Hoes before bros?
October 13, 2008 10:06 AM   Subscribe

Does "Hoes before bros" apply if the "Ho" is married? My married friend intruduced me to another single friend of hers and we hit it off. Married friend wants me not to go for the guy 'cos SHE has feelings for him. I say I can go for him 'cos she is married and all I want is to make out with him and see where it goes.

Confounding variables:

I work with married friend.

Married friend's marriage sucks, but she is not planning on leaving any time soon.

Married friend and the guy have been friends for longer than I have been friends with her but they only see each other once a month.

I am forbidden to tell the guy married friend has feelings for him, obviously, so what do I say? "We, uh, can't go on a date for a reason. A SECRET reason."

It's been dry in the shade for this plant. Since March.
posted by ShadePlant to Human Relations (44 answers total)
I'd say marriage pretty clearly disqualifies your friend from calling dibs.

Game On.
posted by Oktober at 10:13 AM on October 13, 2008 [20 favorites]

1. I thought this was bros before hos? I guess I am wrong.
2. this is not a legally binding rule or even a relationship rule that most people honor
3. you can do what you want because you are an adult lady but your friend may respond negatively. Even if this is irrational, you seem to know it's likely so forewarned is forearmed.
4. if it were me, I'd talk to the friend reasonably, get a feeling of how severe an infraction this would be and make a decision and live with the consequences. I'd also be honest with myself about whether I really cared about my friend's feelings or just wanted to look like I cared and do my own thing.
5. if your friend makes your work life a living hell, is that a big problem or a minor problem?
6. the only people that matter in this equation is you and your friend. If you want to let the guy down easy you just tell him it's not going to work out, you don't have to allude to a secret reason and it would be much classier not to. Really the "forbidden" rule you cite isn't any more binding than "bros before hos" or whatever the silly rule actually is.
posted by jessamyn at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2008

Best answer: When you come to a minefield, walk around it, not through it.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2008 [27 favorites]

I agree with Oktober. This is a no brainer.
posted by purephase at 10:15 AM on October 13, 2008

Your friend has set this situation up for maximum drama. If you also like drama, go for it.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 10:18 AM on October 13, 2008 [18 favorites]

GIven that you said you "just want to make out with the guy and see where it goes" that doesn't seem like much of an interest which to risk a friendship over.

Plus the whole thing just seems too...integrated. She's friends with him, she's married but not happy...things like this often end up with people chanting "Jerry! Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!"

Run away, find another guy. There's tons out there.
posted by arniec at 10:19 AM on October 13, 2008 [4 favorites]

I love your last sentence. Great play on user name.

While I think you are in the right, I would avoid if possible simply because of the above mentioned drama. It will be drama.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:23 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

"We are both interested in this guy. You saw him first, so under official Hos before Bros rules, you get dibbs. As such, I'm giving you a two week head-start to a make a move or get things going, before I make a pass."
posted by -harlequin- at 10:26 AM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

Just chiming in to support the "it would be legal but not worth it" crowd. Only move forward if getting laid is more important than staying friends with your married friend. Right now you have the perfect recipe for instant drama.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:29 AM on October 13, 2008

I'd go for it.

Your married friend already made a choice. She got married. Unless she has some kind of open relationship, sex with someone outside of the relationship is a big no-no. Whatever feelings she may have for the guy, she can't act on them, which is entirely her fault. She chose to cut herself off from being able to sleep with this guy.

You, on the other hand, have no obligation whatsoever not to go for this guy. You're both adults, both capable of making adult decisions, etc. Your friend might not like it, but most of us left "If I can't have it, nobody can!" back at school.

Parading the relationship round in front of your friend will be mean, of course, but it's also mean for your friend to say "baggsie", and prevent you from forming a relationship with this guy.

If you took a sudden dislike to her husband, would she leave him because of that?
posted by Solomon at 10:30 AM on October 13, 2008

She introduced the two of you in the first place. In terms of childhood taunts, I think, "NO TAGBACKS" is in play.
posted by notsnot at 10:36 AM on October 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

it makes no sense but it's not worth losing a girlfriend for a hookup. if you thought he was boyfriend material, that would be different.
posted by micawber at 10:44 AM on October 13, 2008

My feelings are the same on JohnyGunn's.

You are correct that your married friend can't have 'dibs'.

But all the above posters who have pointed out the Drama involved are also correct. If you're not ready for the drama, take a pass.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 10:46 AM on October 13, 2008

So your married friend introduces you to a single guy friend and then objects to you pursuing him? What kind of a friend does that? Is it always only about her? WTF?

I think you need to start expanding your social circles. She sounds like someone you can be work friends with but involving her too much into your personal life might result in a lot of drama at work. Don't shit where you eat, you know?
posted by ambrosia at 10:52 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Please see above minefield comment. Are there no single guys in your town/city that your married ho doesn't want to sleep with that you could kiss and see where it goes? If you walk through that minefield, enjoy the pretty fireworks.
posted by spicynuts at 11:00 AM on October 13, 2008

I’m sorry, adults don’t make life choices like this. Or at least, they shouldn’t. You don’t need your friend’s permission to ask this guy on a date. Frankly, it wouldn’t matter even if she weren’t married, the only reason she (or anyone) would ever have a say in your dating choices would be if you chose to pursue her (or whoever else’s) partner. You’re an adult. He’s an adult. Neither of you is committed to anyone else. If you want to ask him out, ask him out.

I agree that this is probably more drama than it’s worth (which is probably exactly what your friend is aiming for). But if you want to ask this guy out, the question should be “Is it worth dealing with my friend’s unreasonable drama in order to date this guy?” not “Does my friend get dibs on this guy even though she’s married?”
posted by Meg_Murry at 11:00 AM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

...oy vey.

I sincerely hope this is a one-off incident involving your pal losing her mind, and not the standard for the friendship, ShadePlant. There's enough fucked-up here to make it resoundingly not worth the makeouts-- there's your friend and her crappy marriage and her not-dealing-with-that, this guy being used as some sort of pawn in her friendship with you, the workplace stuff, the not being able to tell him why you can't have makeouts even though you want them...

It's all very third grade of your pal, but mostly I'd find someone else to lock lips and genitals with, if I were in your shoes. And I'd probably stop hanging out with the crazy married friend and let her screw up her own life.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:04 AM on October 13, 2008

People, people, the phrase is "chicks before dicks" when dealing with female friends. "Hos before bros" doesn't even make sense.

As far as the situation itself, it sounds like a huge drama powder keg. You're really the one in the best position to judge how this is likely to go.
posted by internet!Hannah at 11:05 AM on October 13, 2008 [8 favorites]

I'd rethink that friendship, whatever else you do.
posted by SaintCynr at 11:06 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Get yourself some water.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:07 AM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Brandon- The water table is low in MSP.
posted by ShadePlant at 11:20 AM on October 13, 2008

Best answer: one word: threesome
posted by matteo at 11:22 AM on October 13, 2008 [2 favorites]

Sit down with married friend and lay it right down on the table with her.

"Facts: You are married. I am single. I have not gotten laid since March. This guy is interested in me. Now, are you seriously going to go for this guy despite these facts, or will you give me the thumbs-up to get with him?"

If she's not willing to concede him to you when laid out like that, in my opinion, you date him anyway and distance yourself from her. A little bit of emotion and drama is one thing, but if she's seriously looking to keep a friend from dating while also ruining her marriage, you want to be far away from that anyway.

"There's plenty of fish in the sea" is a truth, but why should you throw one back right after you landed a good one?
posted by explosion at 11:28 AM on October 13, 2008 [5 favorites]

Has he asked you out? Or do you want to ask him out?

If he did ask you out, then you have a right to say to your "friend" either I'm dating him or I'm telling him why I can't date him.

If you want to ask him out, I would be more circumspect. Maybe give the infatuation a chance to cool off or have another talk with your work friend. But I tend to side with you. If she's married, she's spoken for. She wants to have her cake and eat it too which just isn't fair.

Of course, life isn't fair and if she can make your life hell at work or you really value this friendship (this seems unlikely, if her actions here are any indication) then maybe your best bet is to walk away.

But, yes, you're right. Married people should not be able to warn you off their crushes.
posted by cjets at 11:36 AM on October 13, 2008

I think she needs to grow up.
posted by scarello at 11:37 AM on October 13, 2008

I can't imagine sex good enough to endure the kind of drama that will almost certainly result from pursuing the guy.
posted by desjardins at 11:39 AM on October 13, 2008

Response by poster: Desjardins, I agree with you. At this point it looks like I'm out both a friend and some sheet karate. No win.
posted by ShadePlant at 11:42 AM on October 13, 2008

How well do you know this guy? I'm going to go against the grain here and say that a guy you just met is not worth jeapordizing a friendship for. If you've known him a few months and think there is potential for a relationship, okay, but if it's "Hey, here's a guy I just met and I sort of like him and had a good talk with him once," then you're risking bad blood for what will, statistically, probably be a few dates and then nothing more.

Unless you think your friend is crazy. In which case I would suggest not remaining friends.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:53 AM on October 13, 2008

Anything you can do to jeopardize, or destroy, your friendship with this person is a good thing. Go for it.
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:08 PM on October 13, 2008 [3 favorites]

In a similar situation, I went for it, pissing off my friend a little bit. Later on my friend also went for it, while I was still going for it. Our friendship was a tad strained.
posted by signal at 12:15 PM on October 13, 2008

Your female friend is far out of line, and she needs to be either cut out of your life or carefully distanced from it. She doesn't value her commitments or relationships enough for you to want to be in one with her (and a friendship does count). If she had divorce papers on the table and was definitely walking away from her husband, that would be one thing, but this is rotten.

Unfortunately, that means that whatever you do with this guy will be mixing bleach with ammonia. Be honest and open about dating him, if you decide to, but through no fault of your own she will have a shit-fit.
posted by Countess Elena at 12:44 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Harlequin: "We are both interested in this guy. You saw him first, so under official Hos before Bros rules, you get dibbs. As such, I'm giving you a two week head-start to a make a move or get things going, before I make a pass."

The key advantage of telling the friend to "shit or get off the pan" is that if this man has any sense of self-preservation he will turn down your married, drama queen friend.
posted by Mike1024 at 12:51 PM on October 13, 2008

"When you're dead, you'll regret not having fun with your genital organs."

— Orton
posted by mandal at 12:56 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'd say, keep working on the friend. It would be to her benefit because she obviously needs to figure out her shit - I'd imagine having some sort of internal fantasy relationship with this dude is easing her marital woes, maybe she feels like as long as she's got him in her back pocket she's not as trapped in her marriage, or maybe he flirts with her and makes her feel nice in a way her husband is not, and you're threatening to take that away and leave her with nothing but her screwed up marriage. Whatever the case, the sooner she realizes that this is an undesirable state of affairs she needs to change, the better.

You could also test the waters by saying (away from the work environment would probably be best) "I don't think you're being reasonable or fair, I'm going to go for it anyway" and seeing whether she loses it and how bad, as you can always back off that one and say "oh wow, I didn't realize how serious you were about that." She already knows you are interested. If you push it she might just give in.
posted by nanojath at 2:10 PM on October 13, 2008

I think you are both being childish. Are you sure that you aren't more interested in this guy *because* he is off limits?

Your friend sounds like a drama queen with a completely unrealistic view of friendship--for you and for the guy, because she is also denying him the possibility to be happy with a woman she should know is a good person and worth the trouble, as you are good friends. Maybe her marriage would be going better if she spent more time working on that and less time complaining to you about it and cherishing false hopes about this off-limits guy.

As for you, you say you are just interested in hooking up with this guy and yet actually went to all the trouble to poll Mefi about whether you should go for it at the risk of ruining a friendship, which is also pretty damn immature. But I think you are realizing that now.

You might want to show your friend this thread and see if she changes her mind once she sees how ridiculous her objections are when they're put down on paper, and how the consensus is that she's being completely unreasonable.

The bright spot for me in all this drama is that hilarious throwaway last line of yours and that you marked "threesome" as best answer. That makes me think that you have a great sense of humor and aren't really taking all this so very seriously, so maybe you are the most mature one after all.
posted by misha at 3:43 PM on October 13, 2008

People, people, the phrase is "chicks before dicks" when dealing with female friends. "Hos before bros" doesn't even make sense.

no, it's "sisters before misters."
posted by violetk at 4:44 PM on October 13, 2008

Nope, definitely 'chicks before dicks'. You need monosyllabic words, otherwise it doesn't sound as punchy.

That said, I think the rule is more like a guideline to be followed in good faith when both parties are being reasonable. Taking dibs on someone while you are taken (married or otherwise) is definitely this side of not cool.

I would sit her down, and approach it from an issue of "I'm really curious about why exactly you're banning me from him. You're never going to go for him, and it seems unfair to make me unhappy at the same time."

To which she can either say a) Oh, my bad, I was just joking, b) You're being a selfish, horrible person, or c) I intend on ending it with my husband soon anyway.

Your next steps should be fairly obvious based on what she says. Don't let her hem or haw and be all "But he's pretty and I waaaaaaant him". Greed is bad.
posted by Phire at 5:24 PM on October 13, 2008

Are you sure you want to keep this friendship? She sounds like kind of a jackhole to me. I mean, DUDE. Dibsies when you're married? And she's serious? I am not impressed with this chick. I would probably laugh in her face on this one.

If you absolutely adore her and would pick her over a man, yeah, you're not gonna be able to touch him without drama. But this seems like a character flasher moment to me, i.e. you find out who they really are and it isn't pretty. If this moment doesn't end the friendship, what happens when she has the hots for some other dude while married? Or you do some other thing that irritates her?
posted by jenfullmoon at 8:14 PM on October 13, 2008

Response by poster: Misha- I don't think positing a query on AskMe is immature. My brother Everichon equated it to hitting the beehive with a stick, but I was curious about what others thought. However, wanting makeouts is kind of immature. Kind of. FARKers would say it's totally normal! Thanks for the input all.
posted by ShadePlant at 8:43 PM on October 13, 2008 [1 favorite]

You're polling the delegation - it's not immature, it's helpful.

In any case, she's got a crush, married or not, and we all know how hard it is to watch our crushes go out with someone else. Surely you can sympathize and respect her wishes to some degree. So, GAME OFF for now. However, she's being completely unrealistic and I bet she'll come to her senses in time (give her a couple of months). Now, if HE asks YOU out, I say it's GAME ON again. :)
posted by MiffyCLB at 9:03 PM on October 13, 2008

Response by poster: FWIW he asked me out. Kind of. If saying "we should make out sometime" is asking out. It's at least a "let's play."

Brilliant, long lasting love material?
Prolly not.

posted by ShadePlant at 9:19 PM on October 13, 2008

I haven't had a date in three years. You should already be making out with this guy.
posted by Foam Pants at 11:03 PM on October 13, 2008

You should also totally ask , if you can't make out with this guy, can you instead have hot monkey sex with her husband.

I have very few female friends.
posted by Foam Pants at 1:33 PM on October 14, 2008 [1 favorite]

However, she's being completely unrealistic and I bet she'll come to her senses in time (give her a couple of months). Now, if HE asks YOU out, I say it's GAME ON again. :)

Wait a couple months and we'll be getting askme questions about risking making a move for fear of ruining a friendship.

I think three weeks, and no more, is the maximum time a married grownup should take to deal with this sort of thing. That way she won't be completely ruining your mojo.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:35 PM on October 14, 2008

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