Dating, friendship

He’s My Coworker’s Ex… Does that Mean He’s Off Limits?

coworker's ex

Hey T,

Love the site. Your advice hits a whole different kind of way. Hoping I can get some of that good advice. See I’ve been seeing this man I really like for a month now. It hasn’t been that long but to say he’s got me thirsty is an understatement. The problem is I found out 2 days ago that he’s the ex of a new friend of mine. Well maybe friend is too strong of a word, let’s say coworker I’m cool with and we’ve been to happy hour once or twice in 3 months. Now my best friend said I owe this coworker at least a heads up if I’m not going to ask permission, but I don’t even want to give him that. I mean I only found out this guy was my coworker’s ex through a story the guy told and I put two and two together and asked this guy if he was talking about my coworker.

What do you think? Do I owe my coworker anything?

-Mr. Rome Dolla

Dear Mr. Rome Dolla,

Thank you for writing to me and sharing your kind words. Appreciation is fuel for According to T, so I’m thankful for the compliments. Now as far as my advice for your situation, I’m going to do my best to help you out here.

I tend to look at dating through the lens of the famous quote, “less is more.” The less baggage that comes with dating a person, usually means the more fulfillment I’ll get out of our situationship, entanglement, or hopeful relationship. And while every human is equipped with their own set of baggage, some are carrying more than I can lend a hand to carry (heck, I still have my own to carry too). I tend to take it as a sign that things weren’t meant to be, or at least meant to be at a particular time, when dating a person becomes overly complicated with baggage, or mess.

In the case of this guy you’re dating, some of his baggage has become quickly evident for you in that he’s your coworker’s ex (or friend’s ex). Look, only you know how close you and this coworker are, but if he really is your friend, you should be honest with him about the situation. Explain you like this guy and had no idea until recently he is his ex. While I typically don’t ever think it’s wise to date the ex of a friend, given the newness of the friendship and the circumstances with which you found out the guy is an ex, I can’t say you were being messy in this situation. But allow me to warn you. There is a strong possibility that your “friend” won’t like the idea of you dating his ex, regardless of the circumstances, and will want you to end things with the guy to preserve the friendship.

However, if this coworker is really just a coworker you’ve chilled with once or twice, you don’t technically owe him an explanation of your personal life. Because he’s not in your inner circle, that’s not his business. Having said that, you’ll want to prepare for the potential awkwardness between you and the coworker if he were to find out who you’re dating. In fact, you’ll want to start working on creating a little more distance between you and this other employee and keep things strictly professional.

Lastly, if this person is just a coworker yet you feel guilty about withholding this information, then feel free to share. Again, prepare yourself for any potential awkwardness in the workplace.

Suggestions going forward

  1. Good friends, real friends, are hard to come by. If this person at work falls in this category, ask yourself if you’re willing to sacrifice him for a man you’ve only known about a month.

As always nothing but love,

Tavion Scott

(IG: accordingtot, Twitter: _accordingtot_ )

Oh, and make sure you check out my new scripted show, Majoring in Me the Podcast.


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