Carolyn Hax: Falling for best friend’s boyfriend

The Washington PostJuly 23, 2013 

Hi, Carolyn: I’m afraid I’m seriously crushing on my close friend’s boyfriend, who happens to be close friends with my boyfriend. We all hang out a few times a week.

My boyfriend and I have had a rough patch and so have they. I’ve noticed that I’m developing feelings for him and I think the feeling is mutual. We haven’t said anything about it or crossed the line into inappropriate conversations; however, I feel like we just respond to each other more than anyone else.

It’s gotten so bad that I’ve started dreaming about being with him. I have cheated before, on my first serious boyfriend when I was a teenager, and I don’t want to do it again. What can I do to curb these feelings?

ONCE A CHEATER, BUT NOT WANTING TO BE ALWAYS A CHEATER

Why are you still with your boyfriend? Rough patch + feelings for someone else - life commitment usually = sign that it’s over. No?

As for how to curb the feelings, distance is the only reliable way. It’ll be hard when your precedent is to see them almost every other day, but do find a way to pull back. Telling your friend outright about your crush would be the easiest if you’re open with each other that way, but saying you need one-on-one or alone time to deal with your boyfriend is also a perfectly good explanation, for now — you can tell your friend you’ve got a lot to figure out and you’re going to lie low until you do. That process can include extra time with your boyfriend and/or some good stretches of time alone to sort out your feelings.

What you need to figure out is whether you love your boyfriend, love the crush object, or love whatever is just out of your reach.

Email tellme@washpost.com. Chat online at 10 a.m. Fridays at www.washingtonpost.com.

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