Life Advice



Ask Amy: New relationship displaces old friendship

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a very good friend named “Carl,” who recently began dating a guy named “Samuel.” Samuel is cold to me and seems threatened by my long-standing close friendship with Carl.

I’ve mentioned this to Carl, who’s been dismissive about it.

Recently, Carl had a significant birthday, and when I asked if he was doing anything special, he said he was celebrating it out of town with his family.

On the night of his birthday, I didn’t have plans, so I went to a restaurant (solo) to have dinner at the bar, where I am friends with the bartender.

Imagine my surprise, when Carl, Samuel and a few others walked in for Carl’s birthday dinner.

It was an awkward coincidence, and I was very hurt that I hadn't been invited and had been lied to. Carl apologized for lying, told me that Samuel put together the guest list, and said that we obviously needed to chat soon.


I didn’t have much to say since I was still processing it.

They were seated in a private room away from the bar area. I had already ordered and was waiting for my food when Samuel came out of the room and approached me, saying that my presence in the restaurant was making Carl uncomfortable and was ruining his birthday dinner.

When I told him that I had already ordered and planned on eating my dinner, Samuel told me I was selfish, making me feel even worse.

I feel like I was put in an untenable situation and am re-examining my friendship with Carl. But was I selfish and was I obligated to leave?


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