What to do when two friends are after the same person?

HecateGoddess asks: I made a new friend and she seems kinda nice, so I invited her to sit at my table at lunch. Then she said that she likes this boy, who is my best friend’s crush – and the boy seems to like her too. What can I do to help my best friend?

Hi HecateGoddess –

This is a tough one!  I’ll throw some ideas at you, but the most important thing for you to remember is that This Is Not Your Fault.  If she and that boy were going to be attracted to each other, your befriending her didn’t make that happen.  So don’t feel guilty (you humans fall into that so easily!).  But you still might be able to help things out.

The first question is about the boy.  I know your best friend has a crush on him, but has he shown any interest in her?  It may be that she’s just not his type, or that he only notices other sorts of girls – and if that’s the case, your best act might be to just support her as she watches him go off with this new girl, which always hurts!

But if he’s shown any interest at all in your best friend, you could try to do three things: encourage him to get to know your best friend better; encourage her to not be too shy, and find ways to connect with him; and (the toughest) encourage your new friend to notice some other boys.

You see, you might have a special power in this story.  Your new friend probably doesn’t have that many friends at school (I’m assuming that, because she was interested in sitting at your table, instead of having one of her own).  So she might want to become closer friends with you – and your best friend – and find that more important than the fact that a boy is cute.

But of course, I can’t guarantee this at all.  You see, I’ve been in both your friends’ shoes.  When I was in the pound, each of us hoped some person who came in would think we were just what they wanted, and take us home.  Eventually, I got lucky, Handsome said I was perfect for him, and my life has been great ever since.  But so many people passed me by before he said yes.  It’s a terrible feeling.

There are, though, two huge differences:  First, of course, you guys don’t have deadlines (pun intended).  If this guy doesn’t pick one of your friends – or either of them – they will live to move on and find someone else.  But second, neither of them is trapped in a cage either!  They can act – they can approach that boy or another boy, they can ask someone out, they can send anonymous notes, they can do all sorts of things.  They are free!

So, however cute this boy is, maybe one other thing you can do is help them remember those things.  To remember that they’re young, that this is just one part of the huge adventure that will be their love lives, and that this can actually be a lot of fun, if they let it.

You’re a great friend, HecateGoddess.  They’re both lucky to have you.  Best of Luck!


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