I have fallen for a friend of my longterm boyfriend

QI am in a fix. I have been with my boyfriend for almost a year but have fallen for one of his friends who is funny and very attractive. We get on great and I’ve often caught him looking at me. I am not sure what to do. I don’t want to hurt my boyfriend who is very sweet. I am 24 years old.

>>You have a dilemma. Do you go for your boyfriend’s friend or do you remain with him? In this instance you need to look at the relationship you are in right now. For the moment, leave his friend out of the picture.

Think about what you like about him. If you go out on a Saturday night, is it because you like being with him? If we are with somebody we like, usually we look forward to being with the person.

Something attracted you to him in the first place. Does it still apply? When two people are in the early stages of love they want to be together all the time. Everything seems rosy and your heart is a flutter. This is the stuff of romantic movies and novels.

All infatuations change as the real people emerge. There then comes an acceptance of the person. It is probably more helpful to concentrate on what you have in common rather than what separates you. The relationship will grow with a true attachment. Or, it can fizzle out. (The use of texting to end a relationship can be very painful, particularly if one party thought the relationship was going somewhere.)

Is this the first time you have been attracted to another man? Perhaps you were beginning to lose interest and were more open to the advances from others. Affection, trust and togetherness are all aspects of intimacy. Sharing interests that you both enjoy and talking and listening to each other with respect are important. Also in the mix is the enjoyment of physical intimacy. Only you know if this relationship is important.

Now let’s move to his friend. By his behaviour he seems to like you and it sounds that there has been some flirting. Think long and hard before you take any action. If you start a rival relationship, your boyfriend will feel deeply hurt. Being with a stranger is bad enough but taking up with his friend could destroy their friendship. If your boyfriend were to feel betrayed he would have powerful feelings.

But, I don’t know the depth of your relationship. You are young and if his friend wasn’t in the picture what would be happening? You may be bored and feel the relationship is going nowhere. Then, with time, one or other of you would end it and there would be no great hurt. Both of you would simply move on with your lives.

But be careful there is potential for great hurt here and you don’t know if the friend is really interested. I suggest you talk to a relationship counsellor to look at what is going on for you before you make your next move.

*Marie Daly is a psychosexual therapist.

Please send your questions to feelgood@examiner.ie


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