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11:32 PM Wed, Sept. 19th

Dear Annie: How to deal with a cheating ‘pig’

Dear Annie: My friend has been dating the same guy for about a year, and I have always gotten along with him just fine. He has become my friend, too. I’ve always thought they seem so happy together, and it makes me glad to see my friend treated well by someone she cares about. Friendship is everything to me. That’s why I’m struggling now. Another friend of mine, from a completely different circle of friends, was telling me about the guy she recently hooked up with. Well, lo and behold, he’s already taken ... by my other friend. I’m really struggling with this information and feeling conflicted. First of all, I can’t believe that this guy had me fooled while he’s been fooling around with two of my friends. But I just don’t know whom to confront first and how to get this pig out of my friends’ lives! – Fierce Friend

Dear Fierce: “Pig” is too kind a word. But I digress.

You need to talk to both of your friends. (Let’s count it as some shred of a silver lining that the two of them aren’t friends with each other.)

First, talk to the one whom he cheated with. Don’t be accusatory. Start with “I’m sure you weren’t aware of this, but...” Don’t get into too many details with her. Keep the conversation short and sweet.

Then comes the hard part. You need to tell your friend her boyfriend cheated. Do it soon – like, now. The longer you put off news such as this the harder it is to share. Put forth your comfiest shoulder to cry on, and tell her, as gently as possible, that he cheated. It’s not going to be fun. You’ll be in for a long few weeks as a human sounding board. But in the end, your friend will move on.

As for that pig? He’ll go “wah, wah, wah” all the way home.

Dear Annie: All of a sudden, I found myself being the only single one in my group of close girlfriends. I’m totally fine with being single right now; we are all second-year law school students and have a lot going on. I’ve just been focusing on school and myself since getting out of a four-year relationship last year. I’m just along for the ride!

My friends are at different stages in their relationships. Two are in semi-long-term relationships (one to three years). Two are in the puppy love phase. And one is just past the puppy love phase, aka the veil-is-lifted phase, aka we’ll see how that goes.

We all hang out as a group often – significant others included -- and I’m usually included on other plans. But other times, I feel totally ditched. One of my friends hangs all over her boyfriend when the three of us are out. And another has become flaky and noncommittal about making plans for just the two of us. I’m all about their having fun and getting swept up in the whirlwind of romance; it’s a great feeling. But flakiness is my biggest pet peeve. My feelings are starting to get hurt. Should I talk to them about this or just give them some space? -- Single Lady Law Student

Dear Single Lady: What’s with the attitude? Your friends are in committed and loving relationships, and your overall reaction is “we’ll see how that goes”? Perhaps you need to examine your own pessimism toward relationships. If you’re still holding on to the heartache of your breakup, keeping your defenses up, you’re only hurting yourself.

As for your friends – talk to them. These “smitten kittens” may not even realize they’ve left you by the wayside. If you approach them about it and they continue not to be mindful, take some space and mingle in different social circles. Things will normalize eventually. And if not, you’ll always have Beyonce.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.