DEAR CAROLYN: My friend has been hooking up with a guy for a few weeks now. He was her first time and I know she really likes him. They are not dating and I always knew they wouldn’t.
The other night, she took me with her to go ice skating with him and he brought a friend. The whole time he was trying to make eye contact with me and flirt with me. After the night ended, he texted her, telling her, “I think we should stop this because you deserve better,” then proceeded to text me that he likes me more, that we have more in common, and that he could actually see himself with me.
He lives in another state and is only here so often. I really do want to talk to him because I know he’s my type, but after what they did and how hurt my friend is, I feel it would not be right. I don’t want to have to hide it from her but I would have to. Please help, I have no idea what to do! I need advice fast.
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DEAR M.: There’s an old saying: When someone shows you he’s a galloping jackhole, believe him. (Well, not old. Maya Angelou. Sort of.)
Please. You know exactly what to do. You just don’t want to, and so are shopping for permission to self-indulge.
So sorry! There’s no loophole that makes it OK for you to sneak around on your wounded friend just because the guy whom she entrusted with her “first time” and who within days turned his attention from her to you is your “type.” What is your type — reptilian?
I won’t pretend that all attractions are convenient or that all inconvenient attractions are wrong. But if you’re going to hurt someone in the interest of love, there had at least better be love. You’re talking eye contact (keyboard thump).
This is where the fact of 7 billion-plus people on earth is convenient to keep in mind: Some of them might be your “type,” too, and have no fresh and painful history with someone you care about. Some, even, might not use dates with one woman to shop for other women.
Think of it this way: If you and he get together, then you’d deserve each other. “Deserve better” is the ironically placed bar I suggest you clear.
DEAR CAROLYN: Curious to know how you would have responded to this post-holiday gambit: “And I don’t want you to feel bad that what you got me wasn’t as nice as what I got you. I just like to buy gifts for the joy of it. I didn’t expect anything in return.”
– Lame-O Gift Giver
DEAR LAME-O GIFT GIVER: If standing there agape is one of my choices, I’ll take that.
There’s always, too, “It actually never occurred to me to feel bad until you said that.”
But, after replacing my jaw and rehydrating my tongue, I hope I’d have the forbearance to recognize that some people have better intentions than they do skills to implement them. I hope I’d laugh. I hope I’d say thanks for the thought. Or, “You’re welcome,” if I was feeling particularly quick. And I hope I wouldn’t have the honor of being selected again next year to bring this person joy.