I’m dating a guy I met through a friend. She introduced him as a friend only but admitted that she used to find him attractive. When he approached me about spending time, I asked her if it was cool and she said, “Of course. Why wouldn’t it be?!” He later tells me they had sex once, but she never told me. Do I ask her about it? —Anonymous
Ooh. Just so you know, this is about to get so messy. You may need to let this fish go back to the pond if you want to keep your friendship.
It seems that your friend was more than just a friend to the guy she introduced you to. If what he said is true and they did have sex, I wonder why she just didn’t say that or at least tell you, “We hooked up once,” which implies a range of possibilities, when you asked about him. It’s something that most women would want to know about someone they’re dating.
Of course, there are some women who can have sex with someone with no feelings attached. It’s just sex. Those women also tend to be the type who would say, “Yeah, we had sex, but that’s all” if you inquired about dating someone they knew, and they would say it as matter-of-factly as they would an observation about water being wet. Your friend who breezed right over that interesting information is not that woman.
She liked him. She found him attractive. It didn’t work out, for whatever reason. That doesn’t make her a bad person. It does sound as if she’s trying to be that cool friend who’s pretending to be OK with her friend dating someone she slept with. I respect that. And she will be, too, until the guy takes a real interest in you—a direction he’s already moving in.
The guy you’re dating told you that he slept with your friend because it became apparent that you didn’t know. He knew that if you found out on the back end, you might bail on him. He wanted to be transparent, which your actual friend should have been.
You can ask her about it if you want. I don’t know what you hope to gain by doing so, however, other than possible confirmation or a fall deeper into the rabbit hole of this soon-to-be-crazier situation. The solution here boil down to this: Stop dating the guy and keep your friend, or keep dating him and watch things get messy. Those are your only two real choices.
I’ve been through this before. Many, many years ago my friend casually introduced a man to me by saying, “We’re just friends.” As he walked off, she snickered that he was her “former jump-off.”
“How long ago?” I asked. She said more than a year. I asked why it ended; she said he was too young. Hmmm.
When I ran into him again, he approached me and asked for my number. I turned him down, not because I really wanted to but because he and my friend had something, and I didn’t want the headache. He insisted, just as she had, that it was “just sex.” The stories matched up. I gave him my number. I let my friend know. She was fine with it—at first.
He and I dated—actually outside-the-house, “Let me take you somewhere” dated—for a couple of months. I was out with her one day—hadn’t mentioned him—and she made a joke about sex with him, something I hadn’t experienced just yet. I said as much.
That’s when my dating him became a problem for her. That he was actually paying attention to me and hadn’t with her was an issue. I stopped dating him (a decision I regretted for years), even though I really liked him, in order to keep the peace. Things still got really ugly between her and me for a while.
This isn’t an uncommon story. Another reader wrote in to share the outcome of a similar scenario:
I met [a] guy through [a] friend. Same thing happened to me, but the “friend” left out she gave him oral sex. Later on, she resented me because he liked me, then [she] started gossiping about me. This is craziness waiting to happen.
You’ve been forewarned.
Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love as well as A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at email@example.com.