Adapted from a recent online discussion.
Dear Carolyn: I’m afraid I’m seriously crushing on my close friend’s boyfriend, who happens to be close friends with my boyfriend. We all hang out a few times a week.
My boyfriend and I have had a rough patch and so have they. I’ve noticed that I’m developing feelings for him and I think the feeling is mutual. We haven’t said anything about it or crossed the line into inappropriate conversations; however, I feel like when we are in a group setting we just respond to each other more than anyone else. When we are hugging goodbye, which we have always done in front of my boyfriend, his arm lingers a little too long on my back.
I know I sound like a high school girl, but it’s gotten so bad that I’ve started dreaming about being with him. I have cheated before, on my first serious boyfriend when I was a teenager, and I don’t want to do it again. What can I do to curb these feelings?
Once a Cheater, but Not Wanting to be Always a Cheater
I can see why you want to curb your feelings out of respect for your close friend — but why are you still with your boyfriend? Rough patch + feelings for someone else — life commitment usually (equal sign) sign that it’s over. No?
As for how to curb the feelings, distance is the only reliable way. Telling your friend outright about your crush would be the easiest if you’re open with each other that way, but saying you need one-on-one or alone time to deal with your boyfriend is also a perfectly good explanation, for now. What you need to figure out is whether you love your boyfriend, love the crush object, love whatever is just out of your reach, ahem — or don’t love anybody at the moment.