Agony Aunt Annie offers advice to a reader whose friend is madly in love – with a man who is not who he says he is…

Dear Annie

Please can you advise me on a problem that I’m having. It is to do with my friend who is in trouble and I don’t know how to help her.

We have been friends since Grade Four and are currently both in varsity. She has met this guy and they have been together for four months.

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She hasn’t had a serious boyfriend before and is head-over-heels in love. Her family are strict and so they don’t believe in sex before marriage and she is fine with that.

She believes that she and her boyfriend are destined to be together as they are of the same faith.

The problem is that I know that he lives a double life

I met him at a new years party. Everyone was pretty out of it and I had a one night stand with a guy. My friend knew about this but I never saw the guy again – until my friend introduced me to her new boyfriend! It was the one-night stand guy!

I was too shocked to say a thing and he just pretended that he was meeting me for the first time.

She is going home with him to meet his parents and they are talking about getting engaged at the end of the year. What she says she most admires about him is that he has kept himself pure for his wife and so really appreciates that she has done the same.

What she says she most admires about him is that he has kept himself pure for his wife and so really appreciates that she has done the same

He also loudly disaproves of “the filthy heathen habit” of smoking and drinking and he was doing both of those things at the new year’s party!

My friend is so happy and thinks that her life with him is going to be perfect. I have tried to subtly talk to her about having realistic expectations, but this has resulted in arguments. I really don’t know what to do.

Please help
Dear Anisha

Thank you for your letter. We all have rose coloured glasses when we are in love that make our lives look like instagram accounts, complete with filters, blemish removers and colour enhancers.

Real life is more like the old kodak cameras. You tried to capture good moments but you never really knew what the pictures would look like until the film was developed. There was sure to be some out-of-focus, blurry and heads-cut-off pics in amongst the sunsets.

You expected this when you went to pay for your developed spool and hoped that the good pics would outweigh the bad ones.

Now that we live in a social media world that we can simply edit to look perfect to the world around us, we can confuse that with reality.

Let’s all post instagram and facebook pics of us with no make-up on, bad hair days, clothes that make our butts look big and poorly slapped together meals… Ok, so we all know that that is not going to happen because that’s boring real life, that has not made the cut to be featured on our hashtag alter egos.

You friend cannot build her real life in cyber perfection. If she only discovers her boyfriend’s true colours when she’s Mrs Boyfriend and she has no filter enhancing abilities, it will be as if she can only ever have pics taken with her worst side showing. Her best gourmet meal pics will still taste like slop.

Before you get shoved into a fugly, puffy sleeved dress designed to make the bride look amazing by comparison, you need to talk more directly to your friend

I am sure there are enough pics out there to reveal what really went down at that party. We’re not talking about going with your friend’s awful new haircut so as not to hurt her feelings. The hair will grow out, but this man may be for keeps.

If you truly are her friend you will tell her that her butt looks big in those jeans and that her boyfriend is a #hypocrite #undeservinglyingcheat.

If you’re going to be immortalised beside your bestie in a fugly dress at her big day, make sure that her man is worth it.

You are beautiful!

Love and blessings