I like him and he likes me and I love her and she loves him.
January 8, 2013 10:27 AM Subscribe
A complicated love triangle between me (25/f), a guy (30/m), and his really good friend (30/f) who is also my good friend. What's the generic protocol in this situation?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (36 answers total)
Here's the breakdown. It happened in graduate school. The three people are me, A=girl, and B=boy. A and B started together 6 years ago and had been good friends since then. A is a guy's girl - she smokes cigars, curses like a sailor, is 5'11" and built like a lumberjack. She also happens to be the most awesomely warm person ever, totally lovable, and deadly loyal to her core group of friends.
I knew B first. We shared an office and slowly became friends, and from the beginning of getting to know him, I was fond of him; as I got to know him continuously, the feelings grew. I could tell he liked me too, but we were both somewhat shy and by the time either of us made a move, he was graduating and neither of us wanted to start something that would end so soon. But we stayed friends, occasionally getting in touch, hanging out at conferences or visits to one or the other town. When I know he'll be somewhere at some larger gathering, I always look forward to it as a/the highlight; he gives the impression that he does, too. Over the course of this time, my feelings have at least stayed the same if not grown for him, and about 6 months from now, we will both be moving to within 2 hrs of each other. The prospect of dating could become a real possibility.
In the next year, I became friends with A. We had been acquaintances, but during the course of a summer in which she let me stay on her couch for about two months while I finished up my research assistantship after my lease ran out, we became close friends and confessed our life stories. Part of her life story was a brief relationship between her and B about a year before he left town, around the time I started grad school. It was initiated and terminated by B. Despite her words, I could tell she wasn't over it and still held onto strong feelings. They remained friends after that breakup and are still fairly close. Along with a few others, they periodically reconvene as a group 3-4 times a year for a weekend, regardless of their now-dispersed living locations. Since the past summer, I've been welcomed into that group. I love being part of it, belonging, and have lots of fun with them.
I've never told A about my feelings for B. I feel that they represent a form of betrayal to her, especially if acted upon without her blessing. I felt a substantial sadness in hearing her describe that it didn't work out between A and B since they're both good people who I care about, and have a remarkably strong friendship. But my feelings also represent a deep and abiding "fondness" for B. I've never related to someone so well, connected so effortlessly; every time we meet, regardless of how long we've been apart or whether we've talked at all in the interim, we always slide back into a near-perfect fit. We have very similar tastes, relatable backgrounds, and am inspired by who he is. If he still feels any inkling of the same thing, I feel like this could be something big.
You may ask, why didn't you tell A about your feelings when she confessed their relationship? Partly why I didn't was because we've never done anything more than hug and make googly eyes at each other, and they slept together for a couple weeks. Saying "I like him" sounded juvenile. But the second reason is that I feel like she's ostracized people who've dated or been involved with him in the past post-breakup. I was afraid she might do the same to me. This may be unfair, but that was how I felt. At the end of the day if I *had* to pick between them, my loyalty would go to her, not least because I think he acted irresponsibly and carelessly with regard to their relationship. But it would be very reluctant because I've known him longer, our friendship is a bit deeper, and I really really care about him.
TL;DR: Is there a way to navigate this that doesn't result in implosion or hurting A terribly? How should I approach it? I feel that both options I see are impossible: forgetting him, or disregarding her.
This post was deleted for the following reason: poster's request. -- jessamyn