DEAR FIONA: My best friend's in love, but I've fallen for the same man

Our agony aunt tries to solve your problems

Tuesday, 27th June 2017, 11:16 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th September 2017, 11:38 am

QUESTION: My best friend has really fallen hard for a guy who works in the same building as us.

She was too shy to chat to him so asked me to get to know him and then introduce them.

I got him to come out for a drink but before I realised, he started coming on to me. Now he wants to see me again and, to be honest, I want him to see him too.

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How do I tell my best friend that the guy she is madly in love with has fallen for me and, what’s more, I think I’ve fallen for him too?

FIONA SAYS: If you have genuinely fallen for this man and he for you, then I’m afraid there is no painless way to get out of a very sticky situation.

Whatever you do, someone is bound to get hurt. If you develop a relationship with him, your friend will be hurt; if you walk away now then, in all probability, he will be hurt and whatever you do, you will be hurt.

There is a chance your friend will feel you’ve let her down and, unintentionally, perhaps you have, but she may find that hard to forgive.

The truth, however painful, is probably the best approach. Gently explain to your friend what has happened and stress that you weren’t expecting it to happen.

Make sure she understands that her friendship is important to you. She will almost certainly be upset, but only time will tell whether your friendship is strong enough to survive this.

QUESTION: Two years ago, I separated from my boyfriend when his drinking and beatings became too much for me to handle. Now he’s got in touch apologising for how he used to be, and promising me he’s changed.

He says he wants me back, but he’s said that before. I’ve just started a new relationship and am not sure I want to give up on it, but I still have feelings for my ex and wonder if I should give him another chance.

I’m so confused; is it possible he’s changed?

FIONA SAYS: While someone with an aggressive drinking problem can change, it’s not usually without help. Do you know if he’s had any form of therapy or counselling?

I can’t know whether he has changed, any more than you can, but if he has made and broken promises to you in the past, I do know he’s capable of doing so again.

You need to think this through carefully. What do you really gain by returning to your ex?

Think about that and also think about what you stand to lose, because only when you’ve thought through all that can you make the right decision for you.