You can’t steal someone’s boyfriend if he wants to go
Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts, and Rose McGowan all infamously fell in love with another woman's man. And while a Hollywood ending is never guaranteed, sometimes following your heart means breaking someone else's.
Walking home from a party with my friend Jess last night, she admitted that after moving back to the city, she hadn't had a relationship here for longer than a month, despite several promising starts. While listening to her heartbreaks, I couldn't help blurting out my theory on New York men: That in this city, with its lopsided ratio of males to females that gives men the advantage, any moderately attractive guy with the ability to converse intelligently, but who didn't already have a girlfriend probably meant that there was something wrong with him. (Excepting those freshly out of a relationship or who have just moved.) "I'm not advocating being a home-wrecker," I clarified, "but if you meet a guy that you hit it off with, I wouldn't necessarily rule him out just because he currently has a girlfriend. You never know if that relationship is working out or if they're staying together for other reasonsâ€¦" "How exactly did you meet Alex again?" she asked. My boyfriend Alex likes to tell people we met at a beach volleyball tournament, even though neither of us plays, but the truth is he was dating one of my college roommates when we became involved. Despite all of the circumstances, namely:
- I was never friends with her — not before becoming roommates or during.
- She and Alex weren't serious.
- Alex and I fell in love.
It became a messy, high-drama situation. And despite having been together for several years now and this being the 21st century, the idea that many women in my shoes would have rather walked away from the love of their lives than be accused of disloyalty by an acquaintance is a sad thought. Watching Denise Richard's new E! reality show over the weekend, I was surprised to find she is actually sort of likeable. Not because she is a fellow compatriot in man-snatching, but, because seeing her confront a tabloid editor and demand to know "How does someone steal someone else's husband?" (To which the editor begrudgingly admits, "They don't,") I couldn't help but cheer. For all of the anger that is aimed at the other woman, why does the man in question usually escape with little to no heat? It is because we think women should know better — or because it is too hard to accept that he doesn't love us?