On the worst kind of girl.

Dear Coquette,

So, here’s a shameful confession: I have a pattern of falling for/going for guys who are already taken. Why? It feels safer to cultivate emotional intimacy under the guise of a platonic relationship. It’s more exciting (because they might end up preferring you to their current partner — the rush of competition), and more ambiguous (who ever knows who will fall first, if anyone? hence the thrill). The last time this happened, my best friend cheated on his girlfriend with me. Ok, SO — believe it or not, I really do want to be a good person. I’m not trying to justify my previous immoral behavior; I swore I’d never cheat with anyone ever again. So for the future: should I avoid becoming friends with guys who are in relationships? Is that really reasonable or fair? Can I help it if at present I’m attracted (both emotionally and physically) to my friend’s bf? I know we can’t control our feelings, but we CAN and should control how/if we act on them. But if no one cheats (albeit emotionally, I suppose), is it wrong to become close friends with him, hoping someday he’ll be her ex? And 2, if this works out, would it be reasonable to expect forgiveness?

There’s a reason you call this a shameful confession instead of a guilty one — you’re such an antisocial little personality that you aren’t actually capable of feeling guilt, and the only reason you feel any shame is because your reputation has been damaged.

You don’t even think this kind of behavior is wrong. Not really. You recognize that other people think it’s wrong, and that’s the only reason you’re making overtures of self-improvement. It’s not genuine, though. You know how to make some apologetic noises, but when I scrape all the bullshit off of your question, you’re really only asking me one thing — how can I keep getting away with this?

It’s disgusting. You don’t really want to be a good person. You just want people to think you’re a good person, but it’s too late for that. You’ve already acted out. You’ve destroyed at least one friendship, and now nobody trusts you anymore. Nor should they. You swear that you’ll never cheat with anyone ever again, and in your next breath, you admit you’ve still got your sights on some guy who’s already taken. That’s a remarkable combination of narcissism and denial.

Here’s the fun part where I tell you all the things you’ll refuse to accept. First, contrary to everything your horrible mother taught you about the world, not only can you control your feelings, but you are responsible for them. That means yes, it is absolutely wrong to get close with your friend’s boyfriend in the hopes that you can swoop in on him after they break up.

The fact that I have to tell you this means you are morally damaged beyond my ability to give you advice. There’s nothing I can say that will get you to do the right thing. You’re just not built that way. All I can do is hold you up as a warning to others and an example of how not to behave.

I sincerely hope you develop some integrity one day. In the meantime, I hope you choose not to continue spreading chaos in your relationships.


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