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I hooked up with my best friend's boyfriend

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  May 11, 2011 07:00 AM

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Q: Dear Meredith,

A few months ago I drunkenly hooked up with my best friend's boyfriend. Let me give you a little bit of the back story: A group of us had gone away for the weekend and at the last minute my best friend, "Mia," was unable to go. At the end of a very drunken night, my best friend's boyfriend, who I will call "Darrell," and I ended up in bed together. The next day I felt horrible and for the subsequent weeks I debated telling my friend time and time again, but ultimately decided against it and have attempted to move on. I have been away for the past few months since the "incident," and just returned home to where Darrell also resides. Mia has also been away and will not be returning for several more weeks.

My dilemma is this: I have been tortured by guilt these past few months but never did I consider the added complication of having feelings for Darrell. Ever since I have been back I find myself (naturally) thinking about what happened and considering what I would feel it if were to happen again. Darrell and I have hung out a couple of times since I have been back, and I really enjoyed our time together, coming to realize all that we have in common. It was a great hookup, from what I can recall, and now with these developing feelings I feel like I am headed toward a cliff. I do not want to hurt Mia but I also have put my own feelings aside time and time again in order to put my friends' feelings first. I know that Darrell loves Mia but I think we have something, too. He isn't exactly trying to keep his distance.

I've tried to avoid him but I can't seem to keep my distance either and I know given the right situation something will happen again. But I have a history of wanting what I can't have so I guess my question is this: Am I wrong to test the waters and see what this could be? I don't want them to break up and then realize I just wanted him because he was "untouchable." I also don't want to jeopardize my friendship with Mia for Darrell -- she is so important to me and I can hardly believe I am even considering this. I know this whole situation will probably end badly but I am sick of never putting my own feelings first. Is there any hope for a happy ending here?

– Careless and Confused, Cranston


A: No happy endings, CAC. Sorry. You can maintain the status quo and stay guilty and smitten with your best friend's boyfriend, or you can tell Mia what happened and maybe lose her as a best friend. If you do that, you'll probably lose Darrell, too. And if you don't, and he drops her for you, you probably won't be able to enjoy him.

What can you live with? Telling? Not telling? Losing Mia? Living the rest of your life without ever kissing Darrell again?

Let me answer those questions for you. You said in your letter that you know that you love Mia and that you don't want to lose her. As for Darrell, you're not sure. You said that you don't even know whether your desire for him is about him or about wanting what you can't have.

So trust your own words. You can either tell Mia what you did and grovel, or don't tell her and live with it (for the record, I'd tell). Either way, stay away from Darrell. He's not yours. I don't care if there's an attraction. I don't care if you always put your friends' feelings first. You're not entitled to sleep with your best friend's boyfriend. No one is.

There are a zillion dudes out there. Take some space, deal with your conscience, and force yourself to let go of what's not yours.

Readers? Should she tell Mia? And should she pursue Darrell? Is she entitled to anything here? Help.

– Meredith


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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.

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