One of my friends (let's call her Lucy) is having sex with her roommate (we'll call him Bob). Now this is a completely mutual agreement, apparently, but they are not dating. In fact, they are trying to keep it as secret as possible, especially from their other roommate (whom I will refer to as DeeDee). Now I'm stuck here in the middle a bit because Lucy has actually told me all this and has made me swear to secrecy. That means I can't tell DeeDee, who is being totally kept in the dark about this.
That is only one part to this dilemma of mine. The other is what to do about this strange relationship Lucy has gotten herself into. Lucy has obviously fallen for this guy, and I'm not sure he actually cares about her. From an outsider's standpoint, I can tell that, yes, Bob and Lucy make a good pair. They have tons of similar interests and have fun together, BUT it is pretty much his doing that no one knows about this. Lucy went behind his back to tell me what's going on. Whenever Lucy brings the topic of "relationship/no relationship" up with Bob, he changes the subject! My horrible guess is that Bob is hanging around and using Lucy. I really, really don't want this to be the case, but it seems that way. Of course maybe he's actually compassionate and just doesn't want DeeDee to be hurt (she would seriously maim both of them if she found out what was going on in the next room).
What thoughts do you have on this?
Concerned for a friend
My first thought is that you must develop a reputation as someone who cannot be trusted. I don't know how many times friends have asked me, "Can you keep a secret?" My answer is always, "Mmmm, well, actually, no." It's been my experience that most secrets aren't worth hearing—and those that are vaguely interesting are much more fun when shared with others. You'd think that this philosophy of mine would deter potential confiders, but unfortunately it doesn't always work out that way. So I inevitably get stuck hearing lame-o secrets like the one you've been gifted with. Yawn. What you should bear in mind is that once Lucy told you her secret, it was really no longer a secret. See what I mean?
Anyway, getting back to being a bad keeper of secrets— it is gratifying to think of yourself as someone who is worthy of being confided in, but what you have to remember is that the confider is not generally telling tales out of any admiration for your character, but more likely just to get it off their chest. And then they feel better, but where does that leave you? Caught in the middle between your friends, being a player in a dull drama that you don't want any part of. The least Lucy could do is let you in on a compelling secret—like, say, Bob only has one testicle, or he can't get off unless he's impaled on an 8-inch dildo wearing full drag and nipple clamps; now those would be interesting confidences. And isn't DeeDee a bit of a dum-dum not to have caught on that her roomies are bumping uglies?
As far as Bob goes, he sounds like a shit, and you're probably on the money as far as his motivation goes. My advice would be to share your take on the situation with Lucy. When she inevitably ignores you and continues to delude herself into thinking that she doesn't care about Bob, but deep down desperately wishes that he would fall madly in love with her, just take Dum-Dum DeeDee out for a refreshing cocktail and spill. Sure, Lucy will be pissed off at you, but not half as pissed as Bob. As Bob's fury mounts, Lucy will become indignant that he's this annoyed about their little trysts being discovered, and perhaps it will be the impetus that she so desperately needs to rid herself of this loser. In any case, you'll be off the hook because nobody will ever trust you with their sorry little secrets again.
Spill your secrets to Dategirl. Write email@example.com or Dategirl, c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western, Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.