5 bitter truths about being attracted to a friend’s partner

How to cope with growing feelings for someone and the possibility of losing a friend.

Love triangles are recipes for disaster but when a friend is involved, they are downright heartbreaking. That being said, we cannot always control who we fall in love with.

This emotionally charged situation should be handled with care starting with the question, “Are you sure it is love?” The last thing you want is to hurt a friend and destroy a relationship over a crush or fleeting feelings.

Once you answer that question honestly, you can rest assured to handle whatever comes next.

You have probably come to the startling realisation that you really really like him/her. He/she is funny, understands you, is funny, you have a great time.

Along with this realisation may come feelings like guilt for feeling like that, anger at yourself, confusion about where to go from here and jealousy.

According to Jessica Lamb, a psychotherapist and mediator at Relationship Matters, it is okay to have these feelings. It is likely that you and your friend have similar tastes in partners.

Here’s what you should know.

1. Give them space

Consider taking time away from him to think about and understand your feelings for him. Also, consider the possibility of losing your friend. Are you attracted to him or is there something else?

Is he an easy target for your desire for love?

Are you comfortable having fun with him around your friend that you want more of that?

Does his casual attention boost your self-esteem?

2. Communication Boundaries

If there is contact between you that you don’t feel comfortable telling your friend about, that is crossing a line.

Initiating any form of meeting or engaging in communication that does not involve your friend is a red flag that you are crossing a line into betraying your friend’s trust. You will be the bad guy because it will look like you made the moves on him.

3. Don’t take advantage of problems

You will have judgement and criticism on their relationship dynamics but don’t interfere to “fix it” or save the day. Every relationship has its problems based on the couple, don’t imagine that he/she will be better with you or that you will treat them better.

Leave them to their relationship journey.

Plus, no one will take your side if you step in and break them up.

4. He has to call off the relationship

In the event that he returns to your feelings and wants to date, he has to decide to break up with your friend. Before anything can happen between you two, he has to be out of the relationship with your friend. It will also give you the security to trust him not to do something similar to you.

5. Your friendship is over

If you get together, there is a big chance that you and your friend will be over. They might comb through past events trying to figure out when that started or they might find it hard to trust you.

Avoid trying to fix your friendship or making amends if your efforts are not welcome. Give it time.


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