Q. I love my boyfriend and admire him. He’s my best friend and knows almost everything about me. He is attentive, helpful, and all I could ever want. We do have our issues, though. I’m 19, he’s 22, and sometimes he talks to me as if I were a child. He’s always able to make me laugh, but he’s not very emotional, and sometimes I feel as if I can’t talk to him. I definitely find him attractive, but he’s not what I would call my type.
His best friend, however, is pretty much the opposite of him. He’s spontaneous, emotional, and we really connect. He’s more my type: tall, athletic, and a redhead. My boyfriend works nights, so the friend and I have spent a ton of time alone together. Nothing has happened, but we often get food together and fall asleep on the couch while watching movies.
His actions have led me to believe that he might have feelings for me, too. It kills me not being able to tell him how I feel. My boyfriend and I are very committed and I can’t hurt him, but I don’t know what to do. We all basically live together, so I can’t escape this. Should I tell them or just struggle with it on my own? What if he’s better for me than my guy? I don’t want to look back and regret that I didn’t say something.
– Having Feelings
A. You claim that this sexy couch interaction is unavoidable, but . . . do you really have to fall asleep in the same place? It’s very possible to have a nice meal and then bail to see another friend or pass out elsewhere. You can set some specific boundaries — if you want them.
I understand the temptation to maintain the status quo — you’ve lined up a situation where you basically have two boyfriends. But it is time to confess to your real partner (and yourself) that you’re not sure whether this romantic relationship is sustainable. Maybe your boyfriend will want to work to make it better. Maybe he’ll admit he feels the same way. Regardless, focus the discussion on the two of you and what’s missing. No need to bring up his friend.
Please know, by the way, that breaking up with Boyfriend 1 does not mean you’ll be able to swap him out for Boyfriend 2. It is very possible you’ll lose them both. But at least you’ll be able to seek out what you want. At least everyone will be able to make decisions based on the truth.
“He’s my best friend and knows almost everything about me.” Almost . . .
No one has a “type.”
It’s probably not going to work with the best friend. You’ll still be over there, but sleeping with #2 guy? How awkward is that going to be? What happens when #1 guy gets a new girlfriend and suddenly he’s more desirable to you? Also, #2 guy might not want a relationship, just sex. They are best friends. Let it be.
Your best shot at a future with the best friend is to end things with your boyfriend and then wait a respectable amount of time before approaching the best friend.
boston.com/loveletters. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.