Okay, prepare to hate me. I know I promised you all a follow-up post to my last one, outlining my rules to live by. Don't worry, that's still coming, and soon. But today I have something I need to talk about and get off my conscious. I'm stuck in the middle of a moral dilemma, if you will, and I have a decision to make. And the decision is basically this: to tell or not to tell. I'm going to need advice and opinions on this.
UPDATE: Well, as it turns out, all of this played out before I had the chance to write about it here, in this space. Let me explain.
Last night I was at a friend's house for dinner. She had another one of her friends over too, and it was my first time meeting this particular person. As it turns out, she was a friend of an ex-girlfriend's current boyfriend (What a small world it is.). This girl told me that in the past couple of weeks that the guy had propositioned her once or twice for something more to occur than what a guy and a girl who are just friends do together. I'm not sure exactly what that entailed, but it was obviously something romantic/sexual in nature.
I asked how recently it had occured, and she said that it had been in the past couple of weeks. This is in the time frame that my ex has been dating the guy, so that bothered me. My first thought was concern for her getting hurt if this was true and something did occur, or could occur in the future that would jeopardize said ex-girlfriend's relationship with this guy.
Let me make one thing clear: THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME. It's about me caring about someone who is still my friend and not wanting them to get hurt. I didn't go looking for this information, seeking it out. It fell right into my lap in the middle of a dinner conversation. From that point, it was up to me to figure out what to do with it.
It weighed on my conscious all night and half the day today. I still wasn't sure whether or not I should tell her what I had heard, and was going back and forth with myself when she called me a short while ago. She asked me if it had anything to do with her, and I told her the whole story. What was I supposed to do, lie? I can't do that to a friend. I was only looking out for her, trying to make sure she was not going to be hurt. For her sake I hope everything turns out great with the guy, and I hope he wouldn't cheat on her. But I couldn't hold that inside me and carry it around, knowing what might have happened, and how bad it would be if it happened in the future if things got more serious. I would feel horrible.
I felt so much better telling her, although I know it was painful for her to hear. The part of me that didn't want to tell her was worried that she might not believe me, and think that I was making it all up to sabotage her relationship and, unfortunately, that's what happened. She doesn't believe me. She sent me a text message after we got off the phone saying she didn't want to hear from me again. Ouch. That's pretty painful. All of our lives growing up we are taught to do the right thing. To tell the truth. To look out for the people we care for. I did all of that, and then some. And what happened? I may have lost a friend. I hope not, but it seems to be a distinct possibility.
I'm the nice guy. Every one of you knows that. You know that Heather. I did what I thought was the right thing to do, and I will continue to do so going forward. I'm not asking to be rewarded, only to be treated fairly. I'm just asking for a friendship. If the roles were reversed, and I had been in your shoes, I can only hope that you would care enough about me to have told me the truth.
Lesson of the day: Doing the right thing isn't always the easy thing to do.