Life Advice



Ask Amy: A secret friendship harms intimacy

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I had a brief romance with "Frederica" while on a business trip in 2019. Sadly, we weren't able to meet again due to COVID restrictions, but we were effectively in a long-distance relationship for about a year.

Ultimately, we concluded we are not long-term material. We have both been in relationships since our romance fizzled and have settled into a great platonic friendship.

Frederica and I text and call regularly, discuss our current partners, exchange birthday gifts etc.

We both work at the same (large) company and always have lots to talk about. Fast-forward to now – my current partner, “Molly,” does not approve of this situation (to put it lightly), forcing me to keep my contact with Frederica mostly secret.

The choice in front of me is to either cut Frederica out of my life completely or to keep my friend hidden in perpetuity.

Neither option sounds appealing. I don't want to lose one of my best friends, but I hate the deceit, which is mentally exhausting.


I also do understand why my current (and potentially any future) partner would be suspicious of a close friend of the opposite sex.

What should I do?

– I’ve Got a Secret

Dear Secret: Your romantic relationship with “Frederica” isn’t exactly ancient history. “Molly” would justifiably be curious about the past relationship and your ongoing close friendship; your choice to give in to her (and your) anxiety about the friendship by keeping it a secret is hurting all of you.


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