This relationship problem’s not really about me. See it’s my best friend, Carol. Well, she was recently dumped by her boyfriend, Jon. I never really did like him. It all started out when another one of my friends, Kyla, was going out with him. Jon dumped her, and started going out with Carol. So they were doing fine and everything, until Kyla comes in, still liking Jon, and starts flirting with him and of course Jon does it back. Jon starts to talk to Carol less and less.
Carol, thinking she could trust Kyla, said, “Kyla, I might dump Jon.” Well that was a mistake because Kyla told him. So Jon asked one of his pals what he should do and they said he should get rid of Carol. So the next day he broke up with her. Kyla pretended she’d done nothing, but Carol knew she did. Kyla also said, “I won’t go out with Jon if you’re still hurt,” and Carol was, but Kyla asked him out anyway. He said yes and that was that.
So now every time Kyla and Jon are together she rubs it in to Carol. Carol doesn’t deserve that. She’s always nice to everyone. Kyla is just Kyla, if you know what I mean. Carol’s never told me this before, but I think she’s in love with Jon. Her actions speak louder than words: the way she’s always talking about him, the way she smiled when he held her hand, the way she dances with her head on his shoulder, and most of all the way she cried her never ending tears. Please tell me how to get Jon back with Carol. I’ve tried everything and they need to be together.
I think relationships by committee really are the way to go. It’s very difficult to step back and manage one’s own relationship objectively. It’s much better to get your entire circle of friends (and even acquaintances, or people you’ve just met in 7-11) involved in the management of your love affair. I mean, how else can you really know what’s going on?
Anyone who’s been in business knows that committees work through gossip, backbiting, and alliances formed late at night at the local fern bar. You people have that part down pat.
What you lack is organization.
Go around to your friends individually and set up secret rendezvous to “bounce some ideas” off them about the Kyla/Jon/Carol situation. Naturally, you’ll schedule all of these for the same time and place. Make sure the principal players (Kyla, Jon, Carol) aren’t invited. Once everyone shows up and starts asking “who called this meeting,” you can take control by saying things like, “Since we’re all here, what do you think of busting up Kyla and Jon and getting Jon back together with Carol?” or “Why doesn’t Margie take notes to make sure we’re all on the same page?” or “Do these pants make me look fat?”
Work to build consensus by cattily referring to the past indiscretions of your fellow committee members when they disagree with you. Don’t spill the beans entirely, just cock your eyebrow and strategically drop the names of people, places or events to remind your friends they’d better go along with you or risk having their dirty laundry aired. Saying, “So, Josh, did you ever explain to Jenny how you got that rash during your, ah, ‘hunting’ trip last fall?” is going to quickly build more consensus than pleading or logical reasoning ever will.
Once you’ve established the group’s support of your plan, assign individual tasks. One member could be charged with spreading false rumors about Kyla’s past, while another could confide to Jon that Carol has a sizeable trust fund “she doesn’t really like to talk about.” Set a follow-up meeting so they can report on the results of their efforts. That should do the trick.
Good luck, dear!
© 2000-2002 Elizabeth Hanes