Doctor NerdLove, I was hoping you could possibly help me with an extremely tough situation I am in.

The woman I have been interested in for the last month, who’s also quite a great friend of mine, has a boyfriend who’s by no means a good human being. The other day I found that he’s cheated on her several times and I have decided that as a buddy it’s my obligation to tell her. I’m not positive if that is the right choice, however, and I’m uncertain how to tell her all. If you could please weigh in on this, I would seriously appreciate it! Thank you so much.

Waiting In The Wings

Well, you asked, but I do not think you are going to like my answer.

Here is what you can do, WitW: you back the hell away.

To begin with, let’s be fair here, only you, me and the Web: you are not doing this from the goodness of your own heart. You did not decide that it is your duty to tell her because you’re that great of a friend, you are trusting that when you tell her she is going to ditch her cheating scumbag of a boyfriend and fly to your arms as the person who helped her see the truth. Which, to be perfectly honest, is a fairly shitty reason to intentionally insert yourself into the middle of someone else’s relationship drama.

However, for the sake of argument, let’s match this out somewhat. Let us assume that I give you my blessing to telling your crush about her allegedly philandering beau or you chose to go and inform her regardless. How, exactly, do you believe she is going to react? Here is a hint: she is going to take it seriously. The only question is that she is going to be pissed at.

And the smart money says it is likely to be you. You might have noticed that people do not appreciate bad news. In reality, we tend to get irrationally angry at the man who brings us the bad news, whether it’s their fault or not; there is a reason why”don’t shoot the messenger” is a frequent term, after all. So you are already starting off with your prospective hunny-bunny ticked off that you are telling her that something is rotten in Denmark.

But then there is another step: why should she believe you? Have you got proof? Have you got unquestionable proof which you could actually show her? Proof that could not possibly be clarified? Because in case you do not, then it is likely to be your word against her boyfriend. And sure, her boyfriend could be an assbag, but he is still her boyfriend. This gives him more credibility in her eyes than you’ve… particularly if either of them know that you have got a crush on her. And believe me, if she does not, he almost certainly does. This will be leveraged against you — you are going to look like you are lying up so as to split them up.

Now let us add another wrinkle to the mix: what makes you so sure she does not know already? You do not say you understand when it occurred, if she discovered before, if he confessed or she confronted him {} they have worked or not. None of which will work out for you how you are hoping.

Let us throw a third wrinkle: how would you find out? Can you prowl through his telephone or emails? Because she is going to need to know… and she is going to need to know why, exactly you’re prying into her company. All this will make a difference, since it is likely to be demonstrating your schedule rather strongly. And if you two are not honest-to-god BFFs — that, from the sounds of things, you are not — it is going to seem like you went digging for dirt, even if we grant that your motives were as pure as the driven snow. And that will bring you right back to that credibility issue.

But hey: let us say that you have the ability to thread all those needles and she dumps her good, scummy boyfriend. Assuming she does not lash out at you for inducing her break-up, she is still not likely to swoon into your arms. She is going to be pissed off at men generally and in no mood for the attempting to be the next in line… in reality, she is probably going to resent it. Women do not appreciate it when men suddenly assume that the window of opportunity is open since they have literally just broken up with someone. She is going to need a while to recuperate and your hanging around so as to help her through this ordeal will begin verging rather seriously into Nice Guy territory.

In short: you have got yourself your fundamental no-win scenario. And you’re not likely to Kobayashi Maru your way through this.

This is not your business. Your becoming involved is just going to add another layer of drama to someone else’s relationship. And even under the best of circumstances, it is going to end badly for you.

Leave it alone.

Hey Doc,

Got a question for you. I am a woman who recently took the initiative and asked out a guy I had some chemistry with. We’re in exactly the exact same fandom world, and finding nice and ordinary people among us is quite infrequent.

I started to reach out to him email a couple of months ago. We had a couple of conversations, where he threw in some remarks seemed like bad attempts at flirting. Not everybody has game, right? But after initiating a few discussions, I decided to let him reach out to me, and he did not. OK. Fair enough. Moving on….

Then I reconnected him in a recent event, and he began reaching out to me with gusto — mails, pictures (clothed!) , etc.. He confessed to basically stalking me on social networking, though he does not actually have a social networking presence himself.

So after a couple of weeks of email flirting, I chose to be a grown-ass girl and ask him out. What I got back was a long, rambling email where he admits to being in relationship with somebody else, but he does not want to lose what”we have.” I have never seen evidence of him with a significant other, and I would be very pissed off if a boy of mine was having this sort of relationship with another woman.

There have been a few short email exchanges because my rejection. He has done all the reaching out — I guess either to take my temperature to find out if I’d still speak to him or checking in to make sure I have not sunk into a huge melancholy (trust me, I have not ).

What’s up with guys and their hidden relationships? Perhaps his rambling was a wonderful way to conceal that he just was not into me? Since I’ll run into this guy at forthcoming fandom occasions, what do I do? Frankly, I feel totally embarrassed and humiliated. I sort of want to tell him to go to hell, but I do not want to be the bitter bitch who hates him because he turned me down. I also need to prevent him, but that gets tiring, also. Trust me, if I had any idea he had a long-term GF or would turn me down, there is no way in hell I’d have asked him out in the first location. What was he doing beginning this sort of connection with me in the first place? Can I bother to keep a friendship that he seems to desire even though I know it will not be enough for me?

Thanks,

There are a whole lot of possibilities here TC. It is possible he was stringing you along because he enjoyed the flirty attention you had been giving him. Or it is entirely possible that once you reconnected, he decided you were cool and wanted to be friends. I can not say for certain one way or another — after all, I was not there, and without depriving you both and reading the transcripts, it is kind of hard to say whether he had been flirting — you say his match seemed kind of weak — and if so, how much of it was just flirting because flirting is fun and how much of it had been flirting with intent. All that being said: I do not believe he had been leading you on, and I do not believe he was deliberately concealing the fact that he had a girlfriend. Considering that you are operating in similar circles — fandom will be a small world, after all — it is entirely possible that he presumed you knew he was seeing somebody. Why didn’t he bring her up when you’re speaking? Well: I have not seen the transcripts, but it is possible that the subject just didn’t come up. I have had many, many discussions with my friends — people both — where we do not talk about our significant others just because there’s no call. It is possible — even advisable — to have a life outside your connection after all.

I also am willing to wager {} no idea you were to him. When you straight-up out him, he suddenly realized that you two were not on the same page and suddenly things got awkward. Or perhaps he had a hint that you liked him but was prepared to ignore it in hopes that you would wind up romantically interested in somebody else and you would not have this nascent infatuation between the both of you.

Either way: shit done got bizarre.

Before I get into what to do about this, I wish to deal with your question about what was he doing beginning a relationship with you whatsoever. Something to bear in mind is that men generally have more emotionally intimate friendships with girls than they do with other guys. It’s a good deal easier for men to open up to girls than it is for other men; regardless of how much people can talk about bromances, being open and emotionally intimate with another dude is still seen as being unmanly. The term”bromance” conveys the”ha ha, it is kind of like you are dating” pointed nudging and also not-quite joking, and men can be uncomfortable with this. Thus, we often seek out closeness from our female friends, who have a tendency to be less judgmental and more accepting of emotional openness. When you look at it from one angle, yeah, it may sort of look like a romantic relationship… but it is about fulfilling an emotional need than attempting to begin an intimate relationship or conduct an affair.

But all that aside, the immediate question is: what do you do now that this is out there, flopping about on the table like an Awkward Turtle? At the moment, you are feeling ashamed and probably a bit angry. Take some time to allow the sting fade along with the anger cool off. As soon as you’ve gotten beyond the immediate pain, you are likely to realize that it isn’t as bad as it sounds . Liking a dude who does not like you back the exact same way is not embarrassing. Getting turned down, while sucky, is not something to be ashamed of. All that happened is that you found out that the both of you were not compatible. In the long run, there is no harm, no foul. It’s tough to see it today, but with time and perspective, this will wind up being one of those things you look back with entertainment among the wackadoo elements of the relationship game.

He clearly expects to keep your friendship. As I am always telling men, one of the difficulties with being at the Friend Zone is that you are choosing to remain there. You state that being friends is not going to be sufficient for you — fair enough, that is a legitimate option. Just do not cure his wanting to be friends like he is offering you the booby-prize, or that being friends is a bad substitute for romance.

If you don’t wish to be friends with him and you do not need to spend the remainder of your time preventing him whenever you may be at exactly the exact same event, then I recommend you be straight with him. Tell him that he is a cool guy and you like him, but you’re hoping for something more.Let him understand that trying to be friends with him would to be painful for you and it is not fair to either of you to attempt to continue things when you are longing for something he is not able to provide you with. And then you simply let matters drift apart. If you happen to run into each other at events, then be polite, say hello and just keep going. If things get awkward, then simply acknowledge the awkwardness. It doesn’t need to be a teeth-grindingly embarrassing situation if you don’t let it be.

Very good luck.

This post was formerly published on Doctornerdlove.com and is republished here with permission from the author.

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