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February 9, 2022

Can we (& should we) Forgive the Other Woman?

 

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Ladies, hoes before bros, amirite?

Well, that’s how it is, always has been, and always will be for me.

My girlfriends mean everything to me. I’m not one of those women who say things like, “I don’t get along with women. I prefer guy friends.” I don’t—oh God, I don’t!

My girlfriends have loved me, carried me, scolded me, praised me, encouraged me, and stopped me from making a fool of myself, repeatedly. They have been and are always there for me, and I’m proud to say I have at least five amazing women who will pick up the phone if I call them at 2 a.m.

So, yes. Hoes always before bros for me. I live and die by the Girl Code.

Which is why when I received a wedding invitation in my mailbox a long while back, as did some of my friends, we were all left slack-jawed and wondering what we should do. But before I continue with this conundrum, I’d like to share a popular and public celebrity story that will put everything in context.

Trust me, it’ll all make sense soon.

~

Katrina Kaif. Alia Bhatt. Ranbir Kapoor.

The above three names represent, in my opinion, the ultimate love triangle to beat all love triangles. They also rule the Hindi film industry, or what’s popularly called Bollywood. Katrina and Alia are the top leading actresses of Bollywood, while Ranbir is considered not just a superstar, but also probably the best actor of his generation.

A few years back Ranbir and Katrina were crazy in love, living together, and headed for wedded bliss. Concurrently, Katrina was also best friends with Alia. In fact, Katrina and Alia’s friendship was one for the ages. These two top actresses defied stereotypes of how two extraordinarily successful women cannot be friends and, instead, went on a show called Vogue BFFs and talked about their genuine love and friendship toward one another.

It was all wonderful—until it wasn’t.

Months before they were supposed to get married in 2015, Katrina and Ranbir broke up. Sometime later Ranbir started dating again. Guess who he hooked up with? Yep, Alia.

This messy triangle has always fascinated me. I wondered: how can a woman call another woman her BFF and then hook up with her bestie’s ex?

Apart from the sheer tackiness of it all, this, to me, epitomizes what bros before hoes looks like.

In early interviews, Alia often talked about her biggest crush ever: Ranbir Kapoor. And it seems that when the chance came to make her teenage dream into a reality, she casually betrayed her friendship and broke the Girl Code.

~

This was the situation I found myself in a long while back: Woman 1 and Man got married. Woman 1 was friends with Woman 2. Woman 1 and Man divorced, and now Man and Woman 2 are set to marry. Which brings us back to the previously mentioned wedding invitation.

And the question we were all left with was: what should we do? We were friends with all three before the messiness and now it feels like we’re forced to choose sides.

Personally, when Woman 1 and Man split, I stayed close friends with Woman 1 and was friendly with Man. But when Woman 2 got together with Man, I stopped speaking to both of them, as did many other friends.

Shortly after receiving the wedding invite, we received a message asking if we could forgive the new couple, who stated they just “fell in love.”

I don’t forgive Man at all, but the more difficult question for me is whether I can forgive Woman 2. Which brings me to the crux of this piece:

Can we forgive “the Other Woman”? And should we?

~

Before I move on, here’s a quick update on the original trio of Katrina, Alia, and Ranbir.

Katrina found romantic happiness when she married an up-and-coming and stunningly talented actor, Vicky Kaushal, in December 2021. And Ranbir and Alia are still together and scheduled to get married in 2022.

But, in true celebrity fashion, Katrina and Alia’s friendship, or so-called friendship, continues. They recently signed onto a film together called “Jee Le Zara” (Live A Little). And yes, they play besties in the film. Katrina still refers to Alia by her nickname, Aloo, and Alia still calls Katrina by hers, Katy. How much of this is them being honest or just playing nice to keep the public peace, no one will ever know.

What’s key is that Katrina has, in theory, forgiven the Other Woman in her life and moved on. And for what it’s worth, Katrina, Alia, and Ranbir seem to have gotten themselves a happy ending.

~

My story still does not have an ending—happy or otherwise—yet.

As much as I understand that things just happen, I struggle to forgive the Other Woman in most situations. Since I’m not a man, I don’t pretend to understand who they are or how they think. So, generally, I have little to no expectations from them. But I expect a lot from women—especially from those I consider my friends. The most important expectation being loyalty.

Playing devil’s advocate, another friend asked me, “They fell in love. Do you really expect them to give up on love because of some Girl Code? Can you just think of it that way and move past it?”

It being the tackiness. It being the heartbreak.

When I think of my friend, my heart hurts. She deserves none of this. I cannot forget her tears when her marriage ended and she suspected someone else may have been involved. To expect us to forgive her ex is hard enough, but the idea of forgiving another woman, more specifically a friend, feels like too much to me.

What happens in our romantic relationships is on both parties, to some degree. But what we choose to do to our friends, when we choose to break the f*cking Girl Code, is on us. And while every situation is unique, in this particular one, I don’t think I can forgive that code being broken. Nor do I think I should have to.

Am I being fair? Unfair? Holier-than-thou? Unreasonable? A self-righteous prick? Unrealistic? Too emotional? I don’t know.

But can you blame me for being overly emotional when it comes to my girlfriends? The ones who have loved me and carried me through it all?

Lay it on me, y’all. Let me know what you think!

~

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