Dear Barb

Dear Barb:

I have a dilemma! My best friend John and I have been best buddies since grade school. Recently John and his girlfriend, Melissa, moved in together. At that time, I was attending university close to where they lived and was anxious to get out of my parent’s home. Therefore John and Melissa suggested I move in with them. I readily agreed, as this arrangement was financially beneficial for all of us.

Through the years I had been acquainted with John’s younger sister Kara, although I only saw her occasionally when I would meet up with John at his parent’s home. Once I moved in with Melissa and John I began to see Kara frequently, as she often visited. Eventually Kara and I began hanging out together and discovered an attraction for each other and we thought we might like to date. Since John and I are such good friends I didn’t see this as a problem. However, when I casually mentioned to John and Melissa that I was interested in dating Kara, I could tell by their reaction that they weren’t comfortable with this. In fact, Melissa was quite straightforward and said ?I can’t believe you guys are doing this.? Kara and I were confused but thought maybe we should try not to see each other, but the attraction was too strong. Now we are seeing each other secretly and we both feel awful. I really don’t know how to handle this situation. My relationship with John is very important to me. Subsequently, I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place.


Hi Pete,

Thanks for writing in with your predicament. This is a complex situation and I can definitely sympathize with all of you. Obviously John and Melissa were shocked and totally unprepared for this attraction to develop between you and Kara. As you say, you have known his sister for many years, so John probably finds it odd that you two have suddenly developed an attraction for each other. Is there any reason why he would not want you to date his sister? Perhaps information about your past relationships that you may have shared with him. Also, I’m sure John feels a need to protect his little sister and make sure she is not going to get hurt.

On the other hand, I believe that as adults, we should be able to date whomever we choose. After all, Kara could turn out to be the love of your life and you will never know unless you act on it. Perhaps the four of you could sit down and openly discuss your feelings. If you and Kara continue to see each other in secret it will cause more dissention when it does come to light, and you know it will eventually. Following this discussion give John some time to digest the information. Be respectful of his feelings. don’t flaunt your relationship with his sister, but you should not have to hide it either. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Since you and John have been friends for so long, he may also be concerned with how this situation will impact his friendship with you. Without a doubt the nature of your relationship with John will change, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Continue to spend time with John so he will realize you guys will still be good friends. It may take some time for everyone to adjust. Hang in there Pete.

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