Meet My New Girl Friend

Dear Hal,
I live in a relatively small community of about 20,000. We have a main street and a fair-sized big-box shopping center at the edge of town. For over 2 years, I had a very close relationship with a nice mature widow (as am I) here in town. For a variety of reasons, we broke up, but not with any hostility. I still see her occasionally in our comings and goings about town and we do the “how are you?” “Nice to see you” bit. But here’s the problem: I’ve started seeing another nice woman here in town and I’m not sure what to do if the three of us should meet.
Perplexed in Providence
Dear Perplexed,
Small communities are wonderful places to live, but they’re tough places to keep anything secret. It is highly likely that your first friend is already aware of your new “friend.” (I’ll bet you anything that your new friend knew of your earlier relationship as well.) But you’ve been fortunate on a number of points. Firstly, to have found two nice women with whom to spend time. And second, that your uncoupling with the first lady was without animosity. So when the moment comes that you all meet on the street, don’t do the avoidance thing, but give your past friend a warm hello and introduce her to your new friend with a smile and a handshake. But two caveats: when your new friend asks about your relationship with your old friend (and she will), truthfully tell her that you broke up by mutual consent, but don’t go into any great detail about the relationship. Doing so will only raise additional questions and attempts at comparison for which there are no satisfactory answers. And second, don’t moon over the past. That door is closed, so don’t open it even a smidge in your own mind… you’ll only let in problems.

1 Comment

  1. Ray

    Just make sure that you don’t “Burn any bridges”, as someday you may reconcile with your previous “Friend” and/or “Word of mouth” is rampant in small communities, just ensure that she has nothing but good things to say about you!

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