Keith Ablow Q&A: In Love with her Boyfriend’s Brother
By Keith Ablow, MD
I’m falling in love with my boyfriend’s brother. James and I met at work, and we’ve been dating for about 6 months now, exclusively. We go to his parents’ house for dinner every other Sunday, and that’s where I met his brother, Pete, who is kind, adorable, and is also attracted to me. In fact, we’ve met a couple of times for coffee, without James. One thing led to another – and ended with a kiss. Since then he’s called a couple of times, and I can’t deny I’m in love. So how do I – we – break the news to James? – Denise P., Petaluma, CA
I hate to be a downer, but maybe you don’t break the news to James at all. You’ve met Pete a few times for coffee and kissed him once. That’s not enough experience with a man to be so certain you’re in love with him, especially since he happens to be the kind of person who’d go behind his brother’s back and try to steal his girlfriend.
I know you’ll say it isn’t at all like that, that your love is so undeniable that Pete can’t help himself, but I just don’t buy it. I’m no fan of your man. You’d better do a psychological inventory on yourself, too. Is there anything about the intrigue of cheating with Pete that you’re confusing with love? Were your parents faithful to one another? Did you know, otherwise? Were personal boundaries respected in your family, or were yours crossed in some way? Do you feel like a sibling of yours was the favored one and now take some sort of unconscious satisfaction in choosing one brother over another? It gives you a lot of power. Is that what you’re after?
One thing is clear: You should tell James you can’t see him, anymore. Tell Pete you won’t see him, either, until he asks James’ permission to give you a call.
I don’t know when Pete should pop that question, but it feels like it could be a month or more from now, after James has let go of hope for the two of you.
Let me know if Pete turns out to be the real deal, and you find true love. You’re off to a really rocky start. I wouldn’t trust him with your best friend or your sister, by the way.
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