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The symptom, not the disease 

About a month ago, I got drunk and slept with my friend's girlfriend. (He's not my best friend, more of a second-tier friend.) We both swore never to tell anyone and left it at that. Only problem is, we've been hanging out a lot lately and sending private messages to each other multiple times a day, but nothing physical. It's progressed to the point that our mutual friends are starting to notice that there's something going on between the lady and me. And, frankly, if someone I was dating were doing what she is doing, I'd consider it cheating.

Things came to a head a few nights ago when we ended up skinny-dipping and then showering together. We are obviously infatuated. We had a long talk about what to do: We are really into each other, but there are issues. For starters, she would have to break up with her boyfriend, something she would do in theory, but there are housing issues (she lives with him) and friendship issues (her best friend is his best friend's lady). Furthermore, I'm scared not only of getting beat to hell by her man, but of getting shunned by all of my friends for stealing another man's girl.

Everything is interconnected in the most fucked-up ways possible. I'm wondering if there is any way out of this with the desired result for everyone: the lady and I together, friends understanding of the situation, and her boyfriend not totally destroyed. I still like her boyfriend as a friend and a guy, and I don't want to crush him with a pre-winter breakup (it gets real lonely here in the winter).

Fucked In Madison

As "the lady" is not a wallet, a car, or a crusty old come sock, FIM, you can't "steal her" from a second-tier friend or anyone else. She is a free and autonomous individual; her affections are hers to award and hers to rescind. And as it's the lady who would be doing the dumping here, FIM, you wouldn't be crushing your second-tier friend with a pre-winter breakup, she would.

Let's not overestimate your importance in the little lady's drama, FIM. I'm sure you're a lovely person, you're a great fuck, and that you look good in the shower, etc., but you are only evidence that her relationship isn't long for this world, FIM, you are not the reason it isn't. This breakup was in the cards before you and that fateful drunken night. Your appearance on the scene may have given her an incentive to end a relationship that needed to end -- and end sooner rather than later -- but the relationship was doomed before you drunkenly banged the (shitfaced) lady.

In other words: You're just a symptom, FIM, don't flatter yourself by imagining you're the disease. That said, FIM, her friends and future ex-boyfriend may very well blame you when the breakup comes. The only way to avoid looking bad/culpable/responsible in their eyes -- and get the girl without the beating -- is to inform the lady that you're into her and want to be with her, but that you can't see her until she's free and clear. No more hanging out, no more texting, no more skinny-dipping, no more showering together until she's officially single and available.

So, Dan, I agree that men in their 30s and 40s who "date" legal teenage boys have a good chance of being scummy. But what about men who make no bones about just wanting some of that sweet twink ass and are honest with their just-out-of-high-school playmates? Is the 40ish man who says, "I am not in love with you. I might think you're cool. I do think you're hot. Let's fuck!" a refreshingly honest learning opportunity for a barely legal boy just out on his own? Or does the inherent power imbalance mean all older guys are self-deluding scumbags?

Thirtysomething Realizes Oldsters Lack Luster

The campsite rule applies here: So long as older persons leave younger persons in better shape than they found them, it's all good. And emphasizing to a young, horny, potentially love-struck teenager that, while there may be a mutual attraction, love isn't in the cards is one way an older person honors the campsite rule. But, as I've written before, since almost all older men willing to sleep with teenagers -- gay or straight -- are total scumbags, the older person should be regarded as scum until proven otherwise.

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