Drunken, engaged friend declares his love
Question: I've been friends with this guy for more than 10 years as a part of our friend group. Nothing romantic has ever happened between us, and he's happily engaged - I recently received his wedding invitation in the mail. However, he called me last night when he was really drunk and confessed that he had feelings for me and thinks about me all the time.
I've been friends with this guy for more than 10 years as a part of our friend group. Nothing romantic has ever happened between us, and he's happily engaged - I recently received his wedding invitation in the mail. However, he called me last night when he was really drunk and confessed that he had feelings for me and thinks about me all the time.
From the level of drunk he sounded, I am not sure he remembers this phone call. Do I confront him about it or pretend it didn't happen? Do I still attend the wedding?
Answer: Even in the worst case - he secretly loves you! in vino veritas! his engagement is a sham! - none of the obligations here is on you.
His secret feelings would be entirely his to reckon with.
His inability to face a wrenching truth sober would be entirely his to reckon with.
His willingness to marry someone while secretly loving someone else would be her problem, too, of course - but he's still the only one in a position to reckon with that.
If you guys are close then, yes, say something. If he's someone you'd casually call or text, check in with a noncommittal, "Weird call - everything OK?" But if you're acquainted just through the group - i.e., never gone out of your way to hang out with each other one on one - there's a good case to be made for developing compassionate amnesia. Remain his friend as you always have been, and go to the wedding as you intended. Take shelter in the many ways it's possible this call didn't mean a thing. If there's more to his feelings for you, it's wholly on him to act.
Question: I've been friends with a buddy of mine for more than 30 years. However, he recently said something in an email to me that was so gross and offensive, I wish to end the friendship. This isn't something I feel can be "talked out" and resolved. I just choose to no longer be friends with someone who would say such things so disgusting and offensive. This isn't the first time, but the straw has now broken the camel's back.
How the heck does someone go about such a task? I can't just contact him and say, "Been nice knowing you, but don't contact me anymore," though that's the result I'm wanting.
Answer: Actually, you can just contact him and say that. And though I generally don't recommend holding important conversations by email or text - so much emotional nuance gets lost - you also can reasonably, in this case, hit "reply" and write back that his words were so offensive to you that you could no longer consider him a friend.
Just because it feels weird and awkward doesn't mean telling him the truth is the wrong thing to do.
The alternatives are to carry on as though nothing has changed except to maintain a discreet distance, or to remove him from your life without explanation. But a history as long as yours deserves a concise airing of your grievance in all its gory.
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