Everything you need to know
My best friend, “Evan,” just got a new boyfriend, “Steve,” and I can’t stand him. It’s not romantic jealousy — I don’t like Evan that way, at least not since fourth grade when he explained to me that he liked boys. It’s just garden-variety jealousy, the kind where I miss watching movies with him without having to pretend I don’t notice them smooching during the slow parts, or having long conversations about books and movies without Steve interrupting to talk about (I swear) education reform in Indonesia. Whenever I ask Evan to do something, Steve is always there. I want my best friend to have a good relationship, but I want to hang out with him and not them all the time.
—Third Wheel And Not Glad
Hey there, TWANG,
As rock genius Elvis Costello once said, “Can it be so hard to calculate? Three goes into two — there’s nothing left over.” But all is not lost, TWANG. It’s likely that Evan is going through an infatuation stage when he and Steve just can’t be apart. Healthy relationships move past this stage, but you don’t have to wait for this to happen. Evan is your best friend — talk to him! Tell him that you like hanging out with the pair of them, but that you also need some “Evan time” for just the two of you. It’s okay to tell him that you miss the old days. Everybody likes to know that they’re missed! You don’t need to tell Evan that you “can’t stand” Steve, though — that’s not likely to help your case. After all, maybe you would be able to stand him if he wasn’t always attached to your best friend’s hip. All things — even Steve — are best in moderation, after all. Hopefully, Evan will figure that out soon.
My roommate is cheating on his girlfriend. He tries to hide it, but I’ve heard him on the phone, trying to be quiet as he sets up some nighttime rendezvous, assuring whatever girl it is that “ ‘Shelley’ won’t find out.” What should I do? Should I tell Shelley? Should I confront my roommate? This isn’t malicious or anything — I get along with my roommate pretty well, and I’m not trying to move in on the girlfriend (way too high-maintenance). But I’ve been cheated on in the past, and I’d be pissed if I found out people knew but didn’t tell me. What should I do?
—A Worried Witness
That’s a tricky situation you’re in there, but your first step is definitely to talk to your roommate, not the girlfriend. Tell him you know what’s going on, and tell him how you feel about it. “I know what it’s like to be cheated on, man, and it sucks. Don’t do this to Shelley. Either dump her or quit messing around.” If he doesn’t seem to be listening, you can tell Shelley about her jerk boyfriend if you want, but you’ll be resigning yourself to life with a roommate who hates you. It’s the right thing to do, but make sure you know what you’re getting into. It’s not your job to martyr yourself for someone else’s girlfriend.
Need advice? Send queries to email@example.com.