Dating Friends’ “Friends”: The Golden Rule of Relationships 2.009

When is it okay to date an associate’s ex? (note the distinction: I did not say “friend.” I will not date anyone my friends have dated or humped**)

For my entire dating life, I’ve operated by what I call the Golden Rule of Relationships. That is, under no circumstances do you date an associate’s former flame. That broad definition of a man who was once important but is no longer included anyone that paid for dates with anyone in my wide-reaching circle, all their exes (of course), jump offs, one night stands, and anyone I was aware that a current associate was crushing on whether he’d expressed mutual interest or not. Oh, and no one remotely close to an ex BF and when asked not to pursue, take the L. I figure this is a ladies’ game and all must show respect to keep the operation running smoothly.

I was steadfast about this and it made sense because… Well, why would I want to violate these rules? Associates don’t need dick in common anymore than friends do. It’s just bad business.

But as the dating game continues, my social life keeps expanding to include more associates, and Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace unite the world in one common group associate-ship, it’s become increasingly difficult to meet anyone that hasn’t known someone I know in the biblical sense, much less paid for a few dinners. (My crew is 27+) That and I realized people were holding claims on people that were, frankly, ridiculous. Like, I’m sorry, you dated him in college. That was 10 years ago. Let it go. Or even: he was a JO for three months three years back and you want to call off-limits? Let it go.

Naturally, I thought the rules should adjust to accomodate the new social setting. So I planned up…what else? New rules, ie. the Dating Code of Honor. It’s less about a preference for having dick in common (not preferred) and more about opening up a wider dating pool, lest single ladies be forced to dabble with the oldies, the meanies, the uglies, the brokies and the otherwise dysfunctional.

So I bounced a draft off a friend.

It set forth the following:

Article 1
Married folk must remove all exes* from their personal basket and return items to the shelf for consumption by the single. (She is not obligated to matchmake.)

Verdict: Agreed.

Article 2
Currently booed up people can still claim exes off limits, if the ex is within the last 3-5 years. They must return all JOs to the shelf for consumption.

Verdict: Agreed.

Article 3
Everyone 25+ must release college BFs back into the open market.

Verdict: Agreed.

Article 4
*All Bigs (In the “Sex & the City” sense, everyone has at least one…) remain off limits to the circle of associates regardless of marital/dating status.

Verdict: Agreed.

Article 5
One Night Stands are in play after 90 days.

Verdict: Agreed.

Article 6
JOs who have not been active for more than 12 months are fair game

Verdict: Disagree (I was told this was too generous and should drop down to three minimum, six max.)

Article 7
Unless he is currently among the immediate BFF of an ex BF, he’s in play after three years.

Verdict: Questionable.

Article 8
In the case of men who have been “claimed,” ie an interest has been expressed, but a return interest has not been expressed within 60 days, then said Man is in play.

Verdict: Strongly Disagree

Article 9
Taking the L is now up for debate.

Verdict: Disagree.

Discuss. Oh, and I’m sure I’m missing something. Add it.

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