Dear Madame Lestrange is The Tempest’s love, sex, and relationships advice column. Have a question? Send it to Madame Lestrange here. It’s anonymous!
Dear Madame Lestrange,
My best gal friend’s dating a guy that used to be my best friend. It sounds pretty typical, and it shouldn’t really be weird. Except for the part that he used to like me for 3 years. Then, randomly, he decided he liked her because she liked him.
She complains a lot that he doesn’t tell her about his problems or when he’s upset. He doesn’t tell her much in general, they just hang out a lot.
She feels like he’s only with her to get over me because he still tells me about his problems and always did? Do you think this is simply because we’ve been good friends for so long or might he have another motive?
Regardless, how do we approach him about it?
—Best Friends Forever
Dear Best Friends Forever,
My advice to you is that you don’t need advice about this. You are not part of their relationship. Even though you are friends with this guy and he liked you for several years, you are not part of it! You and your BFF should not be approaching him about this as a collective unit.
He is her boyfriend; he’s not dating both of you.
If he talks to you about his problems and has always done so, it’s probably because he’s comfortable with doing that. Here are some suggestions I have for how you might want to approach this:
- When he starts talking to you about his problems, nicely suggest to him that he share his issues with his girlfriend, because she’s “good at advice” and also because …she’s his girlfriend.
- Tell your BFF that if she thinks he’s using her and she has a problem with that, then she should probably dump him. Tell your BFF that she should address these issues with him, her boyfriend. Not you. If SHE thinks he’s using her to get over you, SHE should address that with HIM or break up with him or do what she finds appropriate.
- Distance yourself from the relationship. I’m not saying don’t be friends with either of them. But you seem to be really involved with them as a couple and that’s weird, tricky ground to be on. What he does or doesn’t tell her isn’t your concern. The fact that he used to like you doesn’t matter. What matters is that the two of them are currently dating each other.
- It’s really quite strange that she has told you that she feels like he’s using her to get over you. If she is that insecure being with him, why is she with him? Seriously, ask her that. And tell her to talk to him about these problems. If they’re going to progress in this relationship, they need to be able to openly communicate about issues. She should be willing and able to bring this up with him (alone…so, without you) and have a mature conversation. Otherwise, this is going to end up destroying their relationship and possibly your relationship with her as well. Especially if she likes him quite a bit. If she thinks he’s using her to get over you, and she’s not mature enough to even address that with him personally, chances are she’ll end up resenting you for all of this. How long have they been dating? It’s also likely that he isn’t comfortable enough with her yet to talk about the same things he feels comfortable talking to you about. This is where suggestion 1 comes into play. If they’ve been dating for several months, then… she should talk to him about her concerns and if he’s unwilling to put in an effort for something she cares about, she should get rid of him.
Notice that plenty of these suggestions were actually for her. That’s because the weirdness going on in her relationship is for her to deal with and not you.
Don’t put this on yourself—it isn’t your responsibility.
She’s your best friend, so give her the advice to open up to him and discuss these issues. If he’s unwilling or a loser about it, that’s that. That’s the issue. Him being a bad boyfriend. But if she isn’t even going to talk to him about what’s bothering her and just relying on you to bring it up to him, she should work on that and he’s not really the problem.
Encourage her to bring it up to him! Open and honest communication is an important aspect of any relationship.
Good luck to them and I hope you enjoy being not involved.
More Dear Madame Lestrange
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