While in a Giant Eagle check-out aisle last weekend, a noticed a picture of Scarlett Johansson—who, along with Natalie Portman, mans the backcourt on “The Champ’s Favorite Non-Black Actresses All-Star Team“—on the front of a tabloid, below a title that said something like “Scarlett Scorned” or “Johansson Jolted.” (I can’t remember which.)
Concerned with the health of my starting shooting guard, I picked up the magazine and read that Johansson, who divorced Ryan Reynolds—an actor best known for saying quite possibly the best movie insult of all-time—a month ago, was deeply upset that Reynolds was now dating Sandra Bullock. (The rumor is that Reynolds and Bullock became, um, “close” on the set of “The Proposal“)
Thing is, apparently the fact that Reynolds moved on so quickly didn’t upset Johansson as much as the fact that Johansson and Bullock were actually pretty good friends beforehand; a fact that’ll surely make at least 81% of the women reading this say “The nerve of that treacherous bitch!!!”
My thoughts about the situation? Well, for one I think this (“Reynolds moving on so quickly didn’t upset Johansson as much as the fact that Johansson and Bullock were pretty good friends beforehand”) is bullsh*t. Whenever someone says they’re upset because of who their recent ex is dating and not because they’re dating at all, they’re f*cking lying. Granted, there are people who don’t care about when their exes start dating again and who they actually date when they do, and these people don’t care because they really don’t care.
People who care, on the other hand, care about everything. Reynolds could have hooked up with Gina Neely or the robot chick from “Weird Science,” and Johansson would still be f*cked up over it. There’s no real gray area when it comes to this. Either you care about everything, or you don’t care about anything.
More importantly—once you dismiss the fact that Reynolds probably went against his vows and Bullock definitely didn’t let a suitable grace period pass after the divorce (She waited three weeks before the ink dried on the divorce papers to start publicly dating Reynolds. Three weeks??? Sh*t, I waited longer than three weeks to start watching a new show after “The Wire” ended)—this case is just other example of the stupidity behind the closely-related “You’re my friend, so you can’t date my ex“ and “You dated my friend, so you’re off-limits” arguments; “principled” stances with horsesh*t foundations that are nothing but egregious examples of self-defeatism and cock-blockery.
And, while a part of me can see why a person might not want their ex to date anyone the person is cool with (Although, after a period of time, all bets all off.), eliminating people you could be interested in just because they may have been involved with someone you’re cool with is especially stupid.
Now, I understand that there might be some circumstances where dating a person a friend used to date might be too taboo to consider. Obviously, if they just broke up on Tuesday, it’s probably not the best idea to send your man a “Yo, you mind if I hook-up with Kim this weekend? Her ass was looking real fat at you all’s engagement party” message Wednesday. Also, if your friend was cruelly played and dismissed by their ex, not only should the ex be off-limits, you’re expected to provide the bleach when you friend wants to dispose of the exes body. Lastly, you should probably stay away from the ex of your ace boon coon.
Still, most ex situations aren’t that drastic, and here are three reasons why it’s a bad idea to always stay true to the “You dated my friend, so you’re off limits forever” principle.
1. Not only does it reduce your dating pool, it disqualifies a pool of people you might actually be compatible with
I’m sure everyone reading this either knows a couple people or who’ve refused to date “someone” just because they’re cool with a person that “someone” used to date, or actually is the person who’s disqualified “someone” for that reason; a state of mind/”principled” solo circle jerk that produces a never-ending game of six degrees of self-sabotage.
It’s especially faulty when you realize that if you and your friends share commonalities, there’s a chance that you might have access to/be attracted to the same general group of people; people who probably also share certain traits with you. Basically, you’re eliminating the people in your sphere of influence that you’re probably most compatible with.
To make an analogy, making a person off-limits because they might have dated your friend is like needing a tailored cut pants suit and refusing to shop at the Banana Republic because your friend frequently shops there…even though you and the friend are the exact same height and weight and have the exact same personal style and shopping budget. Sure, you can cop a pants suit anywhere, but wouldn’t it make perfect sense to at least consider shopping at the same spot your homegirl copped her suits from, especially since you already know they carry your size?
But no, your girl–who you’re not even all that close to—called dips on Banana Republic, so now your principled ass has to find a way to put together a work outfit at Rainbow, and hope that your Rainbow pants suit doesn’t split down the ass during your budget meeting presentation next week.
2. It’s a subtle dig on the quality of your friends
While most argue that the “I won’t date anyone my homie used to date” argument stems from a respect you have for your friend and your friendship, couldn’t you also infer that this argument stems from “Eh. If he found her trifin-ass, Rainbow pants suit wearing-ass attractive enough to date, I definitely want no parts of him“?
3. Every single argument a person can make about why it’s wrong to date someone a friend may have dated can be easily shot down
“I don’t do sloppy seconds.” (Well, unless you plan on dating virgins for the rest of your life, everyone you meet between now and the day you die will be a sloppy second. Or third. Or 221st. Deal with it.)
“I don’t need for a friend of mine to know exactly what my man looks like naked.” (Oh, please. Aren’t you the same person who sat at the Sunday brunch table while you and your girls made your girl fess up about her new man’s, um, “measurements?” Now that this new man happens to be someone you might be interested in dating, you’re getting all meek and principled and sh*t? GTFOH!!!)
“I would date her, but it seems kind of desperate.” (Hmm. The $50 worth of porn site subscriptions on your monthly bank balance seems desperate. The 90 minutes you spend each day searching for old girlfriends and crushes on Facebook seems desperate. The Dodge Challenger your “can’t drive a stick” ass just bought seems desperate. Finding and dating someone who you might actually like? Doesn’t seem too desperate to me.)
“It might jeapordize my friendship.” (If a friendship is so flimsy that the possibility of dating the same person four years apart has the potential to end it, it’s not really a friendship worth having.)
Anyway, people of VSB, I’m curious: How do you feel about the whole “dating the ex of a friend” situation? Do you think exes of friends should forever be off-limits, or are you like me in that you’re smart enough to realize the “You dated my friend, so you’re off-limits forever” principle isn’t a principle worth following?
The carpet is yours.