Written by Sasha

Dear Sasha, Ugh - I hate myself for writing this to you. I'm 38 and I feel like I just got 'back to the futured' to grade 7. Here's the scenario - when I started on FB a few years ago an ex boyfriend friend requested me and I accepted. An ex from over 10 years ago who's married with 3 kids. We would occasionally wish each other happy birthday but beyond that nothing. We still share quite a few mutual friends (around 30). I was on FB this weekend and wondered what he was up to and discovered that we are no longer friends. Some time in the past 4 months (I know I looked at his profile during his birthday in the fall) he must have defriended me. What bothers me the most about this is that I care!! I don't care about him - he was a disastrous boyfriend who cheated on me, so I can't figure out why I feel like such a loser. His wife never liked me - he and I slept together in the very, very early stages of their relationship but I don't even think she knows this and this is so far in the past that there's no way this could have been the catalyst. I'm an active user of FB yes, but not a serial, daily updater and I usually have an ask or post something that people comment on (ie: not the kind of person that announces I'm going for a nap) so I'm confused as to why he cared enough to defriend?? Anyway - I feel such a weird awkward shame around the whole thing and feeling that feeling is getting me even more down. I thought I was confident and secure - I have a happy life with my husband of 3 years and great friends, a great job, etc. etc. but this incident has left me feeling like a total loser. Help. A

Whoa, I guess some people really do take Facebook seriously. And unfortunately A, it looks like you’ve been sucked into its tweaked social vortex. Hopefully I can pull you out.

So here’s the thing with Facebook. While I think it’s great for many reasons ie. Promotion, reestablishing old friendships and of course major ex stalking, it’s also the sh-ts. Let’s face it; FB is just a platform for people to boast. It’s a place for bragging rights, nerd redemption, proving popularity, and a whole bunch of other irritating things (like, I don’t care how many times you work out in a week and I sure as hell don’t care to know a play by play of your child’s development). It’s basically cyber-high school, and with this kind of social structure in place comes the potential for hurt feelings.

So let’s get to the bottom of these feelings of loserdom. This de-friending seems to have definitely brought back some buried resentment for this guy. I’m not saying you’re not over his ass but I think it’s safe to say that you never truly got over the rejection from his cheating ways. And now that you’ve discovered he’s pressed the delete button, those feelings of not having a say or not having control over the situation have come flooding back. And again, I know you’re not pining for him but you obviously liked having him back in your life in some capacity. Maybe you liked the idea, that like you, he creeped on your page now and then, and got to see your happy life, your hot pics, and your witty updates….Can you own up to that?

Now I’m almost afraid to tell you this, because I don’t want you think about this any longer than you already have, but it's also quite possible it's a technical f-ck up. I have one acquaintance who actually got upset at me when she thought I de-friended her. And I swear to G-O-D that I not only don’t care enough to do something like that but I’m far too lazy to figure out how to delete someone. So if it makes you feel any better….that’s a possibility.

Okay, now that we've had our moment of empathy, its time for me to switch gears and slap you back into reality. Like, I get why you would feel slighted for a second but holy sh-t! Don’t waste another moment letting this f-ck with your sanity. You have REAL friends in your life, a REAL husband and a REAL life so why the frick are you wasting time on some dude you f-cked a decade ago.

A, I actually think this might just be a blessing in disguise. The fact that you let this guy hurt you again is a big sign that you may still have some unresolved feelings that, well, might be better unresolved. You were obviously more invested in his ‘friendship’ than you thought.

I hope I’ve helped you back into the world of the sane, either way I’m off to search Facebook and see what you look like.

Hey Sasha. After my cheating hubby left me with a couple of babies to raise, I spent 5 years keeping things light and casual in the romance department. I wasn’t rocking the martyr thing… just put my energy where I wanted it. I did have one longer term romance with a single dad which was great for what it was… laughter and banging with a totally hot and charming player who made me laugh. We bonded on a friendship level a lot more intensely than I had anticipated, since he was such a womanizer (not my thing… no weakness for bad boys… I like my men good), but there was real value in our connection. Eventually I ended the sexual side of our relationship for all the right reasons, and we seamlessly downshifted into a best friend support system mode and leaned on each other through the years as single parents. Every now and then, we’d look at each other, shrug and go for it… maybe twice a year. low drama, convenience f**king where no one got hurt. Now I’ve fallen in love. And this new guy is everything I want. While he’s not the jealous type, as far as he’s concerned, my buddy is a former boyfriend, on-again / off-again “lover” and buddy’s presence in my life sucks for him. Buddy works with me. His best friend is married to my best friend. Extricating him from my life would be about 8 steps past complicated. And while I understand BF’s discomfort, I don’t want to ditch a friend for a new romance. On the other hand, BF is a genuinely stand-up guy whose feelings deserve consideration, and yes… Buddy and I do have a history. Buddy and I now keep our socializing to at the office, or in groups. Infrequent phone calls, texts, emails and no alone time over at his place anymore. Neither guy is particularly pleased with this compromise. I feel guilty no matter what I do, because it hurts both these guys who mean so much to me.
How do I balance these men? They’re starting to pee in circles around me. AM

Oh damn, this is definitely complicated so I’m gonna dive right on into this.

First of all I want to make it clear that I am not cool with anyone imposing rules of any sort – by no means should you ever allow someone to tell you who you can, or cannot be friends with. If you partner doesn’t have the ability to trust you to have platonic friendships then they’re either a jealous freak or a control freak, and both those types of people can eat a big fat dick. If you sign yourself up for that kind of unbalanced relationship….good luck.

But the good news here AM, is that your bf doesn’t seem to be pulling any weird ultimatum sh-t. And so far I think you’ve been playing the situation right. When you start a new relationship you need to be sensitive to the fact that this person is entering new territory, which means, if we’re sticking with the dog theme, he needs to sniff some serious ass before he’s kosher with you and buddy being tight. So I think your bf deserves a grace period before he’s totally integrated into your scene.

So here’s the thing. I’ve had many conversations with guys about this precise topic, and this is what I’ve learned. The reason why a lot of guys don’t like their gf’s to have close guy friends is because they know how f-cking sick most men are. It’s been put to me this way: Even though you’re friends with a guy, if at any point the girl says ‘let’s f-ck’ then your (guy) friend would never turn that down. Translation: Guys can be your friends but they’ll still always want to f-ck you if you’re game.
I’m not saying I buy this hypothesis, but I do buy that this is how a lot of guys, including your boyfriend, think. Oh and I’m sure your boning history with buddy doesn’t help - no guy ever wants to know that another guy has seen their chick’s vagina.

So AM, carry on being mindful of his feelings and I’ll bet after a few months, he’ll get a grip. As for Buddy, I get why he’s probably feeling a bit dissed but I would just be honest and let him know that right now your bf is trying to suss everything and everyone out, so just ask him to be a good friend and be patient.

I'm nineteen and on my second year of college. This is just some background info for the story that follows. When I moved to college (it's very far from my home town), I had been boyfriendless for two years, and I was feeling kinda lonely. So one of the girls whom I shared an apartment with, who became a very good friend of mine, introduced me to her childhood friend. Shortly after (oh my god, I sound so easy), me and him became friends with benefits. I mean, we both agreed to keep our relationship strictly physical, and everything went great. We liked talking to each other, and the sex was good, everything was fine. Actually, it was so fine that we started seeing each other in a context that involved clothes, and soon we were holding hands on the street, stealing kisses in bookstores, and having breakfast at Ikea. After five months of this, I decided to stop waiting for him and asked what were his intentions and if he wanted to be my boyfriend. Apparently he did, because we've been seriously dating for six months now (almost a year since we met) and we have a pretty perfect relationship. Only one problem. After a lot of thinking, I reached the conclusion that I love him. We are so great together, and I feel so comfortable, we even talked about what's going to happen after college. He has talked to me about living together (we already kind of do, even if he has his own apartment) and even getting married, in a distant future. F-ck, one day he even started talking about kids, without me saying anything about it. So I told him I loved him. And his response was "Can I not say it back?".
I didn't want to be Marisa Cooper (in the O.C, when Ryan doesn't say it back either), so I didn't make a big deal out of it. I just said "Okay, but now you know how I feel". Of course I couldn't really let it go so the next day I asked him why he didn't say it, was it because he couldn't utter the words or because he didn't feel that way about me? He answered that he didn't say it because he wasn't sure that was really how he felt, but that he liked me a lot.
It's been a month now, I haven't had the courage to press the issue any further, and I don't feel I should break up with him because of it, I mean, he obviously likes me, he acts like it at least, and we are so good together. I tried to convince myself that he just can't say it, but I'm not sure. What do you think? What should I do? R

I’m not going to pretend like this doesn’t suck, but at the same time what can ya do? If you’re happy with this guy, having a great time and the relationship just keeps on getting better, then the fact that he hasn't said ‘I love you’ back yet shouldn’t be a deal breaker. You know, actions speak louder than words.

And I actually kind of give this guy props for being honest with you. I have to admit that I’ve ‘lied’ and pulled the premature ‘I love you’ trigger just so my boyfriend wouldn’t feel embarrassed or sad. And while I may not have been IN love at the moment they expressed it to me, it didn’t make me not want to be with them, in fact it made me excited to get there. So R, would it have been better if he had just said it back just for the sake of making you feel better?

I guess my point is that when he does finally tell you he loves you, at least you’ll know he really means it.