DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My younger brother casually introduced me to one of his friends, and I really like him. The problem is, my brother told me not to date him, because he doesn’t want things to get “weird” between him and his friend in case we don’t work out. We both still live at home with the folks.

Opinion

DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: My younger brother casually introduced me to one of his friends, and I really like him. The problem is, my brother told me not to date him, because he doesn’t want things to get “weird” between him and his friend in case we don’t work out. We both still live at home with the folks.

I’m 22, pretty good-looking and fun, and this guy is into me. To be honest, we are already messaging each other. Should I just go for it or should I listen to my brother? My friends told me to go for it, but I wanted to get a second opinion.

— Younger Sister, Transcona

Dear Younger Sister: Don’t do this, if you can help it. Your friends told you to go for it, because new romance is a fun idea, but they won’t be under your roof for the awkwardness and pain of a fallout.

This is a hurtful mess in the making for you and your bro, and it happens too frequently. Why? Guys who have come to know a family through a buddy, and like the way that family rolls, are apt also to find a sister of their pal likeable. If that sister is physically attractive and flirtatious, they might well gravitate to each other, and even start going out secretly — or in plain view.

The problem is a little awkward when a guy’s friend and his sister are going out, getting along and making out. “Sis” usurps a lot of his buddy’s attention, and the thought of the two of them getting it on is a bit weird.

It’s when they break up that it gets really bad. The guy who either dumps or gets dumped by the sister no longer wants to come to the house, where his now-ex lives. He doesn’t know how to talk to her brother about it, either.

Things may become awkward between the two guys for a long time after the split, or forever, depending on the reasons for the breakup. Can’t you skip this one flirtation and shop elsewhere for a boyfriend?

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My best friend and I used to be so close through school and college we’d even eat off each other’s plates, the way little kids do. Then she met a great guy, got married and soon pregnant. We were very close during her pregnancy and I was at their house all the time.

She announced she wanted to name her baby after me. She revealed that to me in her last month of pregnancy, thinking I’d be thrilled. I wasn’t. I was kind of shocked, and voiced an objection. That very unusual name of mine is my identity! A week later I finally got over my ego, realizing it was a big compliment. When I told her she had permission to use my name for the baby, she said, “Not happening. That ship has sailed.” I could tell she had been deeply offended.

We haven’t been real close since. The beautiful baby girl is here and we are still “pleasant” friends on the surface, but not close like twins anymore. I want that back so much! Please help.

— Missing Our Closeness, St. James

Dear Missing Closeness: It’s a huge honour to name your child after someone you love dearly. Young moms and dads often name babies after parents and grandparents — but not friends. Your friend gave you that special honour, and you pushed it away — hurting and embarrassing her. A deep apology and explanation is needed, and could help a lot. This issue is not the end of the world. Hang in there, be a great auntie-type friend, give your friend some time and much of the closeness will hopefully return.

Please send your questions and comments to lovecoach@hotmail.com or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Winnipeg Free Press, 1355 Mountain Ave., Winnipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.

Miss Lonelyhearts

Miss Lonelyhearts
Advice Columnist

Each year, the Free Press publishes more than 1,000 letters to Miss Lonelyhearts and her responses to the life and relationship questions that come her way.

Maureen Scurfield

Maureen Scurfield
Advice columnist

Maureen Scurfield writes the Miss Lonelyhearts advice column.