My friend plays with two guys and I don’t like it. I know it’s none of my business, but one of the guys is my friend, and he’s a good person.
Dear Reader: As I noted in a previous column, my daughter, Lisi, will be taking care of writing duties a few times a week. Enjoy his perspective on today’s issues. – Ellie
Dear Lisa: My friend plays with two guys and I don’t like it. I know it’s none of my business, but one of the guys is my friend and he’s a good person. I presented them at a meeting in early spring. They hit it off and then evolved to look alike. I totally agreed, because why not?
Then she told me she met a guy at a gig out of town, met him there, and then found out he also lives where we live. She seems to really like him too.
Now she’s basically in two relationships with two different guys, and neither knows about the other. She lives at home with her parents and grandfather, so it’s not strange that she never invites them to her house.
She goes out every night – with one or the other, or with me. She didn’t mix the two groups of friends, so the guys didn’t meet.
It’s like watching a volcano about to erupt! I can’t stop it but I can’t walk away either. What do I do?
— Frenzied Friend
The only thing you can do is tell him what you told me. Show her that it’s not sustainable and that either she’ll implode and she’ll get hurt, or someone else will.
In my opinion, she either needs to tell them both and see where they stand – maybe they don’t mind if they’re just having fun – or choose one. You all look young and not even close to settling down seriously. I know if you were older, Ellie would tell her to break up with the two guys, and find out what and who she really wants for her future. Share this with your friend, then leave.
Dear Lisa: I am a 40 year old single woman with three friends that I have passed. We don’t have many similar social interests, but try to meet weekly for coffee. I’m closer to one, but recently she found another group of friends. I always had a hard time connecting with people and making friends even as a kid (I believe it stems from trauma). I feel abandoned, lost and alone. And the summer is difficult because I’m a teacher and I have a lot to think about.
— The blues of summer
You have taken the first step by reaching out and acknowledging your situation. We can outrun our friends…. sad but true. However, if they’ve been friends for years, meeting for coffee once a week can be a good connection for all of you. If that seems like too much, go every two weeks or even once a month. Quitting completely can send the wrong message, and you don’t want that.
Could the friend you are closest to take you out once to introduce you to the new group of friends? You don’t want to infringe, but maybe mixing things up will be fun for everyone.
Apart from these three, what are some of your hobbies/interests? With your summer free, now would be a great time to pursue something that interests you and that you don’t have time for during the year. For example, hiking, biking, knitting, bird watching – all of these and more have groups on meetup.com. You can search in your area for anything that interests you. Once you find a group, give it a try. There is no downside and the upside is that you can make new friends with common interests.
Whatever you choose, find something to keep your mind busy so you don’t get lost in thought.
Dear Lisa: I can not take it! My best friend has been in a rocky relationship with her boyfriend for nearly three years. I’m always supportive and I really like his guy. We are all good friends and spend a lot of time together.
But when they fight, which often happens, I’m expected to be mad at him too. Sometimes I am because he can do really hurtful and stupid things. But usually I’m not involved in the problem.
Sometimes I go to bed thinking everything is fine, only to wake up to see her crying that he is horrible. I can’t tell if they’re happy or arguing!
— Confused Friend
You need to get out of this situation. Unfortunately, you have to walk away from one or both of your friendships. And let them understand their ups and downs without involving you.
If after a while they seem solid, you can join the party, but until then avoid the headaches and hang out with other people.
Ellie Tesher and Lisi Tesher are senior columnists for the Star and are based in Toronto. Email your relationship questions to: [email protected]