Every week, Daniel Mallory Ortberg answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.
Q. Be a good friend or stay out of it? “Lindsey” is my best friend. Her fiancé, “Cooper,” recently pursued my younger brother “Tyler” on a LGBT dating app. After Tyler realized the connection via social media, he immediately reached out to me and ended all communication with Cooper. Lindsey has asked me if I thought that Cooper could be attracted to guys on a few different occasions in the past, and she has also suggested that she has come across some other indications that this could be true. I am unsure if this recent encounter between Cooper and Tyler is something that I should bring to her attention, just four months before her wedding day.
A: I’d ask Tyler first, because he may not want to get involved in Lindsey and Cooper’s relationship, and you shouldn’t bring his experience up with her unless you know he’s OK with it. If he consents, you can share the news with her; if he’s not, you still have grounds to say, “It sounds like you’ve been worried that Cooper might be seeing other people. I don’t want to pry, but I wanted to ask how you’re doing, especially with the wedding coming up. If you want to talk about it, I’m here for you.” If she’s already seen evidence that he’s trying to hook up with other people and told you this worries her, I think you have cause to open a conversation. It’s less important for you to confirm or deny that, “Yeah, I think Cooper is attracted to guys.” It is way more important to ask your friend if she’s OK with her fiancé looking for dates or hookups on the side. It doesn’t sound like she is, and you can at the very least encourage her to speak to Cooper about that concern. Whether or not she decides to move ahead with the wedding is ultimately her call, but that doesn’t mean you have to let this conversation lie.