Do you feel so dirty when they start talking cute?

You have a friend. You friend is dating a fantastic, wonderful person. You want to be dating this person. But this person is loving your friend with their sweet body; you just know it.

You’ve already tried to be funny and to be cool with the lines. What’s there left to do?

I don’t know. Cry, maybe? Pine away and hope they’ll break up soon?  Get a journal and write some long, sad entries? Accuse your friend of being a Bonapartist and have him sent away to life in prison while you marry his fiancée, before he escapes and finds a large fortune, pretends to be a nobleman, and attempts to wreck the happiness of you and your accomplices?

It’s a rough situation. I hope that none of you’ve ever had to deal with it. Let’s face it, though: We all run in humorous, attractive and intelligent crowds. At this very moment, you could be hopelessly in love — returning readers, I’m using “in love” in a colloquial manner — with a friend’s significant other. This longing is especially likely when both people are in your circle.

But what to do?

We need to keep in mind that friendship is the most important takeaway from college. If you don’t believe me, ask the alumni trickling back for homecoming. The people who you hang out with right now might be the same people you’ll be sitting in the nursing home with in 60 years. I hope I’m close with my friends for the rest of my life.

Obviously, we want our friends to be happy. If you’re in love with their girlfriend or boyfriend, this may cause some mild to severe discomfort. This may mean that you love someone from afar for a long time. But I have confidence that if you are meant to be with a particular person, it’ll all work out.

When your friend and your potential sweetheart break up, you might be tempted to sweep in with a romantic gesture — or just try to get some emotional instability rebound sex. Proceed with caution. This strategy comes with the side effects of making you a jerk to your friend and kicking off your new relationship based on feelings for someone else.

I recommend waiting an appropriate amount of time before you make your move. This is different for each person and each situation. When your love interest is ready and emotionally available, things will proceed with awesomeness.

My current girlfriend told me she couldn’t date me the first time I asked her. Not because she didn’t like me, but because she wasn’t quite over her ex yet. I wasn’t happy. I waited with great impatience. But, looking back at the situation, I’m really glad that we took our time.

Luckily for me, her ex lives hundreds of miles away. I never had to deal with him the way you would a romantic rival who also happens to be your friend. If your friendship with that person is important to you, you’re going to have to keep your desires in check. This takes strength. It comes with a great reward, though, if you can gain a new relationship without losing an old friendship.

Joseph S. is a Behind Closed Doors Columnists and is real cool with the lines.  



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