Teen Angst

Helping adolescents deal with anger and other emotions effectively

Lovestruck Teen

Sometimes it's hard to separate our wants from our values.

Let's face it, relationships are hard; especially if you're a teen. I frequently get questions from teens seeking advice about relationships. So, I thought that I would share one of the questions and my response (see below). Many teens struggle with these tough decisions and the answer isn't so clear cut; especially from an emotional angle. When teens face these dilemmas they are having to separate out what they know they should do from what they need to do and oftentimes that's no easy feat!

Dear Ms. Lohmann,

" I like my best friend’s ex, what should I do?"

Dear J-----,

Sounds like a difficult situation you're in. When you have a "best friend" it means this person is special above all others. This is a person that you have a lot in common with, shared your secrets with, and probably one of  the first people you want to hang out with. Not to mention, in order to get best friend status, you've probably known this person for a long time. Sure, you may have had ups and downs in your friendship, but ultimately you've learned this is a person that "gets you" and more importantly, is someone you can trust.

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I know it's hard when you are infatuated with someone to not let your emotions drive your actions, but in this situation it would be wise to put the brakes on your feelings. Take a step back and ask these questions before proceeding to date your best friend's  ex.:

  • "If the tables were turned, would you want your best friend dating your ex?"
  • "Who is more important to you? Your friend's ex or your friend?"
  • "Is liking this person worth losing your best friend - forever?"
  • More importantly, this is a question that you should ask anytime that you have a decision to make..."What's the right thing to do?"

Friendship is built on trust. Trust is an interesting thing. For one, it's one of the strongest intangibles, along with love, that exists. That being said, it is also easily broken. Unfortunately, broken trust can take a long time to mend. 

In life, we often take for granted the people that mean the most to us. There is a saying "If you can count your true friends on one hand consider yourself a lucky person."  It basically means that true friends are hard to come by. Treasure them when you have them.

If you have any additional advice for this lovestruck teen feel free to add it into the comment section.

Raychelle Cassada Lohmann, M.S., L.P.C., is the author of The Anger Workbook for Teens.

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