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Parallax - Advice            May 22, 2000


   Precarious Situations

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Love can be perilous, especially when betrayal and lust interfere with our common-sense, everyday lives. This week, our stern SHE-HE advice team considers the alarming question of a woman out to get her best friend's man. They also discuss the delicate issue of weight-gain, and lastly, the vaguest question we've received so far. But first, we turn to the case of the well-intentioned back-stabber.


She slept with her best-friend's boyfriend.
Should she tell all, ask forgiveness, or keep quiet?
 Date: 05/22/00

She amassed a nice winter layer.
He wants her to lose it. But if he mentions it, does he lose her instead?
 Date: 05/22/00

Recovering from relationships.
How long does it take men to flush their ex-girlfriends and move on?
 Date: 05/22/00

From our archives...

She's using him for sex.
- Should he file a complaint, or stop whining and let the good times roll?
 Date: 05/15/00

She dropped him cold.
- Does he torture himself to get her back, or is it out of his hands?
 Date: 05/15/00

Her bisexual ex got her all messed up.
Is her trauma justified, or does she need to face the real world?
 Date: 05/15/00

EXTRA!! Her boyfriend's boring!
- Should she help him get his act together, or dump him ASAP?
 Date: 05/08/00

He can't meet women in bars
- So who can? Or better yet, who wants to?
 Date: 05/08/00

So, what about working with the person you're dating?
She says PASS, he says GO.
 Date: 05/08/00

She's dating a single-dad who's getting serious fast.
Time to sound the alarm, or is she drowning in a pail?
 Date: 05/01/00

Older woman seeks younger man.
Midlife crisis, hopeless cause, or perfectly normal?
 Date: 05/01/00

They have very different educational backgrounds.
Can the relationship outlast their mismatched ambitions?
 Date: 05/01/00

Renaissance man gives up on housework.
Girlfriend refuses to go it solo. Ultimate battle of the sexes?
 Date: 04/24/00

He needs the perfect 'we're just friends now' gift.
- Our expert advice on this momentous mission.
 Date: 04/24/00

Asking the STD 'test question.'
- A dead-end on Passion Street, or the gleaming Avenue of Common Sense?
 Date: 04/24/00

He cheated, lost her, and wants her back.
Can he 'buy' her love, or does he have to earn it?
 Date: 04/17/00

'I just want a fling, that's all...'
The words every woman wants to hear, or - too much brutal honesty?
 Date: 04/17/00

She's only 26, dating and... divorced.
Should she tell, or will it scare them away?
 Date: 04/17/00

Stuck in girlfriend confusion.
Is he really in love with two different women, or suffering from self-delusion?
 Date: 04/17/00

An innocent work-date blows up in his face...
But is there more to his wife's outraged reaction?
 Date: 04/17/00

Woman vs. Girl.
Proper respect vs. crass sexism, or Mature and wily vs. innocent and exciting?
 Date: 04/10/00

Happiness struck when she least expected it.
Does this call for self-flagellation, or is the situation not so dire?
 Date: 04/10/00

Personal ads in cyberspace:
The cure for superficial bar talk! A miracle waiting to happen! Yee-haw!
 Date: 04/10/00

He's very elusive of late, she never sees him.
She thinks he might be cheating. Innocent or guilty?
 Date: 04/10/00

She's close to being borderline obsessed.
Only a crush, or a prime excuse for exquisite drama?
 Date: 04/10/00

Boyfriend is a born-again liar.
Should she take the highroad or hunker down and help him out?
 Date: 04/03/00

Dream-lady's cat throws him into asthma fits.
Simple case of allergy medication, or woman-cat-man love triangle?
 Date: 04/03/00

Is there a simple rule about which color rose for what occasion?
Or is a rose is a rose is a rose?
 Date: 04/03/00

He keeps calling and calling, he just doesn't get it...
Should she let him down easy or yank out the plug?
 Date: 04/03/00

Correspondent questions the social value of 'significant other.'
Anarchist, revisionist, or clueless?
 Date: 04/03/00
Bar

She slept with her best-friend's boyfriend

Dear Conversely,

Email to a Friend I've done a bad thing and slept with my best friend's boyfriend. I know it's terrible and what's worse is that I think I really like him. He says we should just forget the whole thing ever happened and never mention the episode to my friend. He says he's sorry and he made a terrible mistake. He says he's in love with my best friend and doesn't want to ruin his chances with her for a long term relationship. The problem for me is that I really like him. I want to have a relationship with him. I'm upset about ruining my friendship but I like him that much. I know he likes me too and would like me more if he just gave us a try. How do I convince him? Should I tell my friend what happened? Shouldn't she at least know that he's cheated on her?


Her view:

Dear Terrible,

Okay, you've created a little bit of a mess. I don't think you will ever have a relationship with this guy. He's flat-out told you he's in love with someone else - your best friend, remember? Also, if you have to get in there and sell yourself, this guy is probably not the one for you. Could it be that you are only interested in him because it's such an intriguing situation, such a challenge - the most off-limits guy you know?

As far as telling her, it sounds as though your only reason for doing so would be to cause a break up. You certainly may succeed, but here is the order of events I foresee:

You tell your friend you slept with her boyfriend. She, enraged, breaks up with him and with you. The boyfriend, who loves her, begs and begs for forgiveness promising everything there is. Ultimately she concedes it was a stupid indiscretion and gets back together with him. As for you, you are out of the picture for good. Not the nicest outcome, I'd say.

Forget the whole thing ever happened, do not mention it to her or anyone, leave the boyfriend alone, and please meditate about the meaning of the term 'best friend'.

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His view:

Dear Terrible,

I do wish my friends were more like you... Well, at least you seem to assess the situation fairly. But it sounds as if you are giving in to impulses that might eventually lead you to try out new recipes for pet-rabbit stew. You probably don't want to act out anything that Glenn Close would want to audition for.

I wouldn't be surprised if my predictable colleague counseled you to repent and forget. But that doesn't help you - does it? I, on the other hand, am here to help you.

Now, I know you are itching to tell all and ruin your friendship and your chances with him at the same time. And yet, if he really cares for her, he may tell her himself rather than risk you spilling your guts. If he does that, he spoils your only good card.

I suggest you play it differently: rather than threatening him, reassure him you'll never tell. This will demonstrate that your respect for your friend is only surpassed by your respect for him. If what you say is true, and he really likes you, this is the best way to not wreck your chances with him.

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