It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today, we hear from “Ready to Tell,” the grad student who wondered whether she should confess her feelings for a fellow classmate she’d become good friends with despite the fact that he had a girlfriend (and she didn’t want to ruin their friendship). Keep reading to see whether she told him how she felt.
It’s been about six months, and a lot has happened! I really appreciated people taking the time to comment although I respectfully disagree with those who said confessing would have been offensive and disrespectful. Ultimately, I didn’t tell him. I wasn’t ready to lose his (I’ll call him “Sam” to keep things clear) friendship — he’s my best friend in school, after all. Plus, Sam was spending winter break visiting his girlfriend’s family in another country, so I just figured they were more serious than he claimed they were.
In other news, I have a boyfriend! I went on a few dates with a guy before winter break – just four as I was super busy with finals – and over break, despite my constant traveling, we ended up talking every day. I spent my last week on the west coast (I go to school in the Northeast) and so he asked if he could fly out to the west coast to see me. It was, technically, only our fifth date! He’s a wonderful, devoted guy (I’ll call him “Pat”). It is worth noting, however, that, the first time Pat met Sam, he turned to me after and said – totally unprompted as I’d never told him about my former crush – “I know he has a girlfriend, but just so you know: it’s obvious that Sam has feelings for you.” I made a point going forward of making sure Pat knew that he was the priority, not Sam, especially when all three of us hung out.
Anyway, a few days ago, Sam came over and told me that he and his girlfriend had broken up. It was kinda surreal when it was happening because I’d spent so much time this fall hoping and waiting for this moment. And, for a second, I thought about “what ifs.” But honestly, I’m deeply in love with my boyfriend. He is by far the best guy I’ve ever known, takes care of me and nurtures me (which I’ve always needed in relationships but never had) and is looking for the kind of serious relationship I want. Sam isn’t very emotional or nurturing; he’s still a great friend but probably not a great boyfriend for me. And he isn’t ready for the kind of relationship I really want. Sure, I’m attracted to him and, yes, I’d probably go for it if I were single. This might be unromantic, but I tried to look past the chemistry and attraction – I know both guys pretty well- and know that my boyfriend is the better match for me.
I’m making it seem like it was this huge choice or something, but it really wasn’t – it just initially felt that way because it was something I’d told myself I wanted for soooooo long and then I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t want it anymore.
Anyway, I’m very happy because I have an awesome boyfriend and a wonderful best friend. Thanks for reading this super long update!
Thank you for the update. Glad to hear things have worked out well. Just a word of caution though: I know you said that you go out of your way to make sure Pat knows he’s a priority, especially when the three of you are together, but you may need to accept that a friendship with a guy who probably has feelings for you — and whom you once nursed a crush on — probably won’t (and maybe shouldn’t) retain the closeness it had in the past if you want to have a healthy and happy relationship with your boyfriend. But if you can figure out how to make it work with no one getting hurt, good for you.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.