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Love Letters

Three of us are crushing on the same girl. It’s getting weird.

Can these college pals navigate this situation and remain friends?

Need relationship advice? Submit your questions for Meredith Goldstein here.

Q. I recently started college and quickly became friends with another guy and two girls. We lived in neighboring buildings (guys in one and girls in the other).

For the first few months of the semester, we would all hang out in the other guy’s room, but recently I’ve been increasingly boxed out of the group. One of the girls, the other guy, and I all fell for the second girl. When that crush and I would hang out, just the two of us, she and I had a real connection — and the other two started ignoring me once the object of our affection started showing interest.

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Over Thanksgiving, she texted me saying she was thinking about me. I’ve invited her to things since, and we seemed to be connecting more. However, her friends have come with her and they don’t really let us talk for long before taking her attention. The three of them are pretty inseparable, but I know she sees them both as just friends. I’m thinking of taking my shot, but can’t tell if it’s worth it given her friends’ feelings toward her and their actions toward me.

— Fourth Wheel

A. You might as well tell her how you feel and what you hope will happen. Ask her whether she reciprocates your feelings and if she’d be willing to go on dates alone. If so, great. If not, you can define her a bit differently in your brain, take some time away, and seek different company. Really, it sounds like your crush is big enough that if she isn’t up for trying a real romantic relationship, you’ll want to take space.

As for the friends (and yes, I know this is Love Letters), you might want to broaden your horizons there, too. Many people here will tell you that the first friends you make at school aren’t always the ones you’ll keep by your side for all of college. This is a time to meet many people (if you can; I know COVID makes this complicated). Make sure you’re not limiting yourself to the politics of this love square. Your school is a much bigger circle.

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I bet many of us older people look back on college, our early 20s, etc., and wish we had been clearer about our intentions and moved on when we weren’t getting what we wanted from someone. I know this is a big risk, but you already have a close relationship with this person. Tell her what’s up and ask where you stand. Listen and learn.

— Meredith

READERS RESPOND

Ask her on a date and make it clear that you want it to be a date. You’ll get your answer then. FREEADVICEFORYOU

College is no good unless there are a lot of twists and turns and drama. So get the ball rolling and see what happens. HEYITHINK

When I was in college I fell for a woman who stated that, although one of my good friends was interested in her, she only considered him as a friend. I could have stayed away from her so that my friend’s feelings weren’t hurt, but the happiness that I (we?) got from [pursuing a] relationship would never have occurred if I overthought things. VINYLDUDE

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