Don’t allow friend to string you along
Q : We’ve been best friends for ten years, since university, hanging out twice weekly at least. Mutual friends always invite us to couples’ events together.
Last year, we both got tipsy, began flirting and kissing and fell asleep in each other’s arms. Nothing more happened, but I realized I have feelings for him.
I’m 29, single, so I tried online dating. I met a nice guy but when we bumped into my friend, he visibly disliked my date.
He later told me how much I meant to him, and we started flirting. We agreed to dinner at his place in a week - our first “date.”
Days later, when walking with a female friend, I spotted him and went to say “hi.” He was with another woman and I quickly realized that it was a date.
My friend then revealed that he’d been dating this woman for several months and introduced her to some of our friends who’ve felt he’s been “stringing me along” as a “filler girlfriend” for years. There was no dinner date.
Now he wants to hang out again. I don’t want to lose my friend, but I don’t feel I can trust him anymore. Also, our mutual friends weren’t honest with me. I don’t know what to do. — Played?
A: Blame the “stringer,” more than the audience.
He isn’t the quality of best friend you want in your nearly 30s. You’re past hanging out when he isn’t in a relationship. And not being told when he is.
You can remember the good times, but forget having a current close friendship. You need to shed any “feelings” by also remembering that you cannot trust him. His flirting was just to keep you around as needed.
You’re older and wiser from this. Only you have your best interests at heart.
FEEDBACK: Regarding the family worried about a husband’s inadequate caregiving for his wife with dementia (April 18):
Ellie — Many people sent helpful suggestions, which have been published in feedbacks. The following is from a social worker experienced with dementia patients and care, with added comments useful to this family and many others.
Reader — “The most effective family solution was to hold a family meeting to discuss their concern, e.g. not only about the woman with dementia, but also about the impact of caregiving on her husband, and how the rest of the family is grieving her illness.
“Her husband’s health is likely threatened and he’s probably exhausted.
“Is depression clouding his judgment? Could he too be developing cognitive problems? Is he using alcohol to cope (surprisingly common) and that’s affecting him?
“The family needs to explore his feelings and experience, as well as their own. And talk about what assistance each of them can offer.
“Introducing someone to clean or deliver Meals-on-Wheels gets a non-threatening foot in the door.
“If financial concerns are the obstacle, the family could do what many others have done tell him a service was free, which some actually are, while funding any cost quietly themselves.
“Maybe he’d welcome a move together to a retirement home, where he’d no longer need to cook or do laundry, but would still be with his wife.
“Maybe he’d welcome her moving but feels guilty saying so - guilt that could be relieved if the family makes it clear that it’s an acceptable idea.”
FEEDBACK: Regarding the couple who want a small wedding so the groom only invited one set of cousins and parents, not the other six cousins plus parents and the fallout (April 21):
Reader — “As a groom in a similar situation, I feel for the lovers. Coming from a small family with limited financial resources, I wanted a small wedding.
‘I presented my guest list ten people. My wife-to-be, on the other hand, had close to 100 people on hers - including countless relatives I didn't even know existed, whom she “needed to invite.”
“Solution: Two receptions. One with friends and people we both knew and her father and mother. A second reception for her relatives, entitled, “Meet the Groom,” which we held in her hometown.
“We justified this to the family by arguing that since we didn’t want to force her older relatives to travel a long distance, we brought the reception to them. All were happy.”
TIP OF THE DAY: Someone who strings you along and lets others know, cares only about himself.