Crazy, Stupid Love

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Dear Dharma,

I am in a dicey situation and about to lose my best friend over it and just don’t know what to do.

I dated this guy, it didn’t work out and I thought I was ready to move on until I just found out my best friend started seeing him!

She did ask me recently if I was completely done with him and I said yes but didn’t know she was asking to pretty much get permission. I am so not OK with them dating!

I don’t want him back but really don’t want to see the both of them together either! She should have asked me properly instead of how she did it. Now she just mentioned them dating like it’s no big deal. But it is to me! I know I can’t tell them not to date but I am sooo upset about it.

I should talk to her but don’t know how, so I am pretty much avoiding her and am afraid we will ‘break up’ over it.

Help! What should I do?

Thank you,

Involuntary Threesome

Dear Involuntary,

I’ve had a bit of experience here, so I can speak to this topic easily… It flat out didn’t work for Dharma to have her friend dating her ex, and the friendship was terminated immediately.  That is, once the friend admitted she’d been secretly dating my ex (husband) for a couple of months.  Harsh, right?  Ha, well that’s Dharma for you.  No looking back on that one!

Now – I think it’s important to say that even though Dharma chose to handle things that way for her own reasons, that doesn’t make it the universal “right way” for all the world to handle this one.  Lots of grey here, and lots and lots of people who would have no problem with a friend dating their ex-boyfriend OR husband, which is awesome!

Me, I don’t fall into that category, and clearly neither do you, my friend… and that is A-OK.  It’s not a one size fits all type of scenario.

However, you need to be able to find a way to articulate why this is a problem for you.  Like, really.  Don’t give me a lame ass, “It just doesn’t work for me!” line, I need you to dig a little deeper.

Dharma’s Reasons

I’ll share part of my reasoning to see if it helps you develop your own.  When my friend decided to start dating my ex, she was essentially bringing him back into my life.  He would be her plus one at parties and events, and he would have been privy to the details of my life simply by being an extension of her.  And, ha, not that the details of Dharma’s life were all that exciting, they weren’t, but still…

If there was something I genuinely didn’t want him to know, regardless of how trivial, I would have to keep it from my friend.  That alone radically changed the dimensions of our relationship, making it feel incredibly superficial, so I walked.  There was a reason he was no longer part of my life and it wasn’t for her to change that for me.

Once you’ve got your reasons figured out, then yes, you need to talk to her.  And no, you can’t tell them not to date.  You simply lay out what doesn’t work for you, determine whether it’s a deal breaker for your friendship, and then let her decision guide the rest.

The calmer you are, the more your message will connect.  If you come out swinging, you’ll get written off as the crazy ex.  So choose well, my friend… the view from the high road is always better.

Dharma

 

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