Help! I’m in Love with My Best Friend’s Ex!
Dear Something Has to Give,
Your friend is going to be hurt. There is no way around that. When you made the choice to start hanging out with your best friend’s ex without telling her, that’s when you made the decision to hide your actions, and possibly your feelings, from her. On some level you must have known that she would be bothered by it, and you chose not to tell her. I don’t say this to judge or to blame, but I think it is important to be clear about what has been happening.
She will very likely be devastated and feel betrayed by her best friend and by the man she thought she had a lasting future with. I wish I could tell you otherwise, but I think you already know this.
In some ways, you’ve already made your choice. You feel this man could be the love of your life, and you’ve chosen to begin a relationship with him. I think what you are looking for is a way to share this with your friend without losing her friendship. That may not be possible. I think you are also hoping to alleviate some guilt you may be feeling about hurting someone you care deeply about. You can spend time and mental energy finding all kinds of justifications for your choices, but that’s not going to be helpful, ultimately.
You believe this relationship could be serious and real, so why not stop hiding? Own up to your feelings. You can’t expect your friend to be happy for you, not right away, at least, and perhaps not ever. What you can do is honor your long-standing friendship by being honest with her about what is happening, and own the fact you know you have hurt her. Let her know you are sorry she is hurting, and allow her to react however she chooses to. She is entitled to be angry, hurt, and sad. I think you show wisdom in recognizing how you would feel were the situation reversed. Keep that in mind when you talk with her.
Your friend may have a hard time being around you or seeing the two of you together. That is understandable. Mutual friends may weigh in on both sides of the issue. There will be no shortage of people with opinions and judgment. She, or others, may try to make you feel guilty or ashamed of what has happened. You do not have to accept those feelings. Is it unfortunate that you have fallen for your friend’s ex? Yes. Would it have been better to talk with her before things got to this point? Sure. However, all you can do now is own your choices and move forward with honesty and integrity.
You also have the opportunity to use this experience as a chance for some introspection. Most of us have beliefs about ourselves and how we would react in hypothetical situations. I imagine you once thought that you would never choose a guy over a friendship. Those beliefs get put to the test when we are confronted with real-world feelings and experiences. When confronted by real and conflicting feelings, you chose the potential of a serious romantic relationship over your friendship. This may have been a really wise choice or a poor choice. Only time will tell if this choice was worth it. Understanding what led you to make the choice, and finding some peace around your decision, will be important for you. If you find you are struggling with feelings of guilt or sadness in the aftermath of your talk with your friend, I encourage you to seek out support from a counseling professional.
I will add one more word of caution. Consider how much you can and should trust a man who would break up with someone so abruptly after four years and within two weeks seek solace from her best friend. I am not saying that what you have isn’t real, but might you find yourself in a similar situation four years from now? I imagine your friend thought their love was the real thing, too. You are sacrificing a long-lasting friendship for an uncertain future. Make sure your confidence is not misplaced.
Best of luck,
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MegSeptember 5th, 2014 at 1:28 PM
uh oh I think that this is serious trouble with a capital T. This should be in the things you should never ever do list, but i think that you know that. I am so glad that there is advice here to watch out for this guy because just remember he has done it to someone else, and there is nothing that says that he won’t do it to you. Maybe it would have been different had she ended the relationship with him, but since she was actually on the receiving end of the break up I think that she is going to have some pretty strong negative feelings about all of this. Good luck because I really think that to keep your friendship intact you are gonna need it.
Mary S.September 5th, 2014 at 6:06 PM
I just have to say that is a deal breaker for a friendship you broke the girlfriend code you never date your friends Ex you just don’t I truly believe you had desires for him while they were together….why would you even attempt to hang out with someone who hurt your childhood friend if he broke up with her abruptly then she is hurting because she was not expecting it….I would bet she is going to think you were fooling around all along….that’s what I think I could be wrong but if my best girlfriend from child hood got jilted by her boyfriend rather than running to him with open arms I would be disturbed at the way he broke up with her and I would be showing her some compassion what kind of friend are you.
mellisaFebruary 25th, 2017 at 7:45 AM
l love him so much and when they dating l didnt have a crush on him thats why l didnt expert him but l fell inlove
LyssaMarch 13th, 2017 at 8:11 AM
I know how you feel I told her that I like him and she was fine with it she actually encouraged me now she said she wants him back I haven’t even confessed to him but right now I’m just encouraging her to do it while sitting with a broken heart what do I do
jaimeSeptember 7th, 2014 at 5:22 AM
I have no words of encouragement for you
If you didn’t already like him then this would have never happened.
I think that it is nothing but trouble and so now you have the hard decision of whather you are actually going to tell her or let her find out about it.
I at least think that you owe it to her to tell her the truth face to face
If she hears it from someone else then I think that it will be even worse than what it already will be
DanielSeptember 8th, 2014 at 4:03 AM
And what makes you think that your relationship with him will end any differently than what hers did?
Nicole P.December 6th, 2015 at 8:52 AM
Maybe she thinks he likes we more than the last relationship.
mellisaFebruary 25th, 2017 at 7:47 AM
its life we learn from experiences
CatherineSeptember 8th, 2014 at 11:03 AM
The same exact thing happened to me when I was in college, and I did lose my best friend but I gained my husband and we have been together for 10 years now.
It was hard telling her what was going on, and she immediately stopped speaking to me and we have not talked since that day. I know that she probably hated me for a long time but I do hope that she has gotten past much of that now.
I wanted to reach out to her after it all happened but the time never felt right and I have been so happy with my marriage that it seemed like it was okay to make that decision and leave the past behind.
Of course you are going to catch a lot of flack but sometimes the heart wants what the heart wnats and that’s just the way it is.
josieSeptember 9th, 2014 at 10:38 AM
I am very curious about were you just sitting back and waiting for this to happen, or do you think that it only happened because they broke up? Was there a part of you that wanted the break up to happen so that then you might have your chance? I don’t mean to sound harsh but that could have happened that way, and then when the relationship ended you were ready to step right into that role for him.
CruzSeptember 10th, 2014 at 3:59 PM
You really should give him some space to think all of this through. If you think that this is hard on you then think about how he must be feeling too. This is not going to be any fun for any of you as far as I can see, but I think that maybe the two of you should take some time apart before getting into something this serious. You might be the rebound girl, just there to pick up the broken pieces for a while. You could be the forever girl but I don’t think that you are going to know that until you walk away for a while. That might also give you some time to decide which is more important to you, the friend or this guy.
GabApril 29th, 2015 at 7:57 PM
peanuts. the answer is peanuts.
YanaNovember 6th, 2015 at 4:35 AM
I’m having the same situation right now. My best friend and her boyfriend broke up a week ago. He started asking for help because he wants his ex to move on as soon as possible. I helped him. And then he was starting to get interested on me. I only thought he was just curious. Not until today…
He confess he likes me, well yeah, I like him too. He was my classmate since elementary and I have had a big crush on him. He was surprised to know that I was just waiting for this chance. He had girlfriends, I will admit I lost hope. I told myself I will never get a chance with him. Then high school came, he started dating my best friend and after a few months, they’ve broked up. Five months later, he dated my another best friend on my squad. They fell in love, so deeply in love. I told myself I have to stop this feeling but it only gets deeper. They were about to celebrate their first anniversary when he started falling out of love. He have reasons.
And then we’re here. I’m stuck on this. This feeling never left me, it was just the chances that are disappearing.
And the chance is here now. Do I have to grab it or just let it pass like what I did for over 4 years now?
Jane aJuly 10th, 2016 at 11:18 PM
I think you should go for it, but talk it through with your best friends first as you don’t want to risk loosing the friendship
GanyaNovember 16th, 2015 at 2:47 AM
I’m currently going through a similar situation but a little different. I recently came out as gay and I have a friend I have known for a little over 7 years who started exploring being bisexual and met this amazing girl and they began a relationship. Because my friend is younger and looks up to me in a very sisterly way she wanted me to meet her. When I did meet her girlfriend I was so happy for her because her girlfriend was just the right kind of person, male or female, that she should be with. Her girlfriend saw the friendship that me and my friend had and would turn to me for advice when my friend would start being destructive (mostly in concerns of her drinking and drug use). I gave straight forward advice that never ever bad mouthed my friend. I’d try to help the gf understand my friend better and always told my friend about the conversation and showed her any and all messages. Then eventually the gf couldn’t take the destructive behavior anymore and broke up with her. The (now ex-)gf told me about the break up because she wanted me to look out for my friend. Slowly but surely my friend started to treat me less and less like a friend and more like she just didn’t care about our friendship at all. It was around this time that I fully came out as gay and I began talking to the ex-gf seeking advice on this new world I was now a part of, asking where I could meet gay women and even discussing dates I was going on with different women. At some point we started talking on a deeper level and decided to hang out and get to know each other as friends. As soon as we did, it was clear as day that we were actually perfect for each other. Every moment I spend with her i feel things I have never felt for another human being. She built up the nerve first and told me she liked me and I couldn’t lie, I told her I liked her too but wasn’t sure what we could do about it considering the circumstances. We decided to just hang out more to see what it could possibly be and take it very slow. Our feelings caught like wildfire and are now both rapidly falling for each other. I can easily envision the possibility of this woman someday being the one I spend the rest of my life with. We haven’t done a single thing sexually beyond having one kiss. I know that what I did to my friend is wrong, there is no justification. I also know that I need to tell her and I am fully aware of how hurt she will be. I wish there was a way around it or I could trick myself into believing she’ll be ok about it because she wants me to be happy. I don’t even know what advice I’m necessarily looking for with this, maybe just what I should say to her.
EFFORT-TNovember 22nd, 2015 at 4:53 AM
MYSELF WAS FOUND IN THE SAME CONDITION,AND THE GURL HERE WAS MY BEST FRIEND WHILE THE BOY IS MY BEST BEST FRIEND…BUT MY FEELINGS KEPT CALLIN FOR HER N MY BEST BEST FRIEND DIDNT TRULY LOVED HER AS I DID.INSTEAD HE ONLY NEEDED TO ACCOMPLISH HIS AIM AS HE DID.BUT I DIDNT CAPITALIZED ON THAT CUZ ITS ONLY HER DAT IVE TRULY FELL FOR…I EXPLAINED TO THEM N NOW WE ARE HAPPILY TOGETHER N THE FRIENDSHIPS ARE STILL KEPT..
Nicole P.December 6th, 2015 at 8:50 AM
Something very similar has happened to me one of my best friends from fifth grade (I’m in high school) was dating one of my close friends and they had just broke up with each other recently and he had started to open up to me and I opened up to him so we started hanging out more and through a text one day said I like you with out thinking I quickly responded I like you to so I want to go out with him but I don’t want to hurt my bffs heart
KrystalDecember 29th, 2015 at 11:02 PM
It’s amazing that I have experienced the exact same situation except that they were together for ten years and she broke up with him they have 2 children together whom I was the godmother to. Him and I have always been close but I never looked at him in that light. We also started hanging out and me giving him advice as I have before. The feelings grew and I thought I was going crazy. I felt guilty and still do from time to time…but like you I have never felt a connection this strong with anyone…so I decided to tell her the truth about my feelings for her ex knowing it would end our friendship of about 20 years. It’s a scary position to be in because only time will tell if the choice your making is the right choice.just like you I didn’t want to risk losing out on my true love either…the reality of it all is that when I look at it I can’t believe that I would have ever thought about doing anything like this to anyone let alone someone I considered my best friend. So I feel like this must be real and beyond my plans and maybe the plans of someone higher or just fate and destiny.
PhilipJanuary 7th, 2016 at 11:18 AM
I am going through the same thing. But my sitiuation is a bit diffrent. My best friend got to know this girl through a game online. They were together and it looked like they had the time of their lifes. But then they started fighting alot. I were there for both of them. And when I realized that she was the most amazing person with the best personality.. Well yeah I started getting feeling for her. It was just a few days ago that I told her how I felt. Then the chocking truth came out. She had been in love with at the same time as she were in love with my best friend. She told me that I was her favorite. We started talking more and more. And now we are almost a couple. You know, we say the most amazing things to eachother. Things like I love you babe, I want to spend the rest of my life with you and so on. But I can’t stop thinking about that my best friend whould have killed me if I told him about the truth. He has been my best friend for about 5 years now. But I can’t stop thinking about the future. What if she is the one? But I dont want to hurt my best friend.
katOctober 16th, 2016 at 9:48 AM
Okay so i met this guy in march 2015 and believe it or not it was more like
love at first sight but we ignored the feelings towards one another and decided to be bestfriend i then.introduced him to my bestfriend then they starte dating a month later but he has always been inlove with me and at that time my boyfrnd was his bestfriend .Then he asked me out and as much as i loved him and wanted him i cut off and we stopped speaking for almost two months and now his back again our feelings are still mutual we literally inlov with each other and both want to make it official should we ?
tracyJanuary 8th, 2016 at 3:39 AM
My situation is kinda different,I love this guy,.we both in college,he was dating my best friend,but I loved him even before they started dating n I told my best friend about it,but she went ahead n hooked up with him behind my back,when I found out I was so hurt coz I felt betrayed.Now the guy is gettin closer with me,he has told me he is havin issues with my friend..idk if I should let him know how I feel,,I really like him
KarrieJanuary 24th, 2016 at 7:03 PM
I just want to say that the advice you gave was so great. It was incredibly objective and compassionate to everyone involved. I am impressed with your ability to assess the situation and give such honest feedback. Wise and honest words. You are exactly right.
Angelina ballerinaFebruary 16th, 2016 at 2:27 AM
Hi, I’m in a very similar situation now! My friend was in an 8month relationship with the guy, then she broke it off because she had feelings for someone else, but at the same time it was a mutual break up because it wasn’t working 100%. I didn’t really know him when they where together but I had met him a couple of times . Anyway a few months later he messaged me and straight away I felt bad for replying because my friend is sensitive. I was honest and told her straight away that we spoke that day and she was fine with it and we both just laughed! But as things progressed she was hurt by it and starting getting angry at me, so against my own will I stopped speaking to him. A couple of days later she said it was fine for us to be together so we spoke again. But I went to his house and she found out and was distraught! This basically just kept happening and I felt worse and worse but by this time we had kissed and I had proper feelings for him and I know that he liked me!
I spoke about it all with him because we both needed to know where we stood! Eventually we came to the decision to just be friends for the moment because it is all so complicated, but I love him so much and he really is absolutely perfect for me:(
What I’m trying to say is that being honest with your friend is the best policy because she will eventually find out. At first she will be angry (put yourself in her shoes) and other people will judge you, but she will probably come around realising that you don’t,can’t and will never own people! My friend is okay with me being with the guy (so she says) but for the minute I know she isn’t over it all so we are just going to have to back off. If your guy is really worth waiting for and will wait for you in turn, your friend will eventually move on and gain feelings for someone else! And I think that is the most important part, to think about your feelings her feelings and his. My situation isn’t perfect at the moment, I’m not in a relationship with the guy, BUT me and my friend are still close, and me and him still talk (although not as much). And one day when the timing is right and she has moved on, if he is right for me we might get together. Good luck X
“The most ****** up joke the universe can play on you is letting you meet the right person at the wrong time”
CarrieMarch 18th, 2016 at 3:07 PM
I am in the same situation as many above. I find great comfort knowing I am not the only one who has betrayed my best friend by dating her ex. They were together in high school for several years. My friend and I, are now 25. He treated her badly. I used to despise this guy; called him names, was outright rude to him. Time has passes and we have all grown. I hung out with her ex about a year ago ( I couldn’t believe it myself) and became friends. One thing led to another and now we are pretty involved with one another. I always want to tell my friend, but it never seems like the right time. As soon as I tell her, her life will not be the same. I am not sure if initially it was myself acting on feelings of insecurity and loneliness, but none-the less, I feel as though now we are in love. I always wonder if he will do the same to me as he did her, but then again, we have all grown up since our high school relationship days. Have I ultimately ruined one of my only friendships for someone I won’t even be with? At age 25, I feel I need to start taking my relationships more serious. I would like to find security in a boyfriend and be able to plan a future with them. My friend lives out of town which I think is one reason I became somewhat “detached” from her. None the less, she is still my best friend. I need to make a decision soon. As previously stated, this has been going on now over a year. The guy has a child with someone else which complicates matters even more. I feel as though I am wasting his time when he could be building a relationship with his child, or even his baby’s mother if possible (our relationship ruined that). Reading everyone’s stories has helped me not feel as alone and terrible about myself, but ultimately I need advise. I thought about telling my friend I had been hanging out with her ex, easing the news. I don’t know that I am capable of breaking the entire story to her all at once.
CaraApril 8th, 2016 at 7:35 AM
Same situation here but a little bit different. My bestfriend and this boy broke up a year ago and recently this boy wanted a second chance, things were really not working for the two of them. Then this guy and I had a fight, we were like a total stranger with each other. My bff, this boy and I, they’re my classmates. The reason of our fight is that I don’t want him to come near because I knew I was falling, I felt weird feelings I’ve never felt before. So after a month I said sorry. Then one day this boy confronted that he had a crush on me, and the feeling is mutual. We had an open forum and my bff was really hurt.
SharonApril 26th, 2016 at 6:13 AM
Here is a complicated situation… I became friends with a guy coworker, both of us married, met his wife and he met my husband and we all became friends. Fast forward 10 years .. we each have 2 kids, the kids are all friends and we all spend alot of time together. Co worker gets promoted and is now my boss. He finds out his wife has been cheating. They break up. I get sick of the 18 years of drunken crap from my husband and we break up.
Now there is alot of emotions, crazy emotions. Everybody’s life has completely changed. My ‘boss’ and i are still good friends through it all. I am no longer friends with his ex and he is no longer friends with mine. We are there for each other and offer support. We fall in love and start sleeping together. We have to sneak around so neither ex finds out and so the kids don’t know and so work doesn’t know.
A few months pass and the feelings are so intense. It’s like we were always meant to be together. I never believed in soul mates but i swear he could be mine. I love him so much.
How do we ever get to a point when we can really be together. It’s so hard.
Small town, kids are friends, jealous crazy ex’s and have it not effect our careers.
JonMay 19th, 2016 at 12:53 AM
What a great advice from Erika. She basically say’s it all, plain and simple. I think that you might not see the consequences of your choice because you didn’t go through a lot of things in your life, difficult things, where the only person that is by you is a friend. You will learn that eventually and you will later on understand this.
For now, follow your heart and be happy with your choice. He could be the man of your life and sometimes these things happen just like that.
LilyMay 23rd, 2016 at 8:37 AM
Just to weigh in on this. I came upon this through a google search because I’m wondering if I should reach out to my former best friend with whom I was friends with since birth and until 2013. Of course it ended over a guy. She had dated him for a couple of months, nothing serious. I have also known him forever and we started dating about 2 years after their little thing. I honestly didn’t think it would be so terrible, they barely got involved because he wasn’t interested, they went on a handful of dates at most. My best friends immediately cut ties with me and tried to turn all of our mutual friends against me. For me, it turned out into true love and we’re getting married in a month. I’ve always felt SO bad for the fact that my true love was the reason our friendship couldn’t remain, but on the other hand, I honestly cannot regret that it has given me the best and most honest relationship of my life. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. So just as a happier tale – it doesn’t always mean that because the guy dumped her, that he will dump you. Sometimes things simply don’t work out, and people should let go on their past and accept that they dont own other human beings. Everyone deserves happiness. If you truly believe in that relationship, you should go for it with all your heart, and don’t feel guilty for people who don’t accept your happiness. Life is too short to miss out because some people live in the past.
NehaJuly 5th, 2016 at 4:00 PM
I am in the same situation but we 3 were friends my best friend broke up with him about 7 years back and now she is married before 3 years.is it wrong ?
SoconfusedJuly 18th, 2016 at 10:36 AM
OK, I’ve been looking for a situation like mine, but can’t seem to find it. I came out as lesbian about 7-8 years ago. Probably around the same time, I met my best friend. She’s a straight girl and she had been friends with and slept with (never dated) a guy I wouldn’t meet until maybe 3 years later, after it ended and she meet her children’s father. We had an instant attraction on a mental level, not just physical. We were so much alike, it was scary! We laughed at the same time, we always finished each others sentences, enjoyed all the same things, we became pretty much inseparable. Then we dated, against my jealous bffs wishes… And it ended two weeks later, I just panicked. I had lost my identity, I had lost my bff or so I thought…I didn’t know who I was. It’s been four years and very little contact, here and there on social media, very vague and just friendly like. And then he shows up to my bffs house for a bonfire he knew I’d be at. He’s coming out of a divorce, I’m coming out of a two year relationship with a woman. I know it was crazy, but I ended up leaving with him. We had an amazing night where he kissed me, held me, told me he always had so much more than a physical attraction to me, listing all his favorite qualities, specifically my sense of humor and wit. Idk, we can’t stop talking and texting and I’m making him dinner tonight. Am I crazy? Am I bisexual? Is this just plain right out meant to be? I’m just as into him as I was 4 years ago, probably a lot more Bc I realized how much I really missed him. And I’m not normally physically attracted to men, but he is a ten to me. Makes no sense! Help.
maggieAugust 15th, 2016 at 10:12 AM
I have a similar situation, I have fallen in love with my neighbours husband who is one of my friends. We haven’t been physical but the feelings have been there for a year now. They recently got married and he didn’t want to go through with it but I talked him through it thinking we could never be together because I didn’t want to betray my friend. Fast forward 5 months and the feelingsurrounding are still there with both of us. We have both spoke about it and neither of us have felt this way about anyone. We’re so alike it’s freaky. He wants to leave her and settle down with me but I’m holding back because I am afraid of what people will say. He makes me happy beyond words and the connection we have is amazing. I honestly don’t know what to do I feel in my heart that he’s my soul mate but I don’t want to be dishonest. I’ve only known my friend for over a year but I see themy every day.
PaskySeptember 7th, 2016 at 6:39 PM
I’m kinda in the same situation! My best friend was never official with the guy and now she has a boyfriend. The two boys don’t get along which is a problem. It’s wrong, I know but he loves me and I love him. I am so confused.
SalenaSeptember 27th, 2016 at 3:17 PM
I am the best friend /ex girlfriend. The worst pain,hurt I ever dealt with and still deal with today.I had to move out of town due to my break up ,I loved and still love him very much.My best friend helped me pack my house. I can’t even tell the story it tears me apart ..
Advice from the broken one
GOOD LUCK PEOPLE BUT REMEMEBER
BE THE FRIEND YOU WANT A FRIEND TO BE!!
motsoDecember 5th, 2016 at 3:56 AM
in a similar situation but my friend knows her x feelings for me ,she just don’t no about my feelings for him.. the time they were dating me and my friend were not this close, she introduced me to him and we got close, later told me its her ex, we are in love now but friendship rule is haunting me alive and don’t know what to do
PammyNovember 7th, 2017 at 1:17 AM
My situation is a bit different tho.i kust became bestfrinds with her this year but we have a strong friendship and i don’t want to break it…she also is dating to another guy but she only has one ex and she still have a little interest in him.Her ex is also my friend and he started talking to me a month ago and we have a very close and strong conversation like flirting..i already recognized that he is interested in me…and i also am falling for him but i’m just afraid that i t can lose my bestfriends…i have a trouble in these days and i was stuck and don’t probably know how to solve this…actually i wanna date with him but i want to keep a strong friemdship with my bestfriends too
Can somebody give me some advice?
kenzyJanuary 16th, 2018 at 7:43 PM
I read a few of the comments and some people are so mean. I understand the girl code and all, but if you love someone so much its so hard to just put them aside. This does not only apply to this situation, but in many other cases too. Maybe all of you with the negative comments have not ever been in love. People come here for help and advice, not judgment. I hope if this girl ended up choosing the boy they last forever and that her friend understands. However, if you chose your friend, I also respect that and think that if you were able to put him aside it was probably not true love.
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