Mr. Right, please don't print my name! I'm a UW-Madison student, and my problem has to do with my best friend, who's a UW-Whitewater student. I'm going to disguise things so she can't tell who this is, but the gist of what I'm saying is all true. And that is that I'm attracted to her boyfriend and he's attracted to me. I know this because we recently shared a kiss and talked briefly about our feelings for each other. He said he wished he'd met me before he started seeing my best friend. I said I did, too. We haven't talked since then, which is over a week, but he keeps sending messages wondering when we can get together and talk. So far, I've been putting him off.
I feel extremely guilty over this. My best friend and I have known each other since middle school, and we're the kind of friends who usually tell each other everything. But I don't think I could possibly tell her about this. She would feel totally betrayed, even though all I've engaged in was a tiny little kiss. I should add that she's been complaining about her boyfriend to me for several months, saying she doesn't think they're going to make it. I have to bite my tongue when she says that, because I would love the opportunity to be with him. The thing between him and me has been heating up for a while. Lots of flirtatious glances, etc.
My question has to do with what you think would be a fair amount of time before I would be allowed to date this guy. He's hinted that he's ready to break up with my best friend. And the fact that they're both thinking about breaking up makes me think there might be the possibility for me to both wind up with this guy and hold my head high. It would require a lot of fancy footwork with my best friend, and I don't think I would tell her about that kiss for at least 20 years. But if I made sure I didn't have anything to do with their break-up, would I really be morally responsible? That's the question I would like you to answer, I guess.
Please respond ASAP.
A Friend in Need
A Friend in Need: If you made sure you didn't have anything to do with their break-up? Honey, it's way too late for that. You've already had everything to do with their break-up, and they haven't even broken up yet! You cast flirtatious glances at your best friend's boyfriend, which caused him to feel like he might have a chance with you, which caused him to treat his girlfriend like yesterday's news, which caused her to wonder whether he might be yesterday's news, which causes me to wonder whether you really understand what you've gotten yourself into. You're smack dab in the middle of stealing - not borrowing, not inheriting - your best friend's boyfriend. You are a Jezebel.
In your defense, everybody winds up doing this at one time or another, often in college. It's like a rite of passage or something, losing your best friend because his/her boyfriend/girlfriend glanced your way and, hell, you never liked your best friend all that much anyway. But - and I say this from experience - you will regret it someday if you take this any further. Your best friend will become your worst enemy. Your new boyfriend will drop you for the next flirtatious glance that comes along. And you'll be left with the sinking feeling that your (former) best friend and your (former) boyfriend would never have broken up if it weren't for you.
You can test that feeling right now, of course. Simply decide to completely shut down your best friend's boyfriend for - oh, I don't know - six months. And see what happens. Or fails to happen. I suspect they'll do just fine without you.
If you were the groom at your best friend's wedding, write to: MR. RIGHT, ISTHMUS, 101 KING ST., MADISON, WI 53703. OR CALL 251-1206, EXT. 152. OR EMAIL MRRIGHT@ISTHMUS.COM.