Truth or Consequences

Whoo boy. A scene straight out of The Hangover — but this time, in real life. And, oh yeah, what to do when guys think you’re dating, but they’re still in the dreaded Friend Zone.

Q: Ever since that movie “The Hangover” came out, I’ve been in agony. I haven’t even seen it yet, because I know it would be way too hard, a reminder of something I did recently that I regret. I went to Vegas about two months ago and made a big mistake.

It was for a bachelor party. Here’s what went down after way too many losses at the blackjack tables and G& T’s (and a hit of X): I had sex with the stripper who came to our room to dance for my buddy getting married. I was looped off my ass. I think she may have done it with another buddy that night, too. I don’t remember if I used a condom, either. (I don’t remember paying her, but my buddy may have.)

Anyway, I’m overcome with guilt, because I have a serious girlfriend. We live together and have a really good thing going. I know it would destroy her if she found out. I’m disgusted with myself. I know my buddies will keep it quiet, but I don’t know if I should. Please don’t write that I’m a cliché—I know that already. I just need some advice.—What Happens in Vegas

A: When Las Vegas tourism officials came up with that clever catch phrase, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” I doubt they considered its actual meaning. Like a nasty, oozing STD as a result of unprotected sex with a stripper that doesn’t, in fact, stay in Vegas, but instead makes its way into an unsuspecting woman’s body and reproductive system thanks to an idiotic screw-up by her boyfriend at a bachelor party.

You must tell her. Yes, she’s going to be destroyed, and yes, there’s a good chance you’ve wrecked things. Whether to disclose cheating is best determined on a case-by-case basis, and the biggie here is that your mistake could endanger your girlfriend’s fertility and even her life. Don’t waste another second to break the news.

I can only pray that you haven’t slept with her since, which would make you not only a cliché, but a complete scumbag. If so, you must both visit a doc immediately to see if you’ve contracted any funk, and if your girlfriend has it. (You need to go either way) Repeat in six months. As far as the emotional aftermath, well, that’s a column in itself. But effusing honesty, genuine remorse and understanding that she has a right to be angrier than an exorcised demon is as hopeful a start as you can make.

And for anybody heading to Sin City for a weekend of debauchery after seeing “The Hangover,” please heed this letter as a real-life warning about mixing drugs, booze and horny strippers—and a reminder to cover it up, already. Good grief.

Q: Recently I have found myself making some opposite-sex friends. As a not too “girly” girl, I find guys can be great to hang out with in a non-dating, non-physical capacity. The problem is, at some point I suddenly realize that my new friend thinks we have actually been dating, or just wishes we were. Breaking up with a friend is no fun. I have clearly not been good at establishing the groundwork at the onset, and sometimes it’s just because I’m not positive that it won’t develop into something more.

Once I know a friendship really is only going to remain a friendship, whether I know right away or after hanging out for awhile, how do I respectfully communicate this? I don’t want to hurt anyone’s self-esteem, and I also don’t want to embarrass myself by making it sound like I’m assuming that they’re attracted to me in the first place.—Just a Friend

A: For every gal like yourself enjoying the company of a newly made “opposite-sex friend,” there’s a guy telling himself, “I’m almost in her pants … just a few more dates …” It’s one of those cruel dating truisms: Guys tend to overestimate women’s potential interest in them, while women underestimate their attraction to us.

I’m not much of a girly-girl either, and I totally hear you about the joys of non-physical male friendship. But you’ve gotta face facts: Assuming you’re not Susan Boyle’s doppelganger, these guys are attracted to you in the first place. And, be honest, isn’t there a teeny-tiny part of you that relishes the attention, even if they aren’t setting your loins on fire?

If you’re truly interested in being friends—and preserving their self-esteem—you need to start setting boundaries early. As in, saying outright—nicely, but firmly—that you aren’t interested in anything beyond friendship as soon as it’s obvious there’s no spark for you. Back that up with slightly backed-off efforts to keep things the way they are (but please don’t ever ask him to help you move), until he has a chance to get over his potentially bruised ego. And realize that some of these guys will likely disappear from your life.

And hey, if it does turn into something more, he’ll probably still be up for it. And then you’ll have your own little Monica-and-Chandler story to bore friends with later.

2 Comments »

  1. Holy crap this is too close to home. My pal’s divorce just finalized. He was given the gift that keeps on giving from his then wife, who contracted herpes from someone in Vegas while attending a Bach-ette party last summer. Talk about sick, she knew she had it but was afraid to do anything…..so she gave him herpes!! Beeeeyatches.

    Comment by Bryan — July 15, 2009 @ 6:54 am

  2. Awesome site. It has great articles, yet you should somehow relate your own experience to it.

    Comment by Mel — June 30, 2010 @ 3:50 pm

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