So I’ve been best friends with a girl in my grade since freshman year, but our relationship has always been strictly platonic. Last weekend her younger sister came to visit from [her college], and the two of us really hit it off. We spent a lot of time together since my friend would send her sister to hang out with me while she had class. On Saturday night we were all at a party together, and after my friend went home, her sister and I drunkenly hooked up. We waited a few days to tell my friend, and she was absolutely furious. She hasn’t talked to me since, and I really have no clue how to fix this. Should I try to talk to her again?
Stumped by Sisters
Dear Stumped by Sisters,
When it comes to romance, there are a lot of “codes.” Girl code, guy code, friend code, you name it. Unfortunately for you, sibling code is probably the most strict. Think about it: these girls have literally known each other their entire lives. They’ve been through it all together, and that makes their bond pretty solid. It’s also likely that they’ve had some competition (with significant others, life, school) in the past, and this event could have stirred up old tensions.
Your friend (let’s call her Sister A) is definitely having some conflicting emotions. For starters, she’s probably feeling protective over her baby sister. That’s only natural. She could also be angry that you guys decided to keep this from her. Some candid advice? Never, ever keep something like that from a close friend. The outcome will only get worse the longer you wait.
Now, even if you were never romantically involved with Sister A, she could still be feeling some betrayal. You guys have been such close friends for so long, and she might be nervous that she could lose you to her sister. I’m guessing you guys have supported each other through a lot, and for her this situation could mean the loss of closeness with two people who are very important in her life. Additionally, Sister B came to visit Sister A. The fact that you two spent the majority of the weekend together was most likely annoying her, and this whole event was the last straw.
Long story short, this is a complex situation you’re tied up in. The good thing is, Sister B is back at college, and there won’t be any more drunken makeout seshs in the near future. My advice is to give Sister A the space she needs to cool off, process her emotions, and hash things out with her sister. Wait for her to approach you (and I can guarantee that she will soon), and just apologize for what happened, listen to what she has to say, and respect her feelings. After that, I’m sure you guys will be thick as thieves in no time.
Remember the codes,
My first girlfriend and I just broke up, and it’s given me some time to think. In retrospect, I realize that throughout the entire relationship I cared so much more than she did. Whether it was small things like delivering her favorite food after an exam and remembering her favorite songs, or bigger things like planning an elaborate treasure hunt for her birthday, I always seemed to be putting in more effort. When we broke up, I cried like a baby for days. I’m pretty sure she didn’t even shed a tear. I wish I had realized earlier that she was just not as committed so that I wouldn’t have gotten so hurt. I guess I just want some advice on how to not get too attached to a person that isn’t as dedicated. Are there signs to watch out for? I just really don’t want to let another a person hurt me this much again.
Desperate to Detach
Dear Desperate to Detach,
First off, my condolences on the breakup. Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, breakups always suck, and can be some of the most emotionally draining events a person will experience. In the wake of heartbreak, it sounds like you’ve been doing a lot of post-romance reflection. That’s great! It’s always good to go back over a past relationship without those rose-colored glasses and really understand what wasn’t working.
Now, believe me, I get the whole “how do I guard my heart and stop myself from getting hurt?” thing. Anyone who’s recently felt the sting of rejection would naturally want to try to save themselves from future pain. However, by protecting your heart you run the risk of missing out on some really remarkable connections. While it’s definitely smart to err on the side of caution when deciding to open up so fully to someone, you don’t want to enter into the world already prepped for disaster. Be aware, not closed off.
This awareness should also be applied to your perception of the other person. Really try to see them for who they actually are, not who you want them to be. In the end, a relationship is a two way street. If you don’t feel like your S.O. is giving you what you want/need/deserve/desire, it might be time to reassess. If you guys aren’t on the same page about the nature of the relationship, that just means it isn’t the right match. There is someone out there right now who will check off all the boxes on your soulmate checklist, but cutting yourself off from the possibility of love and attachment isn’t the way to find them.
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