Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“I Have Feelings for My Friend’s Crush”

Through one of my close friends I met this guy. We quickly became friends and now hang out with the same group of people. His sense of humor is the same as mine and we also see eye-to-eye on many topics. He’s made it clear that he would be interested in a relationship and I think if we started dating, we would work well together. There’s just one thing stopping me, and that is the friend who introduced us. Not that long ago she mentioned that she’s interested in him and has been for a few years. When I think of the two of them together, I do think they would be a good match as well, BUT I don’t realistically see them getting together. It’s worth mentioning that she knows he’s interested in me, but has no idea of my true feelings for him. I’m having a hard time deciding if I should take the chance with the guy and more than likely damage my friendship with her with no guarantee that the relationship will last, or just forget about him and find someone who none of my friends are into. What do you think? — Feelings for Friend’s Crush


You’re right that pursuing this guy whom your friend has expressed feelings for will likely damage — and perhaps even ruin — your friendship with her, so you have to make some decisions. First, is this guy worth that risk? How would damaging this particular friendship affect the relationships you have with mutual friends? You say that you all hang out in the same group, so how do you think your pursuing/dating this guy would affect the group dynamic? It may not be just this one friend you lose. You could very well lose this particular social circle altogether if your mutual friends side with the girl being “betrayed” by you. Is that risk worth it to you?

Beyond the risk of potentially losing some friends, there’s the very real risk of hurting someone you care about which, if you’re a decent person, should be a risk that rattles you at least a little bit. It would be one thing if you and she met this guy at the same time and both developed crushes on him and he chose you. It still may not be an ideal situation, but there wouldn’t be such a sense of betrayal. Calling “dibs” on someone you’ve both just met is childish. But it’s different that she knew him first and introduced you two and let you know from the get-go that she had feelings for him. There’s something back-stabbing about going for him when you know how she feels.

The good news is that feelings are fluid, and she will probably move on eventually, especially since she knows he likes you. If you can wait it out, maybe timing for a potential relationship between you will be better in a few months. Maybe she’ll start dating someone else, or she’ll get bored with her unrequited crush. Maybe, knowing how he feels about you, she’ll even broach the topic of you dating him, at which time, you can better gauge what her reaction to that would be. If it comes to that — if she suggests that you’d make a good couple, or asks how you feel about him — I’d play it coy. Don’t come right out and confess your crush, but instead say something open-ended and noncommittal like, “Well, he is cute…” and pay attention to her response.

Of course, if you decide to wait a few months to see if your friend’s feelings change, there’s a good chance that your feelings and the guy’s feelings may change, too. Maybe he’ll find someone else who is more available to him. Maybe you’ll find someone who poses less threat to your friendships. These are all things to consider as you make a decision. But if I had to give you a single line of advice or piece of wisdom to help you along, it would be this: it may take lots of false starts and broken hearts before you find your great love, but quality friendships keep you centered during the search.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

57 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Desiree June 22, 2011, 3:08 pm

    I’m not in a position to say what the LW should do, but there is one detail that sticks out to me. “Not that long ago she mentioned that she’s interested in him and has been for a few years.” So, the friend been interested in him for *years* and hasn’t tried to make something happen. It kind of reminds me of movie rights, like she has “optioned” a relationship with him and but isn’t obligated to go through with it. I think that makes me slightly less sympathetic for the friend. If something was going to happen there, it seems like it would have already.

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    • landygirl

      Landygirl June 22, 2011, 3:14 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. Neither of them have tried to make something happen and he has expressed interest in the LW. You’re right, if something was going to happen between the friend and the boy it would have happened by now unless your names are Harry and Sally.

      LW, is the friend important to you? It is worth the hassle to date this guy? It seems that you might be able to find a guy that doesn’t have such close ties to friends so that you can avoid a mess.

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph June 22, 2011, 3:18 pm

      But whether its fair or not, we can’t discount that the friend will likely not take kindly to the LW stealing the boy she has “optioned.” It will probably destroy the friendship, even if the friend is being unreasonable.

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      • avatar

        Desiree June 22, 2011, 3:25 pm

        I think, if it were me, it would depend on the relative importance of everyone. If I were just wanting a casual relationship, I wouldn’t go for it with the guy. But if I were in a place where I was ready to find and marry a good guy, and I thought this guy had real potential to be that person, I might go for it. It depends on the LW’s perspective and priorities here.

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      • avatar

        Amber June 22, 2011, 5:57 pm

        The LW’s friend hasn’t dated this guy, and hasn’t attempted to date this guy.

        If the friend would seriously stop being friends with the LW over this, then their friendship wasn’t that strong to begin with. This isn’t an ex husband or ex boyfriend we are talking about.

        The LW should approach the friend and tell her that she has strong feelings for the guy and would like to date him, and ask for her blessing.

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    • avatar

      Maracuya June 22, 2011, 3:26 pm

      Even if it’s one of those things where she isn’t going to make a move, there’s not a statue of limitations on when her feelings don’t matter. She’s known her friend for years, but if she really likes this guy I think she should just broach the topic with her like, “So-and-so asked me out on a date. I’d like to go, but knowing how you feel about him, are you going to be okay?”

      My problem is you’re always toeing the line between letting her know and asking her permission. So I do agree with you if it’s been years, then she’s probably going to have an unrequited crush on him forever. Totally messy situation.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph June 22, 2011, 5:18 pm

        Excellent point about there being no statute of limitations. Seven long years ago, I met a guy at a summer job that I developed serious feelings for. We kinda danced around it for years, though were never in the right place/right time to make things work out. And now, years later, even though I’m happy with my current boyfriend I just saw on facebook that he now has a girlfriend. I felt a tiny heart-string tug seeing it, as I have felt hearing about past girlfriends.
        He and I only barely keep in touch through occasional emails/fb messages, but I know that those feelings, which have always been in the back of my mind as a “what-if” fantasy, haven’t completely disappeared and never will. Though the LW’s friend has never been with this guy, you can’t discount that “what-if” fantasy and how she’ll react to see it threatened. And not just by a stranger like my friend’s new girl, but by one of her friends. It would definitely dredge up feelings for her.

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      • avatar

        Spark June 22, 2011, 6:38 pm

        I 100000000% agree with you. (And I can very much relate to your story.)

        So well said!

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  • avatar

    Roe June 22, 2011, 3:21 pm

    I agree with the above – yes, it’s unfortunate that her friend has feelings for the guy & it’s natural of the LW to be reluctant to hurt her in any way. However, she’s not the reason nothing has happened between her friend & this guy – the guy’s lack of interest is. The friend isn’t this guy’s ex, & nothing has ever happened between them – in the YEARS they’ve known eachother, so the friend is essentially saying “I can’t have him & neither can anyone else.” She’s going to have to deal with this guy dating other women eventually & she will get over this unrequited crush, & I don’t think there’s any reason why the LW shouldn’t be able to be that lucky girl who dates him AND remain friends with this girl.

    If I were the LW I’d do one of two things: admit to the girl you’re getting a crush, & either let her acknowledge that he may like the LW back or slowly broach the topic herself, OR explain the situation to the guy & get him to oh-so-casually mention to the friend that he’s crushing on the LW (more passive-aggressive, but it achieves the same result without placing the blame on the LW.)

    The friend doesn’t have a claim over this guy because she has a crush & though her ego may be a little hurt at first, she should be able to become happy for the LW… or at least fake being happy for her until she finds another guy who actually likes her back.

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    • avatar

      HmC June 22, 2011, 4:09 pm

      Excellent point about resentment… as important as true friendship is, true love is nothing to sneeze at either.

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      • avatar

        HmC June 22, 2011, 4:10 pm

        oops I meant that for SpaceySteph’s comment below. :/

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      • avatar

        Christy June 22, 2011, 5:06 pm

        But it’s not even true love at this point, it’s just an attraction. Our marriage obsessed society might make us think that nothing is more important than finding “the one”, but if she values her friendship, she shouldn’t put it aside just because this guy is cute. I like Wendy’s suggestion–wait a few months. Maybe someone cuter will come along!

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      • avatar

        HmC June 23, 2011, 1:19 am

        I’m not saying that *this* is true love- though they have known each other for quite a while so that’s promising. If the possibility for it is there… I dunno, if I were the other friend, and I was approached in a respectful way that respected my feelings, and the other two people wanted a relationship and not just to bang… I would hope that I could be mature enough to want to let two friends be happy, even if it stung a little. Especially if it was clear that this guy did not reciprocate my feelings and probably never would.

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  • avatar

    SpaceySteph June 22, 2011, 3:25 pm

    I think the only way to proceed which protects the friendship is to tell your friend that this guy has asked you out and you have feelings for him too. She may like him but know that she’ll never be with him and let it go with her blessing. Or she might not.

    If you never do anything, you will grow to resent your friend for keeping him from you- even though she won’t even know that you do. If you just go date him, she will resent you for stealing this boy that is apparently her territory. The only way is to air it all out: fight, laugh, cry, and come to a conclusion. Either she can live with it, or she can’t. And if she can’t, you can either live with that or you can’t. But it’ll all be on the table and she will bear equal responsibility for destroying the friendship, if it comes to that.

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    • avatar

      Desiree June 22, 2011, 3:31 pm

      It’s unfortunate that it carries the potential of so much drama. My current boyfriend of two years was introduced to me by a mutual friend. That friend swore up and down she wasn’t interested in him AND at the time she was becoming involved with the man who is her now-husband. Even so, this girl became extremely hostile when my boyfriend and I started dating. She said some things to try and break us up. I just didn’t get it, and frankly I still don’t.

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph June 22, 2011, 3:36 pm

        I agree. I’ve been on both sides of it and it never goes well. When it comes to matters of the heart, people have trouble seeing clearly.

        And its not just among girls– with my current boyfriend, another guy we know has said things to undermine our relationship because he is after me! They aren’t exactly buddies but we do all run in the same circle and it made things really awkward.

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    • avatar

      mf June 22, 2011, 4:25 pm

      Totally agree. I hope the LW follows your advice.

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  • avatar

    cdobbs June 22, 2011, 3:28 pm

    Talk to your friend first. Explain the situation, that you and this guy both have feelings for each other, but that you won’t act on those feelings until you know for sure that it won’t jeopardize the friendship. when in doubt always put your friends first! guys will come and go, but a good friend is irreplaceable! you never know though, she may give her blessing and then you’ll have a new relationship and your friend!

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    • avatar

      TheOtherMe June 22, 2011, 3:53 pm

      Perfect.

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  • leilani

    leilani June 22, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Only you can decide what is more important to you, your friend relationship with her or your potential romantic relationship with him. But she isn’t okay with it, you’re going to have to accept that you can’t have both. If I were you I’d probably tell he that he had expressed interest in taking you out, and you wanted to accept, but wanted to talk to her about it first. If she says its cool, great, and if she says she its not cool, then you need to decide which relationship is more important to you.

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    • leilani

      leilani June 22, 2011, 3:55 pm

      *if she isn’t okay with it

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  • avatar

    Jess June 22, 2011, 3:55 pm

    I don’t know, there’s been a lot of cross dating in my group of friends. In fact, in the last wedding I was in, 3 of us bridesmaids had at least made out with the groom! So I would think this wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Maybe you just need to introduce the concept of everyone chilling out a bit about ‘crushes’. When its *LOVE* it’s different, and people respect that. But a one-sided crush (which your firend has here) isn’t love.

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    • avatar

      Desiree June 22, 2011, 4:00 pm

      Your group of friends is a very mature bunch of people.

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  • avatar

    Sarah June 22, 2011, 4:09 pm

    My good friend dated a guy that I had a crush on for a few years that she knew about. For some reason I didn’t seem to mind that much. Maybe it was because she was astronomically prettier than I was and I had a lot of self-esteem issues at the time. So…..win for me, right? RIGHT?

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 22, 2011, 4:24 pm

    If your friend had ANY chance with this guy, trust me, it would have already happened… I say, go for it.

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  • avatar

    Starfish13 June 22, 2011, 4:28 pm

    Having experiences somewhat similar to the LW in the past, I certainly understand how appealing a guy can seem when a friend of yours is also interested (especially when you have to see both parties on a consistent basis).

    I tried a few different ways, including, going for it / not going for it, and temporarily loosing friends. Eventually – and luckily – I managed to resume all friendships that had been put on hold due to my crushes and deeply regret any behaviors that might have hurt my friends feelings. At the time, my behavior felt to justified because guy seemed so special. But, like most crushes, the guy quickly turned out to not be “the one” and I wished I would have never put the guy before my friends.

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    • avatar

      LTC039 June 22, 2011, 4:35 pm

      I’m sure if you had found “the one” in one of those guys you would be saying otherwise. The truth is you never know until you try & like I said, & others said, it’s just a crush on the friend’s part, not a past/present love.

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    • avatar

      jessielyn June 23, 2011, 2:00 pm

      I have been in this situation also. I am marrying the guy in three months. So you never know, as with any relationship.

      At the end of the day, you have to decide what is important to you. In my case, the friend and I were drifting apart anyway (as sometimes happens in life), and I had had a crush on the guy for years and we had always flirted. I went into it knowing that the risk of dating him was losing that friend. I don’t think it makes you a bad person if you choose to pursue this relationship. But admittedly, I am biased. 🙂

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  • avatar

    LTC039 June 22, 2011, 3:31 pm

    Your friend has had a crush on this guy for a few yrs but nothing has ever developed between them…that doesn’t seem so promising for her. It’s a difficult position to be in but if you both have mutual feelings for one another I don’t see why you can’t pursue it. Sure your friend will be upset, but I think she’ll get over it (unless she ridiculously immature), it’s not like this guy is someone she had the whirlwind romance with for years & it ended so dramatically & she still pines for him. It’s a crush. There’s meaning to that word.
    I would talk to her, tell her you know this guy is interested in you & you feel the same, you think that something good could develop but you can’t be sure unless you try. The decision is yours to make, but I disagree with Wendy. Sometimes, you gotta go for your gut feeling & if you are as compatible with this guy as you are claiming, I don’t see why you should hold back, in this situation.

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  • avatar

    JennyTalia June 22, 2011, 4:36 pm

    I say go for him. Warn your friend first, nicely and tactfully, but don’t ask her permission – just let her know that you and he both like one another and you want to see where it goes. She’d be a selfish friend to deny you potential love, especially since she’s had years to act on it. Who knows – maybe it’s a blessing in disguise and this will be the kick she needs to get over this guy and go after someone with whom she can have a realistic relationship with.

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  • avatar

    lk June 22, 2011, 4:38 pm

    I have an out-of-left-field idea about this. I got involved in a very similar situation in high school. I asked Friend if she would mind me dating Boy. She said no…

    2 weeks later, Friend & Boy were dating & I felt like a pawn.

    It’s *slightly* possible that Boy is using LW as a catalyst to stir up Friend’s feelings (since they’ve been friends for longer, this may be a dynamic that has been building & LW can’t read all the signs – and LW mentions that Friend knows about Boy’s interest in her, which assumedly triggered Friend to reveal her feelings).

    Not likely, but a thought…

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    • avatar

      lk June 23, 2011, 11:34 am

      I feel sure that the Friend would not have disclosed her interest in Boy, had it not been for Boy’s apparent interest in LW:

      “Not that long ago she mentioned that she’s interested in him and has been for a few years…It’s worth mentioning that she knows he’s interested in me, but has no idea of my true feelings for him.”

      Sounds like Friend was giving LW a heads-up/hands-off alert.

      If these humans are young, I still say it’s *possible* that Boy is flirting with LW & mentioning it to Friend in order to test Friend’s feelings for him without really risking the friendship status quo. If so, sounds like it’s working…

      Granted, this explanation does not really give LW’s circle the benefit of the doubt & makes them pretty immature – but I know from experience that it is possible.

      If I were LW, I’d give it time & take it slow. There are ways to explore the friendship between herself & Boy without jumping straight into romance.

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  • avatar

    SGMcG June 22, 2011, 4:41 pm

    In times like these, I like to make a PRO-CON list regarding the matter. So let’s take your problem LW. What are the PROs of going after this guy? A potential relationship with him and all the benefits that entails. What are the CONs of going after the guy? The potential for drama with your friend who also has a crush on him. I personally find that listing all the potential reasons/scenarios gets the brain thinking and recognizes all the potential factors and influences regarding a situation, and I write EVERY ONE of them down – no matter how silly they seem.

    Sometimes the list of PROs and CONs evens out, yet most times it doesn’t. After I think out EVERY SINGLE OBJECTION and/or SUPPORT for the scenario, there’s only one voice I haven’t listened to – my heart. So if I see a list full of CONs, yet I feel that the list is incorrect in what choice to follow, I know that the list helped my identify the TRUE choice I should make because it’s the one my heart wants.

    Granted, not ALL conflicts can be resolved through this PRO-CON list method. Yet I also find that the list helps me stop and think about what I’m doing before I act impulsively. However, no matter what choice the list helps you realize to follow, I think the only option to consider, at least in this scenario, is what your heart really wants in the long run as opposed to the short term.

    Good luck LW.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com June 22, 2011, 4:46 pm

    I love this advice. Have encountered this before and it feels like a do or die situation. Wendy’s suggestion for taking time to see which way the wind blows? Perfect.

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  • avatar

    DebMoore June 22, 2011, 4:58 pm

    I don’t know if this will help but I was in the same situation. My friend liked this guy (only I had been the person who knew him for years) and then he confessed to me he liked me and not her. I took some time and thought about it, he mean while asked if we could at least be friends and I said yes. The closer we got……………uh the closer we got and in fact have not been apart since then. We have now been married for over 10 years now (together for 11) and it’s been the best 11 years of my life! No I/we are no longer friends with the girl who orginally liked him, but we later found out she was a shady person, so no big loss.
    I would say go for it, BUT really think about how important your friend is to you. If she is one of many, then maybe going for the guy would be a good idea. However if she is a real important part of your life, take some time to see how it all plays out. Perhaps get to know this guy as a freind. And if the feelings get stronger than it might be worth it. Who knows maybe after you get to know him, you realize he wouldn’t have been worth it!

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  • avatar

    spanishdoll June 22, 2011, 5:34 pm

    I was the LW’s friend in this situation during college. My best friend knew that I liked the guy for years, but they started dating right before graduation. It was kind of a slap in the face, just because she hid the fact that they were dating for months.

    It took me a year to let go of my resentment. It’s true; I had no claim on the guy, I knew we would probably never get together, and I knew that he was interested in my BFF. But it still sucked because I felt like she willingly chose to pursue the relationship, even knowing that I would be crushed. It worked out in the end, partially because I know and love both of them and they make a great couple (they’re even talking marriage!)

    LW, if you really think that you could have a serious relationship with this guy, and not just a whirlwind hookup, then it might be worth it. Just don’t hide it from your friend. You have to be upfront about your intentions, and let her know that this is an opportunity you can’t pass up. Tell her you understand if she is hurt, but that you are sure this is the right decision. Let her be a mad for a little while if she needs to, and be respectful of her feelings, even if they seem irrational.

    My friendship lasted because my BFF proved over time that she was serious about the guy *and* about our friendship, and that one didn’t have to negate the other.

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  • avatar

    LTC039 June 22, 2011, 4:44 pm

    I must add. I too, had a somewhat similar situation. My best friend introduced me & my now boyfriend about 4 years ago. It wasn’t just him I met at the time, it was a bunch of other people she had gone to middle school with. I immediately found him attractive, but at the time he had a gf so I stayed away. She mentioned she used to like him, back in middle school, & still had a bit of a crush on him. He broke up with his gf & I continued my life & became close with the rest of the people (her old friends), but not really him. At one point, she mentioned something like “I could never date him…” After a few months of him being single & me not dating anyone at that point, he confessed to me that he liked me & wanted to take me out. I accepted. My friend was upset at first, but she got over it. We’re still close friends… & my bf & I have been together almost 3 yrs.
    It happens, & the LW will never know unless she goes for it.

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  • avatar

    SpyGlassez June 22, 2011, 6:10 pm

    I started typing a response, and then I realized I was just repeating everyone else. I will add this, however – years ago, my best friend introduced me and a guy friend of hers. I intuited that she had a soft spot for him, but she never said anything. This guy and I had a brief 6 week relationship (this was in high school) before his true colors came out and I broke up with him. My friend was really hurt when this guy asked me out, because it turned out she had liked him a lot, but she and I talked and our friendship was worth trying to save. I’m glad for that, because she’s still in my life fourteen years later, while the guy (who wholly earned his nickname of Creepy Stalker Dude) is barely even a blip on my facebook page, and he’s only there because I’ve learned it is safer to know where he is than to let him fade away. So the commitment to the friendship can keep it going, but you have to be respectful of the friend’s feelings…AND she has to be respectful of yours.

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  • avatar

    oldie June 22, 2011, 6:29 pm

    This is where girl’s rules seem strange. Having ‘feelings’ or a ‘crush’ on someone for three years, without ever dating that person, does not give you ownership of that person, even within your own group of friends. If a friend had said he was interested in a girl, who didn’t seem interested in him, who did seem interested in me, whom he hadn’t asked out on a date and in whom I was interested, I would not have given him more than a couple weeks to make a move. Beyond that, neither of us gets the girl. Of course, this was all 40 years ago.

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    • avatar

      Desiree June 22, 2011, 6:47 pm

      I know where you are coming from. I understand the idea of being considerate of someone’s feelings, but no person “owns” another person. Obviously, if this guy was her ex-husband or such, that would be a bigger emotional claim. But here? I just don’t quite see it.

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    • avatar

      DebMoore June 22, 2011, 7:43 pm

      Yes I agree “girl rules” are strange however I have another story and this time it involves guys. A guy friend of mine G went to college with a girl E and he had a crush on her. She told him “I like you as a friend only” never the less he invited her to Vegas with some friends of his (from his hometown) and she went. In Veags she met a friend of G’s named D and E & D started dating. G was super butthurt and has been mad at D ever since then even though E & D got married. We have all told G he needs to get over it as E never liked G that way and E & D are married! So dudes can be just as weird about those things as well!

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    • avatar

      jessielyn June 23, 2011, 2:05 pm

      I agree. It sucks to be rejected, but that is life. People can’t help being attracted to one another. I also don’t see the big deal in dating exes. (Boyfriends I mean. The baggage from a divorce is a uniquely heavy load) I could not care less if any of my friends dated one of my exes. They are exes for a reason. I have no claim on them, because we are not dating anymore.

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet June 22, 2011, 8:50 pm

    I was in a similar situation my senior year of high school. I had moved to a new school at the end of my junior year and quickly became great friends with this girl, Sarah. When I met her, she had a massive crush on a college guy named Isaac. The crush fizzled out a few months after I met her and she started hanging out with Isaac as a friend (and therefore, so did I). Well, Isaac developed feelings for me and asked me out on date. I immediately went to Sarah and asked her if she was okay with it. I made it clear that I would not go on a date with him if it made her uncomfortable. She assured me it was fine and gave me her “blessing.” She even acted excited for me!

    Isaac and I ended up hitting it off and getting serious pretty fast. While we were dating, Isaac and Sarah developed a deeper friendship because they had something in common: me. For the first few months, they would talk often on the phone about me. Sarah would come to school and squeal with glee about how much Isaac liked me.

    That didn’t last long, though. After a few months, when it became clear that Isaac and I weren’t going to break up anytime soon, she began to talk bad about me to him. Apparently things such as, “Sobriquet can be so annoying sometimes, right?” and “Sobriquet was flirting with another guy at school today!” Isaac, being a good boyfriend, told me the things Sarah had said about me. Their friendship ended immediately. Sarah denied saying those things, but drifted out of my life fairly quickly.

    My point is that you can never know how it’s going to play out. In my case, Isaac and I were together for two years and lived together for a year. That relationship was very important to me. I do not regret losing my friend because of him. You have no idea what will come of you dating this guy, but you should be 100% honest with your friend in the process and ask her to be the same.

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  • avatar

    MsBorgia June 23, 2011, 12:06 am

    I was in this position with my current bf and my best friend. It turned out we both had a crush on him but she announced it first (mine grew more slowly). She and I would talk about how hot he was, etc., together, but eventually it became clear that he liked me back and we started hanging out/dating. I felt really bad about “stealing” him from her but we talked about it openly and she was a really good sport about it. I also made it clear to her that if it upset her I would stop seeing him.

    Luckily everything worked out and two years later she is still my best friend and he’s the best guy I’ve ever been with. So, this is a long way of saying— talk to her. See how she feels about it. And respect her enough to back off him if that’s what’s needed to preserve your friendship.

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    • avatar

      lk June 23, 2011, 1:22 pm

      This pretty much happened to me… we used to chat about how hot he was, whatever. When we started dating, she would still flirt with him like we both used to but I just let it happen because I knew he loved me & eventually she chilled out.

      He and I dated for 3 years but the weirdest part was when we broke up – she took his side! She freaked out about me throwing away a good relationship with a great guy & we are no longer friends because of the lack of support she showed during one of the hardest times in my life.

      Best moment: I went over to her house, we drank some wine & were journaling & I kind of lost it & started bawling…she got into bed and asked me to, “Turn off the light when you stop crying.” Oh no.

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    Lindsay June 23, 2011, 12:46 am

    I was in a similar situation in high school, except I was the one who had the crush and my friend was the one who started dating the crush. I was disappointed about the guy, but the worst part was that she was underhanded about it. She lied about being interested in him and hid the fact that they were hanging out. So, I found out secondhand that they were seeing each other, and she still denied it. What made me the most angry is that this guy she’d known for a month was apparently much more important to her than our friendship of six years.

    Moral of the story: Talk to your friend first. Don’t hide things from her.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom June 23, 2011, 10:36 am

    I have to wonder if your friend mentioned she had a crush on the guy just because she realized he liked you and she lays claim to him to keep him from being able to date the girls he meets that he likes. She may try to keep him dateless hoping that sooner or later he will notice her and want her.

    Start telling her that he likes you. Mention the things he says to you and that you’re beginning to like him. Tell her why you think the two of you would be compatible. Try to take it gently but she can’t lay claim to someone or possess them. He is his own person and gets to choose who he sees and if he finds her too controling of his dating life he will begin to resent her and they won’t be friends, let alone date. That being said, jealousy is something that pops up, often unbidden, and she may not be able to control her feelings.

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  • avatar

    Liz June 23, 2011, 11:01 am

    I’ve been on the side of the LW’s friend- I had known (and had a crush on) my friend for a year or so when another friend of mine moved back home and started hanging out with our group of friends. I told her about my feelings for him almost right away- but then the two of them started flirting outrageously and even would occasionally hold hands in front of me. I tried to be mature about it and act like it didn’t bother me, but it did, so I had a talk with her and things were much better from then on. The reason I wanted them to stop behaving that way was just for my peace of mind when we were all together- it really made me upset to watch them flirt so obviously in front of me. However, if it had been clear that the two of them were obviously soulmates (they’re not, she has a boyfriend but he lives far away) then I probably would have dealt with a bruised ego and let be what it needed to be- but I might have had to give up a few friends for a little bit in the process.

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    • avatar

      Maracuya June 23, 2011, 12:10 pm

      And her long-distance boyfriend is totally okay with her flirting and holding hands with another guy? O_o Technically, I guess that’s not cheating but whut.

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  • Heather

    Heather June 23, 2011, 1:27 pm

    I’ve always wondered what the proper etiquette is with something like this. Obviously, it’s not cool to “steal” someone else. But, if there is nothing developing between boy and friend, is it really that wrong to pursue something outside of it?

    Oddly, I’m in a bit of a situation myself. I’m somewhat seeing this guy whom I was introduced to not long ago. He is the best friend of my best friend’s boyfriend. And before I met him (I lived in a different city a few months ago) my best friend had told me that she developed feelings for this friend.

    So when him and I met and clicked immediately, a part of me thought, I absolutely don’t need to ask her permission. She has a boyfriend for Pete’s sake! But at the same time, I still broached the topic with her. (She’s very supportive, although she does jokingly ask me about him and i to see what she “passed up”. She’s still with her boyfriend and says they’re happy).

    So DW readers, what do you think is the proper etiquette?

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    • avatar

      Liz June 23, 2011, 2:37 pm

      I, personally, would never go after someone that one of my close friends had strong feelings for, but if it was just a passing crush and the friend is in another serious relationship, I think it would be ok. Plus, in your scenario, your friend doesn’t seem to mind at all. I think you’re in the clear!

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      • Heather

        Heather June 23, 2011, 4:36 pm

        yeah? a couple of months ago, got a text from her (she had been drinking i think) saying something to the effect of having a hard time dealing with her feelings for this guy and the guy she truly loved. but a few days later, she explained to me that it was more that they just were around each other a lot and she began to really like/appreciate the person that he was, and i think she just hit a small cooling off period with her current bf. i never anticipated it, because we honestly do not have the same taste in guys, at all. so imagine my surprise when i go over to her and her bf’s place and she says he’s over, and i walk in and immediately strike conversation with this impossibly cute guy. of course it was him! lol.

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        Liz June 24, 2011, 9:58 am

        Go figure! I’d tell your friend about it beforehand so that you don’t blindside her or anything, but I bet even she’d have to admit that it’s pretty silly to have a boyfriend and then lay claim to another guy. Definitely go for it!

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    Fidget_eep June 23, 2011, 2:18 pm

    I guess I am in the role of the guy in this situation. I was really really good friends with a guy in college (T), but he was never someone I could date and I was dating someone at that time. This guy (T) and his best friend (H) we on the same floor as me freshman year. Mid-Junior year my high school boyfriend and I broke up and T wanted to date me. I told him that I was not looking for a new guy and that I didn’t want to date him and didn’t want to loose my best friend at school. Senior year H and I started talking because I was concerned for T (he had depression and severe bi polar in the family) and I lived in the same dorm as H so we could walk to meet T. For some reason I liked H better as a potential partner but kept quiet because H and T were friends and had been since 1st grade. By December H told me that he liked me and I admitted I liked him. We had no idea what to do about T (clinical depression and all), we finally told him that we wanted to give it a try. T got sooo upset and eventually didn’t come back to school after winter break. H and I are still together 4 years later but neither of us has heard from T since 2006, we miss him but understand that he would not be able to handle our relationship.

    If you think I could work you have to know your friend and how they would handle it over all. We KNEW T would take it bad, but we tried for about 2 months to ignore how we felt and tried to take T’s feelings into account.

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  • courtney89

    courtney June 23, 2011, 3:10 pm

    LW-
    putting myself in your friends shoes for a second. I am currently crushing on a guy I’ve known through middle/high school for around 10 years. Never had feelings for him up til about 6 months ago when I realized I really enjoyed his company (Don’t think it’ll ever be more then friends though, he has no idea, im sure). Trying to think about how I would feel if my close friend would start to date him- yeah it would hurt. But I think the way you approach her about it is the important thing. Make sure your considerate of her feelings and understand where she’s coming from. Let her know that you care about her alot as well and you dont want to ruin a friendship unnecessarily. I think most girls would try to be understanding in that situation. Although the fact that she’s liked this guy for YEARS and nothing has ever happened… It might not be that easy, and she might freak out on you about it. Hopefully she will put a good friend’s happiness above her own hurt. Good luck.

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  • avatar

    Dat_Truth_Hurts June 23, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Go for the threesome.

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  • avatar

    Ed June 24, 2011, 4:49 am

    The friendship will not be the same and even end. It is a possibility that is happening now since she knows he’s interested in you and not her. Girls are jealous. And even if you would tell her about your true feelings for him, she will expect you to do nothing about it even if she says she’s fine with it. Since you wrote a letter about it, I believe you’re more inclined to give a chance to this guy. Look, here’s two things in life that don’t depend on you: the family you are born in and who you fall in love with.
    It is though your decision..

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