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Dealing with an ultimatum, "It's HIM or ME!"
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Q:

Here's my problem. My friend and some other people bugged my crush into asking me out. He did ask me but it was for Friday night, a night when my friend is having a party. I was going to ditch the party and go skating with him but when I told my friend she spazzed and said she would hate me if I chose going out with him over her party. Thinking I had found a good compromise I asked her if I could bring him to her party as my date. I was shocked when she said "No way!" and let me know that I had to choose between him and our friendship. I want her as a friend more than I want to go out with this guy but I am a little put off by her ultimatum. I don't want her to be mad at me every time I go out with a guy instead of doing something with her and think that if I back down now it will set a bad trend. What do I do?

A:

You are in a dilemma. Let me ask you this, and you should ask it of yourself too, what kind of friend puts you in the position of having to choose before there is a reason? I mean, you like this guy and presumably she knows that so why would she make this so hard? Is she as good a friend as you are trying to be? Be honest in your answers.

That said, if you still are dedicated to this friendship your solution is simple. You tell this guy that you accepted an invitation to a friend's party before he asked you out, and that you have to stand by your word. Then explain to him that she can't expand her guest list to allow a date. Say you don't understand why but that it is her party and you must respect her wishes. Then suggest an alternate date saying something like, "Can we do it the next night? I really do want to go out with you but I am just not the sort of person who jams out on my friends!" A guy will respect your loyalty to your friends.

It is a little known fact that guys fear commitment because they fear becoming everything to a girl. We can't take the pressure! If he is at all serious about dating you and getting to know you, an "I promised a gal pal I'd be at her shing-ding," isn't going to chase him away.

As to your friends "spazz"... could her refusal to let you bring him have been an off the cuff reaction to your telling her that you wanted to go out with him instead of going to her party? Are you sure she meant "No way!" or is it possible that she was only saying this in the heat of the moment because you had hurt her feelings? Is her ultimatum really final, or did it come from hurt feelings? If she was hurt and angry it is possible that she would reconsider once she has calmed down. Ask her again closer to the date of the party. If she reacts the same way as before you are no worse off, and if she has calmed down you get the guy and the friendship.

You mention that he was teased in to asking you out. I don't like the way that sounds. Is it possible that he asked you out knowing about your prior commitment? Any chance this is a bad joke? Even more importantly, is there any chance that your friend is in on the gag? If these things are even remotely possible, you need to be on your guard with these people and you must re-evaluate your "friendship" with this girl.

You say that you want her friendship more than you want him so the decision is a simple one -- you go to her party. What you need to worry about is damage control with the guy. If you follow the steps I outline, one of two things will happen. You will end up with the friend and the date, or you will end up with just the friend. Since you already decided that you wanted her more, there isn't anything to lose by rescheduling the date, and there is lots to gain.

Good luck!

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