My best friend and I both worked at a summer camp as instructors during a couple years before Covid caused the camps to close temporarily.
I was head lifeguard and swim instructor, and he was head of land sports.
We were part of a larger group of senior staff including head counsellors at this co-ed camp. We met the same females in the same community of staff which mostly consisted of people studying in college or university courses during the academic year.
During our first stay there, I’d immediately hit it off with one girl from another city and we were considered “an item.” I liked her a lot. My best friend hung out with us sometimes, but he was very busy juggling casual connections with two female staffers.
When camp ended, my “summer girlfriend” went back to her city, 500 miles away. We initially chatted online pretty often, saying how we missed each other and hoped to get together the next summer.
But when the camp closed for the next summer due to the pandemic, we only had occasional online contact. Doing courses online from home began to take up a lot of my time.
This past summer when the camps re-opened, I didn’t renew my job as I wanted to pursue a special project towards my graduating goal. I posted this news on social media.
Recently, my camp “ex” sent me an odd text that she’d been surprised by a visit from “our close friend” - i.e., my closest friend. I didn’t even know how to react!
What was he doing in her city in a different province from where he lives? Why hadn’t he told me that he visited her? And what was that all about?
When I couldn’t resist and called him, he texted back, “Meant to tell you but got busy with assignments.” He said that she’d reached out to him to ask about me. He’d told her I was doing great at school. She said she missed “both” of us and if he’s ever got time to travel, she’d love to see him.
I can’t believe that my best pal would do this, and I hate how jealous I feel! Neither of them had the courtesy/respect to ask how I’d feel if they got together.
Should I call out my friend as a miserable poacher? Or was my being immersed in my goals a reasonable excuse for them both to get together?
Best Friend Stole My Girl!
No one got “stolen,” but you had reason to be hurt that both “friends” - your summer-romance girlfriend and long-time best pal - didn’t tell you what was going on.
It’s unclear what actually happened between those two. Was she trying to make you jealous? Was he waiting all this while to have a chance with her? Were you taking this young woman for granted while you focused on your studies and future?
This is a turning point for all of you. Either she contacts you, to apologize for inviting him alone to visit (even if she knew you’d be “too busy.”) Or he apologizes, admitting it was a mistake to secretly visit her.
If jealousy is the main emotion that you’re currently (and understandably) feeling, then the girl wasn’t as important to you as your scholastic goals. Your diligence and ambitions for your future are admirable... but weren’t shared or appreciated as such by her.
Time will tell whether you eventually forgive your friend.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the twin teenage boys who have frequently been rude to their mother (Nov.16):
“My teenage daughter’s behaviour was worse. I was a single parent having great difficulty with her. So, I joined a weekly parent group of badly-behaving children.
“Here’s what I learned:
“It's hard to start to discipline kids to whom you've previously spent all your energy on giving and loving,
“The main lesson for parents and kids: Behaviour has consequences for the child. They lose their gloves? They must replace them using their allowance.
“Parents can choose the consequences. e.g. If you attack your mother verbally, your phone will be confiscated for a stated time.
“Consequences shouldn’t require work from the parent(s). Just take a beloved object away (even favourite jeans).
“Kids are manipulative. e.g., "How can I reach you in an emergency?" Answer: “Borrow a friend’s phone.”
“My life with my daughter became a lot more pleasant.”
Tip of the day:
Long-distance relationships are difficult under time pressures. Couples must regularly have virtual contact and express their feelings.