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DearSugar Needs Your Help: Should I Follow My Heart?

DearSugar and In a Pickle Patty need your help. She's fallen for her boyfriend's best friend and he's fallen for her too, but she doesn't know what to do. She needs some unbiased advice, so if you have any words of wisdom to share, do so in the comments below.

Dear Sugar,
I have become enveloped in a very uncomfortable love triangle, and I'm so confused about what to do. I have been with my boyfriend for two years. When we met I was a sophomore in college and he was jobless, living on his best friend's couch. Something just told me there was a reason for meeting him, so I ignored his situation. Things have been bumpy during our entire relationship and we've gone on several "breaks". Basically, he and I are complete opposites; we were brought up completely differently (me in a loving home that stressed the importance of education, he in foster homes), we have completely different views on pretty much everything, and to be frank, he is a jerk 50 percent of the time. But I love him.

Insert problem: His best friend. I didn't meet his best friend until almost a year into our relationship because he had been serving in Iraq. He and I hit it off instantly and became fast friends. I have felt a strong connection with him from the moment we met and I tried to just ignore it, but today he confessed his feelings for me too. He is handsome, sweet, caring, and hard-working. Sometimes I wonder if maybe the reason I met my boyfriend was so that I would meet his friend. I know that sounds awful but I don't know what to do. I love my boyfriend and I don't want to hurt him, but I don't think he and I are meant to be. I would love an objective opinion on this situation. And for the record, nothing has happened yet.


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kristyy kristyy 8 years
Scenario: My friend was dating this guy in college, who was distant and didn't take any responsibility for the relationship. Any problems she had, he told her to go talk to his best friend. He got the physical benefits and didn't deal with the emotional problems. Result: My friend ended up marrying the best friend. What happened in between: She realized the bf wasn't for her and dumped him. Meanwhile, she had become good friends with the best friend and realized he was the one for her. The best friend and bf had some issues and were no longer friends by the time the best friend and girl hooked up. Bottom line: Get rid of the bf for being a jerk! You shouldn't be with someone like that in the first place. And whatever happens after that, go from there. Good luck!
Angela123 Angela123 8 years
I think that whatever you do, you need to be careful not to interfere with their friendship. They were friends before you met either one of them. You have every right to be happy, and should immediately do whatever it will take to make you happy, but all I'm saying is be careful. I know you care about your current boyfriend, and he will need his best friend, especially if he doesn't have you anymore.
skigurl skigurl 8 years
1. do not cheat on your boyfriend 2. talk to his friend and tell him you like him too and you are confused as to what to do - see what he says 3. break up with the useless jerk...he's not the one for you anyway NOW: *you are allowed to walk away from a guy you've been dating and do whatever you want after he's out of your life, including dating his owe him nothing...BUT his friend might not be so willing to potentially ruin his friendship so you better figure out what his intentions are
LH94025 LH94025 8 years
The key word that I caught in your last sentence is "Yet". It's clear that you connect with this friend, and you even admit that your boyfriend is a jerk half the time. Trust your gut - it sounds like there's potential that this could be a good thing, in the end.
lickety-split lickety-split 8 years
well you clearly need to end the relationship with your boyfriend. but as far as getting together with the friend, that's something i think you should proceed with caution with. mainly because if boyfriend has been bounced around between foster homes he's going to have trust issues already. this isn't your fault, but surely you can see how you getting together with his friend would play into that. give the boyfriend some time to move on and out some space between you and him before getting involved with the friend. and i would hope they wouldn't be living together when we start the new relationship, that would be asking for trouble. just do what will make things smoother in the long run.
snowysakurasky snowysakurasky 8 years
dump your current bf, if there is an option of going for his friend later, dont worry too much about his feelings, as he is a jerk to you. it will be a tougher decision for his friend than you i imagine...
0037sammie 0037sammie 8 years
I agree with adorKablefae....
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
You should break up with your boyfriend because you don't think the relationship is working, not because someone else has entered the picture (much like what everyone else has said here). Take a break from the dudes, be on your own, let the dust settle and then explore your options with soldier boy.
adorKablefae adorKablefae 8 years
The thing that doesn't leave any room for question here is that you need to break it off with your current boyfriend. He's a jerk and you don't see things working. Follow your gut on that one. Get out now, sister. I think it would also be a good idea (as others have said) To take some time for you. It's been at least 2 years since you've been entirely single and not attached to this jerk. You need to take some time for you. You can be the judge on that, but I would say at least a few months before you really start thinking about getting back into something. I've seen so many of my girls jump from guy to guy and then the next thing you know it's like you're Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride and you don't know how you like your eggs. So take some time for you. When you feel like you know yourself and have evaluated your needs and what specifically you want out of a relationship, take some time to think about what your life would be like with this man. He is a soldier. Is he going back to Iraq? Is his time with the Army something he plans to make into a career? Would you be living on a base? Would you move a lot? Do you want those things? All of those things are very real when you're looking at a relationship/life with a soldier. If you still feel like you want this man to be The One, then go for it, but take it slow. Good luck!
tltheend tltheend 8 years
ive been rite where you are and i wish i would have gone with my heart strait from the start.. because life is to short and each second matters when you only have the memmories to hold tight,so make each day the happiest it can be and tell the person you love be honest with bothe men shoot keep them both till you deside if thy will go for it.
bluesteyes bluesteyes 8 years
I think you should keep this very quiet until you're more sure. You should not tell your boyfriend at all unless you wish to terminate the relationship with him. YOU SHOULD NOT CHEAT EITHER HONEY. What you need to do is get away from the best friend and spend sometimes soul searching alone. You will know what's the right thing to do in the end.
justjen72 justjen72 8 years
Having been in this situation, nearly verbatim, I would suggest that you break up with your current boyfriend. It sounds like you have a savior complex and just want to "save him" from himself and the life he's likely to have. Don't waste your time. Move on with your life. It's not going to change. As for the best friend. Forget it. If it's meant to me he'll come around again and you can figure what to do from there. If they are truly best friends they can handle the relationship switch, but chances are things would be awkward as your relationship progressed. Plus you barely know the best friend, aside from the fact that he's the complete opposite of the guy you're with now. Serving time in the military (especially in active combat duty) is going to take it's toll and it sounds like you're just looking for someone new to save since your current bf doesn't seem to be getting better. Back away... things will work out as they're meant too, but there's too much going on right now psychologically to be able to make sense of it all.
RockAndRepublic RockAndRepublic 8 years
Experience being single, looks like you need it. Jumping from relationship to relationship isn't a good thing.
Mesayme Mesayme 8 years
I'm gonna try to make it brief... Whether you have feelings for the friend or not you'd still be with a man who doesn't make a great companion. -I think you should leave the relationship now, explaining to the bf what you stated here. -Take a break; letting them both know where they stand with you. -Become a content, at peace person. -And then, let the friend (the soldier) know whether you're still feeling the same...and take it from there. -That way your current boyfriend will be certain the break-up wasn't the friend's fault but merely a mismatch. And hopefully there won't be static between them. *I told my husband I was attracted to his friend...but we were always very open with each other and eventually he understood that it was mostly because he was handsome (we all had a crush on him! even my daughter LOL) And we got divorced, but not because of him(who I never dated) but because like you; we had nothing in common but the kids...and disagreed on how to raise them. Now we are quite civil to each other because we aren't obligated to try to be alike and forced to fake being in love. Things work out for the best when you're upfront and honest... And please don't confuse loving someone for trying to save someone. You can't save someone from drowning if you can't swim yourself. :)
karlotta karlotta 8 years
This is how I met my first love. It's a huge moral quandary, yet it feels so obvious that there's nothing else to do but give in. My story is a bit different because it was love at first sight (I saw him and I just knew. It was like being struck by lightning!) so after saying "hello, my name is Karlotta" and shaking his hand, I turned around, went straight to my boyfriend, and broke up with him. We hung out every day after that for weeks before anything happened, but still his friend was really mad when we finally took the plunge and started being an item. Yet, a few months later, he came over to our apartment and told us how he couldn't be mad at us when it was so obvious we were made for each other. So all was well that ended well (except we didn't stay together forever... ah, the foolishness of youth! But deep down, and please don't tell my boyfriend, I have always thought that this guy was my soulmate.) So my advice is to first break up with your boyfriend. Like, right away. Do not dwell on it, do not make this last. You need to have as little to blame yourself for as possible - so pick up the phone and do it now. Then give it a bit of time before you can be with his friend. You've already been letting this grow for a year, so obviously you can wait a few more weeks. Wait until it feels CLEAN. And talk to your now-boyfriend about it before becoming official, so he doesn't feel like a tool. All in all, be glad you met this wonderful guy. I wish you guys a ton of happiness!
caryatid caryatid 8 years
i agree with babysoffpink - if i was in your situation i would break up with my current boyfriend and take some alone time to figure things out myself and think about how i feel about the other guy now that i'm not in a less than satisfactory relationship. if it's not a 'grass is greener' type thing, then i would go for it after spending some time alone. personally i don't like it or respect it when girls/guys jump immediately from relationship to relationship because it seems to cheapen the relationship they were just in. so take some time to reflect on why things didn't work out, how you have grown as a result, and what you want in a future relationship before you pursue this other guy.
CYL CYL 8 years
Boyfriend = loser jerk. Friend = opposite. Decision made.
gossipqueen7 gossipqueen7 8 years
Honestly it sounds like you have already made your decision. You love your boyfriend, but you are not IN love with your boyfriend. You do not feel like you are meant to be, and you said you are complete opposites. I was in a situation like yours 4 1/2 years ago. Although it wasn't my boyfriend's best friend I was in love with. It was my boss. Do you want to know the question I asked myself that made my decision - Will you regret it if you don't give it a shot and see if it could work? Can you honestly walk away and not give it a chance? I wasn't able to walk away without giving it a shot. I left my boyfriend, and now 4 1/2 years later I am happily married to my former boss and we have a beautiful baby girl.
babysoftpink babysoftpink 8 years
Yes. You always must follow your heart. I don't know about you but when I don't follow my heart, things don't work out great. I sort of have an intuitive way to living my life. My intuition has never failed me. Going back to your subject matter. There are couple of issues at hand: 1) If you are still together with your bf, then you need to resolve that before you could start a new relationship, whether it be his best friend or someone else. 2) Guys bond differently than girls. Guys could give up a relationship with a guy just to maintain friendship with another guy. Of course, that depends on how deep and how serious of a bonding they share. 3) The fact that your bf's best friend confess his feeling to you means that #2 above may not applied in this situation but that does not mean that your bf would not feel betrayed and cheated by you. 4) If both relationships end up not leading to marriage, you may lose both friends. As your bf is bound to have a certain amount of resentment against his friend. 5) When a relationship heads south, for some, the immediate reaction is to lean on another person that s/he can trust, are you sure that it was intuitive that you are feeling and not passion that you are feeling for your bf's friend? You have to be sure of what you have feeling first and that is important and I believe it's key to your situation. If I am in the same situation you are, I would wait. I would first separate from my bf to think and reflect on my feelings for him and the relationship as a whole. Then I would wait till I sort out all the feelings and issues with my bf. If ending the relationship is necessary. I would no doubt take that route. Then after that cord is severed. I could wait a while before dating your ex-bf best friend, if he truly loves you and you two are meant to be forever just as your intuition tells you, then waiting for a while (going through a period of reflection) will not hurt your relationship with his bf. What is wrong with being friends for a while till you are completely free from your existing relationship and have a period of reflection to sort out things. This is both for your own good and for protecting your ex's feelings. Mentally he would have felt respected and a little better knowing that you did not jump right out of his relationship with you into his best friend's arms. The fact that the two of you have been together for this long leads me to think that your bf at least deserves this little bit of respect from you.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
well the first thing to do is realize that if you're not seeing a future with your current boyfriend - then you need to end things. i think that a history of break ups and make ups are kind of foretelling that you're not necessarily the bets match...unless you guys have make efforts to change each time. you can't change how someone is - so if you think that you're just not going to be happy with him for the long haul, that's the first thing you need to take care of and maybe end things. the problem here is that if/when you end things, and you look to move onto the best friend - there's going to be a lot of conflict there. some guys are ok with sharing their they don't care if their friends date an ex..but i don't think you know if that's the case here. i think that maybe if you decide to break things off with your current man, take things slow and feel out the situation with the other guy before jumping into something. the worst thing is to come between best friends since boys have a bond that's really not fair for a girl to break. i would have the conversation with the current and talk about how many you want different things, and sort that relationship out first, and then take things VERY slowly with the best friend if that's where you guys feel you should go. just understand that things might not always be happy and sunshiney with the 2 of you if his relationship with his 'bud' gets shaken up.
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