I talk to both of them constantly, all the time, about everything. Particularly dating, as we are all ladies in our 20s and that is pretty much our main interest. I think it feels almost incesty to me. Finally, the way it went down was pretty shady. They live in different regions of the country and also a different region than I do, but had expressed interest in each other, both being cute single ladies interested in ladies. I said it bothered me, she said she stopped.
A few weeks later I was about to leave the country for six months so I was having a going away party. My friend happened to be in town that weekend and was coming. I decided to ignore the whole thing and hope it would go away, I mean they live thousands of miles apart. But after I had been away for like a month, I got an email from my friend saying she hopes I have the heart to forgive her, she flew my sister out on a secret trip to visit her, and they really like each other.
There are a lot of potentially good things about this: But it just bothers me so so so so so much. When I was in my twenties, my two closest friends in the world — my best friend and my exboyfriend — started sleeping together. I was fine with it at first, excited for them and surprised that my best friend who took me out to lunch to tell me thought it was going to be an issue for me.
So not only did I feel like a big asshole who was being openly fucked with by the two people she loved the most, but I also felt that they were each totally willing to sacrifice their friendship with me just to pump up the titillation of their affair. I was already in a pretty fragile place: My dad had died of a heart attack, out of the blue, a few months earlier. Now I felt like I had no one to turn to. No one could be trusted. When the three of us spent time together, I felt self-conscious and neither of them acted like themselves, either.
Soon after that, I moved away. Later, I wrote this cartoon about the unethical, self-serving behavior of urban hipsters. Now, I look back and think: The three of us were extremely emotional, sensitive, confused people. At that age, none of us understood restraint or discretion.
And I was full of unfocused anger and blame back then. I drank too much. All three of us just wanted to be heard and loved and supported, but not one of us was that good at hearing, loving and supporting someone else. Your situation is absolutely simple, on one level: What can you do but grin and bear it?
How can you go there with two people who once felt like yours and now belong to each other? You trusted them completely. You told them everything. I hate to tell a really negative story about your experience. I just want you to know that I know exactly how terrible this feels for you. You have lost something. Maybe we all have to mourn the loss of this kind of unconditional connection at some point. My best friend and I used to talk for hours on end, without a pause. We used to write songs and perform together.
We were so full of ideas and so open-hearted and so young, and we really loved each other. So all I can say to you is this: Forget how they told you about it, how you said you were bothered and they did it anyway. File all of that under: Two People In Love.
You probably laid the groundwork for them to fall in love, too, because they had that shared love of you, that shared knowledge of you, right out of the gate. Maybe you learned, with each of them, how to be a good friend, how to listen, how to entertain, how to open up and tell the truth, and you taught them these things, too.
They told a few little lies to protect their chances at love, to prevent you from coming between them. They have not trespassed against you, OK? I would be very careful about that. You can flag some obvious potential pitfalls of three-way communication, but I would not try to control what they talk about. If you get pissed about information getting passed between them, you could hurt them and hurt yourself and make a big mess.
Keep your nose clean. If you have to detach a tiny bit, then do it. Most of all, though, I want to tell you to keep your heart open to them, as open as you can possibly stand.
Platonic friendships between women are defined in such casual terms. Close friendships with women age differently. Even so, at that wedding, I looked at my ex-best-friend and thought: We may not spend much time together, before we die.
How many people do you meet, who make you feel completely understood — sometimes to a fault? There was a magic to our friendship, to our collaborations, to our most mundane conversations. So keep your heart open. Admit that you feel terrible, and try to explain this loss without blaming them for having caused it.
You can and you should make new friends. Forgive them and keep them close. You will get caught in the middle sometimes. Polly Do you have a problem that could send Polly spiraling into an existential crisis of her own?