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Am I a bad friend?


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I met a guy on Hinge, and we went on 2 dates. Nothing untoward happened on those dates. I wasn't really feeling a chemistry, but he was really nice. After the second date, I started to wonder about some of the stories he told me. They seemed to overlap with some stories my best friend had told me about her ex from three years ago (a time when my best friend and I were not in contact). So I asked my bestie about it, and turns out that it's the same guy. We laughed about it a bit, and then I asked her if it was okay that I told the guy about our friendship. She said she didn't care. I texted that guy to end things amicably, and I brought up my friend - how much I care about her, and what a coincidence, etc. He told me to tell her hello, so I did ("[His name] told me to tell you hi, that you're really sweet, and he sees how you and I could be good friends! <3"), to which my friend essentially dumped me. She said, "Good luck with my ex! You knew it was him. I'm so over this friendship. This is the last straw."  I live in NYC. There are a lot of men with similarities on these dating apps. I'm not thinking about my friends' exes let alone seeking them out. 

If this bit helps, that friend and I have been friends off and on since we were 12. In high school, though, she would often bully me with her older sister's popular mean girls group both irl and online. It's so confusing because she's so nice at times, but then she'll switch on a dime. And, when I really need a friend, she tells me I need help. When I ask for some comfort (verbatim), she recoils and says I'm being toxic. She's been excluding me from girls'nights, etc. And it feels like that high school bullying all over again. 

I know I didn't seek her ex out on purpose - dating a friend's ex is one of my biggest dealbreakers. I would never intend it. The part that makes me feel like a bad friend is that I sent the screenshot of my friend's text to a guy friend. This guy friend and I have only hung out twice  irl, but we texted frequently. Usually it's just me venting daily frustrations - not with any real gravity but just trivial things. Anyway, he texted me a two-screen long message saying that my friend is right - that I need help, and he claims that I intentionally meant to hurt my friend by sending her that message about the guy. He said, "No person in the world would ever send that without intentionally trying to be malicious. If you really thought that you weren't doing anything wrong, then I don't know what to tell you. I highly doubt that you are that clueless."

I didn't mean to hurt my friend. I didn't mean to date her ex. But having reinforcement from two sides makes me wonder if I did do everything on purpose. To be fair, my male friend is condescending often - not at like midnight when he wants me to come over, though. The night before this happened, he had invited me over again at like 1 am... and I said no, again. So I don't know if his jabs have other things going on.

That said, all my other friends (and I do have many wonderful friends) and my family (my mom and sister) have been extremely supportive. They remind me of all the times that "best friend" has been mean to me and mistreated me throughout high school until now. That friend has been institutionalized twice in psych wards and diagnosed by a team of psychiatrists with bipolar and borderline personality disorder, so I try to keep that in perspective. But still - I've been losing sleep. I've been feeling like such shit about myself. Like perhaps I am a really bad person? I  don't know. I don't know if I'm even making sense. Thank you for reading.

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Hey @shymagnolia

Thank you for telling me about what's happened between you and your friend. I think that her reaction is definitely interesting, because from what you said about how she reacted when you first found out it was him, she seemed like it was all okay. I'm wondering, what do you think led to her having that reaction? I think you're absolutely right to keep in mind the difficulties that she has had with her mental health, and how these might impact her emotions and relationships. How are you feeling?


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