Sangita Patel is Streets of Toronto’s new advice columnist and was previously an entertainment reporter with ET Canada. She lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.
Dear Sangita: My New Year’s resolution is to break up with my awful boyfriend and start dating his best friend! His best friend is just a much better fit for me. Neither of us have acted on it, but I want to. How do I do this without breaking up their friendship? — Betting on the better boyfriend
Dear Betting: There’s no getting around breaking up the friendship, especially if they’re best friends. But you need to take the time to figure out whether you really have feelings for him. Since they’re best friends, there’s a chance they have some similarities. It sounds like you’re not in a good place with your boyfriend, and you’re finding solace in the friend, who is the nice guy in the friendship.
I think you need to break up with your boyfriend and assess the situation. If you do date the best friend, you will be the one breaking up that friendship. However, if it’s the best friend who says he wants to be with you and it’s mutual, then he’ll break up that friendship and he’ll step away from him. And then you’ll be able to start your own lives.
I’ve seen this happen before. A friend of mine was dating this guy, and it looked like it was very serious. But they hung out with this third person, who was a friend. The boyfriend left my friend and ended up dating the other woman. And they are now married with two kids, and they’re completely vibing. So of course, it could happen. But you have to handle it very carefully, because you’re going to look like the bad guy.
With the example of my friend, she and the other woman don’t talk at all anymore. But clearly the woman is happy with the consequences. For me, it would be difficult. I would have so much remorse over breaking up a friendship. But maybe that person is right for you.
Dear Sangita: My son is having his first child, and I’m really excited, but my husband isn’t. I’ve always wanted grandchildren and would be happy to take care of them. I thought my husband would be too, but he’s said he doesn’t want anything to do with child care. What do I do? — Give in to grandparenting
Dear Give In: I think once the child comes, it’s a completely different experience for grandparents. Your husband is saying he’s done raising kids. But once you become a grandparent, your whole vision changes. I’ve never seen grandparents who want to step away from the grandchild, and they will do whatever they can to help — not the son, but to be there for the grandchild. The fact that he thinks it’s parenting — it’s not, it’s grandparenting! You don’t have the responsibilities, and you get to experience a lot of joy with this child. Your husband may be looking at it from a financial perspective, saying, “Hey, we’re supposed to be retiring, and I don’t want to parent.” I think he’ll change his tune once the child is here.
I don’t think you need to be bringing this up right now, though. You may be stepping too quickly — your son may not need your help with child care! Take it a step at a time and just wait for your son to come to you if he needs it. But enjoy being a grandparent! It’s the best time.
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