Friday, June 13, 2008

Advice Column #21

Hey Bartender!
So I am friends with this really great guy. He has been dating someone for awhile and from what I understand they are pretty serious. Two weeks ago we were hanging out at this bar and we got to talking about relationships...and how everyone I like seems to have a girlfriend already. The night ended up with me sleeping over at his house, in his bed. Things happened. We haven't spoken since. We agreed at the time that we wouldn't let the situation become awkward, but it has. Why won't he call me back? Can we be friends again?

Usually I would give you a drop shot of "what did you expect" in a frosty pint of "let this one go", but perhaps that simple solution won't help you figure out what is going on. What were you doing sleeping over his house? Do you want to date a guy who will go outside the boundaries of his relationship and violate the trust of his girlfriend? Why are you attracted to men who are not available? What do you expect to come of your awkward friendship? But it takes two to tango. If he's in a serious relationship, why did he let some other girl sleep over?

First, I want you to stop sleeping over boy's houses when you know they have a girlfriend. Whatever your excuse to yourself was, you need to know that this was a mistake. Any boy who would hurt his lover to have you isn't a boy you'd want. Getting some booty is no excuse for damaging someone else's heart, and no one in this tragic triangle can really feel good about it. Sure, it's his problem, his relationship, and his guilt- but you don't want to be spreading ill will around the cosmos, and you don't want the reputation of being a home wrecker.

I'm sure his recent avoidance of you is symptomatic of his guilty feelings about the things he can't tell his girlfriend, or did tell her- and the fury, sadness, and frustration that ensued. I'm not sure you can be friends again. I'm not sure you ever were before. Certainly if he did tell his girl about you, she's not going to want him to hang out with you. And if he didn't tell her about you, he might not trust himself around you, or you around her. Those are all reasonable reactions and fears. The moment you got into his bed, you decided that he was worth less to you as a friend than he was as a fling. That fling was going to end whenever he decided, and it seems to have ended much earlier than you would have liked. Maybe you could be friends with him, but he might never be able to face you. With the fateful night, ended your friendship. So now you have to let it go. Stop calling him.

You can either remorse that this fling and friendship have ended so quickly, or you can try to learn from your own actions. What about men in relationships draws you to them? What don't you like about men who are not in relationships? You need to do some soul searching and figure out if you're acting on a past experience: did someone cheat on you and now you are casting yourself in the role of the other woman? are you only allowing yourself to fall for men you can't have because you don't have time for anyone in your life right now? Don't spend this time, as so many women I know would, trying to figure out what he's thinking. Forget him. I mean it. I don't care what he's thinking. He's thinking about himself, and so should you. You don't want him anyway; you want the unattainable or to be the harlot. You need to ignore what he needs and think about yourself more. You weren't thinking about his best interests when you got into that bed, and you need to think about yourself to get your mind out of that bed. You can find a new friend, and there are thousands of single men out there, but until you know yourself well enough to know what led you to his sheets, you won't be able to have satisfying relationships with any of them.

Your goal, as a dater, shouldn't be to break up a happy couple and steal the man of your dreams away from someone else, but to have a happy trusting relationship with a drama-free man who only wants to be with you. You aren't going to get the latter from the first. So when you meet a guy in a bar, and he tells you about his girlfriend, ask him to be your wingman. Go talk to other dudes until you find a cute, available one. If you wanted to be the one night stand, he wouldn't have to call you back. If you didn't, you picked the wrong set of pajama's to untie. You made this bed, darling, and you need to get out of it. Practice, practice, practice.

So what I'm going to suggest is this: go to a bar and order something dark on draught. Why? Because men on the prowl (read single men) are strangely drawn to women with dark beers. I don't really know why, but go with it. Otter Creek Brewery in Vermont makes a caramel rich, malty porter called Sea Otter Baltic Porter. I read somewhere that Sea Otters float on their backs and use a rock to crack open the shells of crabs and other catches, using their own chests as the tables of their destructive food preparation. You should know that the otters who don't die from shark attacks eventually develop palpitations in their hearts from all the beating, and die from heart attacks. I think more of you than guts and blood spread shoulder to shoulder, and nothing but a broken heart to show from it all. I know you can find yourself a relationship that will make you happy, a night of conversation that doesn't beget loneliness. You need to cut your losses and dive back into the sea for a new catch, one with less attachments and more nutritious value. What's done is done, and you need to be done with it too.

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