Help! I'm In Love With My Best Friend's Girlfriend – What Do I Do?
Updated March 19, 2020
Reviewer Lauren Guilbeault
Have you ever experienced falling in love with your best friend's girlfriend? If not, let me play out the scenario. Your best friend of 10 years has been going out with his girlfriend for a couple of years now. You go out with them once in a while and, well, lately you've been experiencing romantic feelings for his girlfriend. You can't stop thinking about her, you're confident that you and she would be the perfect match, and you've had thoughts of, what if, just what if they broke up and you could be the love of her life? You've had thoughts of telling her how you feel about her. It's intense, and it's getting to the point that you can't hold in your feelings one day longer. So, what do you do?
It's important to handle this situation in the most graceful way possible. Some feelings could be wounded, friendships that could be fractured, and relationships on several levels that are at stake. There's a lot to lose-the friendship between you and your best friend, the relationship between your best friend and his girlfriend, and the great possibility that trust will be broken.
Trust is difficult to rebuild once it's been violated. It takes a lot of effort and time to restore it; and it's not just one side because when we break this trust, it's not just with the other person, but often with ourselves. The person being betrayed questions not only why the other person did what they did, but they also question why they let the betrayal happen, and why they didn't see it coming. Trust is the glue that holds relationships together. It's what allows you to feel safe so that you can be vulnerable enough to connect with another person emotionally. So, when that trust is broken, the glue begins to peel away from the very foundation, and the trust that was once deep-rooted and firm becomes cracked.
So it goes without saying that the primary focus, once you realize you have these feelings for your best friend's girlfriend, is to prevent it from moving any further. Here are some steps to do just that.
Help! I'm In Love With My Best Friend's Girlfriend - What Do I Do?
First, Consider The Consequences Of Cheating
Consider the scenario if you were to move forward with advances toward your best friend's girlfriend. If she reciprocates your move, then you're cheating on your best friend and not only will your friends take a drastic hit, but their relationship might be destroyed as well-two relationships and three people are affected because of an emotional and romantically-charged decision. If she doesn't reciprocate, then it is just as devastating; for if she confides with your best friend, then again many relationships are negatively affected; and even if she doesn't tell him, you will feel awkward around them, she will feel like she's keeping secrets from her boyfriend, and your best friend will more likely sense something is wrong. It's a lose/lose situation.
If you feel you can refrain from acting on your impulses, then time will hopefully remove and lessen your desire for the girlfriend, especially if you shift your focus on someone else (this is described later in this article). However, it's important to note that even if you aren't physically acting on your feelings, you could still have emotional, romantic feelings for her and, in essence, be having an emotional affair which could subsequently lead to a physical act.
Keep Your Distance From The Girlfriend
If you're truly honest with yourself and you find that you can't refrain from the temptation of making a move on his girlfriend, then the distance is the remedy. It's better to remove yourself from the get-togethers as opposed to risk losing so much and hurting close friends in the process. Whether you decide to tell your friend why you're not joining them on their outings is an individual choice. If you're already not around them too much, then it makes it easier, but if you are and suddenly you've ghosted them, then a one-on-one conversation with your best friend might be in order.
Seek Out Your Own Special Someone
One way to keep your distance from the girlfriend is to hang out with someone else. Someone who you like being around, who you think is special, even someone you're attracted to. It doesn't have to be a love interest or a romantically involved relationship; it can be a good friend who you have fun with and like being around. This will place your focus and emotions on someone new and away from your best friend's girlfriend.
However, be careful that you are not replacing the void of not being around your best friend's girlfriend with a rebound relationship. That's not only unhealthy but no fair to the new person you are now hanging around. Be honest with yourself whether you're truly building up a healthy friendship or relationship with the new person, or if it is an impulsive move.
Tell Your Best Friend How You Feel
Sometimes the best way to keep it safe and healthy when you have romantic feelings with your best friend's girlfriend is to tell your best friend your feelings. The decision on whether to do this depends on a couple of important factors: how close of a relationship you have with your best friend, and whether keeping your distance from the girlfriend is not an option. This decision is not one to be taken lightly because it could backfire on you and your friends if your best friend becomes offended or negatively affected by your confession. Furthermore, he might still lose trust in you thinking that there could be a chance in the future that you might act upon your feelings for his girlfriend. It will more likely be somewhere in the back of his mind.
On the other hand, if your relationship with your best friend is solid, then it might strengthen your bond because of your honesty and decision to be completely open and transparent with him. How close are you? How long have you been best friends? How close are your best friend and his girlfriend? Could your friendship be negatively affected by your admission? There are all things to consider before deciding whether to confess to your best friend about your feelings for his girlfriend.
Tell Someone ElseAbout Your Feelings
If the prospect of telling your best friend is not in the cards, then the next best thing to do is tell someone else. Tell another friend about your feelings (as long as you're confident they won't reveal it to your best friend). Tell a family member or a pastor, priest, rabbi, or other spiritual people. Telling someone else who is not involved with this triangle can be very helpful in both giving you objective insight and advice as well. Many times you'll find the people who you're reaching out to have experienced similar situations and can give you priceless counsel from their own experiences. Remember that reaching out for help rather than keeping your emotions in is always the best route.
Be Honest With Yourself
Sometimes the answer to how to act or respond when you're in a situation such as this is to soul search and be completely honest with yourself as to the reasons why you have the emotions and desires that you are. This is especially relevant if you see it recur over time or with several different relationships; and if this is the case, there may be underlying issues that are causing your feeling and desires.
Seek Professional Help
If there's a chance that underlying issues are triggering the feelings you're experiencing, then simply refraining from acting out on those feelings or keeping a distance from your best friend and his girlfriend might only put a band-aid on the issue. It could very well resurface in the future with other relationships, including your marriage. Seeking out a mental health professional can be very beneficial with identifying the triggers and any deep-rooted issues, and can help you to heal and position yourself for healthy and positive relationships in your future.
Whether you have questions about your feelings toward someone who is already in a relationship, friendships, relationships, or anything else, ReGainis always available to those in need of help. Know that you are not alone and that we at ReGain are here to help you work through it. With ReGain, you can speak with a therapist 24/7, seven days a week. With chat, text, phone, and video chat options, you can speak with a therapist in a way that is most convenient for you.
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