It’s complicated. This guy is a friend of my boyfriend. For years, we’ve had an obvious strong mutual liking for one another. We’ve never acted on it. Long story short, my boyfriend and I moved an hour away and didn’t talk or see this guy for 3 years. Then he called the house and we talked a few times. My heart was pounding and I could tell he was nervous, too. I finally got his email address and asked if I could send a photo sometime. He said “absolutely”. He started out answering all my emails right away. The last email he sent he was out of town and got back to me a week later saying “keep in touch”. So I’ve written back two times since then and no response. I don’t know if he’s losing interest. I have always been kind of shy around him. I never talked much to him and he’s always tried to pursue me in subtle ways. Should I quit emailing him? I really want to be good friends with him. Sharon
The fact that you even ask this question without a hint of moral dilemma makes it all the more confusingly amoral.
Dear Sharon, In the next episode of the ironically titled ‘Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?’our heroine, Sharon, thinks that instigating an email relationship with her live-in boyfriend’s friend is a strong idea and wants help executing her plan. Stay tuned to see how Sharon can delude herself into thinking she’s innocent of nothing more than a schoolgirl crush… Okay, so I gave away the punchline, but only because I think there’s a teaching tool in here. Namely that it doesn’t matter who you are, how mature and sweet and kind and cute and well-intentioned, you’re probably acting in your own self-interests. Which doesn’t mean you’re always acting in another’s self-interests. In other words, you might get what you want (excitement, validation, potential), the friend might get what he wants (a fling), but your boyfriend is the big loser. He gets his heart ripped in two by a disloyal girlfriend AND a disloyal friend. Nice! The fact that you even ask this question without a hint of moral dilemma makes it all the more confusingly amoral. You didn’t write, ‘Should I stay with my boyfriend if I’m drawn to this other man? Does this feeling mean anything? Am I wrong for thinking these thoughts?’It’s: ‘I want to figure out a way to potentially cheat with this other dude even though I’m in a committed 3-year-relationship. Please help me pull this off.’My answer to helping you, Sharon, is: I will gladly help you pull this off. That’s why I get the big bucks. So here’s a quick and easy way of acting in your own self-interests AND acting ethically. I know the second part doesn’t matter as much to you, but I have to throw a bone to our readers, who comprise a vigilantly ethical community. Step 1: Break up with your boyfriend. I know it’s not as easy or as fun as it may sound, but it probably beats the alternative, getting married to him and secretly carrying on affairs behind his back, or, worse, having him discover your flirty emails and texts to his old friend. The good news about breaking up with your boyfriend is that you’re free to flirt with whomever you want, whether or not he’s married, engaged, living with someone, or, perhaps even single.
You’re not doing anyone any favors by trying to make either of these relationships work. Start fresh and pray that you find a guy who doesn’t learn of your tendency to want to hook up with his friends.
Step 2: Let the friend know that you’re now single. See how excited he is that his friend’s girlfriend is now officially available for the taking. I know he hasn’t returned your last two emails, but he’s probably just being shy. He’ll be thrilled at the opportunity to stab his buddy in the back and destroy that relationship for a hookup. Step 3: Pick up the pieces and get help. You’re a danger to men, you’re a danger to yourself. You’re initiating infidelity with your serious boyfriend’s friend by sending him pictures, calling him, texting him and saying that you want to be good friends with him. Let’s call a spade a spade: you’re a selfish girlfriend who’s trying to figure out the best way to lie behind your boyfriend’s back. You deserve all the bad karma that you have coming to you. Oh, and despite the highly sarcastic tone of this piece, I truly do recommend you follow Steps 1, 2, and 3. You’re not doing anyone any favors by trying to make either of these relationships work. Start fresh and pray that you find a guy who doesn’t learn of your tendency to want to hook up with his friends.