My boyfriend drunkenly kissed my neighbor, the one we planned on having a threesome with.
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Dear Miss Information,
I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a year and a half. He’s been wonderful: devoted, considerate, and tons of fun. We've been discussing the possibility of having our first threesome soon with the caveat that if we go for it, I get to choose the girl, or he gets to choose the guy.
This past Sunday I hosted a small fundraising event for a cause close to my heart, and my boyfriend offered to co-host at my apartment. He stopped by the night before, drunkenly on his way home from a party, to say hello before heading home to bed. The next day, he arrived to the event hungover and four hours late after failing to respond to any of my calls or texts all morning. Afterwards, he admitted to meeting my downstairs neighbor on his way home from my apartment the night before. She had invited him to a party and they talked about how she had a giant crush on me. So he had gone to bed much later and much drunker than I’d thought, and had forgotten to set an alarm. Yesterday, he confessed the last piece of information: he had gotten so excited about my neighbor's crush on me, and the possibility of a threesome, that he had kissed her. Anyway, he cheated on me with my neighbor, but "was thinking about [me] the whole time" and "it meant nothing".
I pointed out the extreme error of his ways when he told me, and explained that though I forgive a quick stupid drunk kiss, I will not forget this, and that I need a break from him in order to reconsider if I want to date him. He told me to take as much time as I needed and then he burst into tears. This isn’t the first time he’s gotten drunk enough to forget his phone, his keys, to set an alarm, etc, and missed something that's really important to me the next morning. I usually just accept this as part of his personality. But this time he forgot about me, forgot about my feelings, forgot about our threesome caveat, and really, when it comes down to it, he kissed a girl who he wanted to have sex with. Miss Info, what should I do?
— Left Out of My Own Threesome
Dear Left Out,
I'm less worried about the drunk stupid kiss, and more worried about the circumstances that led to it. And hey, props to you for not fixating on a black-and-white set of rules about cheating (I like to refer to it as Game of Fidelity: You Win or You Die). Not to excuse cheaters, but mistakes do happen sometimes (sex and love are a minefield for the most human of errors), and what's most important is how you move forward. It sounds like he was brave enough to come clean, and you love him enough to consider giving him another shot, or you'd have dumped his ass instead of writing to me.
Alas, I am not giving you a pass to reconcile blissfully and ride off on a white horse into the sunset together. No, no, no, my dear. I mean, you can reconcile if you want to, it's your life. And I don't think you necessarily need to break it off — my advice columnist/everyone's-neurotic-internet-mom red alert is not going off full blast. But, before anyone rides any horses into any sunsets, y'all got work to do. As I said, the kiss is not the problem. Here are the problems:
1. Your boyfriend's alcohol (ab)use
You say this is not the first time he's gotten wasted and forgotten to show up to something important to you. That's bad. I'm no teetotaler, but it sounds like the drinking is the core of the issue here. His judgment was impaired enough to forget you were expecting him to be at your place and ready to help, as promised, in the morning. He drank enough that he made a stupid, drunk mistake by kissing your neighbor. And he drank enough that it prevented him from showing up to something that was important to you. Remove the alcohol from this equation, and you remove the problems. That's not a coincidence. If he's someone you want to have in your life, you guys need to talk about alcohol abuse and alcoholism. Sorry. And you're welcome.
2. Violation of the Sacred Code of Premeditated Threesomes
So, I know that the whole being-super-drunk thing has a lot to do with this one, but still: come on, man, you can't break your agreed-upon threesome rules! And it's not fair game if the third person isn't there to approve and participate! Being there in spirit doesn't count. The success or failure of a flexible monogamous relationship hinges on both members of the primary couple being able to trust that their partner isn't coloring outside the lines. And his little mistake has set back your menage-a-trois dreams significantly: if you can't trust him not to slip up, you shouldn't be opening up your relationship anytime soon. And a sidebar: not a great idea to have a threesome with your neighbor. Don't shit where you eat. Except in this case, your boyfriend has gone ahead and shat where you eat. Great. Super.
So what to do? Think about what you really want from him, and what you expect from a partner. Then communicate. Talk about drinking. Talk about your expectations for a partner; talk about trustworthiness and reliability. Talk about acceptable threesome rules and how he'll need to earn back your trust before either of you can even think about inviting someone else into your bed. And uh, it goes without saying, that person probably shouldn't be the now-tainted downstairs neighbor. If he can't change his behavior, you might need to end things. But if you think the two of you really have something special, you might want to give him a chance to try. I hope he's up to the task.