Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Used to Hook Up with My BFF”

My boyfriend, “Phil,” and I started dating about eight months ago. We were introduced by my best friend, “Liz.” Phil and Liz had made out a bar and hung out a few times, but nothing more. It was mutually agreed upon that they never really had the spark to keep things going, so it worked out great that Phil and I hit it off right away.

The problem is that Phil doesn’t like Liz and won’t hang out with her. When I try to get a straight answer from him about why, I never really get one. He’s so stubborn and this is the one thing that’s causing problems in our relationship. The most I’ve been able to tell is that he didn’t really like how she handled things with the ending of their brief “hook up,” even though they never dated, and he doesn’t like Liz’s current boyfriend, whom he grew up with and is known to be a recovering drug addict.

Liz has invited Phil and me over her house, has offered to talk it out, and really wants us all to get along, but Phil just isn’t interested. It really sucks because Liz has been my best friend since high school (we’re 25 now) and we’re really close. She says her only guess is that Phil might have some unresolved feelings or resentments from their “hook up” or maybe it was a blow to his pride that it didn’t work out. Phil has denied any of this to me.

The last time Liz saw Phil they bumped into each other at a party. She said “Hi, how you are you, Phil?” and he just stared back her and didn’t reply. Liz also said that a while ago her boyfriend left his jacket at Phil’s and she left him two voicemails trying to get it back, and he never responded. She says he’s been very rude to her and she’s tired of trying. Recently, Liz and I were out for a drink and started talking about weddings. I told her that if Phil and I get married (and I hope we do) I want her to be in my bridal party. She said she would love to, but only if Phil comes around and tries to be friendlier. She says she feels as if she’s trying, and he’s not, and he’s forcing me to be in the middle. I know she has a point, but I am very much in love with Phil. He treats me wonderfully – his stubbornness is the only thing that’s been causing a problem. What do I do? – Caught in the Middle


It sounds to me that the “breakup” or whatever you want to call it between Phil and Liz wasn’t as “mutually agreed upon” as either of them — especially Phil — would like you to believe. If it were, why on earth would Phil feel such animosity toward Liz? Something happened while they were hooking up or breaking up to make him resent Liz and until you find out what that something was, I doubt anything is going to change.

My bet is that Phil was really into Liz and it was her call to end things. This would also explain why he doesn’t like Liz’s new boyfriend. He’s jealous of him. I mean, think about it: a guy doesn’t like his girlfriend’s BFF’s boyfriend and THAT is going to be the reason he’s a jerk to the BFF? It doesn’t make any sense.

I think you need to wake up and smell the coffee here. Phil’s being “stubborn” because he doesn’t want you to know what his true feelings are. Even Liz is aware that Phil likely has unresolved feelings about their hook up. You don’t think that’s a little strange? That your boyfriend has unresolved feelings about his brief relationship with your BFF? Sugar, something’s rotten in the states of Denmark.

I know you think Phil treats you “wonderfully” but part of treating someone wonderfully is making an effort to emotionally support them, from supporting their goals, interests, and hobbies, to supporting the friendships and relationships they have with others (provided those relationships are healthy ones). That Phil refuses to make any effort to engage your best friend, to even behave in the most cordial way to her, and won’t explain to you why, is a major red flag, not just because it signals he has unresolved feelings, but it’s also just … jerky. Like, really jerky. He can’t even say “hi” to her at a party? That’s messed up.

If I were you, I’d demand he give you a reason for treating your best friend like crap or MOA. Tell him you’re sick of his behavior and unless he has a good reason for being such an ass, you simply don’t see how you two can have a future together. It’s one thing for him not to like or respect your best friend; it’s quite another for him to actively be rude to her and not be able to communicate with you the reason for his behavior. Until you get to the bottom of this, and he puts some effort into behaving like a normal human being around your best friend — or can give you a really good reason why he shouldn’t — I don’t see how you can possibly continue hoping you’ll marry this guy eventually. Behavior like his often speaks volumes of one’s character.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

113 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Callifax October 6, 2011, 7:25 am

    I don’t know why you would want to be so heavily invested in a relationship with a guy who is actively rude and disrespectful to one of the most important people in your life. I mean, I’m sure everyone has a friend or two that their SO isn’t crazy about (my boyfriend, for example, is easily annoyed by my best friend), but part of being in a relationship is making compromises about who you spend time with and putting in the effort to be kind – or at the very least respectful – to each other’s friends and family. I would be VERY concerned and think of this as a major red flag. Even if he doesn’t still have feelings for your best friend, do you REALLY want to date a guy who would not say “Hi” to someone at a party just because of some negative feelings?

    Honestly, I’d MOA. Showing people respect is not just a sign of a good boyfriend – it’s a sign of a good human being. And is that something you really want to go without?

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    • theattack

      theattack October 6, 2011, 2:40 pm

      Totally agree with you. Your last few lines there is why women stereotypically watch how their boyfriends treat servers at restaurants. If he’s being so immature with the BFF when they apparently have an issue, what’s he going to be like to the LW when they get married and have a huge fight?

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  • avatar

    EB October 6, 2011, 7:43 am

    LW: MOA from your relationship with “Phil”

    “Liz”: MOA from your friendship with the LW

    Seriously, who allows their boyfriend of 8 months to blatantly and repeatedly disrespect their best friend of 8+ years?!?

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  • JK

    JK October 6, 2011, 8:02 am

    This was a very strange letter. I don´t get how, if things are so bad between Phil and Liz (and her BF), the BF left his jacket at Phil´s house. Not to mention all the other things. It definitely sounds like Phil has unresolved feelings toward Liz. Or (brainstorming here), could it be that maybe Liz was more into Phil and in the¨”break up” was extremely bitchy? Doesn´t explain as much, I guess,but maybe another possibility.
    And LW says she wants to marry this guy? After 8 months? Wow.

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    • avatar

      jess October 6, 2011, 9:40 am

      i was confused about the jacket part too. The BF hates Liz and her boyfriend so much he won’t speak to them, but they were over at his house? This letter has some gaps

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      • JK

        JK October 6, 2011, 9:52 am

        hmm, rereading, why did Liz leave Phil voicemails to get back her bfs jacket??? Couldn´t the BF do it? Curiouser and curiouser. Or maybe it´s just because I didn´t get any sleep last night (thanks to my daughters´ coughing).

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      • JK

        JK October 6, 2011, 9:58 am

        Also on rereading, apparently the party snub and other behaviours of Phil were related to LW by Liz (and not witnessed by her). I don´t know, something just seems off to me, and not easily explained by Phil being (or having been) into Liz.

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      • avatar

        Ktfran October 6, 2011, 10:47 am

        I was thinking the same thing as you, JK.

        Part of me thinks Phil is being a complete jerk and disrespectful. The other part thinks this is all being told to the LW by Liz. LW never once said anything that she has noticed about how Phil treats Liz.

        So basically, I’m at a lost. I think everyone needs to communicate for effectively. It’s not being done.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 October 6, 2011, 11:28 am

        Well the LW does say the Phil told her that he doesn’t like Liz, and wont hangout with her, and he also wont give any specific reason why when asked about it.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger October 6, 2011, 2:43 pm

        LW says that she has gathered that he did not like the way Liz ended “the affair” (hookup sounds so vague here). And I gather that the only way that LW could have gathered that was from Phil. So he did give a specific reason, LW just didn’t like it.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 October 6, 2011, 3:43 pm

        She says that is the most she can tell which means she has probably bits and pieces from the different times she has asked him, and has come up with that reason on her own, and that does not means specific to me. That and she says she doesn’t get any straight answers.

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny October 6, 2011, 9:48 am

      I was thinking this too – how did Liz even introduce the two of them if Phil couldn’t stand her and wouldn’t speak to her?

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl October 6, 2011, 9:52 am

        Maybe that was her way of breaking up with him….”I don’t think it’s going to work out between us, so here’s my friend.”

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      • avatar

        Kelly L. October 6, 2011, 10:49 am

        I think maybe they were still hooking up at the time the introduction happened, and then the FWB arrangement went sour when Phil started dating the LW. It’s still a little weird and doesn’t add up perfectly in my head, because I’d more likely expect Liz to be mad at Phil than vice versa, but I think a bit of relationship overlap is the best explanation.

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      • avatar

        Matcha October 6, 2011, 1:38 pm

        I think you’re on to something there. Maybe reverse happened and she FWB dumped him for the druggie boyfriend. (I wonder what how long Liz and her BF have been dating.) I mean, it doesn’t explain away the seething rage Phil seems to have but it’s a start.

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      • avatar

        JennyTalia October 6, 2011, 10:34 am

        That’s what I was thinking. I just don’t understand the logistics of their friends circle.

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    • avatar

      MiMi October 6, 2011, 1:26 pm

      Definitely something smoky here.
      LW, open your eyes because this situation isn’t right.
      Are you sure that making out at a bar is all the two of them did? There seems to be a lot of “involvement” for folks who don’t get along, and for Phil to maintain a smoldering anger towards Liz after almost a year, while he was theoretically happily involved with you, just doesn’t add up.

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  • caitie_didnt

    caitie_didn't October 6, 2011, 8:02 am

    He can’t even speak to her at a party? How old is Phil? 12?

    Hate to burst the LW’s bubble, but Phil is probably only with her as an attempt to “get revenge” on Liz.

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    • avatar

      CottonTheCuteDog October 6, 2011, 10:42 am

      If he is older than 20 then I saw RUN! Crazy!

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 October 6, 2011, 3:51 pm

        Yeah there is this girl that had a falling out with my girlfriend, and she acts so childish all of the time. The worst was when we were at a Christmas brunch at a mutual friends house, and every time my fiance or I would walk by she would literally do a 180, and face the door she was standing if front of until we went by. It was hilarious, and everyone sees what an ass she is being. My fiance does get upset sometimes, because she has been going the high road, and turning the other cheek the whole time, and doesn’t get anyone else involved so our mutual friends don’t feel weird around us when we all have to be together. This girl on the other hand bad mouths her every chance she gets.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar October 6, 2011, 8:17 am

    You can pick the red flag – either it is that Phil has unresolved feelings for Liz or it is that Phil is a unmitigated jackass. Either way no good comes from it. My best friend’s husband and I didn’t like each other at first but everyone was always respectful and civil because we both cared about my best friend. Ultimately, that Phil is so off the charts rude to your best friend truly is a reflection of how much care and respect he has for YOU.

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  • Budj

    Budjer October 6, 2011, 8:57 am

    My guess is:

    Theory A) Liz’s BF is a dirt ball (recovering drug addict << Phil in his eyes) and Phil is taking it as a huge diss that she picked that guy over him.

    Theory B) Phil actually just doesn't like Liz and thinks she is dating a dirt ball (double offense) and he just has no interest in associating with them. Meanwhile, the LW continues to force group hang outs at HIS place and his passive aggressive behavior is him "putting his foot down".

    I can see it both ways….

    Regardless of either scenario…Phil can not like your "Bff", but you should tell him you at least expect him to be cordial to her out of respect for you. I'm not going to say Phil is terrible…sometimes people get so wrapped up in their own emotions (a potential hurt ego in this case) they can't see how their actions affect people they care about…so give him the benefit of the doubt and communicate with him. If he continues to be tactless that's when you drop him by the curb.

    One more thing to the LW…I would not force your bf to hang out with Liz / the other couple to satiate some desire for "coupled hang outs" or push the issue as I'm sure that is just making a bigger deal out of it to your bf. It is ok to go do stuff on your own with Liz indefinitely – just make sure Phil isn't going out of his way to be a butt head when you see each other at larger events. If it is a bruised ego he will get over it eventually if he isn't a perpetual man-child, but let him work it out himself without pressure and don't force group hang outs at Phil's place either. If it's the plain not-liking scenario then maintain your friendship with Liz sans Phil.

    One last food for thought tidbit….maybe Liz handled the situation with Phil terribly and he has every right to not like her? Obviously that would be a taboo topic of conversation….but that goes back to my point of why the hell would he date you, Liz's best friend, if she burned him that bad.

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    • Budj

      Budjer October 6, 2011, 9:06 am

      Theory C) Liz and Phil actually did bone and they are just not telling the LW….the more I think about it the more I think this is the case. Phil’s animosity makes no sense unless they got that far.

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      • avatar

        JennyTalia October 6, 2011, 10:37 am

        That’s my guess, and maybe she embarrassed him or something.

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      • avatar

        CottonTheCuteDog October 6, 2011, 10:44 am

        “Sorry you are not big enough for me”

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    • avatar

      Flake October 6, 2011, 10:09 am

      I agree with the last paragraph.. Maybe Liz did something horrible at one point and the BF is not telling the LW because it could cause trouble between Liz and the LW. Although the silent treatment is really immature..

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    • avatar

      artsygirl October 6, 2011, 11:02 am

      “Is butt head a clinical term?”
      “In this case it is.”

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  • avatar

    H October 6, 2011, 9:05 am

    I wouldn’t put up with a GROWN MAN who can’t even answer someone who says “Hi, how are you?”
    LW- Weren’t you kind of mortified? I was embarrassed for you! Do you want a lifetime of that kind of behavior?

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  • avatar

    Blondie October 6, 2011, 9:08 am

    Regardless of who did what to whom before, during and after their “hook-up”- LW- you need to take yourself out of the middle here. For better or worse you enjoy spending time with both Liz and your BF. Beyond trying to get to the bottom of why (and there may not be a real reason, simple animosity does the same thing, although does not excuse BF rudeness) you need to take yourself out of the equation. Liz and your boyfriend are both grown-ups, and in the real world, will act as they see fit. You add drama by trying to force an outcome.

    If you look at the situation from that standpoint, you see Liz on your own, talk about other things. Liz has made it clear that she doesn’t like your BF behavior. If she harps on it, point out that you are not in fact, your BF, and if she has a grievance, she should take it directly to him. Presumably she still has his number. You also don’t need to be couple besties, it is healthy to have friends outside of a relationship (and how much of a drug dealer are we talking here? I can fully understand wanting to have nothing to do with that…)

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  • avatar

    silver_dragon_girl October 6, 2011, 9:20 am

    Wow, LW, I dated a guy like this…granted, in my situation it was kind of my fault…my good friend and I were drinking one night, past the point of “tipsy.” I had been with my bf for two months at the time, so I was texting him and my friend was kind of ribbing me about it. She jokingly asked for his number to talk to him and I (stupidly) gave it to her. They started texting and apparently my uptight boyfriend got really mad/offended by some stuff my super-laid-back and open friend said to him (joking about sex, etc.).

    Anyway, I eventually got my friend to apologize to him for making him uncomfortable, and I apologized to both of them, and I told them both to just put it on me because I never should have let that get started in the first place…I mean, I know what my friend is like when she drinks, after all.

    And you know what? 7 months later he still hated her. Still talked down on her when I would mention her, even though he only met her once or twice. He held that stupid drunken text conversation against her for the length of our entire relationship, despite being asked and begged by me, many many times, to let it go and give her another chance.

    I wish now that I had just dumped him then. Somebody who holds a grudge that long, over something that dumb, isn’t someone I want in my life. I wasn’t asking them to be best friends, I was just asking him to get along with her, and he refused.

    So, LW, I get how uncomfortable of a position you are in. But really, think about it…a friend you’ve had for over 8 years, or a boyfriend you’ve had for 8 months? Which one is more important to you?

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 9:50 am

      Do you what’s sad, though? I know a lot of girls who would absolutely choose the boyfriend of 8 months over the friend of 8 years. Not saying there should ever really HAVE to be a choice…but that I know some people for whom that “new love” feeling tends to trump any other relationship they have.

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      • avatar

        Shadowflash1522 October 6, 2011, 10:13 am

        Mmm. Hate that.

        Especially when they come running back after a year expecting to be best friends again, over and over and over. And apparently you’re the “bad friend” if you don’t welcome her back each and every time with open arms.

        Does anyone else on here get really frustrated (and kind of hurt) when a friend does that, or is it just me?

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 10:51 am

        No, I hate it too. In fact, I hate it much more because at one point, years ago, I WAS that girl who ditched her friends for her new boyfriend. Never again!

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      • avatar

        Ktfran October 6, 2011, 11:03 am

        Been there. Done that. Although it was the other way around. My best friend dtiched me for a boy. No contact for three years. When she and said boy finally broke up, she asked my mom if she thought I would talk to her again. Little did I know that she was still in contact with my mom and sisters. Anyway, my mom said all she could do was try. She did. It’s been seven years and it’s as if nothing has changed. I have my best friend back.

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      • Budj

        budjer October 6, 2011, 11:00 am

        Guys do it too. I did it in high school…never again! Nothing cooler than a chick that fits in with your friends.

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      • EscapeHatches

        EscapeHatches October 6, 2011, 2:18 pm

        Yeah, and it goes deeper than just picking the boyfriend too.

        Example: I’m the reliable, loyal friend, but I’m also semi-boring (nearly married, have a stepson, 9-5 job..) – and my on/off good friend finds these new groups of Super! Fun! People! and I sort of slide by the wayside, until they all flake, bail, move, etc. Then she’s back. It’s more that she has the attention span of a moth.

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      • landygirl

        Landygirl October 6, 2011, 11:08 am

        When I read this letter, the first thing that came to my mind is sloppy seconds. There are lots of guys in the world and the letter writer hooks up with a guy who dated her friend. Is this a soap opera?

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      • avatar

        kf October 6, 2011, 1:00 pm

        It sounded more to me like a Sweet Valley High plotline.

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      • landygirl

        Landygirl October 6, 2011, 1:30 pm

        Sorry, I was too old for the Sweet Valley book series but I’ll take your word for it.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 8:53 am

    You say that “his stubbornness is the only thing that’s been causing a problem.” Well, LW, do you realize how all-encompassing stubbornness can be? Not only is his stubbornness preventing him from telling you the whole truth, but it’s also making him treat your best friend terribly.

    I think being able to call your boyfriend “stubborn” is a nice way for you to circumvent the real problem here – that your boyfriend is committing things from you, that your boyfriend is acting like an asshole, and that your boyfriend isn’t reeking of maturity. That’s a whole lot more than just “stubborn.”

    In the future, this “stubbornness” (or better said…immaturity, vindictiveness, nastiness, jerkiness, bitterness) can and WILL translate to other areas of your relationship. I understand that after only 8 months, you’re very likely still seeing through rose-colored glasses. But think long and hard about this – Do you really want to marry someone who won’t acknowledge your friend in public, refuses to tell you the whole truth, and won’t openly communicate with anyone? Those are not pillars for a good marriage. In fact, building a marriage on that would prove VERY shaky. Don’t let this new love obscure what’s really going on here – your boyfriend isn’t being honest with you, and he’s either a jerk or he’s still harboring feelings for your BFF. Does any of that sound marriage-worthy?

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    • dabbler

      Dabbler October 6, 2011, 9:26 am

      In the future, this “stubbornness” (or better said…immaturity, vindictiveness, nastiness, jerkiness, bitterness) can and WILL translate to other areas of your relationship.

      This is so true, especially the vindictiveness. I’m just about as far as you can get from being vindictive, so I have a really hard time even comprehending how people can be this way. a guy I was seeing was vindictive, which I didn’t know about for months, until I started to see it more and more, little by little. And he eventually turned it on me. If he can be that way towards other people, trust that he can, and will, be that way towards you sooner or later.

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 9:14 am

      *omitting, not committing

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  • avatar

    Shadowflash1522 October 6, 2011, 10:23 am

    Even if Liz is the biggest bitch on the planet, Phil’s not exactly getting the award for classy behavior here. He might hate her guts, but he could at least extend some common courtesy to her. It’s the gentlemanly (or gentlewomanly, in the case of females) thing to do on principle.

    Plus, it’s not hard to imagine Phil treating you (the LW) this way too. One day you wake up and he’s giving you the silent treatment–won’t talk about it, denies everything, and totally refuses to communicate with you. What will you do then? Per this example, the dude is not marriage material. Develop a communication strategy or MOA.

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  • avatar

    SGMcG October 6, 2011, 10:23 am

    I don’t get it LW – where does it say that your BFF and your boyfriend HAVE to hang out together? Even though they both like you, it doesn’t automatically mean that they can be the best of friends too. You knew Liz and Phil have a history together and it didn’t work out, so why are you insisting that they encroach each other’s personal territory? Just because you guys are a couple, it doesn’t mean that you automatically have to have the same friends and hang out together like one big happy. I think you need to tell Liz to stop forcing a friendship with your boyfriend, since it’s obviously not going to happen (no matter what the reason) and tell Phil to be a fucking gentleman and be civil to your BFF even though he can’t stand her.

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    • avatar

      Caroline October 6, 2011, 10:51 am

      THIS. They don’t have to like each other, they don’t have to be friends – they just have to be nice to each other. Even though the BF is not being very civil, I can totally see him starting to slowly resent her for trying to make him be friends with Liz. You can’t MAKE people be friends. If it’s not going to happen, it’s NOT going to happen. Stop trying to force something and give it some time and maybe they can have a civil acquaintance-ship.

      I just don’t get why Liz wants to be all buddy-buddy. I mean, I understand wanting to hang out with your BFF and her bf, but Liz’s behavior seems a little excessive to me.

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    • katie

      katie October 6, 2011, 8:02 pm

      seriously- i mean, are there really that many human beings, baring murders and rapists maybe, that you would absolutely refuse to be in the same room in with or would not return a “hello, how are you doing?”. that is just common human decency. they dont have to be friends, but i certainly think that they have to respect each other and be civil.

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  • avatar

    DDL October 6, 2011, 10:40 am

    Wait, Phil and Liz made out at bar and then hung out a few times and that’s it, and then hooked up on top of that? Or am I to assume “Hanging out” means “having sex”? (It’s not that I don’t understand the ‘hip-kid lingo’, I just don’t see why people have to beat around the bush, especially when asking for advice…). Also, Phil hates Liz, and because of this I’m assuming they don’t talk, yet Liz managed to introduce you two… And he won’t tell you why he hates her, but it has nothing to do with the only thing they had together: their “hook up”.

    Right.

    Well, LW, sorry to break the news to you, but you’re 25 and this isn’t junior high school anymore. Also, he’s a liar. He totally has resentment towards Liz and he just… doesn’t care enough about you to put it behind him and move on with you. He doesn’t try to fix it or try to deal with it in anyway, other than acting like he’s 12 and girls are icky.

    And, just a question, if Liz is your best friend, why would you date one of her hook ups? And why would you let him treat her like shit? Are you absolutely positive he doesn’t treat you like shit too?! I don’t know why you want to be in the middle of their drama to begin with, and you can’t tell me that it’s Phil putting you in this position. You decided to date him knowing the history of Phil and Liz, and you must have known that you would be forced into the middle of it: you’re the girlfriend and the best friend.

    I wouldn’t marry Phil: do you even realize the amount of drama that will occur at your wedding between Phil and Liz? LW, you deserve someone who will treat you and your friends with respect, even if he doesn’t really care for your friends. Dump the 12 year old, and get yourself a real man.

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  • avatar

    bek7bek October 6, 2011, 10:50 am

    I am wondering if Phil isn’t over Liz and by starting a relationship with the LR thought he might make Liz jealous of her best friend. I’m sure this scenario is way far fetched…

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  • avatar

    amber October 6, 2011, 10:56 am

    This is why it’s just usually not a good idea to date your friend’s ex’s (whether they be flings, long term bfs, etc). They’re not dating anymore because something between them didn’t work, often to the point of not being able to remain friends. That has been discussed on dear wendy many times, not everyone is all about remaining friends with their ex’s, it’s awkward….Especially when they are dating your friends! And like SGMcG said, why why do they have to be friends? Why keep forcing it? They can learn to be adults and interact when need be, but it’s not a good idea to force this. You’re only going to put yourself in a place where you are forced to choose between them. Although, I have to say I probably would have chosen Liz in the beginning back when you were still thinking about whether or not dating him was a good idea.

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  • avatar

    Ktfran October 6, 2011, 10:59 am

    So at first, I was agreeing with what Wendy and what almost everyone else is writing about the Phil/Liz fiasco and that Phil is being a complete a hole.

    Upon further consideration, I don’t know if that is the case. Most of the letter is about Liz relaying Phil’s actions, or non-actions rather, to the LW. Not how the LW notices Phil and Liz’s interactions.

    Personally, I don’t think the LW is getting the whole story from either of them. Maybe it’s Liz who has unresolved feelings for Phil and she’s trying to cause drama and so she’s making all of this stuff up. Phil knows this but doesn’t want to cause a riff in his relationship with his girlfriend so he just blows it off and doesn’t say much. Maybe he really is a stand up guy and wants to stay out of it.

    As some people have mentioned, if Phil dislikes Liz that much, how did she introduce the LW to Phil? More likely, the LW and Liz were hanging out either at a bar Phil happened to be at, or with a group of mutual friends, Phil included.

    While I could be totally wrong and Phil could be the one with the problem, my money is on Liz manipulating the LW. Seriously, how many of us know girls like this? More so than boys behaving like this I bet.

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    • Firegirl32

      Firegirl32 October 6, 2011, 2:21 pm

      oooh…nice theory. I’m in.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 October 6, 2011, 11:10 am

    To me it really seems like something more happened between Phil, and Liz, and Phil is really holding onto that. Your boyfriend is starting to let his own personal feelings get in the way of your relationship with him, and your relationship with Liz which isn’t good. You guys are still in your first year of your relationship, and you really shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff, you would think that if Phil really felt that strongly about you he would definitely squash whatever hatred he has for Liz just to make you happy.
    Besides that there are to many wholes in your story to actually know what is going here, like some other comments have said it doesn’t make any sense that Phil hates Liz, and her boyfriend, but her boyfriend was over Phil’s house, and left his jacket there (maybe they were both doing drugs.).
    So I really think you need to take a nice long look at Phil, and see if he really does have the qualities you are looking for, because he is already keeping a whole lot of information from you, and just from what you said in your letter it seems like Phil, Liz, and her boyfriend have something else going on behind your back that you don’t know about.

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      Blitzen October 6, 2011, 2:09 pm

      About this jacket: “he doesn’t like Liz’s current boyfriend, whom he grew up with and is known to be a recovering drug addict”

      Maybe they hang out sometimes, since they know each other since childhood. Maybe Phil is internalizing his dislike of this guy along with everything else. Holy passive aggression, Batman.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 October 6, 2011, 3:55 pm

        You would think that Liz’s boyfriend wouldn’t even want to hangout with Phil with the way he is acting towards her. I know if some guy was treating my girlfriend like that we wouldn’t be hanging out at all.

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    6napkinburger October 6, 2011, 11:31 am

    So I just read the letter a bunch of times. I think we are all being WAY too harsh on phil.

    Alleged strike 1: He won’t hang out with Liz.
    LW says she wants Phil to hang out with Liz, a girl who he hooked up with and didn’t like, and her BF, a guy who he knows independently and knew in the context of being a drug addict. He knows them both outside of their relationsh with LW and doesn’t like them. It’s not him refusing to hang out with “her people”, they both were his people first and he didn’t like them. Not exactly a sin that he doesn’t want to hang out with them and is “not interested.”

    Alleged strike #2: He’s rude to her and can’t even fake common curtesy, as evidenced by the run in with Liz at the party.
    I just can’t imagine Phil is socially adept enough for LW not to comment on his social awkwardness, but literally just stared at her and didn’t say anything after she said hi for like 30 secs. How did that end? Did she back away slowly, totally confused? Or did she try to stop and have a convo, and he just nodded and kept walking. That’s what you do with people you really don’t like at parties, especially ones you’ve hooked up with, even if they want to talk to you. Sure, you can fake it and have a totally inane convo where you make small talk for 2 mins and then leave to get another drink. Or, you avoid that, and just nod at them, and maybe smile. People who get offended by that would describe it as “refusing even to say hi” even though it wasn’t actually rude.

    Alleged strike #3: He didn’t call back in response to her voicemails to arrange to give Liz’s bf back his jacket.
    I can’t even start to hold that against him. I know its rude, I know I’m rude, but I am horrible at returning stuff that people leave at my place. Its rude and I’m selfish. I get that. But I’m not a horrible person and its not worth dumping me over that. A friend that I didn’t particularly want to stay with me invited herself to my apt for a weekend and left her phone charger. She called me like 3 times for it. I know, I’m selfish and rude, but I got really busy and now I had to find a post office (I have no idea where it is), find out her address, mail it back when I didn’t want her over in the first place? Eh. If she comes back, she’s welcome to it but I wasn’t going to trouble myself over it. (She makes enough money to easily get another one and it is a standard charger). I wouldn’t dump me over that, and neither should the LW. (Though if I were my friend, I could understand not liking me anymore. I’m ok with that.)

    There’s clearly something up about the “hookup” (which I always used to refer to either the person, or the event but not the interactions, which i would call “hooking up”) and clearly someone didn’t do right by the other person. But until you see him be actually rude to Liz, or you hear from other people than Liz that he was unquestionable awkward and not-ok rude… eh. Their interactions are going to be strained, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t worth dating.

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      lk October 6, 2011, 11:47 am

      I’m with you.

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      Shadowflash1522 October 6, 2011, 11:49 am

      I don’t think it’s the individual strikes that I hold against him, it’s the whole lack of communication about it. Liz is making some pretty big digs at him via the LW and he refuses to defend himself: won’t talk about it, being “stubborn”, etc. One could argue that his history with Liz is none of her business anyway, but when he can’t even hang out briefly at a mutual get together (she did mention that Liz has invited both of them over, which implies that the LW has witnessed at least 1 refusal to interact on Phil’s part) there is a call for explanations. Even if he just says, “she’s wrong, she’s slandering me for no reason, she’s a bitch and I won’t hang out with her” then at least we would be clear about it.

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      • Budj

        Budjer October 6, 2011, 11:54 am

        If Phil and Liz had sex and lied about it then Liz has a slight upper hand…he won’t defend himself if she threatens to out it. It would also make more sense in this situation for Liz to stir trouble if they met through her and Phil happened to like the LW better.

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        Shadowflash1522 October 6, 2011, 12:52 pm

        If they had sex and he lied about it, he put himself in that position. Still holding his ideas about communication against him.

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        6napkinburger October 6, 2011, 2:01 pm

        But I don’t think “not hanging out with” someone is the same as being rude to them.

        And he does give a reason, the LW (and im guessing Liz) just don’t like it.

        “The problem is that Phil doesn’t like Liz and won’t hang out with her. … The most I’ve been able to tell is that he didn’t really like how she handled things with the ending of their brief “hook up,” even though they never dated, and he doesn’t like Liz’s current boyfriend, whom he grew up with and is known to be a recovering drug addict.”

        That’s two real reasons: (1) he doesn’t like her for how she ended their relationship (even though LW doesn’t think it was a “real enough” relationship for that to count; and (2) he doesn’t like her boyfriend.

        And its possible that LW refuses to accept reason (1) because if it was a real enough relationship for him to still be pissed how it ended, then it was real enough that he and Liz really shouldn’t hang out, which undermines her argument that he should drop it and hang out, or provide a “real” reason.

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        Shadowflash1522 October 6, 2011, 2:19 pm

        When you put it that way, it makes more sense. I guess I was reading the “most I’ve been able to tell” line as him refusing to talk about it so the LW’s reading between the lines. The rest of the letter makes it sound like he refuses to talk about it period.

        Like you said, though, maybe he’s said all there is to say about it and she should drop it already. If she’s reading between the lines then it becomes a communication problem.

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    • Budj

      Budjer October 6, 2011, 11:49 am

      Excellent points to the situation at hand. Kind of the direction I was trying to go in – sure Phil might be an ass hole, but it’s just as likely Liz is trying to give her “BFF” a bad image of Phil due to the history.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark October 6, 2011, 11:46 am

    Ugh, another desperate letter. “My boyfriend goes out of his way to be an asshole to my BFF, but he’s just so wonderful… How can I change him to a nice person.” NEWSFLASH! You can’t. If he’s this petty, this early into the relationship, I say, walk away. Just walk away.

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    • landygirl

      Landygirl October 6, 2011, 1:35 pm

      You go, Kelly Clarkson!!!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark October 6, 2011, 7:54 pm

        Wait, what? Did I somehow inadvertently quote a Kelly Clarkson song? Seriously. Yikes, just yikes. The Horror, the Horror…

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        Marie October 6, 2011, 10:36 pm

        Yes,it’s called “Walk Away” and one of her lines is “just walk away”….I love Kelly Clarkson.

        (Should I be embarrassed?I’m a 21 year old girl…. 🙂 )

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        Caris October 9, 2011, 11:45 am

        Heart of Darkness quote 😀

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    ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 11:16 am

    I didn’t mention it at first, but I think it might help the LW – I’ve been in a very similar situation…and kind of still am. I dated this guy for about 3-4 months. It was nothing serious, but we were exclusive. We broke it off because he told me he didn’t want a serious relationship, and I didn’t want to keep dating him if it wasn’t going anywhere. Well, two weeks later he started seriously dating my best friend…the same best friend who knew him, hung out with us, the whole time I was dating him.

    They acted like we should all jump straight to being one big, happy family…and I just couldn’t. I felt hurt because my best friend didn’t even bother to ask me if dating my ex, albeit not a serious ex, would hurt me! She actively hid the fact that they were seeing each other for weeks…even while the three of us hung out as a group. Awkward, to say the least.

    The whole situation left a bad taste in my mouth. It made me re-think my friendship with my BFF, and with the ex. I didn’t WANT to be close friends with them anymore. I felt that the 3 of us hanging out was exceedingly weird and awkward. The point is…the 3 of you don’t HAVE to be one big happy family. I’m not sure why any of you want to be so close. What’s the point?

    None of it excuses your boyfriend being less-than-civil, of course. And honestly, though some might disagree with me, I still think it’s taboo to date a friend’s ex. Because awkwardness and weirdness are BOUND to exist, no matter how good the intentions. This happened to me 2 years ago, and the ex and my friend are still together. And honestly…it’s still a bit awkward for me.

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      kf October 6, 2011, 1:06 pm

      I’m going to say this with all due respect to you: Awkwardness and weirdness are not the absolute worst things in the world. If they’ve been together for two years, after having known each other reasonably well before that, chances are they’re a pretty good match. And you dumped him, from a nonserious relationship! Do you really think they should break up, or should never have gotten together, just to make your life a little bit easier? If you don’t want to hang out with them that’s completely fine, but I think the “taboo” is one you’ll eventually outgrow.

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      • landygirl

        Landygirl October 6, 2011, 1:33 pm

        She stopped seeing him because he said he didn’t want anything serious, so of course, he then proceeded to get serious with her BFF. I agree with Regina, just stay away from your friend’s ex-mates/flings/whatevers.

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        kf October 6, 2011, 2:08 pm

        Come on, “I don’t want anything serious” means “I don’t want anything serious WITH YOU”; everyone knows that. If he had been completely honest, and let RR know EXACTLY where their relationship stood, you guys would still be calling him a complete jerkhead.

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        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 2:29 pm

        To be fair, I definitely think he meant “I don’t want a serious relationship WITH YOU.” That was fine, because I didn’t want to date someone who didn’t really want to date me! But I still think it’s in bad character to secretly start dating my best friend 2 weeks after that…so yes, he gets the “jerk” title either way.

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        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 1:49 pm

        To be honest, I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow that particular opinion. I contend that it’s tacky, disrespectful and messy to date a best friend’s ex. And it isn’t the fact that they’re dating that bothered me so much as HOW they began dating – with the secrecy, and lies and immaturity swirling about. When I asked my friend how she could just begin dating him without wondering if it might hurt me, her response was: “I thought you’d want me to be happy.” Apparently, being happy means neglecting your best friend’s feelings and pursuing exactly what you want, no matter what.

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        lets_be_honest October 6, 2011, 1:53 pm

        I gotta go with team RR on this. Respect the code. Bros before Hos. Whatever you want to call it.

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        Ktfran October 6, 2011, 2:03 pm

        In RR’s case, hos before bros.

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        lets_be_honest October 6, 2011, 2:04 pm

        Right, thats what I meant.

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        kali October 6, 2011, 2:46 pm

        Chicks before dicks.

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        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 2:03 pm

        Indeed.

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        kf October 6, 2011, 2:25 pm

        When you dumped him, you forfeited any property rights you might have had to him (which were zero to begin with, but whatever). She likes (and liked him) and he likes (and liked her), apparently a lot more than you and he liked each other.

        No, they shouldn’t have been secretive, but frankly the immaturity seems to have been flowing from all directions. She probably thought you’d overreact, and she appears to have been correct in that assessment. She was also correct that you weren’t and aren’t happy for her.

        If I were in a similar situation – I had strong feelings for someone who was unattached, and those feelings were reciprocated, I absolutely would pursue a relationship, “no matter what”, if the “no matter what” involved inscrutable feelings by some third party. Honestly, what were your feelings? Did you want him back? Shoud he have wanted a serious relationship with you more than he did? Were you jealous? If not you, then nobody? If the feelings were simply “I feel awkward and weird about this”, then…tough shit. I would never give up a potential life partner and soul mate for that.

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        amber October 6, 2011, 2:43 pm

        actually i think that she said more than once that is what how they started dating that bothered her more than the dating itself.

        and beside that if you’re going to start dating your friend’s ex i think you at least owe them the decency of telling them and being upfront. so they might get upset. understandly so at first i would think. that definitely deserves some time to process. especially if it’s happening right after a break up.

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        kf October 6, 2011, 2:58 pm

        She also said it’s taboo to date a friend’s ex, that it’s tacky, disrespectful and messy to date a best friend’s ex, and that she doesn’t think she’ll ever outgrow that particular opinion. I don’t know how much lower you can get in your approval of something than zero.

        I’d have a lot more sympathy for RR’s position if she were madly in love with the guy and the friend knew that, or the guy ditched her at the altar or something like that. It was a casual relationship that seems to have semi-mutually dissolved. I partly share the friend’s bewilderment that this constitutes some sort of outrageous betrayal.

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        amber October 6, 2011, 3:14 pm

        well i guess that is where we all differ. i don’t think i would ever date a friend’s ex, but you never know. i think the timing of these relationships is also key here, maybe if they hadn’t hooked up two weeks after the break up she wouldn’t have felt the same. i think it’s fine if you’re ok with that, but people are also allowed to have their own opinion. and in this case the friend went behind her back, which is ridiculous. you’re not grown up enough to deal with the fact that people might not always be happy with you? i feel like you’re pushing her to see that you’re right, when in reality you’re both allowed your opinion.

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      • landygirl

        Landygirl October 6, 2011, 2:53 pm

        It isn’t so much about property rights as it is about her friend having no respect for her feelings about this awkward situation. Out of all the women in the world, this dude dumps her and takes up with her best friend. Your best friend is supposed to be the one to trash your ex with you, not bang your ex behind your back.

        I’m amazed that she even remained friends with her since in my eyes, that is betrayal.

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        kf October 6, 2011, 3:15 pm

        Haha, I saw this after my comment above about betrayal.

        The friend did clumsily, imperfectly attempt to respect RR’s feelings by hiding the relationship and sparing RR’s feelings for as long as she could.

        True disrespect would have been constantly shoving the relationship in RR’s face, nailing the guy in RR’s apartment and leaving the condom wrappers lying around, telling RR about [filthy sex act] they did last night, etc.

        “Your best friend is supposed to be the one to trash your ex with you”

        This is exactly the thing I would expect RR to outgrow (if she hasn’t already. RR doesn’t strike me as the catty trash the ex type). It isn’t really what best friends are for in the mature adult world.

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        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 3:28 pm

        All due respect, kf, I don’t believe for a minute that my friend hiding the relationship from me was to respect my feelings. I have an overwhelming feeling that it was because she was, in a word, a pussy.

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        kf October 6, 2011, 3:34 pm

        Fair enough. You were there and I wasn’t.

        You have to admit there are ways she could have shown even more disrespect for you though 😉

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        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 3:36 pm

        Oh, definitely. I don’t think they were hooking up while I was still with him…THAT would qualify as more disrespectful.

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        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 2:37 pm

        Well he dumped me, not the other way around, to clarify. Not that it made much of a difference. And no, I don’t think I was required, at the time, to be happy for my best friend. The situation could have been completely different if she’d had the courage to just tell me up front, without lying to me, that she was seeing him…and at least ASKING if it might impact my feelings or my relationship with her. What bothered me more than anything was her blatant disregard for our friendship. So…agree to disagree on this, I guess.

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        6napkinburger October 6, 2011, 2:30 pm

        I’m not trying to pick at you at something that is clearly still an emotional hot-button issue, but I have to agree that in 20 years, if you are married with kids and happy (not that one is necessary for the other, but both in this case), and so is this friend to that guy, you’ll reconsider this opinion.

        You say that you’re more upset about how it happened, not that it happened. I respectfully question the objective accuracy of that statement. Its much much easier to be mad at a small deception rather than what you see as a betrayal, a betrayal that others don’t agree was a betrayal. And I am one of those people. It makes sense as a theory and certainly is a great slogan for self-preservation (Hos before bros), but ultimately, the happiness of a friend for a lifetime is worth more than the awkwardness for you of a brief period. And unfortunately, its impossible to know if it is a lifetime at the onset of the relationship and the likelihood of it is small, so you feel the tradeoff wasn’t worth it. But most people enter relationships believing that it might be the “lifetime of happiness” and so they give that greater weight than you do. Its a disconnect between the value judgments that you each give the relationship that causes the riff.

        But you also say “When I asked my friend how she could just begin dating him without wondering if it might hurt me, her response was: “I thought you’d want me to be happy.” Apparently, being happy means neglecting your best friend’s feelings and pursuing exactly what you want, no matter what.”

        But you know that’s not what she was thinking. If your friend truly was made happy by the fact that you felt uncomfortable, she should be tarred and feathered and sent up the flagpole. But that was just a by-product. She considered that this relationship would give her a large amount of happiness and would only cost you a small amount of discomfort over the long haul, and most of that discomfort would be an upfront cost. But she knew you wouldn’t see it that way at first, so she did not tell you, to avoid the cost altogether, leaving only the benefit to her.

        And it wasn’t “no matter what.” It was “regardless of the cost to ReginaRey in terms of short term uncomfort and slight feelings of inadequacy in return for a potential lifetime of happiness for me.” And I think most of us would like to think our friends would make this trade-off, so she honestly thought “you would want her to be happy” despite its cost to you.

        If the relationship failed right away, you would feel justified in your anger/hurt/categorization of it as a betrayal because your original valuation was right. But if it lasts (which it already sort of has), if he was “her one”, I do think you’ll see that her valuation was more accurate and it was a wise trade-off, eventually.

        But until that day, I’ll say she sucks, b/c I like you.

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        Shadowflash1522 October 6, 2011, 3:02 pm

        Maybe I don’t give my friends enough credit, but I don’t think it’s wise to assume that they will (or should) put my happiness before theirs.

        Do I want my friends to be happy? Absolutely. Does their lifelong happiness mean more to me than my temporary discomfort? Again, unhesitatingly yes. But there is also the substantial chance that the budding relationship will die a horrible death and my discomfort will be for naught. Either way, I would appreciate the opportunity to tell them how I feel myself rather than have them make assumptions no matter how well they know me. It’s less about asking permission (as if your friend were in charge of your life) and more about demonstrating respect for the additional consequences of hooking up with that particular person (i.e. that friend might be uncomfortable).

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        6napkinburger October 6, 2011, 3:15 pm

        I don’t disagree with that at all. I just think that a lot of times people (not necessarily RR) get mad at “its not what you did but that you hid it” as a way to avoid having to face their anger/hurt/betrayal and the underlying act, especially where the extremity of there feelings might not be in proportion with the seeming importance of the hurt. (If you’re really really hurt that your friend is dating a guy you once made out with, its much easier to focus on the fact that she didn’t tell you, than on the fact that she’s dating him, because rationally, its a little unfair to be mad at her for dating him.) I’m all for disclosure.

        But it can seriously cause complications. A sidenote ancedote: Frshman year of college, I had a small group of friends who all lived in my dorm, 4 people, 1 guy. One of the other girls liked the guy, but he would never date her due to cultural reasons and she knew that. I began to like him, (and I fit the cultural requirement.) I asked if it was ok if something happened. She said yes, it was ok, nothing could ever be real with them. We start dating (a ridiculous relationship, but that’s a different story.) I find out several months later that she’s been giving him secret BJs for the length of our (me and his) relationship.

        I was at a total loss how to feel On the one hand, I knew she liked him and I went for him anyway. On the other, WTF????.

        I guess my moral is, just b/c someone says their ok with it doesn’t mean they are, so while I appreciate the respect aspect and certainly would do it as a convention, I don’t give much stock in what they say. Nor do I date people who my friends liked but never got. (I could possibly do it if my friend ended it, who knows.).

        What were we talking about again?

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        Shadowflash1522 October 6, 2011, 3:31 pm

        Statutes of limitations on dating your friends’ exes, I believe. But I’m happy to share a tangent with you 🙂

        I suppose it has to do with the length, depth, type of relationship (make-out, FWB’s, marriage) and how long it’s been over. The guy she was madly in love with, married for 10 years, and just divorced last summer? No, that’s beyond tacky. That one dude you met 5 years ago, made out with in some bar, and never saw again? Go for it. But there are lots of gray areas.

        As for social conventions and honesty, I completely agree that it is very usual (if BEYOND annoying) for people to say they are OK and not mean it. Personally, I make it a point to take their word for it. Eventually they’ll learn to say what they actually mean. I mean really, how many conversations have run:
        “You said you were OK with it!”
        “Well I lied!”
        What am I supposed to be, a mind reader? It makes more sense to take their word for it–even if you’re pretty sure they’re lying–than to try and guess how they really feel.

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        Matcha October 6, 2011, 3:32 pm

        I try not to date people my friends are interested in either. But I think your anecdote (while showcasing that truth) is a whole ‘nother story. If I were you, I’d have been tempted to give your friend and boyfriend a not-so-secret punch in the face. -__-

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        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 2:45 pm

        Ha! Your last line made me laugh. This was well-written and thoughtful. I won’t get into the intricacies of this particular friend…but suffice it to say that I’m quite sure, after knowing her for as long as I have, that she wasn’t really thinking about her “long-term potential happiness.” Honestly, I don’t think she thought very much about any of her actions at all. She’s never really been analytical when it comes to her social and emotional self.

        And of course, I’d rather my friend be happy for a lifetime than me get hurt for a short period of time. I think that’s just it though – she doesn’t seem happy in this relationship. As objectively as I can see their relationship, I don’t think it’s right for either of them. Since they started dating, she’s changed quite a lot. She rarely resembles the person I was once best friends with, and it makes me sad. She doesn’t seem as vibrant or as thoughtful…and what kills me is that I know she cares about him more than he cares for her. He seems so bored…like he’s waiting for something else to come along. But what can I do?

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        lets_be_honest October 6, 2011, 2:48 pm

        Maybe this was already mentioned above, but whether or not they are now a perfect couple doesn’t matter if you ask me. A decent friend would run it by you before messing around with someone you messed around with. Period. Just like a decent friend would try to be happy for their friend’s new relationship.

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        6napkinburger October 6, 2011, 2:57 pm

        But then its just a convention. She’s supposed to ask you if its ok, and you’re supposed to say yes. Which is all well and good and I think social conventions should generally be followed, espcially if they actually help prevent hurt feelings and awkwardness. But there’s only so long you can stay justifiably mad at a failure to adhere to a social convention. (I don’t think ReginaRey has it that point yet.) There’s a statute of limitatiosn on standing on convention, rather than understanding the rationale behind the actions. Otherwise you’re just the Great Aunt Ethel who still scowls at the cousin who sent out “Thank you” on notes for wedding gifts 7 months late, 30 years before. And Great Aunt Ethel smells like mothballs. Don’t be her.

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        lets_be_honest October 6, 2011, 3:15 pm

        In an ideal world, it’d be great to give your blessing on the new relationship. Obviously, more often than not, that wouldn’t happen. All I’m saying is it would show consideration of her friend, RR, to have at least run it by her, regardless of whether she then approved or not.

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        ReginaRey October 6, 2011, 3:07 pm

        Well, if they end up married for 30 years, suffice it to say I won’t be grumbling at their anniversary party or anything. And I’m not still MAD, just still confused as to how our friendship took that turn.

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        kf October 6, 2011, 3:23 pm

        You were all like 20 or 21 when this happened, right?

        First, as others have said you’re very thoughtful and mature, and it’s not surprising that other typical people in their early twenties would disappoint you, and act in ways you would disapprove of.

        Second, early twenties friendships in general take weird twists and turns, because you’re still growing and developing and figuring out who you are. It sucks when you drift apart from someone you cared about, but it’s not at all uncommon.

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        Christy October 6, 2011, 9:22 pm

        I agree, it’s just being a good friend to be aware if there’s any potential awkwardness and try to manage it as well as you can. I was in a situation where I had a summer fling with a guy who lived in California (I’m in Michigan). A year or so later, my friend (who had met him the same time I had) planned a trip to see him and asked if it was ok if they had a fling of their own. Of course it was fine, but it was nice of her to ask, and think about the feelings of a close friend before those of the guy, potential soulmate or not.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 October 6, 2011, 3:58 pm

        Apparently you wanting her to be happy is worth more than her wanting you to be happy…according to her.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow October 6, 2011, 5:54 pm

      I once had a good friend who dated a boyfriend of mine. He was actually my first real relationship, my first love, my first everything… and things ended verrrrry badly between us. He and my friend were dating for a little while before she decided to tell me – and I could tell when she brought it up that she was soooo nervous and scared of what my reaction would be. I was totally cool with it, though! We were broken up, I didn’t have feelings for him, it was totally OVER, and they were obviously happy together. (Although it was definitely weird to hear her get all ga-ga over him, and weirder still to have her describe their sex life to me!!).

      I once started messing around with a guy who is basically best friends with MY best friend, and we were afraid to tell her at first because we just weren’t sure what her reaction would be to having 2 of her good friends hook up – so we kept it a secret for a while. We were waiting until there was actually something substantial to tell her (like, when it moved beyond the just fooling around occasionally stage).

      So I think, perhaps, RR’s friend maybe waited until there was for sure something to tell. Maybe she could have mentioned that they were developing feelings for each other, but maybe she didn’t want to bring it up unless/until she KNEW they were going to be entering a relationship.

      The only time I got UPSET about a friend dating an ex was when a REALLY GOOD friend of mine secretly dated a guy that I had once casually dated, and even though it was years before, I was still hung up on him. She NEVER ONCE mentioned it to me, and I heard it from him a few months after it had ended (I was living in another state). I was mad about the secrecy, yes, but… mostly about the fact that I still had feelings for him and she KNEW it.

      So I guess what I’m saying is… I can understand if there is secrecy AT FIRST… and I don’t think exes are off-limits to friends in ALL circumstances. If there are residual feelings on one or both sides, then the friend should definitely just butt out.

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    • katie

      katie October 6, 2011, 8:06 pm

      i completely agree with you, regina. i was in that spot too once, with all the lying and pretending that nothing was going on…. it was terrible, and im not friends with said girl anymore. i just wont accept that kind of treatment from someone who is supposed to be my best friend.

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  • avatar

    Monica M October 6, 2011, 1:04 pm

    For me the kicker is his refusal to discuss his feeling for Liz. I can understand if Phil was hurt by Liz, but he needs to be able to convey this to the LW. I think Phil is still hung up on Liz. Maybe he agreed to date the LW in hopes of getting back together with Liz and then when Liz started dating the drug addict he was hurt. Communication is really important in a long term relationship. Even if there are some unknowns that would have us more on Phil’s side in this I still think Phil lacks the ability to communicate.

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  • avatar

    LSS86 October 6, 2011, 1:22 pm

    The more I read the letter, the more I’m not sure Phil is an asshole. The LW says she was able to tell that Phil doesn’t like Liz because of the way she handled their “breakup.” I can think of a guy that I VERY briefly dated (we’re talking two dates here), who ended it so incredibly poorly that even though I was never emotionally invested, I would never want to speak to him again. Ever. I would not even bother being cordial if I ran into him at a party. I think plenty of us have had experiences like this.

    It would be nice if the LW knew exactly what it was that Liz did to make Phil so mad at her, but he’s probably embarrassed, and also possibly the type who doesn’t feel comfortable telling his girlfriend about the details of past relationships. It’s also possible that Liz doesn’t even realize she did anything that hurtful, which could make it all the more infuriating for Phil to hang out with her. Imagine having to hang out with someone who treated you poorly, but who acts like nothing had ever happened. That would not be fun.

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    • Budj

      Budjer October 6, 2011, 1:32 pm

      The day the LW and Phil met Liz invited Phil to the event with the new “recovering drug addict” bf instead of breaking up off the dating with Phil and Liz used the LW as a consolation prize – that is my new theory.

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  • avatar

    AKchic October 6, 2011, 1:42 pm

    Something sounds very hinky here. My BS-radar is pinging something fierce.

    My 1st ex-husband would hold grudges. Over anything, everything, and nothing at all. Seriously. I’m talking if a guy screwed up his purposely complicated order at Burger King, he’d get pissy, request a complete refund, a remade burger, AND would threaten to never come back. He’d also refuse to ever have his order taken by that specific cashier (as if the cashier had anything to do with the preparation of the burger).

    First thing is first – confront him and find out why he’s acting like a prick to the friend. Does he have a legitimate beef against her? I.e., was the FWB not really a FWB and actually going somewhere and she ditched him for someone else and is lying to you? Did she take money from him? Or was he feeling more for her than she was for him and cancelled the FWB because of it and he’s harboring resentment and acting like an ass? Can he get over himself, his ego/pride and act like an adult, or is he going to continue acting like a 5th grader?
    Other questions you need to ask yourself: Does he hold grudges unneccessarily? Does he find fault in things that seem trivial? Does it seem like he’s trying to alienate you from your friends, or is it just her? Any family he’s trying to get you away from? Any of his family that you can talk to? Any of his family seem “scared” or “timid” around him? Especially women. Does he have a criminal record?

    You’ve been with this guy for 8 months and you’re already thinking marriage. Who brought it up – you or him? I’m seeing red flags, but my personal history could be coloring this. Or, my personal history could very well be seeing the truth and real warning signs that you are blind to.
    Sometimes, a (temporarily) broken heart is far better than a broken bone/psyche.

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    • avatar

      kali October 6, 2011, 2:54 pm

      I’m with you, AK… people who pout and hold grudges and won’t communicate are hell to try to be in a relationship with. I know, I tried for two decades. I thought it was me, my fault, something I was doing. And he would never talk about anything. Just disappear into a fuming silence. Not fun. And I will never allow anyone to treat me that way again. Never should have in the first place.

      LW, you don’t need someone who can’t discuss problems and issues with you. You need a partner; someone who can stand by your side and walk WITH you through whatever challenges and joys life has to offer. Not someone who’s going to close down and pout when he’s vexed.

      Please, for your own mental health, just MOA. He’s not worth your time and energy.

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  • avatar

    Mel October 6, 2011, 2:13 pm

    Run away! If he won’t be honest with you and give you a good reason for acting this way and he is this stubborn about it, he is going to make a terrible husband. If he can’t even suck up his feelings to even be cordial to one of your best friends, just imagine what he’ll be like later in life when you encounter other stressful situations or people he doesn’t like – like when you’re a parents. Seriously, run away and don’t look back.

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  • avatar

    kali October 6, 2011, 2:27 pm

    One word: juvenile. Ugh!

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  • avatar

    Stilgar666 October 6, 2011, 4:46 pm

    Certainly a lot of crazy LW’s today. Wendy please pick some sensible LW’s! People with legitimate problems…

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  • katie

    katie October 6, 2011, 7:50 pm

    I completely agree with wendy on this one. i am not sure if it is 100% because Phil still has feelings for Liz, but there is definitely something that he (or both of them) isn’t telling you…

    Just like in yesterday’s letter about the clingy friend, sometimes you just gotta put up with people to make your SO’s happy. Phil should be at the LEAST curtious and cordial to her, and if he was honestly a good guy he would try to hash it out and work things out with her…. it is sad to say, but i think that this will end in two ways: either you break up with phil and remain friends with liz, or you continue with phil and liz will eventually fade out of the picture.

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  • avatar

    Calle October 8, 2011, 12:49 pm

    The more I read this letter, the more suspicious I get of Liz. LW wasn’t at this party and didn’t see this interaction go down, she just heard it through Liz’s version of events. The voicemails, well, people forget sometimes. There are a couple of deciding factors also…I can see not wanting to hang with someone I used to hook up with…Sorry, but for some people that would be incredibly uncomfortable. If Liz is LW’s best friend, Phil should do it once in a while but he shouldn’t have to besties. The recovering drug addict that LW knows that Liz seems to have started dating later. I had a friend who dated a “recovering” coke addict and the guy was clearly still using and my friend was clueless. Sometimes, people don’t want to be around people who use. Liz dates someone that Phil grew up and Phil dates Liz’s friend. The whole situation seems strange. Some people see Phil doing some sort of petty revenge, but in my eyes Liz could be doing the same thing, especially if she started dating the guy after LW started dating Phil. She could be angry that her best friend is dating Phil even if they mutually broke it off and is trying to sabotage the relationship through trying to make him jealous (dating the guy he grew up with and perhaps she knows he doesn’t like him) and making him look bad. Meanwhile, Phil could be aware that he would look paranoid if he told LW this so he just tries to let it go. Just my two cents.

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