Dear Harlan: Last week I found out that my best friend has been dating my ex for the past month. He lied to me about it. A couple months ago, he asked me if he could date her, and I told him that it would be too hard for me to be friends with him if he got together with her. He said he was fine with that and then I didn’t hear anything else about it. Now I found out that he has been seeing her behind my back. I know I can’t control him or my ex, but imagining them together is too much for me. I don’t want to lose my best friend, but I can’t trust him. I’m also completely hurt. How can I be his friend after he did this to me?
Dear Betrayed: Yes, he was very wrong. Yes, this is very hurtful. No, this doesn’t have to be the end of your friendship. Everything is way too close to you right now. Before you declare him arch enemy No. 1, give it time. Spend time not hanging out with him. Spend time healing. Spend time making new friends. Spend time dating other women. Spend time building new relationships. Throw yourself into activities that can give you enormous pleasure. If you can’t find the energy to get involved and move forward, get some help. In a few months, you might realize that you don’t care that much about this. You also might decide he’s an awful human being who can’t be trusted. It’s going to take time to figure it out. Focus less on him and more on you. Then you’ll know how to handle this friendship and what’s next.