Several months ago I was at dinner with some friends when one asked if I was still talking to a particular ex-girlfriend. I informed her that I was not, and she replied with "That's probably a good thing."
I was aghast. How could everyone not be completely enamored with any female I might choose to date?
Hard as it was to believe, apparently it was true. Further conversation revealed a couple of other friends held a not-so-favorable opinion of this girl, as well. It was a real eye-opener for me. Like a cool, fresh bar of Coast in a morning shower.
I asked my friend why she had never said anything about this before. She responded that I never seemed all that serious about the relationship and she figured it would pass. It did.
But what if it hadn't? Would she have said anything? Would I have listened?
This is a not uncommon predicament in life. As long as we are single or have friends who are single, there will be situations like this. More times than not, I've found myself on the opposite side of the fence, wondering if I should say something to a friend whose significant other, well, had significant issues.
Inevitably, I wind up asking myself the same questions. What do I say? Do I say anything? How long should I wait before saying it? Is it really any of my business? Should I keep my mouth shut and just hope for the best? And even if I do say something, will it do any good?
Well, my friends, allow me to answer all of the above questions for you with one simple sentence: I have no idea.
At this point in my life, I tend to stay out of other people's business. I figure relationships are difficult enough without outside interference. And undoubtedly friendships have been damaged, some completely destroyed, because one friend decided to say something.
On the other hand, love is blind. And I would venture to say that lust is, too. As in my situation, the person in the relationship is usually the last one to see the signs that are so obvious to everyone else.
Do we not owe it to our friends to warn them if we think they are heading down a road strewn with certain pitfalls and probable STD's? After all, certainly there have been times in our dating history when most of us could have used a stiff smack to the forehead and someone questioning, "What are you thinking?!"
Good friends know us better than most anyone. They don't usually have ulterior motives. So if a good friend does voice an opinion, listen. Or don't. But don't let it ruin the friendship. More times than not, friends will be around long after the non-platonic relationship is gone.
And if several friends you've known for five, ten years or longer have a problem with someone you're dating, that should probably send up a few red flags. Then again, looking thru rose-colored glasses, red flags appear to be white.
There used to be a popular ad campaign which used the slogan, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk." But what about relationships? How far does a friend's responsibility go when it comes to dating under the influence?
"What would Brian Boitano do if he were here right now? He'd make a plan and follow through. That's what Brian Boitano'd do..."