No drama, please—we’re healthy

Joey Garcia

My best friend and I are dating the same guy, but he doesn’t know. I met him at a work-related event on a Wednesday night; she met him at a club on Thursday. He’s been upfront with both of us that he is dating a few women because he would like to find a steady girlfriend. After four dates, I realize that I want to be that girl. The problem is, so does my best friend (he’s gone out with her twice). I don’t want to lose her, but you can imagine the tension this causes between us. She’s really competitive and is frustrated that he’s only asked her out twice. I’m afraid that she will push to sleep with him just to clinch the deal. I like him a lot and want to take it slow. What should I do?

Shift from dating to building a relationship by telling him the truth. He deserves to know what’s happening behind the scenes.

So invite him for coffee or a walk along the American River and explain how your BFF and you stumbled into the realization that you’re both dating him. Explain that you really like him (do not speak for her) and want to keep seeing him. Say that you’re committed to honest, open communication with both of them and that you hope this choice will deflate any potential drama.

Do not tell him that you think she will attempt to seduce him in order to secure his attention. That idea comes from the quadrant of the brain that secretly schemes about how to become a guest on Jerry Springer. It’s best not to give those thoughts too much air or water.

After you chat with your man, don’t pressure him with a deadline to make a choice. Give him space to mull everything over. If he takes one giant step away from you and your BFF, he might have been quietly rapping, “Mother, may I be a player?” all along. If he really is a good guy, he’ll respect the intricacies of the situation and continue dating until the right choice is apparent to all of you. In the meantime, see your situation as an invitation from the universe to practice patience and trust.

I am getting married in August. My parents are divorced and have both remarried. (My father is gay and married his longtime partner recently). I am close to all four, but they don’t get along. They compete to prove that my siblings and I love one couple more than another. We love them all and all four raised us. Now, my mother is pressuring me to have my stepfather walk me down the aisle. I want my natural father to do it, but I also am so tired of fighting over my wedding plans that I’ll do anything to keep them quiet. Any ideas?

In ancient times, the father had an arm-lock on his daughter as he escorted her to her future husband. Marriage was a business deal and daddy had to make certain that his collateral didn’t run away.

My modern alternative is to have your mom and dad walk you halfway down the aisle, then stop as you continue freely forward. (They can take seats midway or, after you reach the altar, they can walk forward and take front seats.)

This act symbolizes that your parents can only take you so far in life and then you must go forward on your own. It also stands for a woman’s right to choose her own partner. If your mamasita bellyaches, offer to have your papa and his partner walk you down the aisle instead.

Meditation of the week
“When you’re at a stage to bring about revolution, you’re too young to know there is a problem. When you’re old enough to know there is a problem, no one is helping you and you are too stuck to be a political activist,” says sociologist and writer Arlie Hochschild. If 50 is the new 40 and 40 is now 30 and 30 is now 20-something, aren’t you old enough to know there is a problem and free enough to do something about it?

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