I have a problem. My friend just spent a year after college here in Athens working and I’m afraid he’s going to move away, worse, I’m afraid he’s going to move to be with his girlfriend who moved out of town for grad school. His girlfriend is terrible, she gets viciously jealous and never wants us hanging out just because he’s cheated on her with me in the past—I’m talking way back when, like a year ago. I feel like she should really be over it by now if she trusts him at all. Also, I’ve noticed that she’s cool with him hanging out with female friends, just not me—this feels like a personal attack and I don’t feel that that’s warranted against me. Right after he and I hooked up and she lived in town I understood why she wasn’t a fan of our amazing friendship (it’s clearly way chilled out compared to her), but time has past and she doesn’t even live here anymore. I don’t think she should have control over our friendship and I think she’s going to use the idea of cheap rent, a new city and domesticity to lure him away from me and his job in Athens. I could understand him moving for a better job or for grad school but that doesn’t seem to be the case. And before you try to jump on my case about having feelings for him, let me just say: he and I are sexually attracted to each other, it’s painfully clear, and the only reason I haven’t hooked up with him again (which I could definitely do) is because I know that she’ll try to keep him from seeing me. Yes, I would date him, yes, I think about it all the time, and yes I enjoy the power struggle, but at the bottom of it all I just don’t want to lose him to his crazy girlfriend.
Wow, you sound like an upstanding citizen and a and completely trustworthy person, Anonymous. I can’t imagine for a second why this crazy woman wouldn’t want her boyfriend within humping distance of you for any longer than is absolutely necessary.
Shall we start with her justified jealousy or your delusional fantasy?
First, a year ago is not “way back when” for everyone. And, a year ago is like lunchtime yesterday when you’re talking about the worst kind of betrayal from your significant other, followed by moving away for grad school, and missing them terribly while they continue to see the person they betrayed you with all the time and be friends with them while you are living in another town. I’d say the mere fact that she is staying with him at all is proof that she trusts him. She doesn’t trust you, Anonymous, and being the obviously unhinged bitch that she is, she doesn’t like you, and she doesn’t want her boyfriend hanging around with you. Honestly—the nerve of her!
Now for the What’s Really Going On between you and this guy portion of this question: I only have your side of the story to go from, so it gets a bit tricky. You guys had a thing. Okay, so attraction is (or was) there. And you are friends, so he obviously likes you on some level. But if you know you could have him again, and you are so sure of the connection that you have with him, then what is he doing with Grad School Girl? I mean, really? She’s left town, he’s got a job, he has you right there any time, so… what then? Why aren’t you his girlfriend? Why isn’t she a distant memory from way back less than a year ago? I’ll tell you why, Anonymous: Because he doesn’t like you in that way. He slept with you, sure. And maybe he would sleep with you again. But telling yourself you could sleep with him at any time, if you wanted to (because you don’t, on account of the girlfriend “controlling” your friendship, right?) is completely pointless and a little sad. The “power struggle” you claim to enjoy isn’t a struggle if he is packing up and leaving. It’s a silly drama that you created by sleeping with somebody else’s boyfriend. She isn’t taking away your friend. She is moving forward in a relationship. Her relationship with her boyfriend. And he is going with her because he clearly wants to be in that relationship too. You need to stop acting like any of this is about you. Think I’m wrong? I don’t really know what your situation is and what you have with this guy? Fine. Profess your love for him and beg him to stay. If you are right and he agrees and breaks up with her and the two of you live happily ever after, then good for you. But right now you’re just wasting your time. You need to let go of this so-called friendship and go find a real boyfriend of your own. You aren’t going to find the guy that really is for you unless you stop spending all of your time hanging out with but not having a real relationship with somebody else’s boyfriend. This drama is distracting you from being where you are supposed to be.
A NOTE TO THE WRITER OF TWO QUESTIONS: I did get your follow-up email requesting that I not print your question, but unfortunately it came after I had already written the column. I wouldn’t have done that had I gotten your request in time. My apologies. For what it’s worth, I don’t think that person is going to hold it against you. As for it being a bit awkward, well, that’s why I didn’t print your second letter. I figured that would compound the awkwardness, and I had no way of reaching you to give you this response except here in print.
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