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These two women know each other

“Coincidence or karma”?

Love Letters

Love Letters

Q. I’m a man in my 40s. I was connected with a single woman — “Mary” — to do a small emergency home repair for her. I did the job, and Mary and I discussed another project she would like to have done in her home.

I was mildly interested in Mary.

A week or so later, Mary contacted me and said that due to her budget she’d have to postpone the discussed project. I replied that we could do the project together to cut labor costs. She never responded and I figured I creeped her out.

Fast forward two years. I met a woman on a dating app and by coincidence or karma she is lifelong friends with Mary. We went out a few times, had great chemistry, conversation, and agreed that we were really into each other. Then she told me Mary is/was totally in love with me but was afraid to contact me back then for whatever reason. So this new woman tells me she feels she and I shouldn’t be together because it would be a betrayal to Mary. Even though Mary didn’t respond when she had the chance.

I really like the new woman and wouldn’t want to cause any drama in her life, but I’m not sure what to do. So, should I reach out to Mary? Would that be playing games? Or just let it go?



A. What a small-world situation. I’m just going to assume you live around Boston. Maybe Rhode Island.

Now to the advice. Unless you want to date Mary, don’t contact her. If anything, you could ask this new woman if there’s anything you (or she) can do to make it easier to see each other again. Has she talked to Mary?

I assume you asked her about that, though. If so, let it go.


I’m not sure what happened with Mary, to be honest. Like you, I would have assumed that the “let’s do a renovation project together” pickup line was way too much for her. This new information makes it all confusing.

But you know what would be lovely right now? For things to be far less confusing. That’s why I think you should start from scratch and get yourself out of this group. Find someone who doesn’t randomly know Mary. I know it’s disappointing because you had a such a good connection to this second woman, but it’s all too close for comfort. There’s no reason for things to feel so messy after a few dates.

For the record, I don’t believe that this second woman’s connection to Mary is karma because 1) that’s not how karma works and 2) lots of people know each other, especially in certain areas. This is just an unfortunate coincidence.

If you received a clear answer from this new woman about this being over no matter what, move on. Don’t let it get in your way.



This sounds a bit like high school thinking where Mary should have dibs on you because she met you first. The problem with this line of thinking is that no one can calls dibs on another person.


Did “NotMary” ever tell you why Mary was (a) totally in love with you but also was (b) totally afraid to contact you for two years?



For the record, Mary is not in love with you. She is infatuated by her fantasy relationship she has had with you in her head. She really barely knows you.


“She told me Mary is/was totally in love with me.” After a few hours/days with her for a small emergency repair? Highly unlikely. This new woman is probably trying to get out of this new relationship after Mary said something weird about you. I agree with Meredith — get away from anyone who knows Mary Mary Quite Contrary. She has proven to be a negative element in your life.


I think you should run in the other direction, frankly. Red flags. It’s been two years since Mary, whom you had nothing but a maintenance job with? Both of these ladies sound [off]. I’m a lady. Take my advice.


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