Dear Annie: Last year, during the pandemic, my very first boyfriend of a year and a half, “Joey,” admitted he wanted to end it because he had been talking to another girl during the period we were in quarantine. He said it was a girl I didn’t know.

During this time, our state was in a strict lockdown. I was crushed but decided he wasn’t for me if he would do that. My best and closest friend of seven years, “Pam,” consoled me.

Pam admitted then that he had shown interest in her around that time, but Pam said she told him off immediately. She always thought he was annoying and said she didn’t respond to him at all except to tell him off. Pam has never had a boyfriend but always wanted one. Her parents wanted her to wait until she was a bit older. She seemed a bit jealous of the time I spent with Joey, so I always made it a point to spend alone time with her as well. Joey was a part of our larger friend group at school but was alienated after he and I broke it off. Everyone thought he was an idiot to cheat on me like that.

Last week, a mutual friend said Pam told her she was the reason Joey and I broke up last year. I confronted Pam today, and she admitted that she was the other girl. She was very upset and sorry. She said Joey had called her and professed how much he liked her and she, during this hourlong phone call, entertained the idea of liking him as well. She said it was no more than that before she came to her senses and refused his idea. Pam says she had wanted to tell me but just couldn’t, and it has been eating at her for the past year. What should I do? Forgive Pam, who has never done anything like that before, or stop being her friend?

— Jilted Teen

Dear Jilted Teen: What Joey did to you was hurtful. Talking to another girl behind your back was betrayal enough, but doing it with your best friend was especially nasty of him. And surely the fact that Pam “entertained the idea of liking him” only rubbed salt in the wound.

But after taking a minute to process, it seems that Pam did everything right. Despite her jealousy that you had a boyfriend, she “came to her senses and refused his idea.”

Our actions define us, and Pam’s actions prove that she cares about your friendship more than a new fling. Joey’s actions, on the other hand, already ruined one relationship; don’t let them damage another.

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