So my friend “Liz” meets “Brian” online and there is a virtual connection so they talk on the phone and have a nice rapport and banter that is comfortable and easy so they meet for a drink and there is a physical attraction. They talk about life and work and she discovers that he used to date “Amanda” who she works with. Not only did he date her, but he broke her heart and Amanda is always talking about him at work. Now Liz and Amanda are simply acquaintances, not close friends that see each other outside of work. That said, they are together in the same department five days a week and Liz is very clear on how Amanda crumbled when Brian dumped her.
Amanda’s side of the story is that they dated for 2 years and were talking about moving in together. Apartments were being looked at and then one day he simply changed his mind. He told her he did not want to live with her because he was never going to marry her and he felt it would not be a good situation because they would then be trapped and breaking up after living together would be harder. He was certain she would agree that the relationship should end. Not so much. From her perspective, they went from moving in together, which to a girl means that you are on your way to a wedding, to losing her boyfriend and her future with no real explanation.
Is Brian a hero? Was he brave for walking away from a relationship that was not working for him? Should he be labeled the bad guy because it wasn’t the ending that Amanda wanted? Should Liz walk away because Amanda is a co-worker? Should Liz be worried that she is getting involved with someone who she knows is a heartbreaker and could change his mind at any moment? Did Brian and Amanda break up so that he could meet Liz who might be his Beshert? Is there any situation where double dipping dating is cool?
Everyone has a history and there are two sides to every story. Liz told Brian that she worked with Amanda and his response was that Amanda was a great girl and they had a tough break up about a year ago which he felt bad about. His reaction to me was honest and kind and is a clear indication that he is a decent guy. (That said, I saw something similar on Dateline NBC once and he turned out to be a serial rapist. No pointing of fingers, I’m just saying.)
I think it is fine for Liz to date Brian. It has been a year since the break up, and the fact that Liz and Amanda are not friends outside of work, to me eliminates any double dipping issues. It’s simply a coincidence that they are loosely connected though Amanda. The thing is, when we date someone new we don’t ask for names and addresses of everyone they’ve dated. There is no background check to see if we know any of the people they’ve been with. There are some things that are out of our control and ultimately don’t matter that much.
Los Angeles is a big city but Jewish geography is a powerful thing. We could probably play six degrees of separation and all have at least one person in common. We just can’t make it that big a deal because if we over think it we’ll go crazy. At the end of the day unless there is a ring or divorce papers involved the double dipping rule should not apply. It’s all a crap shoot. There is no rhyme or reason to who we meet, why we meet them or when we meet them. We must just trust that it all happens for a reason and all we can do is enjoy the ride and keep the faith.