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My Best Friend and I Both Like the Same Guy -- What Should We Do?

On first glance, this is an incredibly easy problem to solve: neither of you gets the guy. After all, friendships are very difficult to make and hold onto, they will last you through the end of more than one love relationship, and there are always more fish in the sea. However, in the moment, this is a much more difficult problem to face, for two big reasons. The first is that rational thought often flies out the window in the face of romantic and sexual love. Sure, you know intellectually that your best friend of ten years is much more valuable to you -- has to be cherished more deeply -- than this man you met a month ago! But do you still know that while you are looking deeply into his eyes? And does she know the same thing?

Friend Dating

The other reason which makes this a particularly difficult situation is the fact that this man might well be your soul-mate -- or hers. Yes, there are always more fish in the sea, but all fish are not created equal! We all have our own particular personalities, histories, likes and dislikes, goals and hopes and dreams, and it is not always easy to find someone who fits in with those like a hand in a glove. When you do find that person, it is not a simple matter to throw him back into the ocean of men and be sure you will find another one.

So, what can you do? Well, the immature solution is to fight over this man, possibly employing unfair tactics to ensure that his attention turns from her to you. It can be easy to manipulate the situation so that it ends up in your favor. But remember two things: first, that she will be doing the same thing, especially if you get that ball rolling, and second, that you will most certainly lose a dear friend.

The mature solution begins with remembering that this man most probably does not like both of you equally! After all, he has something to say about this matter. So, you might both wish to go to him and tell him, look, you need to make up your mind about us. We cannot both date you because it will hurt our friendship, which we value, and we also do not want you to think that you can have two women, because each of us wants a monogamous relationship. So, ask him to choose, and before you do, be sure that you will have the ability to deal with any hurt feelings which will arise -- after all, one of you will not be the chosen party.

You might also wish to call a moratorium on dating this guy, on both sides. That means that neither one of you will date him for some period of time. It might be that you find that you don't miss him too much, while she pines away for him night and day. If this is the case, it's an easy problem to solve! If you both meet other people, well, then you are both better off! And in case you both miss him terribly, you can revert to the solution just above this one and ask him to choose. In the end, it always comes back to this: no matter what you feel in the moment, nothing is worth losing a friend.