Dear Breakup Girl,
Best wishes from a core, real, die-hard Green Bay Packer Fan-esque fan.
I have had a few long term relationships (a few years each) but none for a while. I have never had a problem meeting women or even going on a date or two, but recently I haven’t been able to keep a long termer. I am in many ways too much of a friend for some women, but I am working on that. No one seems to set me up with anyone even though everyone claims they know someone I should go out with.
OK. Let’s get down to brass tacks. A platonic friend of mine (yet another who says I am too much of a friend, but I would make a good husband) took me out with a bunch of her friends just to hang out. I met a woman who was not only beautiful and friendly, but connected with me in a great, all beit non romantic way. Let’s call her Beth, because that’s her name. There was one small problem. She has a boyfriend whom she loves. So, she was clearly hands off, and I treated it as such. I told our mutual friend, Rhonda, that I have a huge crush on Beth. She thought it was cute and told Beth. I don’t mind. She’s flattered. I get a nice feeling that I made her feel beautiful and special, knowing DAMN WELL that nothing will come of this.
Well, Beth and her man are going through tough times. Real tough times. And Rhonda, our mutual friend, has always used my flattery as a way to cheer her up. “George thinks you are beautiful. He thinks this and that etc etc etc.” Rhonda, who dislikes Beth’s boyfriend, has been subtly pushing my case. In other words she wants Beth to leave her boyfriend and hook up with me. I of course said “I don’t want to be in the middle of anything.” But secretly I wanted her to. Now I know she has been suggesting that Beth take me a little more seriously while her relationship with her man gets tense. And I am guiltily encouraging it.
Should we stop this? Am I wasting time that I could be using to get more single women to reject me? Are we evil for wanting a 2 year long relationship to crumble while I swoop in? Should I ever be anything obstensively except innocent bystander? Do I have a shot? Hell. If I knew the answers of any of these questions, I wouldn’t be at this site. By the way, Rhonda introduced me to this site. Anyway, I need your opinions on the situation.
— The Author of the Coup D’Etat
Thanks for the cool Packers-analogy compliment. No matter what level of success she reaches, BG will never do Dallas. If you know what I mean.
Anyway, I kinda think you’re okay, as long as Rhonda’s doing the brokering (as opposed to your doing the poaching). Bystand away — but don’t wait forever. Some relationships stay on the rocks for good, or at least from law school to the White House. And if Beth does become single, don’t swoop too soon; not until Rhonda reports that Beth is out of the rebound zone. Unless of course by that time you’re already dating Rhonda.
This advice was originally published November 16, 1998.