[Two Pronged] My friend is chasing after the worst guy

Jeremy Baer, Margarita Holmes

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[Two Pronged] My friend is chasing after the worst guy
'I told her that she needs help, to go to a psychiatrist but she just laughs it off, and tells me that all she needs is someone to listen to her and never stop telling her to avoid the guy.'


Rappler’s Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes.

Jeremy has a master’s degree in law from Oxford University. A banker of 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives

Together, they have written two books: Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality and Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.

Hi Dr. Holmes and Mr. Baer,

My friend jokes, especially if the topic is related to sex. But she is conservative.

One night, some guy officemates invited her to drink. Being naive and innocent, she trusted them too much. Her reason: at that time she was so depressed that we were not there. Not a heavy drinker, one bottle will make her drunk immediately. 

One guy offered for her to stay at his condo since it was near. She knew that there will be the 3 of them (the guy she knew, her and the condo owner). The guy has a reputation to have sexual flings with girls at the office. 

Sometimes I find her crying because the guy is not talking to her. But she told me repeatedly: “He doesn’t like me. He has a girlfriend. please take my feelings away.” I almost got fed up and so I asked: “What happened between you two that you can’t move on from him? You know that he is playing you but still you are like that.” 

I suspected but waited for it to come from her. She told me: “I was asleep then I felt the bed moved. When I opened my eyes, he was taking his pants off. I told him: ‘No! I am virgin I don’t want that’ but he still continued.”

I told her immediately he raped you! After what happened, she went to her ob. Her main concern was pregnancy. The OB told her she can file a case, but she was afraid. 

Now, she has forgiven the guy, hoping he will like her. 

I told her that she needs help, to go to a psychiatrist but she just laughs it off, and tells me that all she needs is someone to listen to her and never stop telling her to avoid the guy. 

I told her I can tell the guy to back off but she doesn’t want me to meddle

Please help me help my friend. I am trying my best to understand her but I can feel that she is hooked to the guy.

Thank you,


Dear Ana,

So your conservative friend, knowing she had no head for drink, went to a condo with three guys she knew, one of whom was an acknowledged seducer. He then had sex with her against her will – according to her – but she refused to file a case against him, forgave him and still has feelings for him.

Now if it was indeed rape, then clearly he should be prosecuted and sent to jail. If, however, she consented, later regretted the loss of her virginity in a drunken fumble and so invented a rape to cover up her poor judgment, then things are very different.

There is a little support for the no rape scenario because she still likes the guy and resists all attempts to dissuade her from pursuing him but this is not conclusive as history is littered with such cases. In the final analysis, the problem is we only have one side of the story so far.

Now we come to the issue of how you can help your friend.  If all your efforts to date have not convinced your friend that her attraction to this man is bad news, it seems unlikely that more of the same will make any difference. As Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Instead you can just keep a close eye on her and attempt to guide her away from any more bad choices, like going while drunk to a condo with three guys late at night.

Best of luck,

JAF Baer

Dear Ana,

Whether she is really hooked on the guy, thinks she is, or is merely using her statements so “she’s got you where she wants you” is unclear. What IS clear, however, is that you are being played, either consciously or — to give her the benefit of the doubt — unconsciously.

Just reread some of what you’ve written: “Her reason (for her irresponsible behavior — parenthetical sentence mine): at that time she was so depressed that we were not there.” Also “But she told me repeatedly that ‘…please take my feelings away’.”  And “she just tells me that all she needs is someone to listen to her and never stop telling her to avoid the guy.” 

And yet, after all that, you add: “she doesn’t want me to meddle” — a message that contradicts all her previous statements.

WHY? Just look at how her statements make you feel, Ana.

They : 

  • Make you outraged about the guy’s behavior;
  • Make you guilty that since you were not physically present one time, she did what she did—absolute bollocks as, “innocent” though she may be, she is old enough to be responsible for her actions);
  • Make you feel all she needs is for you to listen and keep on telling her to avoid him…but then, contradicts her previous statements by saying she doesn’t want you to meddle.
  • Notwithstanding any of her feelings for others, she’s got you where she wants you and the first step to her therapy (and yours) is to realize her ability to manipulate even her closest friends.

Please write to us again if you need help extricating yourself from her clutches (while still being her friend, should you wish to be). There is no doubt this is the first step you must take to heal yourself—and thus, her.

All the best,

MG Holmes

– Rappler.com

Need advice from our Two Pronged duo? Email twopronged@rappler.com with subject heading TWO PRONGED. Unfortunately, the volume of correspondence precludes a personal response.

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