Is dating a friend's ex considered fair game?
Dear Carolyn • A friend forwarded to me the online-dating profile of a former boyfriend of mine, and asked if that was him. She said they had spoken on the phone and were to meet in person. Apparently she was trying to feel out what I thought about it. I would never do that to a friend, and I feel that if she is my friend, then she would not contact him. What do you think?
Dear Curious • Yours is a common view, so over the years I've tried to see things that way, to have your perspective of feeling betrayed by friends who date your exes. Nevertheless, I agree only in one very narrow circumstance: when the ex caused you significant and deliberate harm. It can be awkward, even painful; I get that. But even that doesn't justify throwing our hoodies over people as if they're chairs in a middle-school cafeteria. There's also this counterargument: If you were her friend, then she'd have your blessing to seek happiness wherever she thinks she'll find it.
Dear Carolyn • I have a close friend of many years (we're in our early/mid-20s) who has been nothing but considerate and supportive to me. I can only hope I've been as good a friend to her. Recently she's begun seeing someone who is in a relationship with someone else. I can't reconcile the caring, giving person I know with someone who would knowingly assist in the deception and injury of another. I've tried couching my hesitance in terms of not wanting to see her get hurt by someone who is already invested elsewhere, but she's waved away the objection and I don't think trying to guilt-trip her is the right thing to do. What exactly are my options here?
Other Woman's Best Friend
Dear Best Friend • You can read character in the messes people make, yes, but you can also read it in the ways they clean them up. While both of you wait for the moral of this story to unfold, I suggest you stop couching and start telling your truth. Not to guilt or judge her again, half of this story is yet unwritten but to inform. "Talking about this makes me really uncomfortable, knowing he's still with this other girl."
Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
See more about comments here.