fraternity brother's ex

This question was submitted by one of our readers. If you have a question you want me to answer go here to submit it: Fraternity Advice.

Question: What is your opinion on this? A current brother dated a sorority girl. Now that same girl is dating a potential. Our president called the active to see if he was fine with bidding him. He said yes.

The next day we gave the potential a bid. Now 3 days later that active is freaking out. He claims that he did not realize that our president meant they were dating. Now our exec board wants to revoke the bid.

I am against it, because the potential is being pursued by several other fraternities. Ironically the potential is rated higher than the active in athletics, academics, and leadership. Our potential (now pledge) gets along with everyone else, but this situation sparked this huge debate. Recently we had a 4 hour meeting discussion outcomes. Please what would you do in this situation?  I have read a copy of The Fraternity Leader, yet I am puzzled by this event.


Answer: Wow – what a mess.

Remember your objective during fraternity recruitment.  You are looking for high potential guys who will help grow your chapter.

Part of that means being a good brother, or more simply a good friend.

If this guy snaked another guy’s girlfriend, then that is a red flag regarding his character in my opinion.  However, there are a lot of pieces to your story that we don’t know here.  Was the relationship with the brother over and if so for how long?  Did the new relationship start before rush?

Assuming that the relationships didn’t overlap, I think the fraternity should give the bid.  It sounds like the president talked to the brother about the situation as a courtesy.  And your question states the brother did not have a problem about it then, and a bid was extended.

It is pretty bush league for him to go back on his word a few days later, and equally bush for the fraternity to want to pull back the bid.

One question I have is if the two guys have talked it about the issue.  That is how men handle problems.  That needs to happen.  These two guys need to clear the air.  They will be brothers soon, and it is essential there isn’t a dark cloud hanging over the relationship.  And it needs to be a man to man talk – not a brother to new member one…

If the two guys aren’t quite mature enough to handle the conversation alone, have the president be the 3rd person involved.

While it is always tough getting over a girl you still care about, the older brother is going to have to do just that.  While I am sure he doesn’t want her to be around, that is life.  We all have people in our lives we wish we didn’t see as often as we did.  He needs to be the bigger man and move on.  Better yet, he needs to find another girl so he isn’t bothered so much by this one.

Don’t let drama like this get in the way of chapter business.  The way a leader handles this situation is they address it, resolve it and then move on.  It needs to become water under the bridge so you can focus on more important things.

From the sounds of it, this is a pretty high potential new member that any fraternity would love to have.  Don’t let the pettiness scare him away.  Realize you aren’t seeing it from his perspective.  If the brother’s jealousy gets out of control, then you run the risk of scaring this guy away.  That sounds like it would be a huge loss.

One final thought – it is always bad practice to date a brother’s ex.  It happens way too often, and the situation always becomes messy.  Your chapter doesn’t need the headache…

Also, thanks for buying The Fraternity Leader.  You are right, this is a topic I did not cover in the book.  Hopefully you got a ton out of the rest of the information shared.






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2 thoughts on “The New Member Who Dated a Brother’s Ex

  1. @Skip, That and the whole Title IX thing that would threaten our ability to remain single-gender organizations. Which I believe is critical to our mission as men and women bond, learn, and experience life in different ways, which makes it difficult to impart a life changing belief system that has to remain strong with a person for the rest of their lives despite not having constant reinforcement after the first few years of membership. So, small price to pay. It’s not like they don’t still have a long list of girls they call for everything or that are perfectly willing to help out their friends when asked.

    As for the actual question. How is this not something that’s come up before? You seriously had a 4hr mtg cause you bid a guy dating someone’s ex? You have got to have more important things to do. Have you never had a class with an ex before or even been on speaking terms with one? Get over it. Sit the guys down and talk it out. I imagine you have a chaplain or something like that. That’s their job – maintaining the brotherhood. Come to terms on how the two guys will put aside this uncomfortable situation so they everyone can continue together in the brotherhood.

  2. My comment kind-of goes off on a tangent, but is something I brought up awhile back with one of my alumni brothers. The ex girlfriend issue is exactly one of the elements that led to most national fraternities banning little sister auxillary organizations. Having little sisters around for recruitment, parties, and just as a vehicle for meeting more girls was great back in the day, but when a bro dated a little sis who later dated another bro, well, issues could arise. So, whenever bros today begin wanting for a little sister group and try to see if there’s a way around their national’s rule, just remember the sure pitfalls.

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