You absolutely adore your best friend. You share the same interests and secrets. But there's one secret you just have to keep to yourself - you have a crush on her new boyfriend.
It's a tricky situation to be in. He laughs at your jokes, gently hugs you every time you see each other and even offers to do handyman things around the house. He's basically everything you want in a guy. There's just one problem - he belongs to someone else.
You're not the first person in history, nor are you the last, to develop feelings for your friend's current squeeze. Heck, you may even feel some jealousy as to always being the third wheel.
It's the things romantic comedies are made of, but this is reality and you don't always end up with the guy, unless you're happy to be painted as the villain of the story.
Durban-based relationship coach Kas Naidoo cuts to the chase: "When a woman turns her gaze to her friend’s boyfriend it’s a clear sign that she has a lack of mentality."
"There are millions of single people and anyone who feels the need to 'steal' her friend's boyfriend needs to first understand that there is an abundance of love available."
Consider the following...
Rule 1: Keep your distance
Relationship expert Anita A. Chlipala is the author of US best-seller First Comes Us: The Busy Couple's Guide To Lasting Love. Her advice is to avoid spending any alone time with that person, and keep your physical distance if you're hanging out together as a group.
“Don't sit by them and don't seek them out if you're at a party. You may want to avoid accepting some invitations where he or she will be present until your feelings have subsided," she told lifestyle website Daily Elite.
Rule 2: If you're in too deep, tell your BFF
Elle magazine agony aunt E. Jean put it blankly when asked by a reader on what she should do once she did the nasty with her best friend's boyfriend: “Show your friend the respect she deserves, tell her everything. Do not ask to be forgiven. Instead, draw up a list of your personal standards and take control of your moral life.”
Mmm… sounds like the recent going-on at the Kardashian-Jenner household. Long story short, Kylie Jenner’s BFF Jordyn Woods got busted for kissing Kylie’s sister, Khloe Kardashian’s boyfriend, Tristan Thompson. It didn’t end well; things were said, families were broken and friendships crushed beyond repair.
Rule 3: Asses your friendship
Lee Wilson is a US-based dating and breakup coach who works with individuals to become their most attractive selves in order to bring success in relationships.
He says the Golden Rule applies here: knowing that taking away the one someone loves in order to make that person your own would certainly hurt them. “You will almost certainly lose your friend and give Karma the middle finger, not to mention that relationships born from such a situation rarely last,” he adds.
“There are plenty of men in the sea and even attempting to take hers shows immaturity and character flaws. Be the person you want to be and treat your friend the way you want to be treated.”
Most importantly - honour the friendship and respect their relationship.
Rule 4: There's a reason why you're still single
When we create a small, safe world for ourselves, we automatically think that there aren’t any good, single men available, notes Naidoo. "We delude ourselves into thinking that all the good ones are taken. Not true!"
Start by shifting your own beliefs and get out and meet more people. "You will see that just as you are seeking your ideal man; he’s seeking you too," she says encouragingly.
"Believe in yourself; be the best you can be with what you’ve been given, and most of all, believe in love abundance. Use the fact that your friend has a great boyfriend, as proof that it is possible for you too. Love yourself enough to conserve your dignity."