I need some help here please, and I also need to know that other people worry about things like this.
Short version: Is it ethical to date a friend of one’s ex when one is definietely not over the ex yet?
Background: My boyfriend dropped me about ten months ago. It was shattering, and I’ve just now started to get my feet back under me. I dated a little, but only people who weren’t even remotely in the same social circle.
But this week, I saw him for the first time in nine months, unfortunately at a funeral. He gave me mixed signals (we met before it and went together) which made it excruciatingly clear to me that I’m not over him at all and cast doubts on the thought that he’s over me.
Also at this funeral, I ran into a friend of his. Not a really close friend, but definitely someone from his crowd and that I’d met through him, although we’d always gotten along well. And I’d always had the feeling that this guy liked me. Which was confirmed when he dug me out of the phone book and asked me out last night.
I went and kept it a platonic date, but he’s made his interest clear. Now the question: is it right to keep it up with this guy? I was up all night thinking about this. It’s one thing to go out with people in a different circle, but if I were to go out with this guy, the associations with my ex would be strong. And I’m still broken; not the same person that I was when he met me. Is it fair to him to let him take his chances with someone as screwed up as I know myself to be? If we all end up at a rodeo together, I know I would have a really hard time with it.
Do I jump in with full disclosure to this guy and let him make the call? That could really be jumping the gun - he may not be interested in more than a casual date or two, and I’m not a huge one for revealing myself so soon anyway.
I don’t trust my own motives here. This is a really good man and I don’t want to hurt him uneccesarily, but on the other hand, he’s a grown man and can look out for himself. I could really appreciate a kind man at this point too, but the sparks aren’t there yet either (although I am willing to give them time to show up if I decide to continue this.)
So, help? What have you all done in such situations? I know there are more than a few here who aren’t the “look out for number one” types, and what is your perspective on dating ethically? I don’t care to use people, even (especially?) emotionally - how have you run into dating dilemmas? How do I do this whole dating thing morally?