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Morally Wrong
16.2% (35)
16.2% (35)
Neither good nor bad
35.2% (76)
35.2% (76)
Don't worry about it!
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Poll: Hoping a Couple Breaks Up; Right/Wrong?

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I've got a bit of a moral dilemma here. There's a girl I like...

Don't close the page

There's a girl I like, and she's in a relationship with a guy. Now, both of these people are my friends. The one I'm interested in lives in my res section and we see each other every day. The other is a rowing buddy of mine from the fall and while we don't talk all that much, we can converse for a while and we're on good terms. They've been dating since late January but with the year winding down (read: over), and the fact that they live in different cities separated by a 5 hour drive, there's a possibility that they'll break up over the summer due to lack of contact.

And that brings me to my question. Is it wrong to hope they'll break up so I can at least try to ask her out?

Nope, nothing wrong at all if you're just hoping it will happen. But if you were to say start spreading rumors of an affair or something to try and potentially break them up indirectly then yeah.. that is just wrong.

But hell no, when I was younger I always wished couples would break up so I could have a chance of asking certain girls out. Give it some time though. If they do break up, don't show up the next day asking her to the movies or something.

Yeah there's nothing wrong with hoping something like that happens, as long as you're not actively encouraging it.

Just hope your friend would be cool with you asking her out

Wishing that something unpleasant happens to others solely so I can benefit from it...that sort of thing makes me feel like a piece of shit (unless I already don't like the person(s) in question), so I try to avoid those thoughts when possible.

Of course, thoughts can't hurt anyone besides yourself. Your call really.

Eh, not morally wrong, but I'd say it doesn't make you a very good friend to either of them. You should hope a friend's life goes well, not that they fail for your benefit.

The only time I can imagine it being alright is if you thought it was to the benefit of one of them. Like if one partner was abusive or taking advantage of the other or likely to screw the other one over in the relationship, something like that.

Dude. Not to be callous, but every day there are new 19 year old girls you can hit on. None of them are your friend's ex. I say, stop being all tunnel-vision and go ask out a different lass, eh? Women aren't that hard to find, it just feels like it sometimes, maybe, depending on who you are.

In fact, another advantage of going after a different girl, you can start right now! This moment! That's right, close your jaw, my good man, you're welcome. Now fly! Fly my glorious creation!

On a sidenote: if you're hoping a couple breaks up because they're really, obnoxiously happy together... that's not wrong either, right?

I guess if you're not THAT good friends with the guy then its not that bad, but just for the record; if you want your friend's girlfriend to break up with him you are a bad person.

Well, it's not good.
I wouldn't say it's morally wrong, but it's not very nice.

As long as you aren't just pinning all your hopes on this one girl and trying to split them up then I guess it's not that bad.
But even if they did break up, she still might not date you, lots of people aren't comfortable dating friends of exes.

Hoping they break up ? Childs play . I hope peoples boyfriends/husbands die just so i can get a chance to tap that ass. Yes i am a terrible person .

Edit :

Phasmal:
Well, it's not good.
I wouldn't say it's morally wrong, but it's not very nice.
.

Hahaha not very nice . That's funny . Sounds so innocent , it's cute.

Pretty much what Phasmal just said. Thinking it isn't in itself wrong, you can't help how you feel. However, neither is it something you want to go thinking too much about.

That said, there are other hypothetical reasons which I would say were good for wanting 2 people to break up, such as them being in a really destructive relationship that is making them, and everyone around them, miserable, and that they're only maintaining because they're both equally scared of being alone.

That would be a good reason for hoping that two people would just break up already.

Ehm, well, I'd say, thinking, now and then, "Damn, wish they'd break up so I could be with her", while it might be a bit douchey, as long as you don't act on it, you're only being a douche to yourself, really. So I wouldn't say there's anything inherently "wrong" with occasionally having such thoughts.

Problem is if it's a consistent thing and you start acting on it. If I were a friend of yours, that's the moment where I'd slap you around the ears and say "Get a hold of yourself man!"

There is an old saying for things like this: 'All's fair in love and war'.

Now that doesn't apply for all love and war situations in my opinion but for this I say it's fine.

Dijkstra:
Eh, not morally wrong, but I'd say it doesn't make you a very good friend to either of them. You should hope a friend's life goes well, not that they fail for your benefit.

The only time I can imagine it being alright is if you thought it was to the benefit of one of them. Like if one partner was abusive or taking advantage of the other or likely to screw the other one over in the relationship, something like that.

yeah this, it's kind of a shitty thing to hope they break up if nothing is wrong with their relationship beyond distance, especially if they are both your friends.

plus, (at least around here) it can be kind of a dick move to date someone's ex, especially right away, unless they broke up mutually and stuff. (granted also depends on how good of friends you are with both of them.)

just something you gotta feel out with both of them, and if you REALLY think you will work with the girl, and aren't just using the situation for self beneficial gain.

It depends on the reason I guess.

If you want them to break up so you can make your move I would think that's kind of wrong.

In my case though there is a couple in my class and they're repulsive. Always feeling each other up and giggling and just generally acting inappropriately. I swear I've caught them dry humping each other before in class. They're just vile to be around, and the rest of the class agrees.

By themselves they're ok people, but together they're disgusting. I really do hope they break up.

Wishing misfortune on somebody for your own personal gain doesn't seem very good to me. Immoral might be a bit much, but it sure doesn't paint you in a good light, IMO.

It's not a good thing, and it's definitely terrible if you try and do something about it, but it's understandable. In my experience it's not like you can really choose not to hope for it.

You can hope for whatever you want, it doesn't affect the outcome so doing otherwise would be lying to yourself for no good reason. Once you start to actively work towards them breaking up, it is either selfish (in this case) and wrong, or you are doing it for the benefit of one of those involved, in which case it could be right or wrong depending on whether or not your feelings are justified. But I ain't gonna judge on hope.

Well its not always a good idea to jump for a rebound relationship. They have a less chance of succeeding and I don't know your situation with the guy, whether you're good friends or not. That can lead to tension and strain or break a friendship and if the rebound hammer strikes and fucks up the relationship with the chick, you might come to regret it for losing 2 people... I'd say let what happens happens and not hope for anything.

Just consider how you will feel when they break up, you ask her out, and she says no. Take a moment to think how you will feel then. Now instead of just you feeling miserable, it will be you and 2 other people miserable. That is the most likely scenario. The better case scenario would be you simply transferring your unhappiness onto someone else(the other guy). Is this really the best your morality allows you to aspire to? Transferring misery as long as it isn't to you? Are hopes really for this? If so then perhaps you should give up on your allusions of morality and just be honest with yourself about how you just want to spread misery and be a vulture.

Odgical:
Dude. Not to be callous, but every day there are new 19 year old girls you can hit on. None of them are your friend's ex. I say, stop being all tunnel-vision and go ask out a different lass, eh? Women aren't that hard to find, it just feels like it sometimes, maybe, depending on who you are.

In fact, another advantage of going after a different girl, you can start right now! This moment! That's right, close your jaw, my good man, you're welcome. Now fly! Fly my glorious creation!

On a sidenote: if you're hoping a couple breaks up because they're really, obnoxiously happy together... that's not wrong either, right?

On of the hardest things to get people to understand is how much of a commodity people really are. If the OP knew this he wouldn't be in this dilemma: he wouldn't be wishing for a breakup to ask one of the parties out he would be too busy chasing other girls who are available. We have, through the media, been told that there is 'one' for everyone, and that 'one' could be in a relationship with someone else out of desperation, and that they will be happy when they break up and join with their 'one'.

Now, again, it isn't simply easy to accept, but also scary. After all, if people are commodities that makes you a commodity too, and no more special (and less disposable) than the next guy. Ultimately, be it online or in a bar, we shop for our lovers, and we buy them in a store one way or another.

But I digress. The heart of the conversation is whether its alright to wish harm upon others for your benefit. Well, I should ask if schadenfreude is wrong - the literal joy in the misery of others? If you believe that one can't control how they feel therefore feeling a certain way can't be amoral. So, provided that the OP doesn't actively sabotage what I have reason to believe is a healthy relationship than an act of amorality isn't being committed.

Course, enough theory, to the practical.

Aramis Night:
Just consider how you will feel when they break up, you ask her out, and she says no. Take a moment to think how you will feel then. Now instead of just you feeling miserable, it will be you and 2 other people miserable. That is the most likely scenario. The better case scenario would be you simply transferring your unhappiness onto someone else(the other guy). Is this really the best your morality allows you to aspire to? Transferring misery as long as it isn't to you? Are hopes really for this? If so then perhaps you should give up on your allusions of morality and just be honest with yourself about how you just want to spread misery and be a vulture.

This is an interesting sentiment, but before I agree with the conclusion, I think the premises could use some further analysis. If a breakup does not occur none of these will apply, it will be just the OP that is miserable.

However, if a breakup does occur, chances are the OP has two friends that are unhappy (he said that both are his friends). Now, if he does nothing than both people are guaranteed to stay his friends, and they both will eventually get over the breakup and either see other people or learn to be happy on their own. This scenario is the status quo: the only thing that has changed is the relationship between the two friends and outside of certain considerations on the OP's part (like not inviting these two to the same party for a while) their relationship with the OP hasn't changed.

If he asks the girl out, he will get one of two possibilities: one is a yes, and one is a no. If an immediate no than there is the possibility of the status quo being maintained, but there is the possibility of the girl being put off, as this could be seen as being emotionally preyed upon. The guy friend might not be too happy that the OP is going for his sloppy seconds either, or worse think that the OP was waiting for this moment to do what he has done. Course, time is a mitigating factor to this. If the OP asked immediately than yes, what Armis has foreseen would come true. However, if the OP waits long enough, the relationships could survive it.

On a yes, the question is would this sour the relationship with the guy? Again, time is a mitigating factor, where the longer one waits the less likely that the other guy will get jealous, and the relationship to him wouldn't last as a result of the tension that said jealousy would bring. However, this is status quo, only that the OP is jealous of the guy, and so far pre-breakup the relationship is lasting (or does the other guy know how the OP feels, or the girl for that matter?).

Still, either way there is a good chance of losing the guy as a friend. This would be when the OP judges how important his relationship to the guy is before going on ahead. If important, than at least talk to him first about it if the OP wants to go ahead anyways. Yes it might sound like asking permission to date his sister, but the OP can get his reaction to the preposition and be able to gauge how 'over it' he is to mitigate any tension that would come about.

Even then there is risk with a yes of losing the girl. Again, the OP can mitigate risk by waiting a bit to ensure that he isn't simply going to be a rebound boyfriend. After all, there is a risk of the relationship going south and losing the girl entirely. Amiable breakups don't always happen, where one can at least salvage a romantic relationship and make a platonic friendship out of it, and it happens: relationships are complex in their nature and have cycles, peaks, and valleys. Still, having sex with a friend changes everything, so the OP shouldn't think that they can get back to the status quo even if a failed courtship can go back to friends.

So, is the OP a misery-spreading vulture? There is that possibility, though the thought that he is wrestling with this means that there is some hope for him to do the right thing when the time comes. Still, if they do break up and he still wants to date the girl, Armis, there are things he can do to mitigate whatever misery there is, with the easiest of them being simply waiting for them to cool down before going for it. Course, I don't know how good of a friend he is to them, so there would be some value judgments to determine if the risk is worth the reward.

Course, none of this might come into play at all. Its only in the event of a breakup that might never be. Even with the logic put forth, the best thing the OP could do for himself would be to go shopping: North America is about 52% female, and is 60% female in colleges and universities so they're not exactly scarce. If the awkard type there are services online that can help. Or just stow in it: 'thou shall not convent thy neighbour's wife' is practical advice even in an age when women aren't chattel anymore.

I believe it depends:

If the couple is doing great, and they're having no major problems, then of course hoping they break up is rude and mean.

But if the couple just isn't working, or one partner in the relationship (Or both) are abusive, then of course you would want them to break up.

I'll admit I've done it before but the other guy involved wasn't really someone I considered a friend even though I put up a sort of charade that he was so, you might want to evaluate your friendship.

yeah, it's pretty fucked up, but as long as you're keeping it to yourself and only hurting yourself with those emotions, it's whatever. it's your life.

I was in a relationship where there were people actually campaigning against it, and if I was your friend and I found out you were hoping for my misery so you could take my girlfriend I'd be pretty upset.

Had that a few weeks ago. I realized the guy was a vulture. I liked a girl. I'm moving away for a long period of time. Kinda ended my chances with her. Told guy, guy was dating her two weeks later.

I wanted them to break them for two reasons. 1. Guy just wanted to "tap that" and he pretended that he didn't knew that I still liked her. 2. Well...I still liked her and I wanted to keep things open for the next time I see her. I've learned that they actually broke up 3 weeks ago. What I felt at first? Happy! What I felt after a while? Sad. I realized that I was some shallow asshole who wanted "the girl" because I didn't get her.

Moral of the story, don't be an asshole like I was. If they break up, give it time. If deep down the road you still like her, well... I hope things work out for you. However, If you're going to feel like I felt, it's better to focus on something or someone else.

I don't thin it's immoral. I think... the word I'm looking for is... pathetic. Yup, that's the one.

mitchell271:
Is it wrong to hope they'll break up so I can at least try to ask her out?

Not at all. Hopes, dreams, thoughts - everything going on inside your own head is amoral. Morality is about social interaction - the effects your actions have on others. "Hoping" can't directly affect others, therefore morality doesn't even come into it.

That said, what goes on upstairs drives your actions. If you take deliberate action to realise your dreams (i.e. actively try to incite a break up) then it's a dick move and you'll probably end up losing both of them.

But all is fair and love and war. Feel free to make yourself as alluring and tempting as possible, and if she sees a better future in you then good for you.

Is it wrong to hope? Not really, no. I've had to go through something similar myself (thankfully not the same situation) and I can tell you that while it does feel a little wrong, the actual thought/hope that it will happen is nothing too bad. It happens.

However, were you to try and "advance" said breakup as it were, then I'd say that's a dick move on several levels. Forget the guy for a second and think about the girl you like: if you like her that much that you're still interested even though she's in a relationship, then you know that sabotaging her current relationship for your sake not only makes you a bad friend, it calls into question how you would even treat her in a relationship. Again, I'm guessing you realize this, so I'm not going to lecture or judge you. Just remember: nothing wrong with hoping for something a little selfish, and if the breakup is going to happen then just let it play out it's natural course.

As to whether you should ask her out if they break-up? On the one hand, you would probably be doing her a favor by at least being honest with your feelings about her, but on the other I'm not sure if that's something you should do right away. If she needs a boyfriend then be there for her, or if she just needs a friend then be there as a friend.

captcha: foul play
NO! Bad Captcha! That is not the advice this guy needs!

Don't worry dude...
image
What you're feeling is natural, normal, and something allot of people have gone through (myself definitely included).
It's not wrong to hope for a chance to ask her out, just maintain a close, positive relationship, don't take any action to intensionally break them up, I've seen many friendships destroyed by action like that, hell I was once almost an accomplice to such an action, which I ultimatly decided against thanks to this lovely community talking me out of it (I think that thread is still on this site somewhere...). But remember, if worst comes to worst there's plenty more fish in the sea.
Hope that helps.

Eh you want what you want. Everyone on occasion wants something shitty like that and it's a normal part of the human condition. It's not a good thing but so long as you don't start intentionally trying to break them up I wouldn't agonize over it. Try not to get to stuck on her though, there are other fish in the sea.

Well I wouldn't call it wrong per se, but it is more than a little selfish and perhaps mean spirited too. After all I would think you'd want the best for your friends and wouldn't wish misfortune on them just for your benefit. Maybe that's just me.
However, as others have said, as long as you don't actively try to split them up I can't actually say I'd call it wrong.

Odgical:
Dude. Not to be callous, but every day there are new 19 year old girls you can hit on. None of them are your friend's ex. I say, stop being all tunnel-vision and go ask out a different lass, eh? Women aren't that hard to find, it just feels like it sometimes, maybe, depending on who you are.

This. Believe me, hoping they break up is not being a good friend. Try finding someone else too, nothing guarantees she'll like you back, so try to at least have another girl in your sights. Trust me, you'll end up dissapointed and bitter for a while if you don't.

Probably.

Let me put it this way:
If you want them to break up because he's a dick to her or is in some way bad for her then you're morally fine.
If you want them to break up just so you can date her then you're a bad friend really.

That said, and because I LOVE playing devil's advocate, fuck morals. This is a world in which massive corporations publicly pay politicians to fuck over citizens and condemn the environment. You hoping that a couple breaks up is pretty low on the evil points scale by simple comparison. Plus, I mean, if you're even considering it you must not be that great of friends anyway so, you know, whatever. FUCK THAT SLUT BRO! </3 (I'd put a YOLO here but I really feel that even the 'bro' is going a bit to far, only want to come off as enthusiastic, not sarcastic.)

It's not necessarily right but it's natural. No matter what moral high ground you try to take, people want what they want and there's nothing wrong with that, or with trying to get it, as long as it's not at other people's expense.

There's nothing wrong with hoping, as long as you don't try anything stupid.

Generally, I try to avoid hoping for something like that for petty reasons. The only relationship I'm hoping will dissolve is my co-worker's, but that's because she's engaged to an epic jackass.

What's the reason behind it? If you want to get in on that so to speak yes it's wrong. If it's because you believe they will end up hurting themselves more by staying together or one of them hurt the other. Then no.

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