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home : columns : dear harriette May 13, 2021

3/25/2021 7:59:00 AM
Best friend's boyfriend flirts too much

DEAR HARRIETTE: My best friend and I have been inseparable for the past 10 years. We've seen each other through relationships, breakups and many ups and downs. I'm currently single, but my best friend has been dating a guy for a few months, and she's already head over heels in love with him. Whenever he's around me, he becomes incredibly chivalrous and borderline flirty with me. My friend doesn't pay it any mind and thinks of it as him just being charming, but I think he's beginning to cross the line. I've even gone so far as to tell my best friend that I find him a little icky, but she got quite defensive. I think she's blinded right now, but I don't want her to get played; if this is how he acts in front of her, I can only imagine what he does behind her back. What should I say to her? Should I say anything at all? -- Not Charmed

DEAR NOT CHARMED: When people are swooning for each other, they often cannot see what's in front of them. Stop trying to warn your friend about this man. Just pay attention. Whenever he does or says something to you that you find inappropriate, call him on it. Tell him you don't think it's funny or cute when he flirts with you. Tell him to stop when he seems to be going overboard. Make your points in front of your girlfriend so she can see and hear you when you reprimand him.

If the day comes when he does hurt your friend's feelings, don't rub her nose in it. "I told you so" should not be part of the conversation. As a friend, you can help her go through it. You can point out behavior that you consider to be suspicious. Suggest that she watch out for that in the future.

DEAR HARRIETTE: I'm a 34-year-old mother of two. In January, I started the "Dry January" challenge (30 days of no alcohol). I am now going into my third month of being alcohol-free, and I'm loving the results! My skin looks better, I'm hangover-free and I've saved quite a bit of money. My fear is that when the city opens up again, I will be able to hang out with friends, go to happy hour and ultimately go back to being a social drinker. How can I maintain sobriety yet still hang out with my friends and be the life of the party? My friends love to drink, and many of our social gatherings are centered around alcohol. -- Sober Friend

DEAR SOBER FRIEND: Congratulations on nearing 90 days of sobriety. That is a huge accomplishment. You should be proud of yourself. You have to decide what you want. If your sobriety is at the top of the list, then you need to evaluate how you intend to proceed moving forward. "People, places and things" are what you need to watch out for as you build upon your sobriety. Putting yourself in the company of a group of people you used to drink with at a drinking establishment is setting yourself up for failure, especially in the early days of your sobriety.

You may want to think of other activities you can do with your friends that do not involve drinking. Also, tell them about your sobriety and ask for their support. What some people in your position do is order nonalcoholic beverages when they are hanging out with drinkers. That can be risky, though.

Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.

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