Arts

Hardcore Curriculum—1/26/2010

When friends become "that couple" and waiting for your girlfriend to dump her other boyfriend

Photo: Tom Tian/The Chicago Maroon
Hardcore Curriculum

Two people in my house started dating, and now I rarely see either of them. What should I do to hang out with them more? Should I try getting them separately? Should I just leave it alone and hope that my friends eventually come back to me?

Anna: It’s winter. It’s cold. Typically, we think that only bears hibernate in the winter, but we forget that couples (especially new ones) have that same ability. We all know the type: They used to be around all the time, but once they began doing the nasty, we only hear them. It might actually be best to separate them if you want to see them some time in the immediate future. Your first foray should be in a text or e-mail. A simple “I never see you anymore” (with appropriate emoticons, of course) will suffice. If they are both so far gone that they won’t respond to normal forms of communication, it is time for an intervention. Get your mutual friends together, and remind the couple that people exist outside of their couple–bubble, and you would love to see them. Sometimes you just have to tell your friends that they’ve become hermits—happy hermits, but hermits nonetheless.

Chris: While you may not be seeing your friend as much as you used to, you are not a guest star on Intervention. I’m sure your friends are great company, but they’re preoccupied right now. Not only do relationships require a lot of energy, but most of us take a long time to find that delicate balance between too little and too much. Yes, it sucks a lot, but you can’t let that bog you down. Just remember that they’re building a relationship between just the two of them, and there may not be room for anybody else at the moment. That doesn’t mean they don’t love you; they just need time. Unfortunately, there is a distinct possibility that they might not emerge from hibernation anytime soon, and a time may come where it’s too late to recover the same friendship you used to have. This may actually be a great time for you to make new friends, make deeper connections with those you already have, and maybe even find a beau of your own.

My situation right now kind of sucks. I’m sort of seeing this girl in a quasi-official kind of way, the sex is good, and we both seem to be taking things pretty seriously. The thing is…she has a boyfriend. She says that she’s going to leave him to be with me, but it’s hard to believe her. Should I just count my losses and leave?

Anna: How sweet of your special someone to feed you a pile of crap (or hopes and dreams, I guess). In these situations, actions speak louder than words. If she makes you happy, continue seeing her, but don’t expect anything from her until she actually cuts the other one loose. I can guarantee you that what your sweetie is doing with that other guy is not platonic. Don’t buy their game. You can’t be in a real, committed relationship if you think she will sleep around, even if it’s only with one other person. If your special someone really wants you, she will show it in what she does. (Or as Cher would say, it’s there in her kiss.)

Chris: Not to be too blunt, but, damn boy (or girl), YOU’RE BEING PLAYED! It’s pretty obvious that the girl that you're seeing is getting everything she wants at the moment. She has a stable, if deceitful, relationship with her boyfriend, and a fairly steady supply of outside sex from you. You have to ask yourself: Are you happy getting only what she’s willing to give? If you want something more substantial down the road and are willing to play her games, then more power to you. Go ahead and wait. She might actually leave him for you. More than likely though, that relationship won’t end until she gets caught. On the other hand, you have to ask yourself why she gets everything (a boyfriend and casual sex) when all you get is an emotionally flaky lay. Wait until you can’t wait anymore, then leave her and start looking for what you really want. Until that point, try to avoid the sneaking around as much as possible. No one really wants his life to look like another installment of R. Kelly’s Trapped In the Closet.