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Beneath the Sheets and On The Street: Awkward positions

So your friend starts dating someone and things are going well—basically, everyone’s vibing. He seems really sweet and as the token best friend, you make your best effort to get to know him, meaning third-wheeling Caf dates, going out with them on the weekends, and potentially giving up your room for the greater good.

Everything is sickeningly sweet but after the one month period, your friend and her hypothetical boo start to argue: it starts out with belittling one another in intellectual conversations but then progresses to the point where they start arguing over nothing, quite literally. It’s clear that the relationship is making your friend unhappy and you care more about her happiness so you urge her to do what she has to do: break it off.

So, she does. Now here’s where things start to get tricky. Clearly your alliance is with your best friend, but you’ve formed a friendship with her now-former significant other. What is the necessary protocol? Do you say hello to former boo in the halls or is your mere connection to the friend enough to send him into an even deeper post-breakup slump? Not to mention, maybe you were starting to enjoy his presence: is it okay to be friendly to him, even though your alliance is clearly with your friend?

I’ll acknowledge that there’s a great deal of awkwardness accompanying any of these situations. And I won’t even launch into the entire psychological concept of projection. Typically the best response to any sort of situation is to keep things friendly, but be wary of any strange middleman situation.

Your place is not to be his therapist or communication liaison. So remember that – and smile in the hallways. There’s no reason he should become a pariah just because he isn’t romantically involved with your friend. 

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