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I'm a senior student in Canadian high school. I recently started dating a junior at my school. We seem to be really good together, and we make each other happy.

However, the situation is complicated because my best friend, another junior, had a long-time crush on her. He acted on his feelings about 8 months ago, and she rejected him, which made me very careful in our pre-relationship stage.

I spoke to my friend about how my relationship with his former crush was evolving into something bigger, and he assured me that he doesn't mind, doesn't like her anymore, and is not really in the position to say anything. Taking him at his word, I saw no reason not to move forward with our relationship when she confessed that she has feelings for me.

However, now my friend is saying that his previous statements were made only out of politeness. That he doesn't want to ruin our new-found relationship, but he actually hasn't gotten over her, which puts me in a really bad situation.

I should have read my friend's feelings more carefully, and looking back there were signs when she and I first started talking. However, I don't want to break up with her. I'm really enjoying getting to know her better, and I'm not sure that breaking up will help the situation anyway. My friend will probably be trapped by the guilt and sadness, which will negatively affect our friendship.

Both of them are important to me, and choosing one over another will not make any of us happy. Furthermore, my girlfriend wants to maintain a friendship with my friend and is not trying to push us apart.

However, our friendship has gotten a little shaky. He is acting out in front of everyone, saying stuff like "she rejected me and left me". Even if it was meant as a joke, this is making both my girlfriend and I very uncomfortable.

I know his actions are mostly due to his emotional turmoil. I think my friend is not stable at the moment, is honestly scaring me, and I don't know what his next action will be. I'd like to get more insight into what he feels and what he wants. I want to talk to him about this, so we can plan our future course of action.

How do I talk to my friend about this situation?

Update: We are no longer friends and do not interact. But my girlfriend and I are maintaining a loving, caring, and healthy relationship. Guess I can't get them both.

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    'What do I do' --> That's your decision to make. We can't make life decisions for you, that's not an Interpersonal Skill. If I read between the lines, I can see a 'What can I do to keep all three of us the happiest', but that's opinion based and too broad. All the possible solutions would require a book, not 1 answer... – Tinkeringbell Oct 26 '17 at 6:38
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    "I know it is my fault that I didn't read my friend's feelings more carefully." -Huh? He told you he was ok with it, didn't he? You're not a mind-reader. – Fildor Oct 26 '17 at 6:49
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    @besnuj Well, what's "obvíous" and what is not is most of the time a subjective view. Fact is: he lied to you while trying to be "polite". Which is somewhat a contradiction in this case. Lirum larum, what I'm saying is: The situation sucks, but you shouldn't feel "guilty", IMO. – Fildor Oct 26 '17 at 7:00
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    @northernGateway The problem is that this is turning more and more into dating/relationship advice SE. This question could be filed under conflict resolution but as it is now, it's too opinion-based and rather broad. What does "make all three parties the least unhappy" really mean? Does the OP need advice on how to resolve this conflict with his friend? This is clearly between the two friends, the GF has nothing to do with it. – Xander Oct 26 '17 at 7:28
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    @northernGateway " given that the OP has given sufficient details, it should take little effort to understand what that implies here" --> That's part of why questions are put on-hold. So they can be edited, have more detail and are made a good fit for the site. I think both you and Xander are on to something: This may be a good question about conflict resolution. Now, what input do we need from the OP to get there? – Tinkeringbell Oct 26 '17 at 8:04
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Doesn't sound like there's much you can do. 8 months isn't a very long time but neither is it short, so unless she's actually talked about it, odds are she hasn't changed her opinion regarding your best friend. At some point in life you have to start thinking about your own happiness. It's not nice to your friend, but seeing as she's already rejected him, I'm not convinced he would've still had a chance even without you being around, at least not for a while longer. It's nothing personal in the end, so as long as you're fair to your friend and can convince him that you're doing it for yourself and do not intend to hurt him, then hopefully he should be fair to you as well and understand your situation. That's what friends should be for, after all.

Once that's out of the way, it might be best to avoid the topic with him as well, at least until he shows signs of moving on. You're still in high school, so at some point he'll start to recover as well. If he's in any way fair to you, then you won't have to actually choose between your GF and your best friend. If he's not, that's his problem.

Unless there are more details that you haven't shared yet, the worst thing you can do right now is to threaten your relationship. Friendships, like relationships, are not a one-way street. He has to understand you the same way you understand him, and seeing as you made this post, your honest intentions are clear enough that you don't have to worry about yourself here. Outside of being fair to him like I said earlier, the onus is on him to understand you and work towards moving on, unless the GF herself has other ideas (but that might require an entirely new question).

One final thing: You mentioned that he said "He didn't want to ruin our new-found relationship." This is important, since it shows he cares enough about you to at least try and suppress how he feels. It's not the easiest thing in the world to get over a crush at that age, and this sort of situation doesn't make it any better, hence why he wasn't completely honest with you from the get-go. It's a common scenario and I wouldn't hold it against him if I were you. Odds are if he was able to at least say that, then he's definitely working on moving on, which means things are looking good for you. Being reminded of her via you getting into a relationship with her probably didn't help, but that's why I suggested trying to avoid the topic past a certain point.

  • Thank you! I definitely stayed away from talking about her to him, because at the time, I believed that even though he does not like her, it's not really good for him to hear about her and me. – besnuj Oct 26 '17 at 17:13
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    Since it shows he cares enough about you to at least try and suppress how he feels - really, really good insight. HS is tough. Many HS relationships go nowhere. And having a crush on your friend's partner is an awful feeling, but it happens. I'm sure he would get over her if he could snap his fingers. Unfortunately, crushes don't work out that way. – FalseHooHa Oct 26 '17 at 20:19
  • I've been in the friend's position before. My best friend dated my crush. I agree with this answer. I would've been upset no matter what my friend had told me. If it was an accident, I would've been upset that it had to happen to me. If it wasn't an accident, I would've been angry at him. Etc. In the end, he avoided me until I calmed down (took me a few weeks to get over the emotional response), he sympathized with my position, I accepted that he didn't do it knowingly, and we continued our friendship. Bros before ... womanfolk. – Flater Oct 30 '17 at 15:14
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You found yourself in an impossible situation with conflicting goals, congratulations.

You will not be able to make both of these people entirely happy. So the first decision is whom of them you want to make happy, and whom of them you want to minimize damage for.

That decision alone is subject of countless books and movies. So I'll not delve into it, that is your decision to make based on history, personality and how high you rate your chance that this person will still be your friend or girlfriend in 1, 3, 5, 10, 20 years.

Once you decided, you put your entirely loyalty to the person you decided for. In other words: In case of doubt, always side with them. Never leave any doubt. Especially do not flip-flop, trying to appease both.

The second person still deserves your respect and that your actions do minimal harm to them. For example, avoid talking about the primary person while in the company of the secondary person. Nobody wants to be reminded that you picked someone else over them.

And that is really all you can do. How people handle their own emotions is up to them. You can avoid piling on, but you cannot manage it for them.

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You don't have a problem, and your girlfriend doesn't have a problem. Your friend is the only one with a problem.

I suggest you tell your friend to grow up and get over her. The fact that he had a crush on her is of no interest to anyone whatsoever since she rejected him. When that happens, a person can do two things: Convince that other person to change her mind (which he failed to do), or get over it. Anything else is just hurtful and unhealthy. And I'm not saying that because you are with her now. If any other person were her boyfriend, you would advise your friend just the same way that he needs to get over this.

So he doesn't want to ruin your new-found relationship. Seriously? Who does he think gives him the right to talk like this? He had a crush and was rejected. That doesn't give him any rights.

You are worried what he might do. You think that in his mind he has some idea that he has the right to do something because he had a crush. Of course he has no such right. To prevent him from doing something stupid, do what you can to wipe that idea out from his mind. If he says she left him, tell everyone loudly that no, she never left him, because they never were together in the first place, that she never gave him any indication that he had any chance, and that he was rejected.

That will be painful for him. Not getting over her will be much more painful. For a start, it prevents him from meeting any of the single women around him.

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I spoke to my friend about how my relationship with his former crush was evolving into something bigger, and he assured me that he doesn't mind, doesn't like her anymore, and is not really in the position to say anything. Taking him at his word, I saw no reason not to move forward with our relationship when she confessed that she has feelings for me.

So your friend gave you a green light, it's nice and considerate of you to have asked beforehand, because that wasn't obligatory, certainly...

However, now my friend is saying that his previous statements were made only out of politeness. That he doesn't want to ruin our new-found relationship, but he actually hasn't gotten over her, which puts me in a really bad situation.

But trying to ruin your relationship is what he is doing with this. Whether he realizes it or not, that admission is going to put a strain on your relationship with either your friend or your girlfriend or both.

I know his actions are mostly due to his emotional turmoil. I think my friend is not stable at the moment, is honestly scaring me, and I don't know what his next action will be. I'd like to get more insight into what he feels and what he wants. I want to talk to him about this, so we can plan our future course of action.

That's a very noble intention of you, but it sounds from everything else like that's only going to make matters worse. I'd recommend sitting it out and letting your friend get himself back together on his own. Be there when he wants to talk to you about it, but don't actively go seeking it out.

It may be he just needs some time to process this and come down from emotional turmoil, the source of which is your relationship with this girl now. So it's probably best to not actively remind him of it.

But you also need to keep your girlfriend's feelings about this in mind. Make sure that in the process of trying to make amends with your friend you don't disregard her feelings.

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Be polite with your friend and explain him the entire situation. You listed here how you feel and all that stuff, so tell him that.

If he understood it completely and assures you it's fine then it's all good. On the other hand, if he tries to do some comments in front of your friends, never meet your gf and friend at same place. I.e make sure your gf and friend should never see each other while you are with anyone of them. That way the problem won't arise :)

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As @A J already said there is'nt a really good answer to this since there are many different possibility to go from there. Only thing I will do is give you my opinion and what I would do in your situation. You can think about it and dismiss or use whatever I will say.

You really need to think about what your goal with this girl is. You want to stay with her for years? Can she be the one? Or you now already see that it won't be forever and you just enjoy your time with her?

When I would be you and I would answer those questions with 'she is the one' 'forever' or whatever, I would stay with your girl. Friends come and go and someday you will move to another city or country and lose contact with your friend, but this girl will always stay with you.

Still you don't really need to feel bad with your friend. She rejected him and now she wants you. You can't change a thing about this and can just try to be a good friend to him eventho you got 'his' girl.

Hope that all made sense. Hope you get something out of it.

Cya!

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    The same could be said for the reverse. If you end up breaking up with the girl, whether because of this situation or because of natural causes, there is a good chance you wouldn't really talk anymore. Do you see yourself being friends with your best friend for many years to come? Will it likely die off after each of you graduate high school? – user4788 Oct 26 '17 at 5:59
  • you're quite right there. But that's just my opinion. I'm sombody that would always would choose a girl over a friend (not because I'm a bad friend). But because it's quite rare for girls to come to me. And when they do I know it's going to be something longer. But yeah, you're right there. That's why I said he should really be thinking about it before doing something – MisterMojo Oct 26 '17 at 6:05
  • So in the end, does it have to boil down to choosing one person over another? – besnuj Oct 26 '17 at 6:56
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    "boil down to choosing one person over another" 1. She chose you not the other way round. 2. If your friend is good friend, he'll get over it. You all are young, he'll have another crush soon. – Fildor Oct 26 '17 at 7:03
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    Think about it: What if you break up with her because of your friend. Will he be able to get together with her? - "Obviously" not. What will happen then? Your friend will still have the crush but will never get her anyway. She will be rejected by the one she wants and you cannot be together with the one you want. - The least pleasant situation for all. – Fildor Oct 26 '17 at 7:18

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