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Dear Coquette: When New Relationships Ruin Old Friendships

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"I'm hanging out with my best friend's ex tomorrow."

Welcome to Dear Coquette, a place to have your burning and how-do-I-make-this-stop-burning sex advice questions answered. You might recognize The Coquette and her bare-knuckle honesty from her columns on Playboy.com, The Daily, or her own popular site, Dear Coquette. Send your questions to coquette@nerve.com.

Up until a month ago, my guy best friend and I (a girl) talked all day, every day – we were best buds. A few weeks ago we stopped talking, and I would ask why, and he would ignore the fact that we haven't been talking or blame it on being busy. I found out today that he's been seeing someone. Why would that affect if he can talk to me or not? Why would that affect our friendship?

Yeah, sometimes friends disappear when they fall into new romantic relationships. It's just one of those things that happens. It sucks, and you can be angry about it, but don't act like an idiot. He's getting his emotional needs filled by her now, and there's a decent chance that she doesn't want him hanging out with you. It should be obvious how that would affect your friendship.

Try not to take this personally. I know that sounds impossible, but I promise, this isn't about you. He doesn't think any less of you, and the new girl doesn't even know you. This is about the quality of their character, not yours. That's cold comfort, of course, but it's important to understand that you aren't being rejected so much as he's just being a shitty friend.

I’m hanging out with my best friend’s ex tomorrow. He’s a cool person and I know nothing will happen because I have a lot of respect for my best friend and my boyfriend (and so does he) but I feel a lot of anxiety because I feel like I’ll have to lie to them about where I’m going and who I’m going with. I’m a shitty liar, especially to the people I love and I’m getting anxiety because I don’t know if hanging out with him will cause either of them to lose some trust in me or make them upset. But I really want to fucking hang out with this cool person. Do I just need to fucking relax? I’m making a big deal over nothing, aren’t I?

Nope. This is a big deal. You're making a huge mistake, and if you're not careful it could very easily ruin everyone's relationship.

If you feel like you have to lie to your best friend and your boyfriend in order to hang out with your best friend's ex, then you're already doing something wrong. You damn well know it's wrong, and the anxiety you're feeling is your conscience screaming at you that it is all very, very wrong. Listen to your conscience.

It doesn't matter if nothing happens between you and your best friend's ex. That's not the point. The point is you're betraying your best friend and your boyfriend by not telling them. You are deliberately deceiving them through an act of omission, and there will be consequences when everything comes to light.

You should also take a hard look at whatever shady part of you wants to hang out with your best friend's ex. It's not innocent, and you damn well know it. (If it were innocent, you'd have no problem being open with everyone involved.)

I want to sleep with my friend's ex-wife, should I?

Hell no. What kind of moral cripple asks a question like this? Your friend's exes are off-limits. Everyone knows this. Unless your friend explicitly sets you up with an ex and everyone involved is cool with it, never sleep with a friend's ex. Even under those rare circumstances, it's still probably a bad idea.

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