That cutie down the hall is to die for — you’ve been crushing on him for weeks now! So you tell your roommate about him, and weirdly enough… she’s not as excited as you’d expect. And then she fesses up: She’s been crushing on him for weeks, too! Um… crap. How do you deal? Never fear — we’ll get you through it!
Evaluate your friendship
How close are you to your friend? Have you known each other for ages? How much do you value your friendship? These are all questions to seriously think about.
“It’s quite common to see two single friends end up liking the same guy,” says Julie Spira, online dating expert and digital matchmaker. “This can cause friction among us girls and even end up with friends who stop speaking to each other. What I find disturbing when this happens is that there are so many wonderful guys out there. Why fight over just one guy?”
Is it really worth losing a friendship over? As Spira says, it can end badly — to the point where you don’t even speak to each other anymore. Think about what’s really worth more here. Are you both mature enough to let one of you have him? If not, let him go. If so, then it’s going to take some serious compromise and maturity from the both of you.
Have a heart-to-heart with your friend
The worst thing you could possibly do is try to pretend things are normal! Have a serious talk with your friend.
“When both you and your girlfriend are into the same guy, have a heart-to-heart talk,” Spira says. “Say, ‘Jamie is a really great guy and I know we both have a bit of a crush on him, but we really don’t know him that well. Let’s not lose the friendship over it and see how it plays out.’”
Suzanne Oshima, matchmaker at Dream Bachelor & Bachelorette, agrees with Spira that a sit-down talk is necessary.
“If the crush on him happens for both of you at the same time, then the best way to handle it is to just be mature about it and talk to your friend about it before it turns into a complete disaster,” Oshima says. “The most important thing is to also make a pact that no matter what happens, that you won't let it ruin your friendship.”
Find a quiet place, like a bench outside or a low-key restaurant, for both of you to meet. Be frank about your feelings and allow her to express everything, too. Tell her exactly what you’re feeling for this guy and ask her to do the same. How long has she liked him? How long have you liked him? Have either of you begun dating him? Be sure to leave nothing out, and you can make a decision from there.
Let HIM decide
If by the end of your talk you both decide that one of you should be able to have him, agree to let him choose to prevent you two from competing over him.
“Chemistry can’t be predicted, so let HIM make the choice,” says Marla Martenson, matchmaker, speaker and author of Hearts on the Line. “Remember that it's not a competition, and it might hurt at first if you aren't the one that is chosen, but in the end, you'll end up with the right guy for you!”
Spira agrees that if you and your friend can’t decide, allow the guy to make the choice.
“Never get into a contest to see who will win the guy,” Spira says. “It’s counterproductive and can be downright depressing when you aren’t the one he selects. He’ll decide who he’d like to pursue, and in reality, it might not be either of you, so why lose a friendship over a crush that won’t materialize?”
Sometimes it’s nice to relax and let him do the work! At this point, there’s no longer a need to worry about initiating the conversation or asking him to hang out. Whomever he’s interested in, he’ll make that clear. Focus on sealing your friendship! Make sure she feels loved; also, make sure she knows that one boy will not ruin your friendship.
Don’t let emotions get in the way
If he chooses her, don’t take it out on her — remember, you both agreed that one of you could have him (and if you both agreed that neither of you could have him, that’s just as well). He made a choice, and that’s fine! It simply means you weren’t right for each other.
“Chemistry follows its own path,” Spira says. “If he does choose your friend over you, don’t get too upset. You don’t know how long the relationship will last, and just take the high road in case down the line he decides he’s digging you more.
Remember that there are (literally) millions of guys out there! In the end, Spira says, he might not go for either of you, and that’s perfectly okay. There will be so many other men down the road — trust us.
Solidify your friendship, no matter the verdict
No matter what happens, your friend should still be your top priority. If from the start you agreed to both drop him, great! If you agreed to let him decide, and he chooses her, awesome — don’t let it bother you; be happy for her. If he chooses you, enjoy the new love interest, but remember to keep your friend’s feelings in mind. And if he chooses neither of you, then hey — it was probably for the best anyway.
Whatever the verdict, solidify your friendship by having some girl bonding time. Throw an awesome slumber party, complete with sappy movies, popcorn and facials (who doesn’t love a good cleansing mask?). Or go out to lunch and pay for her dessert. Paint each other’s nails, have a picnic, take a trip to the lake—whatever you two love to do together. It may seem clichéd, but whatever you do, do it out of love for your friend. After all, she was there before this guy, and you want her to be there after him, too.
Keep in mind, collegiettes, that boys are (usually) not forever, but friends can be. Think about how important the friendship is. Have a heart-to-heart (no bottling up feelings!). Decide if you should both let him go, or let him decide. Finally, make sure she’s still a priority in your life. You’ll be so happy you did.