My sister actually told me about your site so I decided to check it out, and based on what I read I think you may be able to give me some assistance. Basically, I found out that a guy I like and I’m talking to has also been talking to one of my friends at the same time. I really feel some type of way about him trying to get with me and someone I know. To add, I know the two of us aren’t committed to each other yet, but I hadn’t really been talking to other people, so I’m shocked he has been. In dude’s defense, I’m like 90% sure he doesn’t know me and my friend actually know each other, but I still feel some type of way. I’ve been acting funny with guy over the past couple days and he noticed. He asked me what’s up, and I told him I’ve been busy with work because I’m not sure what to do. My friend and I talked about the guy, and he told me he’s talking to a few guys and if I liked this one, he’ll back off. Honestly, I just don’t know what to do here. Your advice would be appreciated.
-Not Good in Triangles
Dear Not Good in Triangles,
Thanks for writing to me. Also, I’m always appreciative of new site visitors, so make sure you tell your sister thank you as well. Now in terms of your dilemma here, there are actually a few points I want to touch on briefly, so bear with me.
Let’s start with your feelings about him dating another guy, removing for now the fact that the other guy is your friend. I’m a pretty firm believer that no one should expect exclusivity when dating. Until two people have a conversation, neither individual should assume he is the only person his possible future partner is talking to.
Think of dating like buying a car. Usually when a person is in the market to buy a car, he has a vision of what he wants. He’ll contact several dealers in the area to locate the perfect vehicle for him, and he may even test drive a few. But, both the buyer and the various dealers know there is no commitment to buy any of the automobiles unless a conversation is had and paperwork is signed. While two people usually don’t sign paperwork before entering an exclusive dating agreement, or relationship, they most certainly should have a conversation.
Now adding your friend into the mix, I can see why you would be bothered. I definitely wouldn’t be thrilled to learn that a person I’m dating is dating one of my friends. I know I haven’t been in the past. I share meals, I share cocktails, and on occasion I share clothes, but I almost never share men. Heck, even exes and hookups of my past are off limits to my friends, unless I tell them otherwise. So I understand your frustration.
Sad to say, but I’ve come to the realization that sometimes the available dating pool is just not that big. And the pool gets even smaller when you consider race, age, sexual position, and location. I say that to bring up a point you probably don’t want to hear. The more restrictive your dating preferences, and the more closely your preferences match your friends, the more likely it is that you at some point will have dating overlap with those you consider your pals. Even with my strict policy on sharing, I have overlap with friends. (FYI, The one instance of overlap occurred because I gave permission to a friend to talk to someone I used to date, and the other instance occurred because like you, a guy was talking to me and my friend at the same time. However unlike you, this man knew we were friends. That’s a story for another day.)
Suggestions going forward.
- Talk to this man, and tell him why you’ve been distant. Regardless of what you decide to do, you owe him an explanation for you acting a bit cold as of late. Besides, if you do decide you want to push past this current state of awkwardness with him, you’ll want to know if he has feelings for your friend. (Should you find out he does have feelings for your friend, then you’ll want to back off, because things could get even more complicated in terms of your friendship.)
- If you really like this guy, and your friend has given you the greenlight wholeheartedly, and the guy doesn’t have real feelings for your friend, then continue to see him. Chalk this incident up to his baggage. Now, if you’re like me, you may be thinking you don’t want to date someone your friend has hooked up with. I’m assuming your friend told you he was seeing this guy, so just ask him how far he and this guy have gone. It’s possible they did nothing below the waist, and if you can live with that, then don’t ditch the man.
- Should this man’s involvement with your friend just be too weird, then by all means end things. Go catch one of those other fish in the sea.
- Remember, an incident like this was bound to happen sooner or later. Should it happen again in the future, don’t be so quick to write off the guy you’re seeing without getting all of the facts.
As always nothing but love,