YOU ARE THE ADVICE COLUMNIST: Getting The Dirt On My Friend's Ex

Is it okay to ask my friend what's wrong with her ex?
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Is it okay to ask my friend what's wrong with her ex?

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I'm attracted to one of my friend's exes. Her ex has many things that I appreciate in a fellow human being, and I could see myself ending up with someone like them, or at least enjoying a roll in the hay together once or twice. Or trying, at least. My friend has given me her blessing to rifle through her factory seconds. I'm not a total schmuck. 

However, a lot of people seem to be into this person, but they never seem to date much, and their relationships seem short-lived. I don't get it, and it has me seriously wondering if I'm putting effort into a relationship I don't actually want. If there's a bunch of shit I can't live with, I need to know yesterday so I can search elsewhere. Is it okay to ask my friend what's wrong with her ex? Or would that be dredging up painful memories to serve my own bullshit ends?