Straight Talk Advice

My BFF started dating my secret crush, how do I deal?

Feb 03, 2015

Rebound relationships provide distraction, but often hurt others

Dear Straight Talk: I liked this guy for about two months. The very day I had the courage to tell him, my best friend announced they'd been secretly dating and were making their relationship public. I'm happy for them, yet sad I hadn't shared my feelings. This was a month ago and now I'm attracted to the guy's friend. But I’m not actually sure if I like him — or if he likes me! Is this a rebound thing? And how do I deal with seeing them EVERY SINGLE DAY? —Rave, 16, Lansing, Mich.

Lyric 16, Santa Rosa, Calif. Ask me a question

My ex started dating one of my best friends. It was really uncomfortable and I started liking his best friend! I wasn't sure if I actually liked him or was trying to distract myself either. Thank goodness, nothing happened between us. It would’ve just hurt us both. Take your time. There are plenty of guys out there. Plus, nothing’s wrong with being single.

Icis 16, Detroit, Mich. Ask me a question

You are an excellent friend. Most teenagers would've held a grudge against their friend for a crime they never knew they committed. You awarded your best friend her title for a reason and being able to talk about anything is part of that. I suggest confessing your truth. Not like, “You stabbed me!” but more like, “Wow, this is what happened.” Easing those wicked emotions off your chest will help you breath and give you clarity regarding the rebound.

Justin 17, Brentwood, Calif. Ask me a question

My honest recommendation: Avoid high school relationships altogether. The short relationship I was in netted only negativity, hate and awkward situations. Stay young, enjoy your friends, study hard for college. Avoid boys for now and I promise you peace. We grow up too quickly and miss out on a lot of fun.

Elle 19, Mifflintown, Penn. Ask me a question

This probably is the ego's way of soothing your bruises. Be happy for your friend, move on from the first guy, play it safe with the second, and you'll come out okay. In high school, things get turned into soap operas! Remember, only a miniscule percentage of high school relationships actually last. The “One” is probably down the road. No matter what, stay classy.

Gark 24, San Francisco, Calif. Ask me a question

Wait for things to develop. You’ll prevent serious drama and have time to sort out your feelings. Silver lining: Transitioning to a secondary crush means the clouds are lifting!

Shel 17, Pleasanton, Calif. Ask me a question

Test things by asking the new guy to hang out. Or try this: Text several boys and girls (independently), on a Saturday morning about plans for the next day, or with a question likely to get a lot of responses. Immediately turn off your phone for 2-3 hours. When you turn it back on and watch the messages roll in, you'll be especially excited by someone's response or extremely disappointed by someone's absence. I accidentally did this from camp and it helped put things in perspective.

Colin 21, Sacramento, Calif. Ask me a question

Don't trip out about whether you like him or love him. That can be so abstract! Think instead if you could make each other happy. If the answer is yes, go for it. Don't just announce your feelings, though. Be subtle and see if he feels similarly. Start by hanging out with him and give signals through slight touch. Show him you care, but don't be more obvious than the situation calls for.

Stephanie 23, Calistoga, Calif. Ask me a question

That you're even asking shows your intelligence. Rebounding is a common Band-Aid, but we hurt others when our feelings aren't 100 percent. Slow down and check in with yourself. What do you actually like about this boy? Take a little space from boy #1 and your bestie to clear your feelings. Is there someone else you trust talking to? Or try journaling — it saved me big time at your age. I promise there will be many more crushes ahead! You got this, girl!

Dear Rave: While most panelists think this is a rebound (I agree), there are good tips here for testing the waters before jumping to distractions. A new activity and a new haircut are much better ways to go.

Editor's Note: To anyone dreading the Valentine's Day blues, take heart (no pun intended) knowing you are among millions. This has to be the most equally loved and hated holiday we have and many singles and unhappy partners schedule something way in advance to distract themselves on that day. If that's you, give yourself lots of love that day... and every day. Instead of brooding, do things and join activities that are healthy for your future self and boost your self esteem.

Another tried-and-true blues buster is to focus on someone else. Notice a friend, parent, relative, or total stranger who needs a pick-me-up and do something nice for them. Giving is the fastest way to feel good about yourself. Let's make this the holiday about giving love, rather than being hung up on receiving it. —LOVE, Lauren

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  1. By N.F., age 16, from Westminster, CA on 02/03/2015

    I am on the opposite end of this situation and it has really created a mess.  To make matters worse, it is my stepsister on the other side and we have to share both a room and a bed every other weekend.  We go to the same school, and she told me that she had a crush on this guy.  I was also attracted to him, but didn’t say anything.  Well, he ended asking me out, not her.  Now she’s furious with me and says I had no right to go out with him when I knew that she “had him first.”  I don’t think I did anything wrong, but she doesn’t see it that way which makes it very difficult when we’re sharing a room and sleeping in the same bed.  I had also started waxing around the same time for reasons that had nothing to do with this which she couldn’t help but notice when we were sharing a room and undressing in front of her and had never been shy about nudity since we’re both girls and sort of like sisters. She actually accused me of doing this to “impress him” and says I’m a slut.  The fact is that I’ve just gone on a few dates with him.  We do not have sex and he does not see me nude, but she accuses me of this anyway.

    I really don’t think she owned him just because she said that she had a crush on him, but this has really created a difficult situation.

    N.F.

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  2. By Brea, age 16, from Carmichael, CA on 02/03/2015

    I’m in the same situation, but it’s even worse since the guy I had (and still have) a crush on started dating my own sister!  This really cute guy moved in across the street last summer.  He was really nice to me, and I (stupidly) thought it might mean that he would be the first guy to ever ask me out on a date and I developed a huge crush on him.  However, he instead started asking my sister out.  I can’t really blame my sister like N.F.‘s stepsister blames her because I didn’t even tell her that I had a crush on him, and I can’t really blame him because I have to admit that my sister is much more attractive than I am.  She’s never had a problem getting dates, but didn’t happen to have a steady boyfriend right then.  But she does now, and it’s him!  They study together every day in our room that we have to share and they’re often affectionate with each other right in front of me and it tears me apart.  I have to pretend that it doesn’t bother me, and it’s VERY, VERY hard.

    Even though my sister’s done nothing wrong, I still can’t help myself from resenting her very much over this.  Since we share a room and the bathroom, I can’t help seeing her nude body every day whether I like it or not, and seeing how much more attractive her body is than mine.  Again, I can’t help resenting her because of this even though she again hasn’t done anything wrong. 

    If I could just get a boyfriend, I think I could get over these feelings, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

    Brea

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    1. By LAUREN, from StraightTalkAdvice.org on 02/08/2015

      To Brea and N.F.—A crush on someone is not a claim on that person. A crush is one-sided and generally involves fantasy and even obsession toward the object of the crush without little regard for how the object of the crush feels in return. Crushes can be fun if they’re not taken seriously. But when they’re given weight, they lead to a lot of unnecessary pain and actually block love. In your case Brea, I think it’s lucky you didn’t mention your crush. If sisters or close friends are going to talk about crushes with each other, beware! What can help if you do talk about them (it’s hard not to) is to get real with each other about the fact that it IS a crush, not a claim, and that you would never prevent love from forming however it’s going to form. Love is a mysterious two-way street and pretty rare for most people. But many girls will opt out of love if their girlfriend says it’s “her” crush. Now think how stupid that is for a minute. One girl is basically “hoarding” this guy over a one-way fantasy. Then if her best friend and he really do being experiencing that rare 2-way-street of love, the best friend turns down this rare opportunity due to the first girl’s selfish “claim”. How sad is that! Seeing real love be thwarted over the senseless claim of a crush is much sadder than a crush not working out — because most crushes don’t! They aren’t based on a two-way-street. If they were, they would be real relationships not crushes! But it’s ALL sad because if the girl does go for the love (like you did, N.F.), she pays the price of losing her friendship, which is another rare thing.

      So, to you Brea, I hear your sadness, and if you can be happy and generous for WHEREVER love springs up (including right next to you), your generosity of spirit will help draw YOUR love to you. For you, N.F., congrats on going for it. Keep being nice to your stepsister, explain gently what I wrote here, and assure her that her love is coming. Maybe give her the “Signature of All Things”, the newest book by the famous Elizabeth Gilbert, who wrote “Eat, Pray, Love”. It’s Gilbert’s first bestselling novel and am amazing story. In it is the horrible ramifications of a woman who refuses love for herself in order to protect her friend’s crush. It’s affects a whole circle of people and basically screws everything up. My best to both of you! —Love, Lauren

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      1. By Tammy, age 16, from Carmichael, CA on 02/08/2015

        I agree with you, Lauren.  But many girls do feel the way that N.F.‘s stepsister does that if they tell their sister or their friends that they have a crush on a guy then it’s like they have “dibs” on him and it’s hands off for everybody else which I don’t think is right.  I went through this with my own sister and even though I was also attracted to the guy I have to live in the same room with her and even sleep in the same bed with her, so what was I going to do when I knew how she’d feel since she felt she had “laid claim” on him.

        Tammy

        Reply to this comment

  3. By Charlene, age 17, from Santa Ana, California on 02/04/2015

    I think you just need to realize that he’s not the only guy in the world and move on.  I’ve been through this too and it’s easier said than done, but that’s what you have to do.  My sister who I’m close to and share a room with could see how depressed I was over losing I guy I had a big crush on to someone else.  One weekend, I was so depressed I was just laying around our room in nothing but a thong without even bothering to get dressed.  She said ” look, you know that you aren’t going to pine over him for the rest of your life, so you’re going to get over it and move on some day, so why not do it now rather than later and your not going to meet anybody else just laying around like this.”  It was good advice and I forced myself to get out and start socializing more, and I met a really nice guy and now I’m very happy.  And the girl who got the other guy soon ended up breaking up with him and from what I’ve heard he wasn’t the prize that I thought he was.

    Charlene

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    1. By Monica, age 16, from Lodi, CA on 02/04/2015

      I wish my sister would follow this advise.  It’s been 3 months since her boyfriend left her for her now former BFF and she still can’t get over it.  I tried to tell her that she needs to get over it and move on, but I stopped because it just made her mad.  Except for reluctantly going to school, she hardly leaves our room.  She also thinks it must because she was somewhat overweight and I’m afraid she’s becoming anorexic based on what I’ve been reading in Straight Talk and other places on-line lately.  She hardly eats and I can see her body getting thinner every day when she’s naked or in her thong underwear.  I’ve tried to tell our mom about my concerns but she just shrugs it off and says she’ll “get over it in her own due time” and to leave her alone and let her deal with it.  She says that just about everybody goes through rejection and she did so herself as both a teenager and an adult, but she got over it and survived and so does everybody and so will my sister.  I’ve been rejected too, but I didn’t take nearly as hard or for nearly as long.

      Monica

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      1. By E.K., age 42, from Santa Rosa, CA on 02/08/2015

        My daughter is very similar to what you describe, and I’m debating whether I should just leave her alone and give her time to get over the rejection or try to take some kind of action, and I’m not sure how long is too long.  She is still depressed over the fact that her boyfriend left her for someone else after more than 3 months and rarely goes anywhere or makes any attempt to meet someone else.  She does appear to be getting thinner, but does not appear to be anorexic.  She’s shy about her body with me and does not permit me to see her undressed.  However, she’s still totally comfortable in this way with her older sister with whom she is close and shares a room and even shares the bathroom with her when using the shower and even the toilet.  After reading the recent column on this in Straight Talk, I was concerned so I asked my older daughter about the state of her body since she sees her nude everyday.  She told me that I have nothing to worry about and that she definitely is not anorexic.  She agrees that her sister is taking too long to get over the rejection, but thinks it is something that she needs to learn to deal with on her own as life is full of disappointments and one needs to be able to learn to deal with them. 

        I can see both sides of this, so I am not sure if I should try to do something or just leave her alone.

        E.K.

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        1. By LAUREN, from StraightTalkAdvice.org on 02/08/2015

          E.K.—I would probably want to see this daughter myself, in a camisole and shorts, after all I’ve heard of siblings covering for each other. Not that I don’t trust your other daughter, but just so I could SEE FOR MYSELF and sleep better as a mother. It’s definitely good for teens to be able to work things like this out on their own and not have mommie and daddy fixing everything. All leaders know the character benefits of this rather than having constant top-down intervention. But all leaders are also paying attention and know there is a line at which they DO intervene. Since your role IS leader of your family, you need to know FOR YOURSELF the state she is in. I would explain it to her in so many words. An example: “Honey, I totally get it. It’s horrible to be rejected…  AND (not but), I’m the Mama Bear in this family. I want you to be able to work this out on your own, but I’m worried about you. So I can sleep better at night, I need to see you in a cami and shorts.” If she hesitates, say, “RIGHT NOW” (obviously you time this so this isn’t a problem).  If she’s not too thin and isn’t cutting (check inner arms and inner legs for marks), tell her you believe in her, that it’s your job is to pay attention, and that you’re her biggest ally. If she IS self-destructing, get her help right away. My best to you both. Let me know how it goes. —Love, Lauren

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          1. By Norma, age 42, from Petaluma, CA on 02/08/2015

            Lauren is right.  You need to see your daughter for yourself if she’s still depressed over rejection after this long and is also losing weight.  Her sister is in a tough position and may be saying what her sister wants her to say especially when she allows her to see her nude but will not allow you to see her.  My daughter was also depressed after a rejection and I thought she just needed time to get over it.  However, her best friend’s mother tipped me off that her daughter had seen cut marks on her when she was undressed during a sleepover. As usual, her friend to did not want her to know that she was the one who had told on her.  I asked her sister who she shares a room and the bathroom with and sees her nude and she reluctantly told me that yes, she does have cut marks but did not want me to be told.  I therefore told my daughter that she needed to undress for me.  When she complained that it violated her privacy, I told her then to put on her revealing 2 piece bathing suit which she wore in front of boys last summer, so she couldn’t very well complain about privacy.  I was shocked when I saw the cut marks and made her get help.  She is now in counseling and things are very much improved. 

            Your older daughter may even be telling you the truth since you only asked her about anorexia, but there could be some other problem such as cutting or drug use.  The signs are there that there is something wrong and you need to check out the situation further.

            Norma

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      2. By LAUREN, from StraightTalkAdvice.org on 02/08/2015

        Monica—If your sister becomes dangerously thin, you need to keep hammering this home to your mom, and don’t stop. If she won’t ever listen, tell a school counselor or teacher. I agree that teens should be given space to work things out, but there is a line at which you intervene and you seem to be the one on the front lines of that so don’t allow yourself not to be heard if she’s crossed that line. My best to you and her! —Love, Lauren

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  4. By L.J., age 16, from Garden Grove, California on 02/05/2015

    In our case, it’s our mom who can’t get over the rejection by our dad who left her for another woman, and it’s been over 2 years now!  She’s still depressed and angry over it.  She never goes anywhere or socializes and has developed a very self-destructive personality.  It’s obvious to my sister and me that she’s doing herself no good, but she seems that she has “the right” to feel this way due to the rejection.  It’s clear that the situation isn’t going to change, so we really wish she could move on.

    She also expects us to hate our dad and especially hate our new stepmom who she calls “That Homewrecker!”  But we don’t feel that way.  We still love our dad, and our stepmom is very good to us when we go there for visitations.  We’re actually more comfortable talking to her about “female issues” than with our own mom because our mom has always been very uncomfortable and embarrassed about talking about these things, but our stepmom is totally comfortable with it.  We don’t feel the need for a lock on the door to the guest room where we stay like was discussed in last weeks column because she always knocks before coming in and we’re totallly comfortable with her coming in when were undressed or even nude since we’re all females and she makes us feel comfortable in this way.  It may sound strange, but we’re much more comfortable with her than with our own mom in this way because our mom acts very uncomfortable and embarrassed if she sees us undressed and avoids it as much as possible and even though it’s all females in our house she requires us to wear a bathrobe to the shower and forbids us to walk around in our underwear.

    We really don’t think we are required to hate our dad and stepmom due to the rejection and while our mom places all the blame on them, from what we saw there are 2 sides to the story and the breakup of their marriage was a 2 way street.

    L.J.

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    1. By Andrea, age 16, from Toledo, OH on 02/07/2015

      Our mom’s the same way.  She can’t get over our dad leaving her for someone else and expects us to hate our dad’s new girlfriend.  She constantly bad mouths them and gets furious with us if we do not agree with her.  They aren’t married yet but are living together and when we come back from visitations she grills us about everything that is going on with them and expects us to say bad things about them. 

      Don’t tell our mom, but we like our dad’s girlfriend who is very good to us. She’s not technically our stepmom yet, but we feel like she is.  Like L.J., we can have girl talk with her about female sexuality which we cannot talk to our mom about.  We’re totally comfortable with her coming in the room where we stay when we’re undressed but appreciate the fact that she knocks first unlike our mom who just barges in on us without warning in our room at home. 

      If our mom could just move on and meet someone else, I think she could let go of her hatred for our dad and his girlfriend, but she seems to be determined to hold on to this.

      Andrea

      Reply to this comment

  5. By M.M., age 19, from Irvine, CA on 02/06/2015

    I went through something similar, but it was complicated by the fact that I am gay.  There are only a small number of openly gay women at my college, so when my girlfriend dropped me for another girl, I took up with the first girl who approached me after learning of the breakup.  I immediately felt that I had fallen in love with her and gladly made love with her.  I really felt that we were going to have a long term, maybe permanent relationship.  However, she got tired of me after a short time and dumped me and moved on to someone else.  I later learned that I was not the first one she had done this to and that she likes to prey on girls who are gay and in a vulnerable position.  It really hurt to realize that she was just using me for sex.  I also realized that what I thought was “falling in love” practically overnight was really filling the emotional need caused by my girlfriend leaving me for someone else, so I now realize that one needs to take things very slowly when on the rebound. 

    M.M.

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  6. By R.S., age 17, from Santa Monica, California on 02/07/2015

    My girlfriend left me for another girl which makes it even more devastating and humiliating.  She gave me the line that she “liked me as a friend” and was just going out with me to have me as her “beard” to hide the fact that she was gay, but decided that she could no longer deny her true sexuality and decided to come out with the girlfriend who had been her real love interest all along and who everybody thought was just her best friend.  Everybody else thinks this is hilarious now that she has come out as openly gay and the cruel teasing I’m getting about it is unmerciful!  The other day I even overheard my own sisters talking and laughing about it in their room with a friend.  Because of this, no other girls will let me get near them and just smirk and/or laugh at me if try to approach them. 

    I can’t wait until I go away to college next year where I can be away from everyone who knows about this.

    R.S.

    R.S.

    Reply to this comment

  7. By <a href="http://www.iwillriseup.com">Amann&l, from StraightTalkAdvice.org on 10/22/2016

    Don’t worry.Time heals anything.Just find other things to do to keep you ocupied.And probably you should read something like this :http://www.iwillriseup.com/how-to-improve-your-relationships/ for the next relationships :).Hope it helps.

    Reply to this comment

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