Because your ex is not a cow.
As a child living in India I used to see many cows roaming around on the streets. I often wondered- how do all the farmers identify which one(s) are theirs? Later I learnt that they either brand the animals or put some sort of an indelible mark. Which brings us to the following: What is your problem if your friend sleeps with/dates your ex girl/boy friend/spouse etc?
I have seriously never understood this. You share joy/pain (sometimes neither- absolutely frivolous time) and then part ways with someone. And now there seems to be some divine stricture- one should not date/sleep with a friend’s ex. Kaahe? I imagine a conversation here:
AF (Aggrieved friend): You know how much pain he/she gave me. You are my friend. How can you do this to me?
BF (Besharam/Badzaat/Badchalan friend) : Umm. Par bro I only want to do things to myself/the other person. What exactly is being done to you?
AF: Seeing you with her will make me miss the good times we shared and give me pain.
BF: Ok. Sounds reasonable at first glance. Let’s put that argument in one side of the scales of justice and put the following in the other: a) My not dating/sleeping with this person will deprive me of some joy. What is this contest of whose grief is bigger. b) You’re an adult. Deal with it. c) What about your x’s agency/choice? d) What is this weird community enforced sanction? Why has this argument about don’t date the ex gone unchallenged and been accepted as an unquestionable part of the bro-code for so long? Why doesn’t the bro/sis code say -thou shall not deprive your bro/sis of joy on account of weird emotional insecurity and will seek therapy if that is what it takes?
AF: We will not be able to hang out normally anymore, even if I am to be fine with this. That will be a problem.
BF: But bro this isn’t the 1990’s and we are not the lead characters in a movie called Saajan. Why are you the person in the situation whose feelings/wants/emotions must take priority over all others? Why are you the only human being in this situation and everyone else team members of a mission to help your fragile emotional state survive? What is this give kurbaani or forget friendship business?
Am I the only person to whom this sounds bizarre and unnecessarily complicated? Or is everyone’s ex a cow?