As the philosopher Mindy Kaling once said, A best friend isn't a person. It's a tier. As a bestie I made in adulthood, Sarah was a find They'd been dating for forever (which empirically means five years) and living together for four years. They'd had two cats and had purchased a non-Ikea sectional sofa that involved fabric-swatch selection. This, as we all know, is a gesture tantamount to a wedding-venue deposit I take some solace in how much of an outlier she is — I hadn't snaked a still-fresh ex of any of my other friends before or since — but it did force me to be kinder to and more patient with the pals I had left. If I exhibit the capacity for such insensitive greediness, I can only imagine the other shortcomings they're forced to put up with.
I split up with my ex a year ago and quickly started dating. I met someone nice, but within weeks I discovered that my ex and my best friend had started a relationship. When I found out, I felt a rage I had never experienced. I want to forgive them but I can’t. I feel betrayed: it’s eating me up and affecting my current relationship.
I know we can’t help how we feel for people, but I just wish they had looked elsewhere for comfort and love. Ouch. As much as it hurts, the worst you can say about your ex-boyfriend’s behaviour is that it lacked imagination and grace. Granted, I’ve always found it disconcerting how once our relationships end we go from being the most important person in our significant other’s life to strangers – often overnight – but pursuing self-interest is standard post-breakup protocol.
There are rare instances when people establish a real friendship afterwards, but that requires a suitable cooling-off time first. And let’s face it: he doesn’t sound like stellar friend material anyway. The real betrayal is that of your best friend. Honesty and trust are the foundations of friendship and she has effectively trashed both. The chances of maintaining a friendship with her is unlikely, particularly if she is still dating your ex.
However, the forgiveness part is work that you must tackle, for your benefit. People think of forgiveness as something that has to happen all at once, like a religious epiphany, and when they can’t feel it, they give up. It’s more helpful to see it as something to practise, like piano or yoga. The more you do it, the better you get and the stronger you become.
I’m not suggesting you should have any kind of relationship with either one of them. Forgiving them isn’t contingent upon having them in your life. Try to take a few quiet moments from your day to reflect on the act of forgiveness, in all its forms.
Think of people you would like to forgive (your ex and your friend), as well as those you might have hurt and who would like to forgive you.
Maybe a girl you were unkind to in school, or someone you were dishonest with. Maybe you are the person you need to forgive. Focus on forgiving only as much as you can. Even the tiniest amount makes a difference. Perhaps by summer it won’t just be your wardrobe that feels lighter.
It will be your heart, too. • Send your dilemmas about love, family or life in general to
my best friend is dating my ex - What should I do if my best friend is dating my ex girlfriend?
A couple of years ago, I met a beautiful, intelligent, hilarious girl I wanted to befriend. We'll call her Sarah since that is absolutely not her name. I'd met her through her boyfriend, Paul*, who used to work with my old roommate. We were at a Friendsgiving potluck, and I girl-crushed on her instantly. Part of it was because she looked like Jane — Daria's BFF from the MTV series — with precise, delicate features, dark eyes, and crazy angular hair.
The other, extraspecial part was that Sarah happened to possess the bawdiest, blackest sense of humor that you can have without being evil inside. Needless to say, I was smitten. You know how the friends you make later in life tend to be especially high-quality? Not only do you have a better sense of who you are and you suffer fewer fools, but also since you're no longer beholden to the nonsensical hierarchy of "being cool," you can cherry-pick only those smarty-pants weirdos with whom you can really laugh.
As the philosopher Mindy Kaling once said, "A best friend isn't a person. It's a tier." As a bestie I made in adulthood, Sarah was a find. Not only did we enjoy the same wine, but we also trusted each other's advice, frequently making lists of talking points that we wanted the other's brain on.
We were lucky, and we knew it. And then I ruined it. To this day, it's still murky as to why I screwed over Sarah so hard that she no longer speaks to me. Thing is, she's right not to. And for what it's worth, I'm really sorry. Here's what happened: She and Paul broke up. My boyfriend and I broke up. Sarah and I commiserated. And then — aided by exactly one zillion drinks and a coincidental run-in at a bar — Paul and I commiserated.
Sarah and Paul, by all counts, had seemed to be on the marriage track. They'd been dating for forever (which empirically means five years) and living together for four years. They'd had two cats and had purchased a non-Ikea sectional sofa that involved fabric-swatch selection. This, as we all know, is a gesture tantamount to a wedding-venue deposit. Their party line was that it was mutual. We were stunned all the same. But probably not as stunned as Sarah when, several months later, I admitted that Paul had asked me out.
This is when she asked me explicitly — to my face, eyes shining — not to date her recent ex. The relationship aftermath remained messy.
There were still custody battles over pets and friends, and she implored me not to further complicate things. I did what any decent human would do — I said, "What? Never!" And then I turned around and did. Of all the record-skipping moments in life I wish I could have a mulligan on, this is one. It was a big mistake. Huge. (Cue Julia Roberts in a hat shaking enormous shopping bags.) Here's the thing about my weird, six-month "thing" with Paul. I knew deep down that he wasn't the prize, but I couldn't leave him well enough alone.
Of him and Sarah, she was the nut. Paul was nice and had all his hair and we were decently attracted to each other's newness, but I always suspected that he and I wouldn't work out. And yet, when I heard that he liked me liked me, I went on creepy autopilot mode and activated the relationship-launch sequence. This is how I'm broken. I've been in a string of long-term relationships since I was 13.
I was a child the last time I was single. As red flags go, this one could blanket Central Park and is maybe on fire. I'd had a couple of dates with other perfectly swell guys, but they were stilted and tiring. Besides (and this casts me in a poor light), Paul seemed vetted. He was familiar and safe by transitive properties since Sarah was smart and normal. And then something even grosser happened. Not only was I toxic to Sarah in a craven, so-not-cool way, but I also couldn't deal with my own guilt.
I'd never betrayed a friend in such textbook mean-girl fashion, and the tangly, barbed feelings about my bad behavior became so cross-wired with her disdain for me that I declared her my enemy. When Paul talked about his "ex," even in passing, I'd add the grievance to the list of recriminations that warranted my dislike of her. I never bad-mouthed Sarah. I maybe once talked smack about how I had better nail beds.
I was embarrassed enough of my actions that I largely avoided functions that presented the danger of too much social overlap. Even in the aftermath of their breakup, I felt like the other woman. I simply did not belong where I'd shoehorned myself. Just before Paul and I petered out, Sarah landed a splashy, lucrative, high-powered job. I'd already worked myself into a crazy-girl competitive lather with her, and when I heard she'd snagged a dream job that wasn't even my dream job, I felt hateful and sick.
The news resulted in one of the few panic attacks I've ever experienced. It was ugly. I knew that I'd done something awful. The part I couldn't reconcile is that it would spur a defense mechanism that made me hate the person I'd harmed. It's years later, and by now, she could think of me just as a nuisance or buzz kill, but I feel queasy when I hear her name or see something Sarah-specific-funny. She's a walking, breathing, highly Google-able testament to how I messed up. I take some solace in how much of an outlier she is — I hadn't snaked a still-fresh ex of any of my other friends before or since — but it did force me to be kinder to and more patient with the pals I had left.
If I exhibit the capacity for such insensitive greediness, I can only imagine the other shortcomings they're forced to put up with. The part that makes me paranoid is when I consider the ways in which this will bite me in the ass.
For months, when I began dating a really cool, sweet guy, I drove myself insane waiting for that karma spore to detonate. I was convinced he would cheat on me or find someone shinier, better, purer of heart.
Oh, P.S., I'm Catholic too, so the guilt part always carries a maddeningly long tail. Truly, I just wish we were both guys. Sarah would punch me in the face, and we'd be hugging it out by now. Recently, I saw Sarah at a party in the bathroom line.
She looked great. Happy. I was curious to see how I'd act — what I'd say and what she'd say back. But not so curious that I didn't hightail it the hell out of there. The next thing I'm going to work on is my fear of confrontation.
I'll get to it. If only searing guilt and misplaced envy weren't so damn time-consuming. This article was originally published as "The Friend I Effed Over" in the April 2014 issue of Cosmopolitan. to get the issue in the iTunes store! RELATED: Photo credit: Getty Images
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I DATED MY BEST FRIEND'S EX?