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A change of heart regarding the BF

December 03, 2009

Dear Amy: A couple of years ago, my best friend confessed she had "those" kinds of feelings for me.

Though I cherished her more than anyone, I wasn't ready for a romantic relationship with her.

About six months later she wound up with a partner, and the two of them are contentedly together.

Meanwhile, I have realized that I had feelings for my BF all along and that I made a mistake in shrugging her off.

In case my BF doesn't stay with her partner forever, I want her to know that if she were still interested in me, I'd like to be with her.

Is it bad form to let her know how I feel while she's still with her partner?

Confused

Dear Confused: Read Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility" (or watch the wonderful film version), and you will be reminded of the "rules" regarding confessing your feelings and encroaching on someone else's relationship.

In polite society, people with integrity don't interfere with other people's romantic relationships.

However, even in Austen's time, this sort of personal integrity presented challenges -- while at the same time unleashing simmering romantic tension.

Split the difference between declaring yourself outright and doing nothing.

Ask your friend how she feels about her current relationship. If she expresses a version of "I'm still waiting for you to come around," then tell her you regret rejecting her previously.

Let her figure out what to do about it.

Dear Amy: I'm responding to the mother who was concerned because her daughter's coach was sending multiple text messages to the daughter each day.

I'm a coach of a track team.

I have a pretty good idea of the obvious concerns parents have, so while I often wind up driving kids to or from events, it's always with parental permission and with other kids in the car.

And after particularly good races, when they come running back across the field in celebration they get a hug . . . but always in public.

The coach who sends multiple texts each day to a girl simply isn't fit to work with kids. If he doesn't recognize that his actions are not appropriate, the mother needs to let him know.

Concerned Coach

Dear Coach: Anyone who works with kids should respect the very important boundaries adults must maintain. And if a coach or teacher does not maintain those boundaries, parents should intervene.

Send questions to Amy Dickinson by e-mail to askamy@tribune.com.

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