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Dear John,

     I think it is safe to say I broke a cardinal dating rule by falling in love with my best friend. Chris and I were friends for 18 years before things changed dramatically last year. We began messing around, just as innocent fun, but that led to lots of jealousy between us. We've had more arguments in the last 6 months than in the previous 18 years combined. Adding to the strife, our parents don't want us together, we live in separate states, and we both are too stubborn to tell our true feelings.

Last week Chris told me he loved me and wanted to be with me, something he had said only once before, when drunk. I felt as if my prayers had been answered, but since that time he's acted like he never said it, which breaks my heart.

After thinking it through I knew it was time I told him I couldn't do this relationship anymore. I broke it off and said I'd see him at Christmas time. I was proud to be following my feelings, but now I'm so sad it is unbearable. I feel as if my heart has broken in ways it never has before.

I don't really know what to do. How do I know if I'm doing the right thing by breaking up, and how do I stay strong when I'm so broken up?


Dear Broken
     When a woman thinks long and hard about the pain breaking up will cause, but does it anyway, more than likely she's correctly convinced herself that breaking up was the right thing to do. That's what gets her through the pain. But because you have so much ambivalence about your decision, not to mention unbearable pain, I question whether you've made the right choice.

Your letter is curious in a number of ways. First, don't let anybody tell you that falling in love with a best friend is against the rules. Sure, it is risky, as you stand to lose both lover and friend. But most true lovers become best friends anyway. It seems to me you had what everybody wants, you just did it backwards.

You say your parents don't want you together. So what? If you are truly in love, who cares what others think? Set out to prove your parents wrong if you must, but don't let them dictate your heart. As for living in different states, it complicates your situation, but it's not a deal breaker. True love conquers all.

The most telling thing you say is that you both are too stubborn to show your true feelings. But when he was drunk (when people are most truthful about their feelings) he told you he loved you, and then again when sober. Upon hearing his words, you felt your prayers had been answered. Doesn't that tell you that you were not following your true feelings when you broke it off?

I suggest that when he comes back for Christmas, you put a bow around your neck and give him the only present he truly wants: A less stubborn you.

Thanks for playing,

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