December 16, 2011 - submitted by Gracie, United States of America


Tonight, I went to a school dance with some of my friends. I asked my ex-boyfriend to dance, but he said no. I saw him dancing with one of my best friends, and I found out later that they had been dating, but I didn't know. What should I do? Should I be mad at both of them?

Gracie, USA

The Oracle replies:

I won't lie, I'd be mad too but there's probably no point wasting energy on them. I think both your best friend and your ex owed it to you to tell you what was happening between them. If you want them to know how you feel, I'd keep it very short and simple or even make a joke of it - depending on your history that I am not privy to.
You are human so it's only natural that it could upset / hurt / annoy you but personally I'd be more disappointed. I wish people had more backbone to be honest. Unfortunately you may encounter this kind of thing again and there's not much you can do about it. It doesn't really matter to me how long you two were together, why you broke up, how they feel etc. it's more about why they didn't spare your feelings and avoid that situation. It's part of growing up & life so the best thing you can do is hold your head high and shrug it off. Easier said than done I know. I know because I have been on both sides of that fence when I was younger - neither side felt good - and it was cowardice that prevented me (us) from telling anyone. If I could go back I would stand up and accept responsibility and that's what I would have wanted from the people that did it to me too. You live & learn as they say. Without knowing which of your heart or ego is suffering most, I'm afraid I can't add much more. Over to you.

Your ex-boyfriend is your ex for a reason. It's safe to assume he no longer thinks about your feelings when he makes his decisions. His lack of respect for you is simply another reason why you deserve better than him. Forget about him! He is not worth your time. Your friend is another matter. She should realize that this situation is uncomfortable. I can understand that perhaps she can't help her feelings for your ex and I don't blame her for them, but she should have told you about their relationship. To make matters worse, she let you find out by seeing her with your ex at a dance where she knew you and most of the people you guys know would be. She has lied to you, upset you and embarrassed you publicly. I also wonder how long she has had these feelings for your ex. She may have liked him or even dated him while the two of you were still together. I would ask her how long they have been together and how long she has liked him. I would then ask her why she didn't tell you. Lastly, be sure to ask her if she realized how awful it was for you to find out that way about them. If she was with him when you were together, don't waste any more time on her. Frankly though, I don't think she's a good friend either way. Even if she didn't cheat you, she has shown that she doesn't care about your feelings like a friend should. I'm sure you are a great girl and deserve much better! You will find it so keep your head up and move on! Elspeth, Toronto, Canada.

I don't think you should get mad at your ex or ur best friend, ur life shouldn't stop or change because of their actions. Yes if she was ur best friend then she should have told you something before the school dance to see if you were okay with it, but still it doesn't mean you should get mad at her. Good friends are hard to come by and you shouldn't lose this one over a guy, talk to her and tell her how you feel. Badr.

I think you should start by confronting your friend. Meet up with her, ask her what the situation is and tell her exactly how you feel. If she is supposed to be your friend then you have to honest with her and expect honesty back. I also think that you should reevalute her, is this really what a true friend would do? Shouldn't she have been honest from the beginning? Shouldn't she have come to you first? Life is too short to spend with people who don't appreciate you the same way you appreciate them. Surround yourself with not only people you love and care about but also with people who loves and cares about you, and you'll notice that those are the times you will be the best you. Sadia, Sweden.

Not at all, Gracie. You should be happy for their new found relationship, instead of dwelling on your previous one. You might feel like it's a great big ordeal that one of your friends is in a relationship with one your ex, and a part of your conscience might suggest that you've been "betrayed" but, especially at a young age, you shouldn't think of making an ordeal out of this situation. Just be happy for the both of them, and you'll be in other relationships, and your friends will be there to be happy for you, so, why not do the same? Best wishes and Happy Holidays! Bradley H.

There's no point in getting mad. It's rude of her to date him without your consent and without telling you, and maybe not thoughtful of him to date her, but when push comes to shove, it's their decision. I can understand why you might be upset, but I wouldn't pick a fight over it. If you can control your temper, you should tell her that it hurt your feelings and ask her to tell you next time. But that's pretty much all you can do! The thing about teenage relationships is that this is the time for you and your friends to learn how to act. Your best friend is still learning, so don't get too offended. Keep your head up, good things will come your way. Love, Lexi, USA.

I wouldn't necessarily be mad at your ex, but if this is one of your best friends and she didn't tell you that she was dating him? I'd be a little upset. Even if she had good intentions, she still didn't tell you which probably upset you. The thing is, Gracie, we can't tell you to be "mad" or not; those are your emotions that we can't control. If you think it's a good decision to be mad and create a mess for yourself, that is your choice (not being mean just saying). I would find out what your friend was thinking when she didn't tell you and what your ex was thinking in a very calm way, sleep on it, and either forgive and forget, or walk away. I would not create anything big out of this though because sometimes these things can take away from what really matters - school and getting an education. I am sharing with you what I have not yet learned, because I have a situation similar to this and I don't even take my own advice! Well good luck, and make sure that you think before you speak and think of the consequences of your actions (again two things I haven't gotten the hang of yet. Megan.

First, I'm sorry for the feelings of betrayal you must feel. When I was in high school I had a group of friends, one of whom liked me, call her Jill. She asked another of our friends, call her Betty, to find out how I felt about her. It resulted in Betty and I expressing our interest in each other. We secretly dated for a couple of months before Jill found out. It seemed like the best decision at the time to keep it hidden from Jill. But please believe me that Betty and I regretted our decision not to tell Jill earlier once she found out. I am just as sure that your friend and ex-boyfriend regret not telling you that they were dating. They may have thought that it was the best decision at the time. You may be mad at them, that is understandable. But please do not let it ruin your best friendship. My situation caused a lot of contention in Jill and Betty's friendship, and I regret it. Friends are the most important thing. Don't let relationships ruin friendships. Tyler, USA.

Very sorry you have found yourself in this situation it must be a confusing time for you. I truly think the best course of action in all this is to do nothing! Although it must be hard seeing a good friend with your ex, he is just that, an ex, i.e. your past and the past is one of those things that's is better looked at, learned from and then laid to rest. Life really is too short for worrying or getting upset about things that cannot be changed or you have no control over. Also I've always found the best revenge for someone who has hurt you is to move on and make a better life for yourself, by that time you won't care who he is dating. As for your friend, ask yourself this, is she outside of this situation a good friend? Has she been there for you in times of need as well as in good times? Does she have a habit of dating friends ex boyfriends? If you answer yes to the first 2 questions and no to the 3rd I would say maybe she just fell for the same person you did, our hearts often over rule our heads, but if she was a true friend before please don't let what has happened tarnish this good friendship, maybe she didn't tell you to spare your feelings? If your answers are no to the first 2 questions and yes to the 3rd I think it would be best to hold your head high and just leave them both to it, you don't need people like that in your life. Either way I feel its best to just get on with your own life and be the better person. Good luck in your future, I wish you every happiness. Jax.

To me (being 3 years out of high school) it is completely understandable to feel anger towards both of them. To help your situation, you really should consider talking to your friend, especially if this is causing you emotional pain or distress. I believe your friend made a wrong move by not talking to you about it and keeping this relationship a secret to you. It's flat out immature, selfish, and disrespectful on her part. Tell her how you feel, listen to her response, and try and end the conversation on level ground, eye to eye. If it goes well, you may want to consider forgiving her and if it goes bad, you may want to consider your friendship. If this friend is one of your best, this conversation should be quick, constructive and meaningful. Don't worry about your ex, move on from him. It'll help you more. I wish you the best of luck, and know that whatever you decide to do for you is the best. I'm dealing with a girl who is now at my college, whom I used to date back home. Let go of him fast, and don't look back - that's something we didn't do. Work on growing your friendships, they stick with you always. Gotta love that high school drama. It'll all be okay! Jeremy, USA.

If she didn't tell you then she's not a real friend! Things like this happen all the time, and it's a perfect moment to see who's worth and who's not. Your ex is not a good person either, if he knew he was dating your friend. But let's stick it to the person you may care most: your friend. I think you should talk to her, clear the things up and see what's her answer. Last week, my ex confessed his love to my best friend and he's madly in love with her, so I know how does it feel. I realized this by myself, she didn't want to tell me to not make me feel low. So I talked to her and she said she didn't want anything with him, because she considered our friendship is more important than any boy on earth. If your friend prefers him before you, then she isn't worth anything, and you neither deserve a "friend" like her. Flor, Argentina.

It depends. Did you cry over him when you broke up? We're you very upset? Then it's not okay without your explicit permission. Or did you act really chill and fake like you didn't care that much? Then it's not her fault to assume that you were over it and wouldn't mind if they dated. However, she should have told you about it, either way. Try having a talk with her about it, and see what's going on. Sade.

If the 'friend' had been dating your ex but hadn't made you aware of it, she's not a true friend. If you're going to be mad at them, keep your madness inside, or let your anger out when your alone. If you end up mad at them, they know they've got a reaction from you. You clearly don't need them, so try hanging out with some other girls/boys you know. Letting your anger out alone and moving on from the girl & boy instantly makes you a better person, make them know that you don't care. Sarah J.

Both should respect you enough to not cross boundaries and to at least tell you the truth, even if they were afraid you might be mad. You're better off staying away from a boy who would step between you and a good friend. As for the friend, if she were honest with you about her feelings for your ex, then you could at least build your friendship on trust knowing you could be honest with each other and discuss how you felt about the whole thing. And if she knew you would be uncomfortable, she should've stayed away. In either case, with boys or friends, you deserve the best so if you feel you're not being respected, you're better off without them. I'm sure you'll find a boyfriend that will love you and only you and friends that will stick by you. Ramona.

Gracie, I can understand why you might be upset. It's typically an unspoken rule that you don't date your friend's exes. And you're probably upset that she didn't tell you she was dating someone (maybe because she didn't want to hurt your feelings). So I would understand if you were angry at them. But telling them off won't help anything. You may want to do some thinking about this friend of yours. Friends hurt each other all the time, it's true, but what your friend has done is deliberate and goes against the unspoken rule. I wouldn't hold it against her or continue to be angry for a long time, but I also might not want her to be my best friend. A best friend holds your happiness as highly as her own. You don't need to completely disown this friend of yours, but you also don't have to continue to let her hurt you. You are worth more than that. You can calmly tell her that her dating your ex hurts your feelings, and then distance yourself from her. That's what I would do. Amber.

I may be wrong, but it sounds like you still have something going on inside you with your ex-boyfriend.
I think it's great to end things in good terms, but remember there's a reason why they ended and it's not healthy for you to keep focusing on your ex.
I'm sure there are a lot of better guys for you out there! You should be asking them to dance! Regarding your problem, I don't think you should be mad at your ex. Remember, he's your EX so he doesn't have to worry about you getting mad at him any more. I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but it's the truth and if you get mad at him it would look like you still have feelings for him. And that's no good even if it was true. However, I would get mad at your best friend because she didn't even bother to tell you, and maybe I'm wrong but she should have asked you if you didn't mind. Then again, she probably didn't know how to handle it or what to say to you, I'm not saying it's right but you should understand her situation. I hope this helps you! Milena.

It seems you are not yet completely over your ex-boyfriend. You still seem to care about what he does, who he sees and even feel mad about it. What you should know is that when a relationship ends, this means that both of you are free and do not have to keep each other up to date. Since now you two are not together anymore, there's no unwritten rule that says he should tell you who he is dating. Maybe because he knows you still care a lot about what he does, he didn't want to hurt your feelings. The same goes for your friend. That he was seeing a good friend of you only made it more sensible, so they might kept it a secret from you, not to hurt your feelings. So, even though you want to feel mad about it, I don't think this is justified and it won't help you either. If you feel bad about it, then try to talk about it with them, but keep an open mind when you do! You don't want to lose your good friend and ex-boyfriend, right? Just keep in mind that your relationship between him and you is over, so he can do whatever he wants. The same goes for friends of you, they can see your ex if they want. If it could make them happy, then that's a good thing. Kim.

It may well be a good time to discover some English poetry to help reveal an answer to your question:
I hold it true, whate'er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
'Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
He is now the ex boyfriend and you mention you have many best friends. Don't let anger get in the way of enjoying new time with your friends and remembering what good times you had. You are a beautiful person that has many good things to look forward to. Kind Regards, Jonathan.

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