Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Forget Hooking Up to This Deal

DEAR NATALIE: My best friend and I want to get into a real estate venture together, but her husband will be putting up her half of the money. The other issue is her husband and I have had a serious flirtation going for a while, and I'm worried that working together is going to make things worse and potentially cause us to have an affair. But it's a good opportunity (business-wise) for me and my friend. What should I do? -- CONFUSEDLADY

DEAR CONFUSEDLADY: You will have to enlighten me as to why this is confusing you? Seems pretty straightforward to me. Your best friend is married to a guy you would like to hook up with, and this is causing anxiety. The solution? Back away. Do not start a business venture with them. It is not OK that he flirts with you, but let them deal with their own marital issues. Do not get in the middle of this. If you want to keep your friend and your dignity and your sanity - find another fish in the sea. There are several billion, so the odds are in your favor. 

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Perform a random act of kindness. Volunteer for an organization that you don't really know much about. Whether its cleaning up city sidewalks, serving at a soup kitchen, or chatting with patients at a hospital, you can find connections in surprising and uplifting ways. Like-minded people doing good things for the world? Sounds like a perfect way to network and meet positive people! 

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)