Let’s say you make a new acquaintaince at work, “Dorian.” The two of you hit of all, sharing interests, complementary senses of humor, and so forth, and soon become fast friends. The two of you are working on a project together that could benefit your career quite a bit, and consequently you’re willing to put in some off-hours time on it. Dorian’s house is a lot closer to work than yours, and has better internet and other such ameneties that y’all will need, so you ask if it’s okay for y’all to work there rather than at your place. After a moment’s hesitation, Dorian leaves briefly to make a phone call and returns with the news that that is okay.
At Dorian’s house you meet three people: Reid, Dorian’s spouse; Chris, Dorian’s best friend; and Reyes, Chris’s spouse. It’s a duplex; Chris and Reyes apparently share the other half of it, you assume, though you don’t ask. You like the three of them as much as you like Dorian, but wonder if the feeling’s mutual; they seem a little nervous at having you in the house. But that doesn’t last long, and soon you’re comfortable with all three. Over the next couple of weeks you spend a good number of evenings at Dorian’s house, working on your shared project. Sometimes only one of the other three is there; sometimes two; sometimes all three. Chris and Reyes are both as likely to be there as Reid. They all give you and Dorian plenty of space while y’all are working.
The project is successful and earns both you and Dorian promotions. By the time it’s over, you consider Dorian a lot more than a work friend. But this causes a dilemma. One night you’re at the movies when you see two people ahead of you in line in an indolent but unquestionably romantic posture. They look familar; they look like Chris and Reid. They don’t appear to see you, and you don’t draw attention to yourself; you just watch as they snuggle and kiss.
The next day, after a lot of deliberation, you decide you owe it to Dorian to share what you saw. Hearing your story, Dorian laughs and says: “I appreciate what you were doing here, buddy, I really do. You’re a good friend. But you don’t have to worry about anything. Last night was date night for Chris & Reid, just like tonight is date night for me and Reyes. I’m not married just to Reid: I’m married to all three. We’re faithful within the group, so it’s impossible for us to cheat in the way you’re describing; it would only be cheating if, like, one of us slept with you. Reid & I are godparents to Chris & Reyes’ son, and if anybody gets pregnant in the future we’ll raise the kids together. I know it’s not legally binding, but it’s what works for us. We didn’t tell you before because we didn’t want to freak you out. But we hope it’s cool, because we all like you. Anyway–now that you know, do you want to come out to dinner with us Saturday? We’re celebrating the promotion, and that’s as much your accomplishment as mine. It’ll just be grown-ups.”
You are free on the night in question. Do you accept? Are you willing to be friends with the group? Do you dial back your friendship with Dorian to work only? Why do you make the decision you do?