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This 'friend' is on a break - with a vengeance

DEAR AMY: My roommate and friend, "Rand," recently decided to take a break from his girlfriend of three years. He has been seeing other people and has had casual sex with a few different women in the short time since his breakup. He asked me if I or my girlfriend had any friends whom we could set him up with, and my girlfriend jumped at the idea to set him up with her friend. The four of us went out for drinks and the pair hit it off. They ended up sleeping together, and have since been exchanging texts and making plans to hang out in the future. He does not want this to be anything more than a short fling; he sees himself getting back together with his longtime girlfriend, and is moving to Boston for a new job in two months. However, he did make it clear he wants to see her often before he goes (though this is most likely primarily for sex). Although she understood he was just on a break with his girlfriend, she believes there may be a deeper connection. She does not know that he will continue to see other girls. My girlfriend and I feel responsible for this because we set them up; we see a heartbreak waiting to happen, and we feel guilty that we didn't fully disclose the extent of his promiscuity before setting them up. We are thinking of telling her, but are not sure what to say. We would like to preserve our friendship with her. What should we do?

Worried Pal

DEAR WORRIED: Let your girlfriend handle this. She may have strong feelings — guided by friendship, as well as the somewhat undefinable dictates of "girl code."

At the very least, your girlfriend must convey to her friend that "Rand" played the field with impunity just before they met, and — if his pattern holds true — he will continue to be sexually active with various women now. Condoms, people!

Whatever love delusions she may harbor, however, are her business.

Presumably this friend knows that Randy Rand is moving soon. If she wants to hear some hangover lies, she can ask Rand directly.

Surely Rand realizes that because you and he room together, you have an awareness of his behavior. But you are not responsible for his behavior (or its consequences). He is.

DEAR AMY: For eight months now I have been taking an 87-year-old friend to ALL of her medical appointments. We used to work together and have stayed friends for years. She has a daughter and granddaughter in our town who "can't" take her anywhere because they work. I am essentially her Uber. Frankly, I am tired, depressed and want out of this responsibility. There are transportation alternatives, which she does not want to use. I am 75, and my husband passed away barely a year ago. I can't imagine I will ever get over his loss. I don't want to end the friendship with my friend, and I feel guilty about deserting her. On the other hand, if I were not available, would someone else step up and pick up the slack? What should I do?

Exhausted

DEAR EXHAUSTED: My late mother had a blunt (revealing) statement she used to make when she didn't want to do something/lend something/pick up someone's dry cleaning: "Pretend I'm dead."

If you weren't there to be so responsible for your friend, what would happen? She would have to find another way.

You could preserve your energy and the friendship by drawing a firm boundary around what you are willing/able to do. Don't abandon her abruptly, but wean her toward alternatives.

You should pick the appointments you are willing to drive to, and tell your elder friend: "I'm only able to take you to your appointment on the 20th — no others this month." That's it. She will have to call her family members.

DEAR AMY: I was the distant son described in the letter written by "Wayward Dad," the older man who realized he had missed his son's childhood because he was always working. If I had received a letter like the one you suggested Wayward Dad write, I would have bawled my eyes out and hurried to his side. Fortunately, my dad and I grew close in my middle years and I was there for him in his declining years and his passing. I wouldn't trade any of that time for anything.

Fortunate Son

DEAR SON: There is simply no substitute for spending time together.

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