I saw something about this earlier so I figured that I'd chime in on it also. There seems to be a steady rule out there that you don't date people that your friend has once been romantically associated with. For many, this rule is set in stone, and to go against it means that not only are you a crappy friend, you're also a complete skeezer. Like many other rules about social norms, I'm finding myself partly disagreeing on this one.
Now, I'll just say that if your best friend dated a man for five years and they talked at length about getting married, YES, he is, in fact, off limits. But what if your homegirl and some dude got it in on the regular for a month or two, but all they did was date and kick it? Is he still off limits? In my opinion, no. Most women that are moderately attractive have casually dated more men than we care to remember. If my homegirl thinks that she can find a potential true love match with someone that I casually dated, who am I to stop love and happiness? But I should also interject with the fact that it shouldn't be her linking up with a guy a week or two after he and I end things.
I guess I consider myself a bit of an expert on the issue since I've been on the "offending" side before. I was once out when I met a guy that wanted me. At the time I was dating someone, and I felt that he'd make an awesome bf for my homegirl at the time, so I told him that I couldn't get with him, but I'd link him with my homegirl. Every now and again while they were dating, he told me that he still wanted me, but I wasn't going to mess with my homie's dude. Eventually she and he parted ways, and my guy and I parted ways. Then she and I parted ways (for one reason or another). She and I had stopped talking for 6 months or so and I had no intention of speaking to her EVER again. He and I then hooked up briefly.
When she and I became friends again, I confessed to her what I'd done and she hit the roof. I even reminded her that we weren't cool at the time and it's not like I was waiting to get my claws on the guy. She eventually forgave me, but she was PISSED.
Now, in my world, I think it would be quite unfair to tell my girlfriends that every man that I've ever dated is off limits. Hell, that's half of Atlanta's Black men alone. So instead I have a short (but constant) list of men that I consider my exes- Armond, David, Sebastian, Pookie.
Armond is married and recently had a kid, so I don't have to worry about any of my friends hooking up with him. Then there's David. David is currently with that tacky ass whore, and that, I'd say is exactly what his trifling ass deserves. David actually once got pissed at me when he joked about me possibly hooking him up with a girlfriend of mine and I told him, no, because he was on "the list." What the hell would I look like hooking up my ex of 8 years with one of my homegirls? Moving on, Sebastian and I are actually like brother and sister now and he's got a girl, but if he got with one of my female friends, I'd be pretty okay with that. And then there's Pookie. Pookie is my son's father and I would NEVER be okay with ANY of my friends getting with him. Actually, Sebastian is the only one on the list that I'd be okay with dating my friends. That's only because our relationship is so platonic now, he really is like a big brother to me. With the other men, I'm constantly reminded of who and what we were.
To prove how okay I am with my friends dating my casual buddies, I offer this story. About 7 or 8 years ago I dated a guy that was an asshole. Actually, he wasn't an asshole but he and I were just alike. I mean just alike. We were both pretty sarcastic, but sensitive at the same time. We pissed eachother off like mad. But we were really drawn to one another. We never hooked up or anything, despite him wanting to. Anyway, we eventually parted ways. A year or two later, my friend confessed to me that she had gotten with him after he and I were over and that she'd gotten pregnant by him and aborted the baby. She was even kind of embarassed to tell me about it. I assured her that I didn't hold it against her and I still don't. My only question was how was the sex and she said that it wasn't worth mentioning, which I was glad to know that I didn't miss much. I hadn't thought about the guy in some years, so why would I get mad if my homegirl got with him?
So anyway, my point is that people shouldn't feel that they've got some kind of hold on anyone that they've ever exchanged phone numbers with. When you think about it logically, it makes perfect sense that a friend and a guy that you've dated could have a lot in common. People tend to hang out with friends that have similar mental characteristics, so it its only natural that an ex and a friend could have a potential connection. If you feel that your friend could have a love connection with some dude that you knew in passing, give them your blessing. The world needs more love. You've apparently moved on, so why can't they?