Living in West Hollywood is nothing short of existing on another planet, separate from any other community in the country--gay or straight. It feels like a hyperbolic echo-system, where the most wonderful things about the gay community run right up against the worst and most gut-wrenching.
Dating around here is no simple task. Many of us seek people from outside of the immediate Weho area, or hope to find someone new to the city; someone “fresh” and untainted by dozens of guys we know from the gym and the bars.
But let’s assume we can’t. There are no Billy’s or Chad’s who just arrived from Ohio or Vermont. We’re surrounded by familiar faces, and one of those faces becomes a “person of specific interest.” Before things get past date two, it hits you like a bus-- they’ve dated your friend, your roommate or a coworker before. Is this a bad thing?
Is it convenient that you’ll be able to get a little background info on them? Do you really want to listen to someone who’s previously broken up with them, and obviously doesn’t hold that person in the highest regard? That’s for each individual to decide. There are some inalienable rules here, and your best hope for success in dating this person while not ruining your existing friendship with your bro is to follow these steps closely:
1. Get the 100% That it’s “Ok”
No dating experience is ever worth the risk of compromising or possibly losing a friendship. As they say, men will come and go, but friends are forever. Protect your circle and make sure you’re in the clear before you proceed.
2. Give it a Year
If you know from the start that your close friend has been involved with this person recently, don’t go near. This should go without saying, but I’ve seen it happen more that enough times to know that some people don’t have the understanding that this is trashy and reflects poorly on your character. Even if you never had any romantic involvement with this person while your friend was still partnered with them, it will appear as though you did, or that you were secretly waiting for their relationship to fail the entire time. Trust me, “give it a year and you’re in the clear.”
3. The Moment You Know, Tell Your Friend
If it does happen organically (there are only so many locals to go around, and this is going to happen from time to time), and you genuinely weren’t aware that your new beau was formerly involved with someone in your corner, it’s up to one or both of you to let the common friend know about it. This doesn’t need to be a dramatic conversation, but it is a courtesy that you owe to your friend. Remember: if they don’t hear it from you, they’ll hear it from someone else.
4. No Trash Talking
This will likely be the biggest fear in your buddy’s mind once they’re aware that you and their former flame are mingling. It’s fair to establish that you have a common connection, and maybe establish whomever else you both know, but the conversation should end there. They may have the urge to “win” your support in whatever falling out that may have occurred, but that type of campaigning is unfair to your friend who is not part of the conversation to defend themselves. You two will have every opportunity to learn about each-other without creating a common distaste for a person who is not a part of the new relationship.
Born and raised in sunny Southern California, Aaron Cordova is a wildly enthusiastic communicator with a background in journalism and event planning. He exudes humor and wit in each interaction with others, and loves nothing more than to entertain while informing. He evokes passion, and loves to share the joy of the things that make him tick; music, fashion, food and love. After several consecutive long-term relationships, he is single and ready for the adventures that await him.