Dear Shelly


Dear Shelly,
My friend, Marc, and I have been spending a lot of time together. Last Friday night, he invited me to a house party, off campus. We played a few drinking games and I ended up staying with him. The next morning things were fine. Now, I notice his attitude is different. We talk on IM, but it is rare and we never hang out. He said he is to busy. Did our hook-up ruin our friendship?
Friendless in Freehold

Dear Friendless,
The few hours of glory, in an innocent hook-up, does often change the foundations of friendship. This plague of relationship disaster seems to victimize a significant population. Here are a few rules that everyone should follow, making the walk of shame less awkward.
Are you looking to continue a friendship with Marc? Sit this boy down and have a heart-to-heart. Tell him you are not ashamed of what has happened, that you have moved on, and that hopefully you could rebuild a little trust in each other and continue the friendship. He might agree, but not act upon the friendship immediately. Sometimes friends are a little reluctant, and it might take a semester to repair the friendship.
Read all his signs in this one-on-one. Listen to what he is or isn’t saying. If he tells you he wants to be friends, but he cannot look you in the eye, this friend is either embarrassed or not really interested. Give him some space, and let him be. He knows where you live.
So you did the inevitable. The discussion is over. If there are no emotional strings attached, you will move on, and the memories of the physical are just that, a memory. If there is a mutual interest in stepping up this relationship to friends with benefits, or unofficially seeing each other, you will know by his actions.
If nothing comes from this rendezvous, were you really friends, or might there have been an ulterior motive to someone’s friendship?
Lastly, and this is no excuse for avoidance, but your friend might be struggling through another relationship besides you. If you know there is an ex close in the picture, maybe he is torn. Should his feelings for his ex affect your friendship?
No, the two relationships are unrelated. But if he is in “negotiations” with his ex, and he hooks up with you intermittedly, he might be feeling guilty, and his immature response would be to avoid you. Which, remember, is his problem, not yours!
Good Luck,