I Have a Crush on my Boyfriend’s Friend. What Should I Do?

It’s complicated. This guy is a friend of my boyfriend. For years, we’ve had an obvious strong mutual liking for one another. We’ve never acted on it. Long story short, my boyfriend and I moved an hour away and didn’t talk or see this guy for 3 years. Then he called the house and we talked a few times. My heart was pounding and I could tell he was nervous, too. I finally got his email address and asked if I could send a photo sometime. He said “absolutely”. He started out answering all my emails right away. The last email he sent he was out of town and got back to me a week later saying “keep in touch”. So I’ve written back two times since then and no response. I don’t know if he’s losing interest. I have always been kind of shy around him. I never talked much to him and he’s always tried to pursue me in subtle ways. Should I quit emailing him? I really want to be good friends with him. Sharon

The fact that you even ask this question without a hint of moral dilemma makes it all the more confusingly amoral.

Dear Sharon, In the next episode of the ironically titled ‘Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?’our heroine, Sharon, thinks that instigating an email relationship with her live-in boyfriend’s friend is a strong idea and wants help executing her plan. Stay tuned to see how Sharon can delude herself into thinking she’s innocent of nothing more than a schoolgirl crush… Okay, so I gave away the punchline, but only because I think there’s a teaching tool in here. Namely that it doesn’t matter who you are, how mature and sweet and kind and cute and well-intentioned, you’re probably acting in your own self-interests. Which doesn’t mean you’re always acting in another’s self-interests. In other words, you might get what you want (excitement, validation, potential), the friend might get what he wants (a fling), but your boyfriend is the big loser. He gets his heart ripped in two by a disloyal girlfriend AND a disloyal friend. Nice! The fact that you even ask this question without a hint of moral dilemma makes it all the more confusingly amoral. You didn’t write, ‘Should I stay with my boyfriend if I’m drawn to this other man? Does this feeling mean anything? Am I wrong for thinking these thoughts?’It’s: ‘I want to figure out a way to potentially cheat with this other dude even though I’m in a committed 3-year-relationship. Please help me pull this off.’My answer to helping you, Sharon, is: I will gladly help you pull this off. That’s why I get the big bucks. So here’s a quick and easy way of acting in your own self-interests AND acting ethically. I know the second part doesn’t matter as much to you, but I have to throw a bone to our readers, who comprise a vigilantly ethical community. Step 1: Break up with your boyfriend. I know it’s not as easy or as fun as it may sound, but it probably beats the alternative, getting married to him and secretly carrying on affairs behind his back, or, worse, having him discover your flirty emails and texts to his old friend. The good news about breaking up with your boyfriend is that you’re free to flirt with whomever you want, whether or not he’s married, engaged, living with someone, or, perhaps even single.

You’re not doing anyone any favors by trying to make either of these relationships work. Start fresh and pray that you find a guy who doesn’t learn of your tendency to want to hook up with his friends.

Step 2: Let the friend know that you’re now single. See how excited he is that his friend’s girlfriend is now officially available for the taking. I know he hasn’t returned your last two emails, but he’s probably just being shy. He’ll be thrilled at the opportunity to stab his buddy in the back and destroy that relationship for a hookup. Step 3: Pick up the pieces and get help. You’re a danger to men, you’re a danger to yourself. You’re initiating infidelity with your serious boyfriend’s friend by sending him pictures, calling him, texting him and saying that you want to be good friends with him. Let’s call a spade a spade: you’re a selfish girlfriend who’s trying to figure out the best way to lie behind your boyfriend’s back. You deserve all the bad karma that you have coming to you. Oh, and despite the highly sarcastic tone of this piece, I truly do recommend you follow Steps 1, 2, and 3. You’re not doing anyone any favors by trying to make either of these relationships work. Start fresh and pray that you find a guy who doesn’t learn of your tendency to want to hook up with his friends.

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  1. 1

    “You’re a danger to men….deserve bad karma?”

    man, Evan, that’s harsh.

  2. 2

    Unbelieveable how some people do just consider themselves in relationships of all sorts. I have a few so called friends who I avoid because it’s all about “them.” Here you have this person who doesn’t seem to have any regard for her boyfriend and his friends relationship!! And if he is truly flirting with her in return and would consider a relationship with her, he isn’t a good friend anyways. Sharon if this was a new relationship and you n your guy weren’t hitting it off, MAYBE pursuing his friend would be OK ( but I still say no)! Have respect for yourself and do the right thing. If you are going to stay with your man, do not encourage any friendship with someone you have a crush on!! It’s not fair to your current relationship! AND maybe Evan is correct, you should end the relationship because if you are able to have a crush that you are trying to act on, then you are not with the right man for you!! Having a crush is one thing, but acting on any part of it is wrong when you are in a serious relationship, especially with your partners friends!!!

  3. 3

    pfff hahaha! He’s 100% dead on. This will come back around to you and you definitely deserve it. Also, thanks. Thanks for being one of those selfish, immature girls that ruins men. Atleast if you break up with him, he has a shot at winning the respect and heart of a woman.

  4. 4

    If the friend follows the bro code, he won’t date you anyway…

  5. 5


    You have 3 choices:

    1. Ask your BF for an open relationship
    2. Break up with the BF to be with the new guy
    3. Do neither #1 or #2 and stop communicating with the new guy if the feelings are about more than being JUST friendly.

    Anything else is looking for permission or a rationalization for cheating. If you are fine with that, it is your life and your business.

  6. 6


    “Evan I want to cheat on my boyfriend, keep my boyfriend, have my boyfriend be okay with it and I want to not feel guilty about it. Can you tell me something that will make all of that work?”

  7. 7

    So here’s a quick and easy way of acting in your own self-interests AND acting ethically. I know the second part doesn’t matter as much to you, but I have to throw a bone to our readers, who comprise a vigilantly ethical community.

    Hah! 🙂

  8. 8

    Ugh. That’s all there is to say, really…

    1. 8.1
      tori nicklas

      That’s how I feel. My boyfriend’s friend is my ex and we’re still madly in love. I guess.

  9. 9

    Feel sorry for the bf. Girls like these give all girlfriends a bad name!

  10. 10
    Mikko Kemppe - Relationship Coach

    Well, I am sure we have all made some mistakes from which we have learned from! Seems like she is on her way to making some good mistakes to learn from :).

  11. 11

    See this is where girl and boy differences come into play. If you’re an attractive girl, chances are a lot of your friends are of the same level of attractiveness, i.e. probably your boyfriend or significant other would have thought – , man that friend of her’s is hot, I’d totally do that! Of course, if he has a ounce of common sense or life preservation instincts, he’d keep that to himself , in his head, not act it out in real life.
    My point is, boy relationship crimes are more of the physical / sexual nature. Where as, a girl would be more of an attention-whore , emotional attraction nature. It get’s so drawn out, entangled, and is a bloody mess.
    Honestly, women don’t know the emotional wreckage power they have. I’m not condemning the op for the attention whoring part though, is something that goes with female territory. But honestly, grow up. If you’re in a relationship, you need to mature up a little, having a little integrity and faithfulness sounds dull and staid I know, but your life will be 500% better.
    Sometimes I think boy travesties pale in comparison to what girls are capable of. I mean most guys I know would at least wrestle with this kind of this thing. Girls can do this sober, with out a thought, innocent as sunshine.
    When I hear men blamed for the usual litanies of relationship crimes, I always laugh. I’m so glad to have been born female.

  12. 12

    Sharon, please break up with your boyfriend before you completely emotionally ruin him for the good woman who will come along in his life, and has to help him pick up the pieces.
    You are selfish and dishonest.
    Karma is indeed going to get you.

  13. 13

    Give the girl a break here. She’s coming clean with what she’s thinking of doing. If it takes putting it out there to hear what others think to make her rethink this, then that’s a good thing. And I certainly don’t believe she’s the first person that’s ever had a crush on their boyfriend/girlfriends friend. I would ask though that you think hard about what you’re doing. These are the things affairs are made of.

  14. 14

    is it just me..but sharon ended her msg as if it’s not clear what she wants. from the sound of it, doesn’t seem like the friend is 100% gung-ho about her. if he was, he would’ve made a strong move.
    ok, back to sharon. yes, flirting with your bf’s friend is absolutely wrong.
    my advice to sharon: really take the time to think about what you really want (your bf or this friend). is it even worth it to pursue this friend (who you’re not even sure feels the same) and losing your relationship? i personally think that only in the case of “he’s the one” would i even consider it. even then, i’d break up with my bf first.
    so give it lots of thought. once decide, your next steps are..
    if you want to take the risk and go for the friend, then follow Evan’s advice.
    if you want to stay with your bf and be faithful, then stop your cheating actions. karma is tough. you wouldn’t want this to happen back to you.

  15. 15

    oh dear. Life’s already complicated enough as it is without all this extra drama and angst in one’s life.

    People do like to complicate things.

  16. 16

    Donna, I’m not so sure she’s “coming clean.” So many people want to find a way to have their cake and eat it too, while absorbing a little blame as possible. (“I only wanted to be friends…but it just happened!”)

    The fact is, things don’t just happen. If you don’t want to believe you control anything else in your life, you always control who you get into relationships with. And Evan, as always, gets it right – this desire and push to “be friends” is either disingenuous or self-delusional. I feel sorry for her boyfriend.

  17. 17


    Maybe it’s because it’s been a long day, but I’m not sure what you’re saying exactly. Men think these things out more than women do? I don’t know about that. I would think the opposite, since women have traditionally (and in some cases, still do) had more at stake. I think men and women can both be cold-blooded when it comes to these issues. However, you usually hear about the man being more so- I’m just sayin.

  18. 18

    My guess is that the friend started out thinking that Sharon’s attentions were just friendly, but he soon sussed out that it was more than that and became uncomfortable. Hence the lack of follow-up. Sharon should be thankful that the friend has chosen to avoid this potentially dangerous situation. If she’s not happy with her boyfriend, she should move on without trying to drag his friends into the drama. Interesting that she never mentions being unhappy with her boyfriend, just that “it’s complicated”, and that she “really wants to be good friends” with his buddy. I buy it not.

  19. 19

    Great post, Evan.

  20. 20

    “I really want to be good friends with him.” You don’t want to be good friends with him, you want to follow through on the allure that makes your heart pound. You may not be able to be honest with him or your boyfriend but good gawd girl, at least be honest with yourself.
    Did you really think Evan was going to say anything other than you are selfish and headed in a direction that CLEARLY will lead to bigger and bigger dishonesty and heartbreak for oh, probably three people.
    And, what do you think that other guy really thinks of you since you are CLEARLY acting in a way no guy would want?

  21. 21

    Gosh, Sharon sounds like a total drama queen. Her letter reads as if she’s a single gal wondering why this guy won’t respond to her. Like, DUH – why should you care? You have a relationship that serious enough to be living with each other and you’re worried about what his friend thinks of you? Your #1 priority should be your relationship w your BF. You’ve already admitted to having a crush on this guy, so either realize that you’re missing something from your current relationship or ask youself why you’re so concerned about this guy.

  22. 22

    Having been cheated on, and having come very close to cheating myself in an unfulfilling relationship I was in years ago, I can say unequivocally it’s some of the worst pain there is — often, on both sides. Sharon should ask herself, “What did my boyfriend do to deserve this?” A little healthy guilt might not be a bad thing for her to experience.
    Not sure if anyone’s mentioned this possibility, but she could say to her bf, “We need to talk. These are the kinds of thoughts I’m having about another man, this is the kind of restlessness I’m feeling, I’m getting something out of this other emotional fling I’ve been toying with, but I value what we have and to me, this is a wake-up call that something is lacking or isn’t right with us. Can we fix this, or try to work through what it is that’s causing me to be tempted in this direction?” This gives the bf more dignity — he can do the breaking up, for instance, which will take some of the sting out of being unceremoniously dumped for another guy. He might surprise Sharon and tell her he, too, has had thoughts along these lines (or even acted on them) with another woman. That would be an indicator of two people who either need to work on their relationship or part ways. Or, if she is the sole unhappy party, then they can choose to work on things, or not work on things. This doesn’t need to be a completely black-or-white situation.

  23. 23

    Been Thu The Wars: Thank you for your reasoned suggestion. I really think you have the best idea, dignified, open, and honoring of the commitment that love, living together, and deepening a relationship in a realistic way deserves.

  24. 24
    Curly Girl

    I’ve never seen such agreement on this board. Absolutely nobody thinks ongoing contact with the boyfriend’s friend is going to have a good outcome.

  25. 25

    @Sayanta #17
    When I say stuff, I assume people know I’m not saying ‘absolute truth’ here. Just from my perspective, as in my circle of acquaintaces. And yes, I think even individual men change alot as they age. Maybe I’m older than you, but most men I deal with are in their 30s+. I’m kinda glad that’s the generation I deal with. I’m not sure with the current culture, the ones in their twenties have a lot more pressures and issues to work with, I’m sure exceptions are there , but I would never off-the-bat consider any male in his twenties long term relationship material.
    Sorry about the long useless preamble. Yes, I do get men can *cheat*, on the other hand, most are clear headed enough not to kid themselves, whatever kind of sh*t he may try to pull over his supposed girlfriend. Men tend to know if its a serious relationship or not. I don’t think there would be a male equivalent of the op that’s all. Someone for whom all intents and purposes believes she’s in a loving relationship but think’s ideally she deserves something with the boyfriend’s best friend. Good lord. As a fellow female, don’t you feel *some* sense of contempt or bewilderment at this kind behavior that’s lacking in basic common sense and decency? Sorry, women like that really tick me off.

  26. 26

    Relationship of at least three years. Living together, but seemingly not even engaged. Probably better-looking guy reappears. Girlfriend tries to seduce him with picture. Shameful.

  27. 27

    Sharon, to answer your question, yes, you should stop emailing him, even if you hear from him again. Unless you have left your boyfriend, any communication you have with the other guy is cheating. I know you may not feel this way, as you’re just friends, but your other comments allude to there being a mutual attraction and you know what truly lies in your heart. You may have already begun an emotional affair.

    I sincerely hope, if not yourself, that he will do the right thing and stop communicating with you. While it’s possible that after three years of silence he made contact again as a roundabout way of trying to find out if the two of you were still together, now that it’s been established you are, everything should cease, unless you leave your boyfriend.

  28. 28

    Even if the boyfriend could deserve it in another person’s mind, it doesn’t make it right or a good idea. I mean I get it, some people do bad things and consequently something bad will happen to them. Perhaps, no one feels bad because they brought it on or deserved it, but I don’t think it would be a good idea for her to continue that cycle. To the OP, If you could just imagine how you would feel if this was done to you. I mean, in theory say everything worked out with your b/f’s friend. You two start dating, and you develop feelings for him. How will you feel if you discovered he was still parading around online exchanging photos and talking to girls? Because it seems like that’s the type of guy he is. He is willing to betray his best friend; why would he stop there?! You don’t want to have to worry about your boyfriend or girlfriend flirting with other people online. Don’t get caught up in that mess. Love with a great guy is far better than whatever fantasy you’re caught up in now, and if it’s not a great guy or the guy you want then move on.

  29. 29

    I some how get the impression that if was a reversed situation, a man coming clean about his attraction to his girlfriend’s female friend, that Evan would be giving the same advice but albeit less sarcasm.

    Come on. How many men have at one point have been attracted to their girlfriend’s friend and maybe flirted a little more then they should have? Or stared a little too long at pictures of other women. Casting stones much.

    Evan? You never found yourself in that situation? Are/where you a detriment to woman kind and deserved to be flogged as you kind of basically insinuate about this girl and Karma.

    I think the OP does need to rexamine her feelings for her current boyfriend. Maybe a breakup is in order. Or maybe just some water in the face to wake her up.

    I don’t think questioning your current relationship at some point doesn’t mean it’s not meant to be. We go through ups and downs. My own parents were on the brink of divorce and they came back from that with a marriage worth saving. And their situation was much more dire.

  30. 30

    Nobody ‘deserves’ to be cheated on. There might be things the other person does that drives someone to question the relationship, but cheating is another step.

    BTW #22’s advises a rational, mature approach, but somehow I get the sense that OP isn’t the type who would have this conversation w her BF. Even if she does, he my just react flippantly (and say, “oh, yeah?? pack up and move out, then, b#($*h!!!) or even violently, we don’t know the dynanmics of their relationship. Either way he won’t be happy.

    By stating, “Can we fix this, or try to work through what it is that’s causing me to be tempted in this direction? makes it sound as if she’s already blaming him for her potential transgression instead of taking ownership of it.

    Instead she should first try to figure out what exactly is causing her to feel this way (perhaps seek counseling), then approach him. She may realize it’s something he’s not doing, or something within her.

    She could say, “I love you but I’m realizing there’s something that’s missing from our relationship, something I really want, and it’s “x”” then explain how X would make you feel fulfilled. I want this to work because you are my life,” yadayadayada….

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