You’ve finally met the girl of your dreams: she’s pretty, loves video games, sports, can carry an intellectual conversation, and she charms the socks off of everyone she meets. Could such a creature really exist? Yes, she can. The problem? Your best friend feels the same way about her.
This uncomfortable situation is one of those special cases that can happen at any age, during any part of your life. While this is more likely to happen during your high-school or college years, it can just as easily happen in your 30s, 40s, or 50s with a work colleague or mutual friend, with the same reaction at every stage: nail-biting, uncomfortable rivalry with your best bro.
What should you do if your best friend likes a girl you also like?
If you feel like you should do the chivalrous thing and step aside to let your friend win the girl, you might be surprised to know that it may not be what the girl or your friend wants. So what should you do? Save the friendship or chase the girl? Here are several things to consider when you’ve found a rival in your friend.
#1 Backing down and the risks to consider. Should you consider backing out of the race for the woman in question, in order to save your friendship? As with any well-structured battle plan, there are always risks to consider when going up against a friend.
Going up against your friend in poker leads to bragging rights, but going up against your friend for a girl? That leads to heartbreak, and possibly the loss of a friend. While it may sound juvenile for your friend to ditch out on your bromance just because of a girl, consider this: your battle is as much about pride as it is about winning the girl.
Men don’t like to lose at things. What’s more, rejection sucks, whether you’ve known the girl for a day or a year. Odds are the losing party is going to have a bruised ego after all is said and done, and may not be able to recover from it, making the sight of you and your new girlfriend the last thing he’ll want to see.
#2 Should you talk it out? Odds are, if you and your buddy like the same girl, all parties involved will be well aware… But should you bring it up? If you’re the type of male friend who can actually talk about emotional things with one another, go for it. Pull out that charming bravado that makes you so damn likable, and talk calmly with your friend about the situation – never be accusing or angry. If you both feel so inclined, set some ground rules for chasing the girl, so that it doesn’t completely shipwreck your friendship.
On the flip side, if you’re not the kind of bros who are willing to talk about this cringe-worthy subject, consider simple cues on the matter. For example – does the girl seem to favor one of you blatantly over the other after having made your intentions known? If so, you can spare the awkward chit chat and simply stop pursing her – no harm, no foul!
#3 Go for it. If you truly believe this girl could be someone special in your life – not just a gorgeous lay, then follow your heart and go for the girl. Just remember not to do so at the expense of your friend. No shots below the belt, no throwing him under the bus, and no spreading nasty rumors about his STD history, just to put her off.
Women respect loyalty. So instead of being a jerk about your bro, tell the girl you know he likes her too, and you feel terrible about hurting him, particularly if she is obviously leaning towards a passionate relationship with you over him. Talking your friend down is likely going to make you look like a douchebag in this situation, and she might end up liking your friend even more.
#4 Let her decide. Remember fellas, this isn’t 1851, and women aren’t traded for cows. Just like men, women have this great and obvious way of showing their interest in the opposite gender. In the end, getting the girl has little to do with you and your friend, and everything to do with what she wants. That’s great news if you can’t seem to come to a consensus with your buddy. Instead of arguing with him, simply take a step back and listen to what the girl wants.
#5 Don’t let anyone bully you into giving up. Alright, so it may make you look like the nicest guy in the world to “step aside,” so your friend can pursue the girl, but if you really see a future with this girl, then don’t give up! Your feelings matter too, and you shouldn’t be bullied into giving up on what might be the next great love of your life, just because your buddy likes her too!
#6 If you win the girl… If, in the end, the girl in question chooses you over your friend, make sure you don’t rub it in your friend’s face. This guy is someone who’s been your ally way before you even met the girl in question, and it would be a shame to waste a perfectly good friendship, simply because you got the girl and he didn’t.
Also, respect the fact that he may not be comfortable hanging around you and your new girl, but don’t sever your bonds, either. There’s more to your friendship than your common attraction to a particular woman, right? It’s perfectly fine to still hang out and bond over your common interests!
#7 If she chooses him over you… Don’t be bitter, and accept the fact that the girl in question is more into him than she is into you. There’s no point in getting mad at either the girl or your friend, because, like you, they’re free to make decisions based on what they think is best for them. It’s okay to be sad about not being the one she chooses, because there are other women out there that you may fall for that won’t put your friendship in jeopardy.