My first thought was: how does she have his number? I looked over her shoulder and saw flirty texts between the two of them. Needless to say, I was angry! I got into a huge fight with her and ignored my boyfriend for a week because I was so hurt. She told him about our argument, and now, three weeks later, he has ghosted me and I come to find out that he has been hanging out with Kate! And she’s been lying to me about whom she’s been out with. I confronted her again about it and she got him involved, having him text me to tell me that I’m out of line. To be honest, I’m hurt by him but I’m REALLY hurt that she would do this to me knowing my feelings for him.
I don’t know if I should cut off contact with both of them. I don’t think they’d care that much. Or should I act like a mature adult and like I don’t care even though I’m hurt and I do care? I just don’t know if I want to completely lose her, but I also don’t know if I’ll ever trust her again as a friend. Friends don’t hurt you like this. — Betrayed By My Best Friend
I don’t think you are a mature adult, though. I don’t think any of you are. And I don’t mean that as a slam against you. You simply sound like a group of college kids acting like college kids. You’re acting like six months of being off-and-on means something important when it really… doesn’t. And Kate’s acting like it’s no big deal that she lied to your face about moving in on your boyfriend when you were still with him and… regardless of how rocky or short your relationship with him might have been, that’s super uncool and shady of Kate. And Rob! Well, he’s just playing the both of you, getting all his cake and eating it, too.
Here’s the thing: It’s probably not going to work out with Rob and Kate for very long. If they truly liked each other and had any respect for you, they’d be doing more to ease tension with you, paving the way for all three of you to get along ok and for you to eventually accept them together. But they aren’t doing that. Kate’s acting like you’re crazy, and Rob didn’t even have the decency to have a proper breakup with you. He ghosted you! He’s a tool. But he must be a charismatic tool, because you, who says it’s hard for you to “find a guy you’re really into,” fell for him, and so did your best friend who’s like a sister to you. She fell for him so hard, she risked losing her sister-friend over some flirty texts, so Rob must have something going for him — something that college girls who aren’t quite mature adults yet are attracted to.
Well, it’s not gonna last. Rob will ghost Kate in a few weeks (a few months, tops), just like he’s ghosted you, and then you’ll have a choice: Take Kate back and work though this betrayal in your friendship when both of you fell victim to the “charms” of Rob. Or, turn your back on her and let her go. (Just to be clear: I would have ZERO, NOTHING, NADA to do with Rob, now or in the future; he’s a jerk).
One day you will be a mature adult. And it’s going to be experiences like these that give you the perspective you’ll need to make mature decisions. You’re going to realize that to be human is to be flawed. To be a friend is to be an imperfect friend. To love, is to love imperfectly. None of us — not Kate, not you, not anyone (regardless of age or maturity)–is the perfect friend or companion or boyfriend or girlfriend or spouse or parent to the people we love. We make decisions and say things that hurt the people we care about most. We betray them sometimes. We disappoint them. We fail to keep up our ends of the bargain. What being a mature adult asks of us, though, is to decide when such betrayals and disappointments and failures cross a line and when it’s time to let go of — or simply change the structure of — relationships that no longer serve us, emotionally. (What being a mature adult also demands of us is to recognize when we are the ones in the wrong and to apologize genuinely then.)
You can practice being a mature adult now. You can decide to forgive Kate for betraying you. You can shift the nature of your friendship and think of this as a “trial period” to see how her relationship with your ex-boyfriend impacts things. Maybe you’ll decide you cannot accept it and you no longer want Kate in your life. Maybe, in time, you’ll be able to forgive her (I imagine this will be easier to do once she is no longer involved with Rob, which I think will be sooner rather than later) and your friendship can continue, albeit with a little of the luster tarnished a bit. Also, in time, you may find that it’s often the tarnishes — the cracks and the scratches — in the finish of a friendship or relationship that give it depth and character. But these tarnishes are also often what end a friendship, too.
How will you know, how will you decide which way your friendship will go? Listen to your gut, and prioritize your heart’s desires over your ego’s needs. The very tricky part is to balance all of this with appropriate boundary-setting and not letting yourself be taken advantage of and walked all over. When you can do this, then you can call yourself a mature adult. And I bet at that point it won’t be guys like Rob catching your attention anymore. It will be the good and decent guys you’re probably busy ignoring right now.