Dear B. Scott,
A few weeks ago, I met up with a few friends and invited a guy who I use to date a few months prior. While “Joe” and I decided that we were better off as friends, we still shared a few intimate moments together during our brief romance: he met my family, and he remained someone special to me. So when Joe started flirting with my friend in front of me during our outing, I was stunned and upset. My friend was unaware of our romantic past, but they both realized I was uncomfortable.
Joe knew I still liked him and I was upset by his behavior; this was the first time I had brought him around my boys and I didn’t think he’d try to hit on any of them. After a few days, I accepted that they were going to hook up and get to know one another, so I gave them my blessing.
How do I deal with the fact that it bothers me that they may start dating? Should I cut the friendships out? I took the high road, but now I’m feeling resentment toward the situation. What would you advise?
In life there are always situations that are going to make you ‘feel some type of way.’ In each of those situations, you should be honest with yourself and acknowledge your feelings.
After you gave your blessing, you can’t take it back. It might have been premature, but at this point they could have bonded or developed a connection. It would be completely unfair for you to disrupt that because you changed your mind.
In the past, a friend started dating one of my exes, not knowing our history, and came to me with their excitement. I gave my blessing, but I later felt ‘some kind of way’ much like you did. I decided to let my friend enjoy the happiness he was experiencing, because I had no real reason for why they shouldn’t date other than the fact that we had history and for whatever reason it didn’t work. I weighed their happiness against my need to share how I felt and ultimately let it be.
However, if you feel the need to express your feelings — do it. But you can’t expect anything to change. If things stay the same, I would hope you use this opportunity as a chance to grow. It’s so important, even though it’s hard to do, to acknowledge and express how you truly feel from the very beginning. That is a lesson you won’t soon forget after this.
If you need to take some time away from the situation so that you can achieve clarity within yourself, then do so. You just have to be secure and trust that God and/or the universe has someone special for you. Besides, do you really want a man who would flirt with one of your friends in front of you?
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