The Teen Doctor

Answers to your questions about adolescents

Choosing Between a Friend and a Boyfriend

How to clarify friendship conflict

Dear Dr.G,

I like my best friend's ex-boyfriend. He is also my best friend. He told he liked me yesterday and I have liked him for a while. My best friend broke up with him 5 months ago. I heard that she still might care about him but she's the one who broke up with him. And today she stopped talking to me, but she doesn't know that I like her ex or that he likes me. 

Please help me!

I can't lose my best friend! I really need your help!

Sincerely,

A Helpless Girl

 

Dear Helpless Girl,

I am so happy that you wrote to me and my goal is to make you feel less helpless. You really do have quite a dilemma here. There is no doubt about that but you do have choices. I do want to tell you though that your best girlfriend probably does know that you and her ex like each other and that is probably the reason that she has stopped talking to you.

Here is the dilemma as I see it. You don't want to lose your best girlfriend but if you follow your heart and start dating her ex-boyfriend you may lose the friendship. On the other hand you may not. This scenario definitely calls for you and your best female friend to have a heart to heart talk because that is what friends must do if they want to sustain their friendship. You cannot and should not make any assumptions about what will transpire between you and your friend if you tell her about your true feelings toward her ex. It is the assumptions that people make coupled with a lack of communication that destroys friendships. 

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I strongly suggest that you tell your friend both how important your friendship with her is to you and then tell her about your feelings toward her ex. Be very direct and ask her how she would feel if you dated him. If this would upset her then you will need to choose between the male best friend becoming a boyfriend or maintaining your friendship with your female friend. Make a list of the pros and cons of each situation and see what feels right for you 

Life and relationships are so very complicated. Please get back to me and let me know how you resolve this situation.

Good luck.

Dr. G.

For more articles like this see my website:

http://drbarbaragreenberg.com/

 

 

 

Barbara Greenberg, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who specializes in the treatment of adolescents and their well-intentioned but exhausted parents.

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