Dear Mistress Maeve,
I'm an almost 30-year-old woman with a social quandary. A few years ago I casually hooked up with this guy a few times. We stopped hooking up when he started dating another woman seriously. No big deal; I was fine with that. However, on several occasions since then, he has approached me for sex, even though he and the other woman are now living together. I always rebuff his advances.
My problem isn't really with him — he's just a two-timing loser who's easy to ignore. My problem is with his girlfriend. Over the years, our social circles have become closer, and I find myself being invited to many of the same gatherings as the two of them. She is a lovely person who tries to get to know me better. She probably wonders why I'm such a stuck-up bitch who won't give her the time of day — I just feel so badly for her and guilty, even though I've done nothing wrong. It's gotten to the point where I'm declining invitations to hang out with my friends for fear of running into them. I just want to do the right thing by her in this unfortunate situation.
Guilt by Association
While I commend you for taking the girlfriend's feelings into account, it's really not your responsibility to referee their relationship. I agree that keeping your distance from the girlfriend is respectful; however, you have every right to attend any social gathering you choose. Be cordial to this woman — you don't want to be best friends with her, but a polite acquaintance is fine.
If you really want to do right by her, have you considered telling her about her boyfriend's indecent proposals? On the one hand, their relationship is none of your business. But on the other hand, wouldn't you want to know if your live-in boyfriend was actually a scumbag?
Whatever you choose to do, remember: You didn't do the crime, so you shouldn't do the time. The only person who should be altering his social calendar is the unfaithful boyfriend.
Readers: What would you do in this situation? Leave a comment — you can do so anonymously by using an alias and skipping the last two fields.