I’m in a bad situation with one of my close friends. My friend is the type to keep his personal life in terms of dating a secret until he’s serious with a person. I respect that for him, and even admire him. The only thing is, he just told me about the guy he’s serious about and showed me his Instagram, and he’s definitely someone I hooked up with back in the day.
I didn’t know what to do when he was telling me about this boy, so I didn’t tell him anything. My friend really doesn’t get serious with people often, so I didn’t want to be the one that ruins sh*t. But I’ve been thinking I should say something in case the guy tells my friend, and then my friend looks at me crazy. I don’t like this guy at all by the way. I’m not sure what to do because I feel like I’m in a lose/lose situation. Suggestions welcomed.
-I Was Technically First
Dear I Was Technically First,
Thanks for writing to me. Your dilemma highlights what I’ve long believed about the gay community. It seems as if at any given moment, there are six degrees of separation from one gay man to the next. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve connected with a new friend or associate in the community and found out we had a mutual friend or old date in common. With that said, I’ve actually been in your shoes.
Long story short, I once found out a buddy of mine was dating my first (yes, when I say first I mean my first sexual partner). Now my friend didn’t have a knowledge of the people I messed with in college, so he had no way of knowing. However, I took a more direct approach when I found out my friend was talking with my “ex.” Not necessarily because I was trying to give him a heads up, but because I don’t like folks in my inner circle trying to date folks I’ve been with, but that’s a post for another day.
Look, even though our reasoning for wanting to tell our friends they are entangled with a former “partner” is different, the direct approach is still the best. I get it may be an awkward conversation, but your friend would rather hear it from you than from this man or someone else.
Suggestions going forward
- When breaking the news to your friend, be certain you emphasize that you and this guy he’s dating are not still romantically involved and you don’t still like him. That will help your buddy figure out how he should proceed with the man. Also, make sure you let your pal know that you value your friendship and just wanted to be honest.
- Remember, you aren’t responsible for someone else’s reaction. So if your friend gets mad, then he gets mad. Just give him time to sort through his emotions.
As always nothing but love,