Dear Harry and Louise
I’m a guy in my mid-thirties, and one of my best friends is a beautiful woman who is the same age. We have never dated; there really is no sexual tension, and I have a steady girlfriend that I’m crazy about. My friend dates all the time, quickly going through men and often breaking them down and leaving them in a puddle. I wish she would sometimes talk to me about these men, but she prefers to have those personal discussions with her girlfriends.
Here’s the problem: I’ve really liked some of these guys she has dated. We get along great, can talk sports, share confidences, laugh, and generally have a great time.
What can I do to maintain a friendship with the guys after they have been dropped by my friend? Why should they be off-limits just because we met through her?
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I sense a strong female and male reaction in your quandary.
Your female side wants to be in the dating game with your girl buddy. You said you wish she would sometimes talk to you about the men she dates. And maybe she could use a guy’s perspective, because in your view she’s dumping some fine fellows. But that ain’t likely to happen.
Your guy side wants to feel free to bond with the discarded ones. This is a perennial problem for anyone who’s close with a couple who split, whether they have been married for decades or dating for a few months. Obviously, it’s a more thorny and heart-wrenching problem if you’ve know the couple for many years. Nevertheless, it puts friends in a tough spot.
In your case, take it man by man, dumped by dumped. Hang out with the guy. See if your friendship grows. If the time arrives when you might want to mix the ex-boyfriend with your girl buddy, ask her if she would be comfortable with it. Ask him the same. As long as there are no surprises, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to establish friendships with these guys.
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People enter our lives by disparate means. One method of meeting new people is not inherently better than another way. These men came into view through the unorthodox conduit of a charismatic girl friend who has great taste in men. These men have done no harm to her and have certainly not meant any harm. When you first renew your contact with these fine, crestfallen gents, include them in an all-male gathering such as chest beating or shofar horn blowing . . . whatever it is you men like to do when women are scarce. There is no need to bring them directly back into the full fold that includes your beautiful friend. The men will soon reciprocate, and before you know it, you’ll be forging the beginning of a great friendship.
As long as you’re not rubbing anyone’s face in your newfound connections—and that doesn’t sound like your style—then the transition from guy friend to valued confidant can be a smooth one.
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Shofar blowing? Just have a beer. Men are not some kind of weird tribe. No drumming in the wilderness required.
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Wow. I’m pleasantly surprised at your sensitive insights! The writer may have the desire to be more involved in his friend’s relationships. I agree new friendships are possible in this case.
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And you agree your husband is getting in touch with his feminine side.