It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss the difference between true “platonic” friends of the opposite sex and friends who probably want to bang more than they want to sit around having beers and watching an episode of “Homeland” together.
Sounds like you aren’t “trying” all that hard with your boyfriend of four years if you’re still “talking” to another guy you have feelings for. Come clean with both of them and accept that perhaps it’s better you take a breather from monogamy for a while and enjoy being a free agent.
Since you did the breaking up and he’s the one who needs time to get over you, he has to be the one to initiate a post-breakup friendship. The only think you can do is let him know you’d welcome that and then sit back and wait to see if/when he’s receptive (and you must accept that he never may be).
Then one night a mutual friend had too much to drink and told me that not only had be continued seeing the girl he had previously slept with, but he had been hooking up with multiple other girls. Once again I confronted him, he claimed that he could do whatever he wanted, and he suggested we end things because he was worried I was becoming too attached. I asked if he was leaving me for the other girl and he said no.
We decided to try be friends because we got on with each other really well. It was hard and rocky, but somehow we managed (even though I found out he was now “seeing” the girl he slept with). He then met another girl and left the girl he was dating to date her. We still maintained a friendship and hung out and went for lunches, etc., and it was nice. I was happy. Then I heard last night that he cheated on his current girlfriend. I was really disappointed in him, so I sent him a message saying so. He claimed it was untrue, and he got really angry. He also said that, if I didn’t tell him who had told me that, our friendship was over. It got really nasty, and I said things I regret (I swore at him and told him I would be happy if he got an STD). And basically I don’t know how to fix the friendship, or if it’s even possible? — Just Another Girl with Boundary Issues
If you’re really OK settling for a friendship with a guy you have more than friendly feelings for — a guy who cheated on you and then cheated on the woman he cheated on you with — you need to aim higher. Not only is he not boyfriend material, he’s not friend material either. And the reason you lost your temper with him is because you were projecting the hurt and anger you felt from him cheating on you and then dumping you, so, the next time someone disappoints you, address it when it happens and don’t sweep it under the rug and pretend everything’s honky-dory when it’s clearly not.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.