Miss Information

I slept with my best friend, and now he's being standoffish and weird.

By Cait Robinson

Have a question for Miss Information? Email missinfo@nerve.com.

Dear Miss Information,

I'm a straight female, and I just slept with my best friend, a straight male. We've been friends for four years and always had sexual tension, which we'd always denied. He always tried to play it off as if he didn't have the same feelings for me. But last week, after a few drinks, we went from never having kissed to having sex. He told me before any of this happened he didn't want a relationship with me, but that he wanted me.

A few days went by after we hooked up, and everything seemed fine. He texted me late Friday night asking if I had plans, so I assumed he wanted to hook up again, and I asked him if he wanted to come over, to which he promptly replied that we were probably never going to do that again.

I never asked him for a relationship, but I'm confused by this. I know I'm not giving you much to go on. I think I just really need a slap in the face to get over it. I'm just really disappointed because I care about him, and I was hoping it would turn into something more.

— BFF

Dear BFF,

When I was in elementary school, my mom briefly summarized Romeo and Juliet for me. "The whole thing was stupid," she concluded. "If they had just communicated better, nobody would have died." With the exception of a brief period of Leonardo DiCaprio-induced-psychosis in the late '90s, I've tended to agree with her. (I obviously come from a long line of pragmatists, if not literary scholars.)

This is a similar case of crossed wires. You each made the fatal mistake of saying one thing and doing another; thankfully, no vials of poison were involved. It sounds like he knew you had feelings and leveraged them for an easy orgasm, which falls somewhere between "emotionally irresponsible" and "icky." From your end, you made the "mistake" of hoping that the actions (i.e. getting naked) spoke louder than the words ("He told me he didn't want a relationship with me"). Note that I put "mistake" in quotations. He warned you, sure, but who among us has not ignored copious fair warnings in favor of chasing some hope? It sucks, but you should chalk it up to experience.

Despite your request, I won't give you "a slap in the face." It sounds like you've already gotten a slap in the face, probably more than once. As inconvenient as these feelings are, you're allowed to be mad and hurt. You're allowed to acknowledge that you wanted more, and that that disappointment is crushing. That doesn't make you stupid and that doesn't make you wrong. That's just hope bumping up against an unpleasant reality.

Dust yourself off, take ownership of your feelings, and use them to inform your future. You get to pick how to proceed. You may find you're ultimately better off keeping different company: people who validate your bonds, say, rather than denying or exploiting them.

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