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February 14, 2000   CONTINUED e-mail e-mail to a friend in need


Dear Breakup Girl,

I have been seeing my current boyfriend for six months now, and we have become really close; he is the one I will probably marry. My problem is my best friend. She does not like him because she doesn't like the idea of my moving to another state which will most likely happen if the relationship progresses further. I want to remain best friends, but how do I convince her that I am not leaving our friendship behind but, rather, moving into a wonderful, healthy relationship which will require my moving to another state? She gets so hostile towards him, and I feel she wants me to choose between them. I hate confrontations, but if she continues to be rude and obnoxious to him, our friendship will suffer. I don't want that to happen. She has been there for me through all my rough times and my good times. Now, my life is going great, and she is not happy for me. Help!


Dear Vivian,

You know, I think "fair weather friends" get a bad rap. When the weather's foul, Fraulein Schadenfreude is always delighted to whoosh in with a casserole and say, "There, there!"

But -- even though she's got a good track record in this regard -- sometimes it's when you're at the top of your game that it gets be harder for your friends to cheer you on. Especially when the event is Cross-Country Boyfriend Following. Your friend must be all, "Oh, great! Now not only do I have to see all those cute couples in the park; I also have to see one walking away... with my best friend!" It probably feels to your friend that your're breaking a law of sisterhood when crossing that state line.

Still: she, too, crosses a line when she is outwardly hostile to anyone but a voodoo doll of the Evil Friendnapping Boyfriend. She, yes, counterproductively, will put the friendship at risk. She, actually, is the one who'll have to choose: between you and ... no you at all. So perhaps talk now about whether she's feeling actively neglected ... or just flailingly sad. And what you all can do in the meantime to make sure there's balance, that she and you have "just us" time.

And if indeed you plan to move, you may have to sit down and -- just as long-distance couples should do -- bang out some friendship-maintenance guidelines. Do you make ICQ dates? Have girl-only visits? "Watch" "your" show together on the phone? Whatever. The only thing you can do is show her that you're as committed to your friendship as you are to your courtship. Right?

Breakup Girl



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