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August 6, 2007 | by  | in Opinion |
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Ask Becci

I have a problem I could use some advice on. I am 18 and have been best mates with my best mate for 11 years……. we went to her 33 year old uncle’s house (who I have fancied for a long time) a couple of months ago and we had to stay there cos we got drunk so I could not drive home. My mate went to bed and left me and her uncle together talking. We had been flirting all night and he came on to me like I thought he would, and we had sex. I woke up at 6am, went down stairs got on the sofa and fell asleep so when my mate came down she thought I was there all night. We went home without waking her uncle. The next day she asked me if anything had happened between us. I said no and completely denied it. My mate later asked him about that night and he said that nothing happened, which I was fine with and we both decided that it should not have happened and that it would never happen again so that my best mate would not be upset. But every time I see him he comes on to me and we end up in bed. I don’t know what to do. I want to keep on doing it cos I like him and I think he likes me. I don’t care about the age gap, but I don’t want to hurt my mate. What do I do ?

It sounds like you’ve already answered this. If you want to keep seeing him, you should do so. Going out with a relative of a good friend is always a risky business (especially if there’s an age gap involved), but it sounds like you’ve made your mind up. But since you obviously feel guilty about this, you’re going to need to talk to your friend about it. Ask yourself, what is it that you’re afraid of? Will she be hurt, as you said, or just uncomfortable? If all she’ll feel is a little discomfort when she sees you two together, hey, big deal. Your own happiness should come before that. But if there’s something that will genuinely upset her, what is it? If it’s serious enough that she’d have concerns about the relationship, it’s probable that you should as well.

The alternative is to hide it from her. There’s an obvious down side to this: it only works for so long. People have a tendency to find out just the thing you’re trying to keep from them, especially when it’s relationship related. I can’t recommend that.

My advice to you is just to tell her what’s going on. Who knows, she may even be okay with it. If she’s not, take her opinion to heart, and form your own judgement on what to do.

Dear Salient,
In the last issue…I may have forgot to add all the information in, which is why I am confused on the advice.

I dated this girl for ten months last year, and have loved her since we first met in college. We went out, everything was perfect. But when our parents found out everything fell apart. Now I act as if I hate her, as I have a new boyfriend I love so much, but I am still in love with her. She is in two of my lectures, and every time I look at her…..it’s like….we look at each other with hatred yet love at the same time. I don’t know how to move on. Last year I spent two weeks in hospital after we broke up because I tried to overdose on pills. Didn’t work, thank God, and I just started uni…and since I`ve been seeing her around so much, it’s hurting me again. I have thought of dropping out of uni… and I would do anything to be with her again, but I couldn’t hurt my boyfriend like that, because I love him a lot. My friend once told me “she was your first love, but certainly not your last”, and it is true. And I have just discovered that. But the sad thing is that so many awful things have been said and done in the past few months… that we ignore each other, don’t talk or anything…….well we try avoid situations with each other. She is hot, yes, and I swear she lights up the lecture room. But it just hurts so much seeing her all the time and not being able too hold her or kiss her, and I`m barely coping. I just want too drop out of uni and run out of town to not be around her. I don’t know what too do. Please please help Salient!

I’m sorry, but my advice remains the same. You need to decide who you have the stronger feelings for, and act accordingly. If you truly love your boyfriend, you’ll be prepared to make the sacrifices necessary to preserve your relationship. If you’re not prepared to give up on this girl, well… Let’s just say you’ll have something you need to tell your boyfriend.

One thing’s for sure though. You can’t carry on misleading her. If you don’t hate her, don’t act as though you do! If you feel you need to drive her away because now you’re in another relationship, wouldn’t it be simpler just to tell her you’re in another relationship? She’ll more than likely respect that. You’ll feel better for having gotten it off your chest, and the temptation will probably be lessened. I mean, if she knows you’re in a relationship, she’ll be less likely to respond to any potential advances. Maybe then you could go back to being friends? Or maybe she’ll just stay out of your way a little, so you can feel better about you and your boyfriend. I don’t know.

As for all the “awful things” that have been said, while you can’t take them back, you can certainly make amends. Tell her that’s not how you really feel, and that you’re sorry. There’s really nothing to be gained from ignoring her, so you can cut that out as well. Hurt feelings can be mended. It can just take a little time. If you really dig this chick, don’t feel that something couldn’t be salvaged.

While dropping out of uni comes into most students’ heads at least once in their student life, you need to think good and hard about it before you decide that’s what you want to do. If things are really getting too much, there’s nothing to stop you taking a year or two off to work, and then coming back. It may do you good. But make sure that’s what you really want before you do so, and consider hanging on till the end of the semester. On the other hand, emotional stress is just as strong out in the ‘real world’ as it is up here in Kelburn, so unless your decision is academic related, there are normally better alternatives to just dropping out. Talk to some friends about it. And I should probably mention the people at the Counselling Service on Wai-te-Ata Rd are very friendly. They may be able to help.

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