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QUESTIONS & ANSWERS:
Relationships Department

Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.

Question

I have been involved with a guy that was dating my roommate. They never officially broke it off; she just went home for the summer. I really like him and don't know how to tell her or whether I should. I don't know how things will be when we return to school. I feel like I'm a bitch for getting involved with him and disregarding our friendship; she is one of my best friends.

Answer

I am not sure what you mean by "dating." I assume, since you feel so bad and are writing to this column, that you mean more than just going to the movies. I also assume that your roommate was more involved with this guy than just a casual dating relationship.

Romances may come and go while friendships can last for a lifetime. You may want to ask yourself what is more important to you, a short-term relationship or a long-term friendship?

Should romances be solely a matter of convenience? Just because someone is handy, and expresses interest, does that mean we should follow through? When do we postpone immediate gratification for long-term goals and values? What are your personal values and does your current behavior demonstrate your integrity? The fact that you feel like a "bitch" suggests that you are not liking yourself. Is this relationship worth your integrity and self-respect? How would you feel if the shoe were on the other foot? How would you want your roommate to handle the situation if you were on the receiving end?

And what does this say about your choice in men? Here is a man who is still in a relationship with one of your best friends and chooses to take up with you. Will you be next? What about his character? I know I have raised more questions than answers. But I believe that if you answer the questions, you will be able to come up with your own conclusions and a course of action.

3/5/98

Dr. Edward A. Dreyfus is a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage, Family, Child Therapist, and Sex Therapist. Dr. Dreyfus has been providing psychological services in the Los Angeles-Santa Monica area for over 30 years. He offers individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults, divorce mediation, couples counseling, group therapy, and career and vocational counseling and assessment.His book, Someone Right For You, is available in the Amazing Bookstore Catalog.

Dr. Dreyfus can be reached at: (310) 208-5700.

 

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