Hard to Say is This Recording’s weekly advice column. It will appear every Wednesday (whoops) until the Earth perishes in a fiery blaze, or until North West turns 40. Get no-nonsense answers to all of your most pressing questions by writing to email@example.com.
My girlfriend and I live in an apartment building. Recently, we have become friendly with a married couple in the building, who I will call Mark and Tina. We had them over to our apartment and then we went to theirs. They seemed like a nice couple.
Last week, I ran into Tina at a coffee shop and she told me how unhappy she is in her marriage and expressed a desire to see me again in a social context. Since there is only one reason she could have for this, I understand I was propositioned. Tina is a beautiful woman; however I am happy in my relationship with my girlfriend.
I worry that this is going to steam out of control, and having been confided in in this way, I don’t know what to do with the information or if I should tell my girlfriend. Help!
Ninety out of one hundred times, you should your girlfriend everything immediately what has occurred. The reasons for doing so are as follows:
– If you wait to tell her, and then go on to tell her, she will wonder why you waited to tell her. And you will have no good reason.
– If you wait to tell her, and then she finds out from Tina that you spoke to Tina, she will wonder why you did not tell her. And you will have no good reason.
– If you tell her part of the truth, you may indicate by subtle signs that you are lying. This is not a good look for fall.
– If you tell her only that you spoke to Tina in a coffee shop, she may find out there was more to it, she may not. However, it already does not look good that you seemingly met up with Tina in a coffee shop.
For all these reasons, it is best for your girlfriend to be told the full story now. I think she will take it fine, although there is the outside chance that she will confront Tina and make things worse. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen, and it is a risk you have to take. After all, it will only be the truth with which your girlfriend is armed.
As for what you should do about Tina… If you have some kind of personal connection to Mark, I would talk to him about the marriage and give him some ways to improve things without mentioning you spoke to Tina. A good dead rarely goes unpunished, but since there is a self-serving aspect to this behavior, maybe you will be all right.
Illustrations by Mia Nguyen.