Social Question

silverlining's avatar

Would this be considered betrayal? (Read inside)

Asked by silverlining (78points) May 28th, 2010

My cousin, a very close friend of mine, dated this guy a few years back. She was completely in love with him, but he was a jerk, broke her heart, and she still hasn’t fully moved on. The break up was extremely devastating for her, and he is a very painful memory. By some accident, he added me on Facebook several months after they broke up. We started talking on a regular basis. At this stage in my life, I was very lonely and insecure, he was intelligent and charming, and we developed crushes on each other. (To my cousin, I acted like I only talked to him to feed her information.) Eventually, the guy and I stopped talking, he found a serious girlfriend, and we all went our separate ways. Just today, though, I stumbled across an old AIM convo with him. I was impressed—looking back, he’s a pretty cool guy. He liked me, but there were times when I would just lash out at him and attack his character. I guess I was trying to change him to be just what I wanted, or impress him with my insight. Either way, it was a clear indication of my instability. I remember just wanting him to like me so badly. After reading, I became overwhelmed with the desire to shoot him a friendly Facebook message apologizing for being so crazy, and just see how he’s doing. I feel like now our interaction would be so much more relaxed and healthy that both of us have grown up a bit, I’m totally over the low-self-esteem phase (and I have a boyfriend now who I am happy with), and we could keep it strictly platonic. However, I know that talking to him would upset my cousin. I wouldn’t tell her about it. But at the same time, I feel like her aversion to him is irrational and there’s no reason him and I can’t exchange a few friendly messages. He actually did wish me a happy birthday a couple months ago. What do you guys think?

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13 Answers

janbb's avatar

I say let sleeping dogs lie and you’d only be opening up a can of worms, to throw some cliches at you. Enjoy the friendship you had in the past and don’t go mucking up other relationships, including yours with your cousin, by renewing a “platonic” friendship now.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I agree with @janbb. What could be gained, ultimately, through interaction with him? Sure, he might be a nice guy now, but he was a complete jerk and broke your cousin’s heart (your own words) and that’s all she knows of him. Also, if your boyfriend found out that you were talking to him, and also learned that you had a huge crush on him in the past, how would that make him feel? You face the potential of losing two good relationships to gain one, which might not even be that great – because you don’t really know for sure what kind of person he is now.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

@janbb gave you great advice. Platonic relationships don’t always remain so. You are in a relationship. Don’t go looking for trouble and don’t risk hurting people about whom you already care.

silverlining's avatar

Well, see, I don’t plan on reconstructing a friendship with him out of this. I just want to clear the air a bit, have some closure, a few laughs about the past, briefly update each other, and move on. Back when he and I talked regularly, he admitted that he regret the way he broke up with my cousin. This was when we were about 16–17 years old, now we’re 19 and lots has changed. Lots of growing up has occurred.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Methinks that you’re not as crazy about your current beau as you might be (partly since he’s mentioned toward the end of your discussion almost as an afterthought), that you think your girlfriend’s ex isn’t quite the shit you used to (or you’re rationalizing toward that way of “thinking”), and that you’d like to start a little something-something with him to see if he feels the same way about his girlfriend as you seem to feel about your boy.

Why not ask your girlfriend (or boyfriend) what they think of the idea? Don’t want to, do you? That aversion should speak volumes to you.

silverlining's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Haha, well, I actually did tell my boyfriend I stumbled across this old convo and explained the crush I had on the kid. I thought about saying something like, “I actually bet we’d get along now, but I don’t think my cousin would approve.” But then I realized my boyfriend probably didn’t wanna hear that (cause I know I wouldn’t want to if the roles were reversed). At the same time, I’ve noticed that my boyfriend is very far from being a jealous person, so who knows what he’d think.

I really don’t feel like I have a romantic impulse in this situation. I just think he’d be pleasant to have a conversation with.

anartist's avatar

Your chance has passed. He may have been interested then, but you acted as you needed to then as you were bound by loyalty to your cousin. May you all move on successfully.

perspicacious's avatar

Stay away from the guy and don’t talk to him anymore.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@silverlining You said you wouldn’t want your boyfriend to be doing this, so why do you want to do it? If it’s not something you would be okay with your boyfriend doing, you shouldn’t be doing it either. I agree with everyone else, just let this one go and move on. You have the potential to mess up a lot of relationships with this (the relationship you have with your cousin, the relationship with your boyfriend, and the relationship between this guy and his girlfriend).

lillycoyote's avatar

I guess for me the main question is really what are you hoping to get out of this relationship? Your cousin is done with him and according to you “he was a jerk, broke her heart.” And you got interested in him during a phase when you were “very lonely and insecure” and “he was intelligent and charming” or maybe a jerk who just seemed intelligent and charming because you were very lonely and insecure. Then, again, according to you “there were times when I would just lash out at him and attack his character.” Doesn’t sound like how one reacts to someone who is intelligent and charming. You also say “both of us have grown up a bit” though provide no evidence that he has grown up. And you have a boyfriend who you are happy with. So what would be the point in renewing any kind of relationship with this boy at all? Maybe the question is not whether or not you are betraying your cousin but whether or not you are betraying yourself and/or your boyfriend.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Foolish but not outright betrayal unless you were ever asked directly by your cousin if you and the guy had been dating during this “platonic” exchange you had. I’d leave it alone and find someone else.

Silhouette's avatar

Yep, it would be considered betrayal. You are going to be hiding the “friendship ” from your cousin, you are going to be minimizing the friendship for your boyfriend and you are lying to yourself right out of the gate. You don’t want just a friendship with this fella or you wouldn’t be having overwhelming desires to shoot him anything.

Cat4thCB's avatar

i’ve always thought that running into doubts during your decision making process means something: NO

or at the very least, a serious rethink.

this matter seems to be one of loyalty to your cousin, your very close friend. self-sacrifice on your part would strengthen your relationship.

if you are still “overwhelmed with the desire to shoot him” a message, your cousin deserves the courtesy of a honest discussion before you contact him, not after you have reestablished a friendship with some one who has hurt her and not after you’ve been lying to her about the nature of your relationship.

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