Social Question

AshlynM's avatar

If you were interested in your significant other's friend, what would you do?

Asked by AshlynM (10582points) November 21st, 2011

Would tell the other person you like him/her or just stay quiet, even though your feelings about them are killing you inside?

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21 Answers

whitenoise's avatar

i wouldn’t tell anyone, but learn to deal with it, or rethink what the term “significant other” means to you.

SuperMouse's avatar

I would break up with my SO before doing anything. If you are interested in their best friend, you must not be all that interested in your SO.

JLeslie's avatar

Nothing. I would not act on it in any way. Maybe have fun flirting when he is around, but with her right there. Throughout life there are people you will connect with, have chemistry with, but it is unnacceptible to act on the impulse if they are in a committed monogamous relationship, or if you are. Other people’s SO’s are simply a non issue to me, they don’t exist in my realm of possible men to date. I am married, so of course I also have my own commitment, but even if I were single I would not act on my attraction.

marinelife's avatar

You are with your SO. You need to finalize that relationship before acting on any feelings for anyone else.

If the person is a good friend of your SO, it will create a big mess. Are you prepared for that?

JLeslie's avatar

Oh, I slightly misunderstood the question. I thought it was the SO of a friend of yours. Doesn’t matter, my answer basically stands.

nikipedia's avatar

I have to disagree with @SuperMouse (no offense!). In my experience, being interested in people other than your SO is a normal part of relationships and doesn’t have to be, as Dan Savage puts it, “an extinction-level event.”

I think the answer to this depends on your SO. Is s/he someone who values honesty and wants to have an open and trusting relationship? Or is this a person who is insecure and jealous and will never recover from hearing the truth?

gailcalled's avatar

If your feelings about someone other than your S.O, are “killing you inside,” start putting your house in order.

You must break up with your S.O. immediately. That supersedes any feelings you might have about someone else. If you have any dignity and also believe in the golden rule, you will consider the feelings of a person you used to love and cherish.

Coloma's avatar

A mature understanding of “love” would never, ever, allow you to cause the kind of harm that breaking up a friendship would cause, IF you really care for these people more than your own selfish desires.

The world is full of potential dating partners, leave the friends of ex lovers alone.

Also, you have no business jumping into a rebound situation with anyone.

Take some space, that’s what healthy, mature people do.

Maybe, and I mean MAYBE, a year or two down the road IF you still feel the same about this person, re-evaluate then, but, for now, bad idea, bad!

john65pennington's avatar

Your question kind of reminds me of the song Jessie’s Girl…...in reverse.

Or, maybe the song by Lobo, Where Were You When I Was Falling In Love?

We have all gone through this at one time or another in our lives and the best solution is just
to keep it to yourself, especially if you are married.

Yes, it will eat away at your heart, but that is just the way life is.

Kardamom's avatar

First of all, you should truly figure out how you feel about, and where you stand with your SO. Do you really want to be with him? Do you think it would be nifty to have both of them? Or would you prefer to be with his friend? The last 2 choices, although it could happen, would probably be pretty devastating/embarrassing/sucky for your SO.

If you’re uncertain about your feelings for your SO, either you need to kindly break up with him, or find a way to repair and strengthen your relationship with him (whether that’s through some short term couples counseling, or with some self help books, or by the help and example of a close friend or relative).

If you do decide to break up with him, it would be un-kind to tell him it’s because you have feelings for his friend. It would also be against the code of decency to go after the friend, even after you’ve broken up with your SO, even if his friend is hot for you too. That is because if you get involved with his friend, you will have jilted your SO and most likely ruined his friendship with this fellow. It doesn’t matter how hot and horny you are for his friend, it really doesn’t. What matters most is doing the right thing.

The main problem you have, is not your feelings for the friend, it is your lack of committment or dedication to your current SO. That’s OK, this fellow may not be the one for you, but if you start hunting for a new guy within his circle of friends, you will be causing everyone to have hurt/mixed feelings about you. If you feel like you just weren’t meant to be with your current SO, and that’s OK, but please look elsewhere for a new guy.

I know it’s hard/impossible to turn off your feelings and nobody is asking you to do that. What you need to do, is do the honorable thing, inspite of your feelings. Maybe 2 or 3 years down the line, if you find yourself still attracted to the friend, and you are no longer part of the world of your SO, then maybe, and only maybe would it be OK for you to date him. And hopefully by that time, your feelings will have dissipated and you will have met someone else who is not a close friend of you SO.

Coloma's avatar

@Kardamom

Right…waay down the road, maybe.

wundayatta's avatar

If you were attracted to your SO’s friend, and you were unable to control your desires and thus were willing to do the “dishonorable” thing, as @Kardamom calls it, then most likely, you wouldn’t tell your SO. Rather, you would test the waters by seeing if your SO’s friend would react positively.

If they did respond positively, you would then, slowly, take one step after another until you were having a clandestine affair. Sooner or later, you will get caught, and most likely your SO will want to break it off with you, and will also cut it off with his friend. It is also possible that your SO will stick it out, and get you to cut it off with the friend. It is quite unlikely that they will want to share you, or that you will want to keep both of them, but it happens on occasion.

The thing is, if you are going to go after the friend, you need to be pretty damn sure they are also interested. If they are not, then they might report your advances to your SO, and then you’d probably lose both. At the very least, there would be some unpleasantness.

All in all, it’s not likely to have a good outcome if you express your interest in the friend. However, love or infatuation is not always controllable and this kind of thing happens regularly. If you must do it, at least go into it with your eyes open, aware of the potential consequences and of how you will probably hurt other people’s feelings.

For what it’s worth, there are a significant number of people who do this. So I guess it’s a fairly common form of human behavior. People may believe in honor for others, but when it comes to themselves, they often behave more selfishly. Depending on what study you believe, somewhere between 5% and 60% of people cheat. That’s a wide range due to the fact that it is hard to get people to tell the truth about this issue.

Women act more moral in public about this. But unless a few women are doing all the cheating with a lot of men, then there is a lot more of this going on with women than one might think based on what they say. There are many women who are quite unhappy with their relationships. I would not at all be surprised if the amount of “dishonorable” behavior going on is a lot greater than it would be based on what people say in public.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Attractions are normal. Burning desires are not. If I had a burning desire for someone other than my SO then that would mean my SO wasn’t the match for me.

I’d ask myself, “if I leave my SO and pursue this other person:

Am I ready to break a heart?

Am I ready for friends/family/co workers/ etc. to possibly be disappointed in my character if I confess the great attraction to the other person?

Am I ready to be rejected if the other person isn’t interested in me, at least not to the extent of causing a rift with their friend, my ex SO?

saint's avatar

One way or the other, you need to grow up.

digitalimpression's avatar

Learn to deal with it, or ruin everyone’s life. That’s about the lay of it.

Paradox25's avatar

There is a difference between infatuation and love. First of all I wouldn’t even be with someone unless I was motivated enough to want to be with them in the first place. Answering this question hypothetically my answer would be to keep it to myself since it would likely be just an infatuation. I would never cheat or do something to hurt the one I’m with.

Haleth's avatar

Take some time away from both of them to sort out your feelings. Being around your boyfriend and your crush all the time will only make things harder.

In the mean time, take care of yourself and do things to help clear your head. Get plenty of exercise and plenty of rest and spend time doing other things that make you happy. It sounds obvious, but it really helps to stop dwelling on this situation and to realize that there are other things that make you happy; your happiness doesn’t hinge on being with your crush.

Ask yourself questions like: if you didn’t have this crush, how would you feel about the relationship with your boyfriend? Do you still have feelings for your boyfriend, or are you losing interest? Whether or not you pursue the crush, you will still have to decide what to do about your current relationship.

Then, consider all your options and the potential ramifications of your actions. Depending on how you feel about your boyfriend, you could decide to stay with him and work on the relationship. You could make a move on his friend now, which is probably the most damaging option. You could break up with your boyfriend, wait a while, and if you still have feelings for his friend, try to date the friend. Or you could make a clean break and move on from both of them.

I had a crush like this a couple years ago. In the end, I decided to move on from both of them. At the time, it felt like the hardest thing to do, but it was also the least harmful. Since then, the feelings faded into a pleasant memory. When you’re in the middle of a crush like this, it feels like the most intense thing ever. But looking back, I’ve felt this way about someone several times and it will probably happen again. If you decide to move on from the crush, you’ll probably meet another person who means just as much to you.

blueiiznh's avatar

It would be a big trigger to leave the relationship. Period, end of story.

You can’t go with the grass looks greener either because it’s not fair to anyone.

Break it off, take some time to get over it. Don’t jump for the friend either. These things take time.

perspicacious's avatar

You don’t deserve your significant other most likely.

wundayatta's avatar

Oh real helpful, @perspicacious. Judge the questioner who you know nothing about. Deserving has nothing to do with it. Also, your answer doesn’t even answer the question.

perspicacious's avatar

Good one @wundayatta. Yep, we get to judge on whatever info the OP gives. That’s the way it works.

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