How can I date my ex’s friend without hurting his feelings?

My boyfriend and I recently broke up. It was on good terms, and we’re still very close friends, but he took it harder than I did. His friend has expressed interest in dating me, and I’m really interested in dating him. We have a lot in common, we’re part of the same social circle, and we work in the same field. I don’t want to hurt my ex-boyfriend, which I know this would do, but I don’t want to hinder my own potential happiness for the sake of others. What should I do?

It’s not you; it’s me.
06-13-40-41-57 / 15

Hello Diner. Because we’ve seen that humans generally work on an extremely fast time scale, you probably have already started dating this other friend. Not much is stronger than mutual desire–maybe the stuff that keeps atoms together. No worries. We would have suggested the same anyway.

If you haven’t, go for it.

We Fortune Cookies have a deep understanding that tomorrow can be your last day.

But we’ve also noticed that once people find themselves in a relationship, it becomes a lot harder to think outside of it. We have had a lot of couples propose at our restaurants over the last century. Fancy restaurants like ours are good for things like that.

A plate of warm noodles is also great comfort food, so we have a lot of patrons who’ve recently been dumped, too. Somehow, our hosts invariably seat them next to each other. Every. Single. Weekend.

Having no soft, huggable edges, we Fortune Cookies can do little more than listen. And we don’t want to be a buzzkill and have our batchmate over at the other table ask the couple to tone it down.

So depending on what “hinder” means to you, remember that your ex sees a lot more than you realize. If being happy means full-on public displays of affection, don’t let anyone–even wise, sentient Cookies–stop you.

But if you do that only to show off, then remember there are a lot more newly single people around you than your ex. They deserve some relief from being reminded things used to be a lot happier.

Besides, it’s much more intimate if you keep it between the two of you. Either way, good luck with this new relationship, Diner. Our restaurant can reserve a table for the day he decides to propose–just don’t invite your ex.