Friend B likes friend A's girlfriend. What to do (if anything)?
April 10, 2013 8:09 AM   Subscribe

I am a man. I have a good male friend, call him friend A. He has a girlfriend. He is head over heels. They live together and seem very happy. I have another male friend, friend B. He is single, and prone to quite dramatic behavior. While friend A was away from NY on business, I threw a party where friend B met the girl. They got on very well, and he later admitted he'd developed a big crush on her (unreciprocated, to my knowledge).

Friend B now seems intent on hanging out with her as much as he can, especially when friend A is out of town. She goes along with it, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't know about his feelings. I don't entirely trust his intentions, and he's crushing on her pretty hard (I am reliably informed by a mutual friend, who has tried to express disapproval to him without much success). Friend B has not met friend A.

I appreciate that they are all grown adults (late 20s), and capable of making their own good or bad choices. But is there anything I should say or do about friend B's feelings and actions? Should I tell him to back off? Should I tell the girl that he has a crush on her? Or should I leave well alone and let things play out as they will? I am very fond of friend A (more than I am of friend B, to be honest), and would be mortified if a friend of mine messed things up for him. I can kind of see the car wreck happening in slow motion, but maybe I'm being overly protective.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (48 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If either of them asks for your opinion, you may offer it.

Otherwise, if you can't stand to watch, you'll need to distance yourself.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:11 AM on April 10, 2013 [8 favorites]

There are ways to let Friend B know, subtly, that Friend A is a very dear friend of yours and you hope his (Friend B's) intentions toward Friend A's girlfriend are good and pure.

If Friend B has a problem with that, he's not much of a friend.
posted by PsuDab93 at 8:17 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Friend B can't "mess things up" for Friend A on his own; if things happen between B and A's girlfriend, that's at least as much on the gf as B. I don't really see the incipient car wreck here, unless you think Girlfriend has no ability to say "no thanks" if B makes a move.

One person who is absolutely not at fault here is you. I think backing off and trying not to worry about it is the best plan for you. About the only thing I can think that you could do is invite all three people to your next party- maybe if B actually meets A and sees Girlfriend with him, he'll back off the crush a little? Really though, I think accepting that this situation is not your responsibility and not that big of a deal anyway would be the best thing for you here.
posted by MadamM at 8:19 AM on April 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

I wouldn't touch this one with someone else's ten foot pole, except to avoid doing buddy-buddy stuff with Friend B and Friend A's significant other at the same time when Friend A is not around.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:21 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I would tell the girl, then stand back. If she hasn't picked up on his vibe, then she needs to be informed what's going on. If she has, then she needs to know that you (and others) know, and maybe even that you won't hate on her if she pushes B away or tells him to knock it off. Her fear of having her SO's friends turn on her might have made her act less firm with this guy than she might otherwise; make sure she knows that you will back her up if she tells him to lay off.

B sounds like a creep. He's an adult, as you said, but he's not acting like it; if you have a crush on a friend's SO, as an adult, you don't hang out with her and act like you're waiting for a chance to get her to cheat with you on your friend. That shit is pretty low in high school, and not really excusable among adult friends. It's also stalker-y and disrespectful to her. It's got a, "Oh you think you know who you want to be with, but I'll show you that you're wrong!" vibe to it.

You say: " I don't entirely trust his intentions." She needs to know that.

And frankly, telling B to knock it off would be ok on your part as well. You're A's friend and he deserves friends who don't act this way or put up with it.
posted by emjaybee at 8:21 AM on April 10, 2013 [36 favorites]

It sounds lke Friend B is a jerk. He knows that Friend A and this woman are in a relationship and he's pushing boundaries.

Now, the woman in question is an adult and she can make her own decisions. Do you believe that Friend B is some kind of Svengalli, that he can make her act against her own interests or desires? Of course not! Give the woman some credit. You make it sound like you don't trust HER to run her own relationship and friendships. Also, if she doesn't know he has a crush, she'll figure it out soon enough, and she, being a bright woman, will deal with it in her own way.

Don't worry so much.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:22 AM on April 10, 2013 [8 favorites]

Added to say: If you do this and then A's girlfriend cheats with B anyway, then there will be less confusion/mystery about what happened, and it will be on the two of them.
posted by emjaybee at 8:23 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

I think this sounds shifty as all get out, Friend B is behaving really poorly and disrespectfully if he's attempting to steal away the girlfriend (and it sounds like he is). At this point, I don't think you owe friend B a thing.

I would stay out of it as much as you can. If this ends messy you don't want to get pulled in to it.

If you're really sure you want to get involved, the best way to manage it is letting the girlfriend know that friend B confessed to having feelings for her and that you don't entirely trust his intentions. If I were the girlfriend I would want to know. The issue isn't that Friend B is going to some how coerce her in to doing something against her will. The issue is that you don't want her to get put in a really awkward position.

Baring that, your only option is to tell Friend A that Friend B confessed that he had feelings for his girlfriend, and since then Friend B has been trying to hang out with his girlfriend as much as possible. If you want to keep any suspicion off of the girlfriend you can say that you're worried his girlfriend is obvilious and that it is eventually going to put her in a really uncomfortable position. If I were Friend A I would want to know if someone else was making a play for my partner and I would be upset if another friend saw it but never told me. It probably wouldn't be a friendship ender, but it would be hard.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:24 AM on April 10, 2013

I think it matters whether you're independently friends with A's girlfriend. If you're only friends with A and B, stay the hell out of it. If, however, you and A's girlfriend are also friends who spend time together and talk, it might be nice for you to mention to her that it seems as though B has taken a bit of a shine to her. If he's being as unsubtle about it as you describe, she probably already knows and is dealing with it herself, but if she's your friend, let her know what's up and that you have her back, emotionally.

But yeah, otherwise, I wouldn't touch this drama. You don't need to be involved.
posted by decathecting at 8:27 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

If I were the girlfriend, I would absolutely want to be given a heads up about this sort of thing. A's girlfriend just met B, she doesn't know him the way you do. I can make my own decisions, but I always appreciate it when friends watch out for me and point out potential drama that I'm not privy to.

I would also tell B to knock it off, but that's just me. It doesn't have to be a heartfelt come-to-Jesus conversation - next time he brings it up, jokingly say "dude, you realize she's got a boyfriend and isn't going to magically fall in love with you, right?".

In both of these cases, you get one shot: mention it once, and then drop it. You've done your due diligence, and you can't control their behaviour or decisions based on your advice or warnings, nor should you try to.

I would not mention it directly to A - that would be unnecessarily stoking the fire. What you can do, however, is introduce A to B in some context, so that B has a real-life context for who A is. People tend to be nicer to people they actually know, rather than abstract concepts like "my crush's boyfriend". Plus, it ups the consequences for B if he does decide to continue be a creeper.
posted by Phire at 8:31 AM on April 10, 2013 [13 favorites]

I agree that you shouldn't intervene; the girlfriend is presumably an adult with agency - she can decide what's best for her.

However, I would consider whether I want to be friends with someone who would attempt to get involved with someone in a (presumably monogamous) relationship.
posted by Betelgeuse at 8:32 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

One final point: No matter what you do in terms of Friend A and Girlfriend, I would be very clear with Friend B and tell him you think he is behaving really poorly. If I was in your situation I would tell him to knock it off, regardless of whether or not I knew the boyfriend of the girl he was trying to steal.

I would say straight up, "What the hell are you doing? You say you have a crush on Friend A's girlfriend and now you are doing everything you can to hang out with her? It sounds like you're trying to steal her away, and that is pretty shitty of you. I am good friends with Friend A, but even if I wasn't I think trying to break up someone's relationship to steal their girlfriend is seriously fucked up."

And then I would think hard about whether you wanted to keep this friendship going. Whose to say later on whether Friend B ends up taking a liking to YOUR partner and tries to steal her? I actually had a female friend who went after married/attached men fairly regularly and that was a big part of why I friendship divorced her. It shows deep disrespect for other people, and I knew I would NEVER feel safe having her meet any man I was dating.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 8:32 AM on April 10, 2013 [6 favorites]

But is there anything I should say or do about friend B's feelings and actions?

"Hey Friend B, you know Friend A is dating that girl, right? He's a pretty cool dude, they seem into each other, so maybe you should back off a bit, eh?"

"What, you just want to be friends with her? Dude, it's me you're talking to you, we both know you don't want to go shopping with her while she picks out birthday presents for Friend A. Be realistic here and spare yourself and others the pain."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:37 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

(I am reliably informed by a mutual friend, who has tried to express disapproval to him without much success)

This suggests to me that it wouldn't go much different if you tried to talk to him about it. In your situation, I'd probably mention it at least once because that's the kind of MONSTER I am, but I'd expect it to go poorly and then I'd shut up about it.

Telling her about the crush is probably pointless too; she'll figure it out if she hasn't already. The thing is, if they met at a party and he's around her a lot, but only when her boyfriend is out of town, he's probably not hiding it as well as he thinks.

Unless I thought that Friend B was likely to do something remotely dangerous (this does not include hanging around her a lot), I'd just stay out of this, and maybe distance myself from Friend B a little. This is one of those situations where you can make it more complicated but it is not in your power, by yourself, to make it better.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:42 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I know it's hard, but you've got to stay out of it. Your interfering isn't going to prevent A's girlfriend from cheating on him, if she was inclined to do so. If their relationship is solid, it's solid. Either B will break them up or he'll end up looking like an ass, and I don't see how anything you could do is going to really prevent either thing from happening.
posted by something something at 8:42 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

If A is your good friend, it's within your rights to tell him that B is crushing on his girlfriend and trying to spend time with her. This is especially true if B has been vocal or outward about it, and mentioned it in conversations with others.

A should at least know that B is not a good friend. I would hate to be A, inviting B to my house for dinner or games or whatever, thinking that he's a decent guy and a good friend when he is not.

However if you go this route, you are basically establishing that you're friends with A and not really friends with B. In your shoes, I wouldn't want B as a friend anyway, because he sounds like scum. So that would be fine. At the same time, don't disparage anyone so horrifically that it creates drama and is uncivil. You can let A know in some polite way.
posted by htid at 8:45 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd have words with Friend B, along the lines of what Phire suggested.

Sure, they're all adults, etc, but I prefer not to hang back and let one of my friends be a covert douchebag to another friend.
posted by Salamander at 8:48 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I would mention it in passing to the girl. Sometimes it's hard to realize when someone is taken with you unless they like invite you to dinner...alone. And then it gets awkward very fast. I feel like in that sort of situation a simple "hey you know B is pretty infatuated with you, it's a little weird" might lead me to "have other plans" more often on the weekend.
posted by donut_princess at 8:49 AM on April 10, 2013

I think emjaybee's answer is perfect. Neutrality is fine for nation-states, but these are friends, and friends tell friends when they're being creeps or when they're being creeped on.
posted by invitapriore at 8:57 AM on April 10, 2013

Don't triangulate between Friend B and GF.

For one thing, triangulation is some bad juju.

For another, it's probably what B wants. Honestly, this might as well have 'THIS IS A TRAP' written all over it in neon lights on Broadway.

What you can do is say to B, "Listen, I hope you're not planning to make a move on GF, she's in a relationship, it would reflect badly on you and most likely skeeve her out. Don't do it. Seriously."
posted by tel3path at 9:01 AM on April 10, 2013

If I were the woman, I would definitely want to know if my new friend B was telling mutual acquaintances that he wants me romantically. If it's common knowledge to people in my circle it had darn well better be knowledge to me. Otherwise, I risk looking like an idiot or, worse, looking like I'm encouraging him.
posted by ceiba at 9:05 AM on April 10, 2013 [32 favorites]

ceiba makes a good point, but I think you should put it to B, this way:

"You have already told two of us that you want GF romantically and by going around talking like this, you are setting GF to be humiliated through no fault or action of her own. Now whatever she does around you, she's going to get the blame for it because someone thought she was naive or encouraging you or any of a dozen other things, and she didn't start any of this, you did. Do you really want to put her in that position? Are you that selfish?"
posted by tel3path at 9:11 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

The only person with any say in who Girlfriend is interested in, who Girlfriend hangs out with, or who Girlfriend dates is Girlfriend - period. On the off chance Girlfriend discovers she is more interested in Friend B than A that specific thing is, among other things, not your business at all - period.

That said if Friend B is being a creeper and Girlfriend is plausibly unaware of this you have an affirmative duty to Girlfriend to mention that 'hey this might be a thing for Friend B you might want to be aware of' and then back the hell off. If Friend B is telling people that they are interested in Girlfriend romantically and not making that clear to Girlfriend then that is a creeper move and not OK. If Friend B is being a creeper you also have an affirmative duty to both Girlfriend and Friend B to tell Friend B that they're being a creeper and to knock that shit the fuck out.

Friend B is also currently acting like an ass telling people that he is interested in Girlfriend while Girlfriend is still the partner of Friend A, to both Girlfriend and Friend A, and you should probably tell him to knock that shit right out regardless.

If you end up discovering that Girlfriend is being shitty to Friend A, and simply becoming interested in someone else does not qualify as being shitty, but actively lying to Friend A or cheating on Friend A then you would end up in a shitty spot with no correct answers but mentioning it to Friend A would often be the best thing.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:16 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

"Should I tell him to back off? Should I tell the girl that he has a crush on her? Or should I leave well alone and let things play out as they will?"
Yes, you should do all of these things.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:19 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

"He is single, and prone to quite dramatic behavior."

We can only guess at what this means, but whatever it is, if Girlfriend is unaware of it then it might also be something worth mentioning to her.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:26 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tell the girlfriend exactly what B has told you. Done.
posted by mean cheez at 9:57 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I also think you should tell Girlfriend. Yes, she's an adult, and she's got agency, but she also might be cutting him slack/trying to be nice because she thinks he's in her friend circle and takes an intro as an implicit signal of trust or doesn't want to make waves. A casual "hey, it seems B has a thing for you; feel free to tell him to shove off if he becomes a nuisance" could be helpful.
posted by snickerdoodle at 10:02 AM on April 10, 2013 [4 favorites]

is B a boundary pusher? would he be inclined to make sure she had a few drinks before letting his feelings known? is he the kind of guy that corners women at parties and talks uncomfortably close? if any of those things are remotely true you need to tell the GF.
posted by nadawi at 10:08 AM on April 10, 2013 [10 favorites]

I totally disagree with the suggestion that B is being "creepy" by going after a girl who's in a relationship. He doesn't know A, she's not married, and he's not obligated to admit to the girl all of his passing feelings. Neither you nor B knows how good A's relationship is with the girl, whether they're happy, or what they fight about. So it's presumptuous of you to think you're protecting something wonderful.

However, B is really stupid for admitting his crush to you. He's asking you to organize more events with them at it together, but you can just be a good friend to A and invite him to less events where she's going and A's not.

The most important person to tell is A. If he's a confident man, he'll try to meet B ASAP, which should help put an end to the whole thing.

If you tell the girl and she's smart, she'll dismiss the possibility of her leaving A, but you won't know what she's really thinking. By telling her, you're putting social pressure on her not to hang out with B by removing the plausible deniability about what's happening. Assuming that she felt a similar connection to B as he did, this doesn't really solve the problem because it leaves a doubt in her mind as to what could have been.

Bottom line: It is more important to tell A and let him step up to defend his relationship like a man. B is stupid for telling you about his crush, but can't be blamed for his feelings.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 10:10 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Why not let the girlfriend make the choice? She might prefer Friend B, and be thoroughly tired of Friend A. As you mention, they are all adults.
posted by Cranberry at 10:13 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I appreciate that they are all grown adults (late 20s), and capable of making their own good or bad choices. But is there anything I should say or do about friend B's feelings and actions?

I differ from the opinion that you should get involved right now. GASP! Here's why:

1) They are adults, and capable of making decisions.

2) You say it's a crush. It may go away on its own.

3) It seems that she is willing to hang out with him when her boyfriend is gone? Or just has to because it's a group thing?

Either way, she is in a relationship and knows her own boundaries. It's really no different than hanging out with any other guy at this point. Other men may find her attractive but that doesn't mean she should - or would - stay away.

On that same point, I am a married woman. If I were to hang out with someone as a friend, (male) it would be fine, however I would also always try to include my husband. If she is only hanging out with him and not involving her partner it may be due to the fact that she likes the attention, or she has no idea that he likes her.

Either way, what's the worst that could happen at this point? He makes a move and she turns him down? OR he makes a move and she doesn't turn him down? You're not responsible if your friend's girlfriend cheats on him. (Although I find cheating despicable.)

When should you say something?

1) If he starts to be really creepy, stalking her, sending her gifts. But you should say something to the friend, not the girlfriend. "Hey, she's in a relationship, back off."

2) Have you said anything? If one of my friends liked someone in a relationship, right away I would say, "Dude, their in a relationship." I think that would suffice right now.

3) If you feel she is completely oblivious and he could be dangerous.

Again, it's not your responsibility to monitor your friends behavior unless it gets scary or starts really affecting your life in a negative way. Right now it's just crush drama. Also you can't change B's feelings or actions. He's going to do what he wants no matter what you say.

I understand you want to say something because YOU are uncomfortable with the situation. However other than them being friends, and him telling you, you aren't really involved. Maybe take a breather from the group until things settle.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:15 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'd let the girlfriend know so that she can avoid getting into uncomfortable situations with this guy. Or not - she's an adult, and it's up to her. But if I were in her position, I'd want to know.

A woman dealing with unwanted male attention is kind of like a frog in boiling water - by the time you realize that all that innocent hanging out was actually the heating of the crush-water, it's too late/really hard to set boundaries without causing a fuss. But if she wants this guy to cool his jets, she can start pulling away now.

is B a boundary pusher? would he be inclined to make sure she had a few drinks before letting his feelings known? is he the kind of guy that corners women at parties and talks uncomfortably close? if any of those things are remotely true you need to tell the GF.

Oh my god, yes.

I had a long anecdote typed out about this, but I decided it would not be that helpful in the end, but yeah, beware the boundary-pushers.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 10:26 AM on April 10, 2013 [13 favorites]

Also as a quick followup. People have said she should know. Who says she doesn't ALREADY know? She's probably not totally oblivious and if he is giving off vibes of "I have a crush" she may already know and is ignoring it or likes the attention.
posted by Crystalinne at 10:31 AM on April 10, 2013

On the other hand, I've both witnessed and been in situations where everyone else was like "OF COURSE THEY'VE GOT A CRUSH WTF" and the crushee just did. not. know. No reason not to err on the side of caution. If she doesn't know, she should be told. But if she does already know, what's the harm in having the conversation with her?
posted by Phire at 10:39 AM on April 10, 2013 [7 favorites]

Do you love drama? If yes, say something! If no, stay the fuck outta this.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:42 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Why are you inserting yourself into this? There isn't a role for you in their little play. MYOB.
posted by discopolo at 10:50 AM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I have to side with Crystalinne's first comment.

By telling the GF this, you are making it her problem, when it's properly Friend B's problem.

Supposing you tell the GF this, and she does nothing differently. Are you now going to judge her for somehow passively "encouraging" Friend B, or for possibly "enjoying the attention"/"leading B on" or whatever else a woman is required to do or not do when a man experiences an emotion anywhere near her?

Why turn this into the GF's social dilemma?

There are exceptions to this, as have been noted above. If you think this is escalating to the point where the GF would be the last to know because B is talking about this to more and more people - then you should tell GF exactly what B told you. At a certain point, this stops being "B being an idiot" and becomes "conspiracy of silence to embarrass GF".

Another exception is, as has been said, if B is a "boundary-pusher". I encourage you to think carefully about this because men don't always see this kind of boundary-pushing for what it is. If he's the type to not take no for an answer, or to try to get her drunk, or to not quite be able to keep his hands to himself, then yeah you should warn GF.

I think the concern about B's boundary-pushing is by far the strongest case for saying anything. Because B is already pushing the boundaries, isn't he? If not downright crossing them. He told TWO PEOPLE that GF KNOWS that he has a crush on her; if he just couldn't contain himself he should have talked to people that GF doesn't know. He pushed your boundaries by telling you about it, thereby turning this into your problem when it should be entirely his.

I have to point out that he probably told you because he *wants* you to tell GF. It's like turning you into his messenger boy. That's childish, and a shitty position to put you in, and how could he possibly think it's a good idea?!?

I really do think that passing this on would be playing into B's hands. B NEEDS TO KEEP HIS SOCIAL DILEMMAS TO HIMSELF. That means not making it your problem, and also not making it GF's problem. Don't help him to do this. The time to say something is the point at which it's clear this is likely to become GF's problem no matter what.
posted by tel3path at 10:51 AM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

When I was long distance dating in college I was very clear about being attached and therefore assumed no guy was hitting on me. I was wrong, and I appreciated when my friends clued me in.
posted by obol at 10:54 AM on April 10, 2013 [10 favorites]

I was in a similar situation a few (well, many) years ago. I felt I had to explain what I saw to my friend. Got punched in the mouth for my trouble.

Your results will probably vary, but think you're better off just leaving it alone, unless you have photos or something similar. Even then, you won't be the bringer of glad tidings, so you'll have to be prepared to be "that guy."

By the way....if you think she's unaware of his intentions, maybe you ought to rethink how this stuff really works.
posted by mule98J at 10:55 AM on April 10, 2013

Stay out if it. It's not your fault or your responsibility.
posted by spaltavian at 10:57 AM on April 10, 2013

While I agree The Girlfriend has agency, B has been lying to her, and using your credibility to dupe her.

You MUST put a stop to this, or at least, you must "clear the air" with everyone and end your complicity in B's deceptions.

- Break up with B.

It's Not OK for him to pursue A's girlfriend after meeting her at your house. He's a shitty friend and he is a creep. Back away. Back away.

- Tell A and his gf, together.

No big drama, just make sure you broach the subject next time you get together with them.

"I'm sorry I introduced you to B at that party. It seems he doesn't respect your relationship with A very much and has told me and other mutual friends that he is actively pursuing you, despite your relationship with A, which is just shitty. It's too bad that you can't take his friendliness at face value, but I thought it was better you should know, especially since he talks about his pursuit of you openly. You should know what's going on behind your back."

It seems you might have conferred some of your trustworthiness and positive reputation onto B. This is not cool. You don't want to be tainted with the same brush as B. Out him to A and his girlfriend.

Were I them, I'd want to know. I don't think you can go wrong telling the truth. I think it is not being direct and above board that will create more problems.

And repeated for truth...

While I agree The Girlfriend has agency, B has been lying to her, and using your credibility to dupe her.

You MUST put a stop to this in some fashion. I don't think you can control B or anything like that, but The Girlfriend deserves to know B's intentions and what is being said about her.
posted by jbenben at 10:59 AM on April 10, 2013 [21 favorites]

Okay, now that I have read what jbenben has said, I change my vote.

Follow that script. Sunlight, disinfectant, etc.
posted by tel3path at 11:03 AM on April 10, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've also been attached, been hit on by mutual friends, and not realized it.

I agree with tel3path that telling just the GF unfairly makes this her problem.

Your better move is to simply state your disapproval to B the next time he brings it up. Then you tell The Girlfriend and A, together, that your disavow B's actions.

Now. B might try to preempt your story to The Girlfriend, and honestly, that's why I suggest telling Girlfriend and A before notifying B of your position on the matter.

To B when the time comes: "The Girlfriend is a great person, and A has been a good friend for a long time. Your intentions towards their relationship isn't cool, dude. What was I supposed to do?"

That's it. Don't apologize for being honest. Really.
posted by jbenben at 11:16 AM on April 10, 2013 [5 favorites]

"Hey B - knock it off, you fuckwit."
posted by FatherDagon at 1:35 PM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

I'm for telling the GF. It doesn't have to be a big production, just a little aside, just in case. I don't think it turns it into some sort of giant thing for her. She can choose to back away or hang out with him anyway, but it's genuinely possible he hasn't given her a clear signal of his intentions and she'd be unhappy to know they aren't pure.

This is pretty common in relationships. It's surprising that B is being so upfront about it, but haven't we all been around someone who is clearly angling at our partner a little and our SO seems none the wiser? Maybe even defends them and tells you you're being sensitive? The thing is, the person who's partner is being angled at usually does notice and is frustrated and hurt that their partner doesn't see it or set a boundary. Having a third party validate that it's happening can be powerful and save these people a fight if the girl is assuming this guy's intentions are good and the bf watches this go down and holds her culpable for not shutting B down earlier.
posted by amycup at 6:17 PM on April 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

first, i'd tell B to knock it off. then, i'd give GF a heads up. because B met GF at your party when A was out of town i think you sort of owe it to A to have his back since he is your bud. A would probably be pissed if he found out some guy who met his GF at your party is now hitting on her and you knew it and didn't say anything. i think your instincts are right and you should step in here but in a lowkey way.
posted by wildflower at 10:46 PM on April 10, 2013 [2 favorites]

Agreed that this is dumb, but also this is great advice: "I totally disagree with the suggestion that B is being "creepy" by going after a girl who's in a relationship. He doesn't know A, she's not married, and he's not obligated to admit to the girl all of his passing feelings. Neither you nor B knows how good A's relationship is with the girl, whether they're happy, or what they fight about. So it's presumptuous of you to think you're protecting something wonderful."

Friend A and girl aren't married, so beyond the ties of third-party friendship, Friend B owes no one anything.
posted by resurrexit at 3:55 PM on April 12, 2013

friend B owes it to the person he's trying to befriend to either let her know straight up that he's interested in her romantically or he needs to stop telling that to people who aren't her. these aren't just passing thoughts. once he told someone about them it can become creepy to keep them from her. she has the right to know that he's not seeking platonic friendship because that information has been shared with others.

the focus on her not being married seems like a weird line to draw.
posted by nadawi at 5:30 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]

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