive male habit 7: Being over-protective

As much as we love to feel safe and cared for, there’s a fine line between that and being over-protected. Being over-protective is a sign of insecurity, and we like our men to be independent and tough. One minute we’re saying thanks to the postman for delivering a parcel, the next we’re being accused by our other half of flirting and wanting to marry the guy. Accusing us of fancying every Tom, Dick and Harry that crosses our path is annoying and it makes you seriously unattractive.

How to Meet Friends Online — Instead of Your Soulmate

Lots of Chummy Club members aren’t looking to pick out china patterns just yet. Instead of settling down with a soulmate, getting married, and having 2.5 kids, a dog, and a white picket fence, they simply want to find friends online!
Unlike other dating sites, Chummy Club isn’t just focused on romantic relationships. Whether you’ve just moved to a new town or you just want to expand your social life, it’s easy to find friends online. Just follow these 3 tips:

1. Don’t confuse “friends” with “friends with benefits”
If you’re simply trying to find friends online, make that clear in the beginning. There are plenty of people who use our social networking services who want a purely platonic relationship — not just a random hookup.

2. Use all of our tools
Here at Chummy Club, you’ll get an email every day with matches we’ve selected for you, based on the results of your compatibility test. But don’t stop there! We’ve got a big Facebook and Twitter network that can help you find friends that don’t necessarily match you in a romantic way — but can still be great people to get to know.

3. Keep the same safety precautions in mind
If you were looking for love online, you wouldn’t give out your phone number or meet someone in person until you felt comfortable. Looking for friends online is no different. Just because there’s no romance involved doesn’t mean you can let your guard down.
As much as we love our members, we also encourage them to be realistic. You have to get to know someone before you can trust them. That’s why we offer so many ways to communicate right here on the site — so that you don’t have to give out information that you don’t want to. That way, you can find online friends in a safe, secure way!

Looking for Love Online? Follow these Tips!

In the years since Chummy Club began, I’ve seen a lot of people find love online — while other people have made big mistakes. If you’re looking for true love online, these tips can help you get it. And, they’ll help you through each step of the online dating process — so that you never have to “fly blind”.

1. Be creative — without being dishonest
A creative profile name or a profile picture taken at a creative angle can fetch more attention than a profile that looks just like everyone else’s. However, don’t let your creativity get in the way of the facts. Using a photo of you from 10 years ago is dishonest — not creative.
Same goes for the information in your profile. No one’s going to think you’re creative when you list “Corporate Executive” on your profile when you’re really the Executive Secretary. Instead, they’re going to think you’re a liar — and liars don’t find love online!

2. Break the ice
Once you start talking to a match, throw in some fun questions, like “If you could be any fictional character, who would you be?” Questions like these help you get to know someone, while also seeing if you can have fun with them. Remember, finding love online is all about chemistry. If you and a match can’t have a fun conversation, there’s no “spark” there — and you need to keep looking.

3. Follow your gut
Knowing how to find love online means knowing how to listen to your gut. Generally, you gut can tell pretty quickly whether someone’s right for you. If you’re getting a “funny” feeling about a match, don’t ignore it!