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Dead man squawking

My girlfriend's best friend e-mailed me, asking if I weren't with my girlfriend, would I consider dating her? I would, and told her so. Later, on the phone, I read the e-mail exchange to my girlfriend. She hung up on me and now won't answer my calls. Her friend won't pick up either. My girlfriend means the world to me, and I told her the truth out of love and got dumped. What was I supposed to do? -- Honest to a Fault

Of all the ways you could let your girlfriend know how into her you are, "I think your best friend's hot, and if you weren't in the picture, I'd make moves on her" is right up there with "No, I'm not saying your booty looks fat. I'm saying it shouldn't be long before some drunken astronomer takes credit for discovering it, and tries to name one cheek after his mother-in-law and the other after his dog."

Sometimes, telling the unvarnished truth is not an indicator you love somebody -- it's an indicator you forgot to connect your brain wires before speaking. Apparently, yours have been disconnected for quite some time -- certainly from the moment you responded to your girlfriend's so-called friend with something other than, "Could I find you attractive? Perhaps -- if I develop a thing for women who go around snaking their best friends." You instead decided to hedge your bets just in case. Then, with those brain wires still swinging in the wind, you let your girlfriend know exactly where you stand: "Me + U = 4ever (or until Amber asks what I'm doing Saturday night)."

If you'd truly been operating out of love, you would've seen to it that the naked truth got the requisite back wax and $10,000 in liposuction before you presented it to your girlfriend. For her own protection, all she really needed to hear was that her friend is no friend at all, plus assurances that if the girl exists for you in the slightest, it's only because she gets on your nerves when she barks.

Instead, you opted for the jealousy-spawning revelation that recruiters from other teams are standing by. Did you think this approach would bring you closer, or was it simply a form of investigative self-sabotage, la "Hmm, I wonder what would happen if I said, 'Oh, Stewardess, this improvised explosive device won't fit under my seat'?"

The whole truth should be told regularly -- by you, to you alone -- then filtered and dispensed on an as-needed basis. Are you looking over your shoulder for your girlfriend's replacement? If so, your girlfriend needs to know the essential detail -- that it's over -- not that it's over because you've got the hots for her best friend. Whenever the whole truth is damaging, tell the partial truth, if that will do the job -- giving a woman the news she needs, but without turning her ego into Cream of Wheat and feeding it to her cat.

Be prepared for a woman to insist you spill all, on both the big questions and the little gotchas, like whether you find Angelina Jolie hotter and if "wide load" is starting to describe the view of her from behind. She'll tell you she can take the truth. Great. She can get the truth from total strangers at hotornot.com. You stick to the lies; or rather, the truth that won't set you quite so free: "Does it look fat? Are you crazy? It's so perfect, if you multiply the circumference by pi, I'm pretty sure you'll wind up with the MapQuest directions to the Garden of Eden."

You can rerun, but you cannot hide

My former husband has been calling and saying he misses me. I still love him, and suspect he'll suggest getting back together. Can two people who've been divorced for several years try again and make a go of it? -- Old Spice

There you are, looking back on everything you shared: the private jokes, the trips to Hawaii, the time you caught him in bed with the skank from downstairs. OK, maybe not everything. If you're like most people, you're very thorough in reminiscing about the good times, and rather remiss in remembering the bad. Think about why you broke up. If it was circumstance -- you were too young, or all your stocks tanked and you got bitter about eating beans together -- maybe you have a chance.

If your differences are the irreconcilable kind, once you get loneliness out of the way, it'll just be the two of you and all your unresolved issues huddled under one roof. At that point, you should stop replaying the misty footage from your wedding and wish you had a divorce video -- maybe some nice clean tape of him ducking flying plates and you screaming with your eyes bulging out, "Admit it! Admit it! You wanna be with her!"

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, No. 280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com).

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