Dear Sasha, I hooked up with my best friend’s ex-boyfriend. I ran into him at a party and after a few too many drinks, made a very bad judgment call. We’ve both agreed not to tell my best friend because it truly didn’t mean anything. I feel awful, and I’ve been really stressed out about her possibly finding out somehow. We all kind of hang out with the same people on campus. She and her ex broke up over 4 months ago, and she’s been flirting with a new guy… I really don’t want such a stupid mistake to ruin our friendship. What do you think I should do? Would you forgive your bff if she came clean? S
I don’t need to give you a big ole public shaming here because I think you realize that what you did was stupid, inconsiderate, and selfish. The booze blame game doesn't wash either, because there’s no doubt in my mind that you were aware of what was going down between you and your friend’s ex. So S, it’s time to ‘fess up and own up to your sh-ttyness.
Now, you asked if I would forgive my BFF in this situation, and to be honest it would kind of depend. A) I would ask myself: Is my BFF a stupid, inconsiderate, and selfish person a lot of the time in our friendship? And B) Was my relationship with my ex serious? If the answers to both were “no” then I would forgive her, eventually, but there’s no doubt that I would feel utterly betrayed. The truth is that it’s not so much about the ex-boyfriend here, as it is that my friend – ie., YOU - would have chosen to hurt me. That’s what’s f-cked, and that’s what would take a while to forgive.
S, either way there’s risk involved in your decision to tell or not to tell. If you come clean there’s a risk she’ll kick your ass to the curb and if you don’t, well, there’s a good chance that someone will tell her for you. At the end of the day you have to pick your poison, but if you do want to be a good and honest friend then my advice is to cough it up. Tell her how awful you feel, tell her that you know what an asshole you are, and tell her how deeply you recognize the betrayal to your friendship. Then hold your breath and hope to God she abides by the hos before bros code.
Frankly S, this a bad situation all around, but I have a feeling you’re both pretty young, so if this was a casual fling and not particularly serious to her, then there's a decent chance you two can move on from this. In the meantime though, I would do some serious soul searching to keep a check on this kind of shady behavior to make sure you become a better friend in the future.
Thanks for your honesty and writing in! xx