- It can be awkward and stressful when you and your friend are crushing on the same person.
- INSIDER consulted a relationship expert for some tips on how to manoeuvre you and your friend liking the same person.
- In this situation, it’s important to be self-aware, communicative, and open with your friend about the mutual crush.
- It’s also important to treat the person you both like with respect, not as a prize to be won.
Dating can be hard, especially if you and your friend like the same person. There are plenty of ways to navigate the situation without losing a friend, and sometimes without even having to try to lose feelings for your crush.
INSIDER spoke with relationship expert and columnist April Masini to find out what to do if you find yourself in this tough situation.
Here are eight ways to handle having a crush on the same person as your friend.
Acknowledge your feelings.
Although a lot of people try to get rid of the feelings and the fact that they have a shared crush with their friend instead of dealing with the issue in a conscious way. Be Masini told INSIDER it’s best to be honest about your crush and the situation at hand.
“If you are aware that you both like the same person, and you can acknowledge this to yourself, for starters, you’ve got a baseline for good communication,” said Masini.
Try bringing up the situation with your friend in an open discussion.
The conversation might not be comfortable, but it could lead to some productive discussions about how to move forward.
“You don’t have to have a State of the Union address but you should bring it up with your friend, so it’s out there,” Masini told INSIDER. “This is hard to do because most people want to avoid any awkward feelings and awkward situations.”
Avoid brushing off your feelings or their feelings.
“Avoiding your feelings at the expense of honesty and health isn’t a good thing,” Masini said. Although it might not be easy, you might want to take some time to reflect on how you really feel about the mutual crush and how it may be impacting your friendship. And you may want to take time to take in your friend’s perspective and feelings, too.
Don’t ask for permission to pursue a crush and avoid “calling dibs” on someone.
“All’s fair in love and war, and you and your friend don’t own this mutual crush, so asking permission isn’t really the right thing to do,” Masini said. “However, clearing the air and letting your friend know that the two of you are in competition and that you hope it’s going to be a fair fight, is a better way to approach this situation.”
You’ll also want to avoid “calling dibs,” as asserting ownership over a person isn’t healthy or fair. She suggests being open about your feelings and to avoid feeling shameful for liking someone that your friend also likes.
“There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and when you shed any derivative behaviours that traditionally accompany shame, you’re in a much healthier position to address this situation in real life,” she added.
If you feel jealous, try talking about it.
“Jealousy is rooted in fear, so if you feel that green-eyed monster creeping up, check yourself,” Masini said. “Are you afraid of losing your crush? Your friend? Is there some historical reason you feel jealous (and fearful)? Jealousy tends to make people lash out, so hedge against that.”
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to start that conversation. “You can call out your jealousy and tell your friend you’re feeling weird and jealous – or you can ask your friend how they feel about it. That gets the ball rolling,” she added.
Try to view the situation as a way to make the friendship even stronger.
“If the object of your mutual crush wants one of you but not the other, that’s the way things work sometimes. Sometimes two friends are up for the same job or promotion, or career moment – and only one gets it,” Masini told INSIDER.
She said it’s not a bad thing to lose a friend if there’s a good reason, but this might not necessarily be one.
“Difficult situations are not just challenges – they are opportunities to evolve and become more of who you really are,” Masini said. “Friendships – and all relationships – need to be strong enough to endure today’s challenges.”
But if the mutual crush is causing a major issue, it could also be a good time to honestly re-evaluate your friendship.
Although this situation can make a friendship even stronger, in some cases, you might want to re-evaluate the friendship’s structure and strength.
“If a romance with someone your friend likes means the end of the friendship, then that friendship didn’t have a lot of grit to it to begin with,” Masini told INSIDER. “If your friendship with someone can’t survive a romance that skews towards one of you and not the other, then use that moment to recognise the weakness in the friendship … “
All in all, try to be a good sport.
Deciding neither of you or just one of you should pursue your crush isn’t always the answer, either.
“Dating is competitive, and if you ignore or deny this fact, you’re doing yourself a disservice,” Masini said. “The trick is to be a good sport. Some win, some lose, and that’s the way life goes.”
That being said, remember to treat the person you’re both crushing on with respect – their feelings shouldn’t be treated as a prize to be won.
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