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Going out with two guys who happen to be friends

Going out with two guys who happen to be friends post image

Dear Last Honest Guy,

I am going out with two guys who happen to be friends. Let’s call them Tom and Jerry. Tom and Jerry are both from the same culture (different from mine).

I first met Tom and he was at first vocal about his interest in me. We go out regularly but he has this bad habit of not keeping in touch. When we’re together though we always have a great time. He just has this one track mind and focuses only on what he has on his plate for the moment. Anyway, I’ve established that he doesn’t want to be my boyfriend and that is fine with me. He is graduating soon. I’m comfortable with the idea that I will only be seeing him for the duration of the time that he’s here.

Now Jerry and I met shortly after I met Tom. I would find out later that Jerry wanted to ask me out too. But since he didn’t, we got into this easy friendship. We talk daily. Recently however, Jerry asked me out. I thought about it and I am not averse to the idea. I figured since I am not committed to anyone, I am not accountable to anyone.

On one occasion however, Tom called me while I was out with Jerry. I would call him back later that evening and Tom never said anything about my going out with Jerry. On a second occasion, Tom called me and I told him I was out with Jerry again. This irritated him and soon after we talked about it.

You see, I have always been reasonable in dealing with relationships. I have told Tom pointblank that when he doesn’t keep in touch with me I feel so distant from him. I have noticed that he has been exerting more effort to keep in touch during the week after that talk. Anyway, he said he felt irritated that I went out but then he realized that he can’t expect anything from me that he can’t do himself. He said if he sees me once a week or if he gets to spend time with me when he can he is fine with that. He understands that I may need more time than that. So he said it is okay with me to go out with other people.

I thought he didn’t need to tell me that because I still go out with other people. After all, I don’t want to just keep waiting by the phone and wait for him to take me out when it is convenient for him.

Anyway, lately though Tom has exerted more effort to see me. Jerry on the other hand keeps trying to see me everyday.

I know I can’t keep this up. In the end I will have to choose. But I want to choose when I am comfortable and when I want to already. I admit I am more attracted to Tom than Jerry despite the easy friendship Jerry and I have. Otherwise I shouldn’t bother with Tom anymore when Jerry is so into me and wants to be my boyfriend.

However, in the grand scheme of things, these guys are transients in my life. This will not give me ‘forever’. Their culture has already determined that.

I feel like Jerry is more emotionally invested in me. I feel that should I decide to stop seeing Tom, Tom will be okay with it. Tom is used to being alone after all. And I’ve already determined that he can only be emotionally invested in me to an extent.

Last Honest Guy, am I being selfish if I keep seeing both of them? I don’t want to make a decision just yet. I admit I like the attention I am getting. However, I still have to figure out how I feel about both.

If I am to be wise about this I would just walk away and not choose either one of them at all. I think I am infatuated with Tom though. Yet I do care for Jerry.. and from the looks of how things are going I am not averse at the thought of him being my boyfriend. But I can’t quit on Tom just yet.

I am being fickle, am I not? Last Honest Guy, what do you think I should do?

I admit, other than these guys I also keep in touch with other people. But these two are the only ones I go out on dates with on a regular basis.

I don’t really know what to ask you. I just thought I would vent and get your POV.

Answer from The Last Honest Guy

Look, since you have no commitment to anyone at this point, you are free to do what ever you want and date who ever you want as well. I would encourage you to keep it this way, that way no one gets their hopes up and get hurt at the end.

Also, let’s be real and admit that you DON’T like Jerry. You only like the attention you’re getting from him that’s all. So don’t kid yourself. If you really liked Jerry to be your boyfriend, he would be your boyfriend already. He’s more like a consolation price per say.

Put it this way, if the roles were reversed and Tom was the guy who is attentive and willing to have a relationship with you, no doubt you would stop seeing Jerry and just be with Tom. Am I right?

What I advice you to do is to continue to date as many people as you want as long as you’re completely honest with all of them regarding your true feelings about each one of them. Don’t mislead them into thinking you’re really into them when you’re not. If you’re completely honest and transparent at all times, they would know exactly what they’re getting themselves in if they choose to continue dating you.

Also, in regards to Jerry, I would not get into a relationship with him even after Tom leaves. There’s no point in being with him just to later leave him when you find a guy who you really like. At the same time you don’t want to tie yourself down with someone who you really only like as a friend. You could deprive yourself from finding someone else quicker and could also end up hurting Jerry even more after you dump him when you do find someone else. Just be clear with him and if he chooses to continue to hang around you, than that would be his decision at that point.

Good luck. By the way, I’m glad to hear back from you.

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  • The Last Honest Guy

    Thanks for reading and leaving a comment 🙂

  • Reenfree

    Thanks so much for the prompt replies Last Honest Guy. I have sent you an email per month and you have replied to all of them. I appreciate it.

    An update on the Tom and Jerry situation.. Tom sent me an email and the gist is “You seem to think I can take your leaving me. Sure I can, I like to believe I can take it or anything – anything that occurs to me to be reasonable and especially if means that I’m thinking not just for myself but for others too. That does not mean I’m happy and delighted to do it – I’m not. just want to make that clear – and thereby maybe convince you that I’m not all that cold and bad – lol.
    I’m not generally in the habit of telling people why they can consider leaving me – believe me, I’m human – with all the associated flaws and many more. However, I am intensely aware of some things which trouble me and make me want to (or made me) tell you to that you are free to make up your mind. ”

    Then he lists reasons such as : that he doesn’t spend enough time with me due to his inconsistent schedule as this is his last semester, that I like spending time, and that Jerry and I will be here for a long time yet. He said it seemed to him that Jerry and I will eventually hook up after a point. He also said I might feeling more secure at this “longer” term relationship and made him wonder whether he is obstructing.

    Then he goes on to say that he doesn’t believe that Jerry cares more for me and therefore will not be able to take it when I leave or that Jerry finds me more interesting, etc.

    He then says ” as a guy I will never believe it nor admit that someone likes you more. However I do accept that there are limits I place on my emotional attachment – because I am intensely aware that I need to leave in May….”

    Just thought I’d update you..

  • The Last Honest Guy

    Tom seems to be very mature and acknowledges the fact that he can’t take on the responsibility of a relationship knowing his time is running out. The only thing to do now is to make a decision to only see him as something temporary which by the way, being single you’re certainly able to do whatever you want. That includes any physical encounter you may choose to have with him. There’s nothing wrong with that…

  • Reenfree

    thanks again for the prompt reply last honest guy. i really like tom. and yes i will see him till he leaves in May. But I know I can walk away from this with my heart intact. I will always be grateful I met him. I have learned a lot 🙂

  • Reenfree

    Dear Last Honest Guy,

    Another update.. So I took my chances with Tom.. and went as far as I could.. But things got too intense that we both decided to stop seeing each other. Our reasoning was that this is to prevent a heartbreak situation. He asked to ‘taper off’ like a bell curve. I can’t do that. And I don’t think the two of us would be good with boundaries anyway. The more we see each other, the more involved we will be. And hence I asked to “cold turkey”..just quit seeing each other like that. I have to admit I cried for him. It broke my heart but I knew it was a wise decision and I can walk away from this knowing that in some ways he cared for me.

    After that talk I emailed him thanking him for the good memories and that I will miss his company but that I acknowledge that this is the wisest thing to do. He would later send me an email acknowledging my email and that he feels he must not explain/talk too much and he must keep his silence or keep to himself. He said “there is an old buddhist proverb – that one must not try to fight emotion/feeling nor even seek to share/reduce it – whether it be sadness or happiness – but simply let it be and experience it without emotion. But, I know this is right because I’d rather you get time to deal with all the various emotions one goes through… rather than a sudden rush&tumble of emotions in a few weeks in May. Very sleepy now. ttyl.
    Don’t reply to this….every message sent is a lot of emotion invested”.

    I have not tried contacting him after that. After all, everything has been said and done. I hold no grudges. Yet I admit I am just getting over it. It may not have been much but I did feel attached to him.

    Today he sent me an instant message but I didn’t notice it. In it he said he hopes I am fine (because I posted on FB that I fell off a set of steps and hurt my hand). I don’t know what to make of it.

    I don’t want to overthink things…I just have this sick feeling in my stomach. Because I have been checking his FB wall. And a few days ago, he added a new friend. A girl. And she posted on his wall asking “are you there?” And today, she posted again “Where do you want to sit?” and comments “If we want really good seats it will be at a final price of 21, otherwise it would be 15.50, so? which option do you like?”

    I am guessing this will be the Stephen Hawking lecture (one in which I will be attending too).

    Part of me wonders if he moved on that quickly, but I don’t want to read too much into it. Also, the fact that he sent me an IM today a couple of minutes before she posted on his wall about seating arrangements.

    And part of me is at a loss what the best thing to do is.
    a) Reply to his IM and tell him I am fine. And leave it at that. Be friendly but distant.
    b) Ignore his IM and just move on with my life.

    I also wonder how I should go about when I meet him at the lecture.. (just in case). Smile, be friendly but distant? Or avoid him at all costs?

    I like him still and I think of him still but I think I am lady enough not to persist my case. After all, there is no case.

    Your insights will be helpful.

  • Reenfree

    By the way, I think I am overthinking this new girl. In his wall, Tom posted back telling her to check with the rest of the gang. Also, Tom talked to me today and thought I wasn’t talking to him. I replied to his IMs and we’re back to “talking”. I told him it isn’t like we hate each other so I find no reason not to talk to him.

  • The Last Honest Guy

    Thanks for the update.

    BTW I would have advised you to not reply to his IM. In the future just don’t reply, it will just elongate the “getting over” stage even more if you continue to do so. If he asks why you hadn’t reply, just say something like “you didn’t notice it” so you don’t hurt his feelings.

    Also, STOP GOING THROUGH HIS FB! It’s none of your business whether or not he goes out with other girls. In fact, assume that he will. Just because he may go out with other ppl that doesn’t mean he got over you. As a matter of fact some ppl actually do that for that very purpose, to get over people.

    Lastly, if you ever see him around of course you should act normal and treat him the same way you would treat a distant friend. Don’t think too much about it.

  • Reenfree

    Thanks Last Honest Guy. This was very helpful. I seriously thought of not responding to his IMs. And I didn’t the night he did. But the next day when he IMd again he said he thought I wasn’t talking to him. And I didn’t want to be a “loser” who holds a grudge or is so hurt (because I am not).So I replied. But our chat was mainly how your week was. Like how you’d talk to a distant friend.

    It just baffled me, I admit that he IMd me after the “talk” we had about not seeing each other anymore.

    Anyway, I know things will never be the same again.

    And yes I will quit FB stalking him.

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