Soul Thievery

I once wrote an article discussing the idea of friends allowing friends to date their ex(es). My writing style is known to explore both sides of the fence and comfortably force people to reconsider a different point of view. As a writer, that’s generally the ultimate goal – to inform, introduce, or influence new ways of thinking for the reader to consider. Needless to say, thousands of people were up in arms about the article’s suggestion that women reexamine their unwritten rule that states: My ex is off limits.

But it seems this unwritten rule contains a loophole some women are rapidly taking advantage of. This ladies’ law prevents friends from dating exes, but says nothing against the thievery of an interest. As long as a lady never makes it to a place where a man is her ex, then any man is fair game. I’ve personally witnessed a friend approach a group of three women and one of the ladies display interest in him. Suddenly another more attractive member of the ladies’ group returned from the bathroom and displayed interest in the same man that her friend was interested in. Those two are currently dating.

The above scenario happens often and many ladies believe if a woman doesn’t have history with a man, then her friend has all right to express interest in that same man. Now I don’t have a problem with this philosophy at all. In fact, my other article states that the unwritten rule is outdated, irrelevant, and needs revision. My problem lies with the inconsistencies in the bottom line. The bottom line is ladies put these laws in place to consider the feelings and loyalty of their friends. If that’s truly the case, then the act of a lady stealing a man from a friend who is interested in him violates the bottom line.

Gentlemen, this is for you: Mr. Steal Your Girl isn’t just an R&B singer or a folktale. He is a real man who exists in roughly 1 out of 5 of your friends. I have plenty of buddies who have moved in where other men have slacked – not relationships or marriages, but moved in on scenarios where interest was expressed in a lady. At the end of the day, may the best man win.

Ladies, this is for you: It’s quite difficult for us to truly respect a lady who performed a robbery on a good friend. That’s not taking initiative – that’s disloyalty. If you are going to follow a set of rules then stick to the principles. But if you’re going to live in the 21st century, perhaps you should live without 19th century rules.

Can you really be mad if he chose her? Let’s hear your opinion …


– Enitan Bereola, II

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Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the author of the critically acclaimed BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up, Guide to Ladies’ Etiquette from a Gentleman’s Perspective. Find him at his new website, or @bereolaesque on Twitter as well as his Facebook fan page.



  1. Terra says:

    “It’s quite difficult for us to truly respect a lady who performed a robbery on a good friend. That’s not taking initiative – that’s disloyalty. ” I agree to a certain extent. However, robbery would assume “ownership”.

    If a woman is not in a relationship with the man in question, referencing the woman coming back from the restroom, and the guy took notice…I’m not sure if I consider that “robbery” per se. I certainly think both the man and woman in this case may have been a bit inconsiderate. The man for dropping the original woman for her friend, and the friend for ignoring the so-called chemistry between her friend and the guy. However, he could have met someone else in the club that night and the same thing would have happened. It just wouldn’t have been so close to home.

    So in my opinion, it’s a bummer, but her friend didn’t steal anything. I enjoyed the article and I think it does force us to think outside of what may be the norm.

    Blessings on ya!


  2. Mari says:

    If the guy was more interested in getting to know the friend then it wasn’t meant to be. On to the next one ladies, like Bereola says “Dating is a process of elimination”.

  3. Ann says:

    In the scenario you just gave there was nothing wrong with the friend displaying interest in your friend because she was in the bathroom and did not know.

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