Ask Amy: Date said they can’t be together because her friend loves him

Dear Amy: I am middle-aged.

My sister, who lives out of state and keeps in touch with friends back home, put me in touch with one of her friends, “Susan,” who needed help with a little home repair.

I did this for her and we discussed a future floor project.

Due to her budget constraints, I suggested that we could do the floor work together. (I was mildly interested in her.) I thought maybe I blew her off, because I never heard from her again.

I connected with a woman on a dating app who is friends with both my sister and Susan.

The new woman, “Jill”, told me on our first date that she and Susan are lifelong friends and that Susan had told her she was in love with me since we first met, two years ago.

All without ever knowing!

Jill said we couldn’t be together because it would be a betrayal of Susan.

Jill and I hit it off and we agree that our chemistry is amazing. We discussed the difficulty of the situation at length.

Jill told me she was going to see other people. I’m a bit disappointed and confused.

Stuck: “Jill’s” interpretation of “girl code” seems to be that if a friend confesses a case of unexpressed and unrequited love, then Jill should stay away, regardless of her own feelings, impulses, or instincts.

Jill may be misreporting or exaggerating her friend “Susan’s” feelings for you, but I’ll venture this: that if Jill really wanted to go on a second date with you, she’d find a way to justify it — especially if the chemistry between you is “amazing”.

You could certainly contact Susan to attend to her floor — or other — needs, but you should ask yourself whether you want to invite participation with someone who is so passive and unreadable.

At the risk of dissuading you from connecting with your next great love, my gut feeling is that none of these women are right for you.

But in this regard, the most important thing to consider is what your own instincts are telling you.

Dear Amy: My husband goes out to dinner a few times a month with the kids, including “Theo,” a man he’s known since elementary school.

Theo’s wife “Teri” threw a birthday party for Theo where my husband and I met her. He asked if we would like to go out socially.

We got together a few times and it wasn’t that pleasant.

Terry took complete command, such as ordering food for the group and controlling the topics we discussed.

It’s not that we don’t like them, but we’re not interested in going out socially with them!

I’ve given every social cue there is: not answering calls, not returning texts, and breaking plans after it’s worn me out to do them in the first place!

My question is: How do I tell someone I’m not interested in being friends without hurting their feelings?

You want out: “Teri” obviously doesn’t read cues the way most people do, so you’ll have to be honest (but kind) with her. Because of her dominant personality, she may need to keep your dynamics and intentions clear.

You might say, “Obviously, our husbands are great friends, but we don’t seem to have much chemistry when we’re together as a couple. I’ll back off and let the men continue their special friendship without me.”

He may respond to this statement by doubling down on social pressure, and if so, you should say, “Thanks, but I just don’t want to get together.”

Dear Amy: The question of “I put up with enough“It really resonated with me.

My daughter also experienced painful rejection and bullying from her group of friends.

Her mental health suffered. She sought counseling and is successfully moving on with her life, but it has changed.

We were friends with the parents of some of the girls involved.

I gently mentioned this and got a very unpleasant response.

I realized I don’t want to be associated with these people anymore and quietly let the friendship go.

I am cordial when I see them, but we do not associate with them.

I hope Had Enough can go ahead as well.

Moving on: The ability to let go and move on is essential self-care.

©2022 by Amy Dickinson distributed by Tribune Content Agency

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