What to do when you and your best friend are attracted to the same person

Football asks: I really like this person and my best mate likes them too. What should I do – ask them out or leave it?

Hi Football –

Oh man does this question go back centuries!  What a horrible situation to be in!  But of course, it makes sense – why wouldn’t you and your best mate be drawn to the same sorts?

I can’t give you a definite answer on what to do, but a few ideas strike me.  If one of these sounds good to you, you might want to try it:


1)    Go out to dinner with that best mate of yours, and talk about it.   Is one of you more interested in that person than the other is?  Is one of you also interested in someone else?  There might be a really simple solution here, and all it would take is for the two of you to be open with each other to find out about it.

2)    Be a great friend, and let the two of them go out.  If it works out in the long term, then that’s probably best for everyone.  But if they break up eventually, that might make it clear that you were the right one, and you can both get “this person” and keep your friendship too!  (Of course, that only works if they break up but can still stay friendly.  If they despise each other and need to be kept apart, you might end up in the unenviable position of having to choose between them).

3)    Go for it!  May the best suitor win!  If the friendship is good enough, it can handle some competition.  Handsome once won a “battle” like that when, after a long night between his great friend and a beautiful woman they were both interested in, she mentioned what her favorite song was, and he picked up a guitar and played it for her.  His friend nobly, and smilingly, got up and said goodnight to both of them, and left!  Today he and that friend are still great pals (though neither of them knows what happened to the lovely lady over the years!).

4)    Give up, and have your friend give up too.  Save your friendship, and don’t risk it over some romantic interest that might not last.

5)    And, toughest of all (maybe impossible), let “this person” decide.  Put it up to them.  “Hey, both of us would like to go out with you.  Would you like to go out with either of us?”  Maybe “this person” will choose to go out with both of you for a while (that could be really weird!).  Or maybe “this person” has a definite preference.


Those are all the suggestions I can come up with.  But one thing, if you do number 5, don’t either of you cheat!  I’m reminded of a very funny old movie called “The Awful Truth,” where a couple is divorcing and has agreed on all the splitting of property, except for their dog – both insist they should keep him for themselves.  The judge decides to let the dog decide, by having the two people stand on opposite sides of the courtroom, with the dog in the middle, and each call to the dog, and see who he chooses to run to.  The pooch is very confused, till the wife sneaks a piece of meat out of her purse, and of course he gallops straight to her.  Don’t either of you put a piece of meat in your purse!  It’ll ruin your friendship and set the romance up on a bad foundation!!!


But beyond that, any of those ideas could work.  Let me know what you do, I’d love to hear!!




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Leave a Reply 2 comments

wolfie :D - November 1, 2011 Reply

i agree i think that if you truly think that you are the better one for this person than talk to your friend about it and see if you two can work it out. if not than just leave it alone maybe she’s not the one.

vinlaggam - February 9, 2016 Reply

Remember above all else your best mate is important. You don’t want to be like the fabled crow who had a beautiful pebble and saw its reflection in a pond… so jealous he dropped the pebble trying to take that one too. I did that with an awesome tennis ball once and will never forgive myself.
You are best mates for a reason, because you have similar tastes. Similar attractions, she will struggle too because you share similar traits. Just don’t lose sight of what you have

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