#attraction to friend
16 February 2010

My friend and i like each other but now her boyfriend gets in the way

When I moved here from California, I didn’t have many friends because I was quiet and my now best friend, Victoria, was one of the first people to befriend me. Over the past few years i’ve been become attrcted to her as more than a friend. I had let her know and we talked about and she said that she had been having the same feelings. The problem is that I had confronted her too late. She now has a boyfriend whom she says she loves very much, and I know I should be happy for her, but everytime I get near her, her boyfriend starts getting really physical and won’ even let me hug her. I want to stay friends with her, but it hurts me to be around her when he’s there. And he’s ALWAYS there, so I never get a second alone to talk to her. I’ve always liked boys, never girls, so his is really hard for me and I’m afraid if I tell her what I think of her bf, she’ll be mad at me and I really don’t want to lose her.

Kelley R

Hi McKinzie!

Thanks for writing in to Alterheros.

You shared with us you developed an attraction to your close friend, Victoria. When telling her about your feelings, she told you she also had feelings towards you but she is currently in a relationship. You’ve noted that this makes it hard for you to have time together with your friend as you say her boyfriend is always present and acts protectively towards her. Out of fear that she may become angry with you, you are hesitant to approach this topic with her.

First off, I would like to applaud you for telling your friend about your feelings for her. It takes a lot of courage to tell others of your intimate feelings for them, good job!

It can be very difficult to accept the fact that someone you have feelings for is in a relationship with someone else. Jealousy and sadness can overwhelm the situation when you find yourself in the same place with your friend and her boyfriend. Thoughts like I wish that were me.or What do they have that I don’t have? May come to mind. This is pretty normal to think, it’s only natural to wish to fill that other person’s shoes and compare ourselves to that person.

In your question, you mentioned that it is difficult to have time alone with your friend to just be friends and to talk. Have you thought about planning fun activities to do with just your friend such as a “no boyfriends allowed” party where you two are reconnecting your friendship? This way your friend is taking a little hiatus from being with her boyfriend and you can have the chance to talk with your friend. Maybe a movie night or some other activity that you both enjoy doing would be a creative way to have space and time to spend with just your friend. Just because she’s in a relationship, doesn’t mean that she has to be with her boyfriend at all times.

In addition (or alternatively), you can tell your friend about your feelings in this situation. Try to approach the subject in a gentle manner while avoiding negative language towards her boyfriend. Using phrases like “I hate him.” or other threatening language may cause her to react with hostility. Carefully explain how this makes you feel. Phrases like “When _____ happens, I feel _____.” address how you feel about a particular situation in a way that explains your feeling about her boyfriend without saying things like “I don’t like being around him.” etc… After you approach the subject about how you feel, she may ask you what causes you to feel upset. This is where you can identify the points that bother you the most. As a friend, hopefully, she will not get angry with you. Ideally, she will help ease the situation between you and her boyfriend.

If you do decide to share your feelings with your friend, keep in mind that she may get upset at first or may even be confused to why you are upset in the first place. Try preparing what you would like to say to your friend ahead of time, so you can be as calm and effective as possible. “I recognize that you are in a relationship with your boyfriend, but when you are with him, I do not feel comfortable. I feel like it is unfair to only spend time with you while he is present.” Etc…

In the end, she is your friend, and while it is hard, it is important to support her, showing your support for your friend is one of the best ways to show your friendship. Unfortunately, sometimes the way of showing our feelings for someone is supporting them in their happiness with another person.

Thanks again for your question. If you have any future questions, please don’t hesitate to come back!

For Alterheros,