Different Strokes

24 Jun

Letterbalm Like DislikeDear LetterBalm: My friend is seeing a man who dated me before he went out with her. They’ve been spending a lot of time together. Trouble is, I didn’t have a good experience with him. Both my friend and I met him online. He misrepresented his job and other important life details. I got a creepy feeling about him and stopped seeing him after only three dates (we never had sex or even bigtime kissing). I feel I should say something to my friend – we’re not close, but we’ve been friends for a long time and have acquaintances in common. I’m afraid, though, that if I tell her about her guy, it will put a serious crimp in our friendship and even precipitate jealousy or gossip. It’s getting to the point where I don’t want to hang out with them. So, I must resolve this.

–Weirded Out

This is one of those life situations where you really must be scrupulously attentive. You have a friend you’re worried about, and you have firsthand information you feel you must impart. It’s about a man she’s involved with, perhaps seriously. You don’t want to precipitate alarm or her part or denials on his (“she’s crazy” “she’s jealous I’m not with her” “she’s obsessed with me”). The last thing you want is your friend and her guy discussing you and your “overreaction.” Bear in mind that your friend’s boyfriend may be genuinely in love with her and behaving very differently from the way he behaved with you (unlikely, but consider it). Remember, too, that people must associate with those they don’t like – ex-spouses and ex-dating partners, certainly – because … well, that’s life. So, you smile sweetly and see them socially. Others may disagree, but Ms. L.B. doesn’t think LetterBalm can help to any great degree. Take your friend aside, say this, then let it go, and be prepared to be a strong shoulder post-breakup. And, don’t say, “I tried to tell you”:

Kelly, I hope that Eric is the right guy for you. I hope he values you and always tells you the truth because you deserve the best, girlfriend.

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