Dear Barb:

Dear Barb:

I have just finished my first year of university where I was living in residence with two roommates. Over the course of the school year, one of my roommates and I became close friends. We often went out together as neither of us had boyfriends. At the end of the year Erin met a guy and they became serious fairly quickly. I did not meet him until a couple of weeks ago. The problem is I know that he was involved in a gay relationship a couple of years ago. I don’t think he remembered who I was, so I didn’t act like I remembered him.

Since then, Erin and I both moved back to our home towns to work summer jobs, so we probably won’t see each other until school starts up in September, although we do talk on the phone. I can tell that she seems to be getting quite involved with Tim. When she talks about him, I just listen. I haven’t mentioned anything about him being involved in this gay relationship as I’m not sure if she knows about Tim’s previous life. I personally think this is something she should know and would probably want to know, but I’m not sure if I should tell her. I’m so confused!

Please help me to do the right thing.


Hi Lisa:

I really don’t think you should volunteer this information unless it comes up in conversation or she specifically asks you about it. For example, if she happens to say that she has some concerns about Tim’s sexual orientation, at this point it would be acceptable for you to disclose what you know. This is not the type of information partners can safely keep from one another. The truth will always find its way to the surface, especially since Tim was apparently involved in an openly gay relationship and not trying to hide it?after all, it sounds like you were only a casual acquaintance and were aware of this gay relationship.

Hopefully Erin and Tim have already discussed this issue, worked through it and are handling it in their own way. I feel if you decide to share this information with Erin without being prompted you may jeopardize your relationship with her. On the other hand if they have discussed Tim’s sexual orientation, they may also have decided when and if they will share this information with family and friends. You are obviously a concerned friend and by the way who knows what the next school year will bring, a lot can happen over the summer. Thanks for your question.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.

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