How to deal with flirting from a friend who is involved with someone

Bell asks: I have a friend (I am a girl and he is a boy). He has a girlfriend, and he claims that he would never cheat on her, but when we are together, we hold each other (for hours, sometimes), we hold hands and talk (in a joke-but-still-seriously kind of way) about him being my boyfriend, and he usually says things like “I like you so much because I could never talk about this with my girlfriend” or “Do you want to have children? Me too! But my girlfriend doesn’t.” Do you think this is just friendship, or that he has feelings for me?

Hi Bell –


Well I don’t know enough to be sure, but it sounds to me like this boy is kind of toying with you.  I don’t know what his feelings for you are, but it definitely sounds like he’s enjoying the cheating-without-cheating that he’s doing to his girlfriend.  So my concerns are: a) you might start to feel more for him than you do now, and get hurt because he’s not planning to leave her, and b) she might get very angry and even hurtful to you, because she sees you as the “other woman” in his life.


It doesn’t sound to me like you’re doing anything wrong, but I think it might be a good idea for you to put some boundaries up between you and him.  Certainly there’s no reason to end your friendship, but he’s putting you in too delicate a situation for it to be fair.


But of course the other question, then, is whether you would like your relationship with him to become more than it is.  If so, then I’d push even more for you to clarify your boundaries, because at the moment he’s getting the joy of holding you and acting lovingly with you, without giving you what you might need or want from him.


Most importantly of all, don’t worry so much about what he wants as what you want.  If you want a boyfriend, then what’s going on between you now probably isn’t the best way to get one (either him or another guy).  But if you’re happy with the way things are – and especially if she’s okay with it – then I guess things are all right.


Good Luck!





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