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Walked into an awkward love triangle

Tagged as: Big Questions, Three is a crowd<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (12 November 2017) 6 Answers - (Newest, 14 November 2017)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

Hi, for the last 6 months or so I have liked one of the men (call him Tim) from my workplace. He is one of quite a few men and women that are in our lunch group and we all go out for drinks and things like that fairly often.

He has been in a committed relationship with one of my friends (call her Sally) for around 2 years but they recently broke up. After a very drunken night out one of my closest friends (call her Mary) told Tim that I was interested in him.

He then approached me and we talked for a while but then decided to stay friends for the time being, even though we were both interested in each other, as he wasn’t interested in a relationship right now and we both felt horrible about the situation with his ex Sally.

Mary knew everything that was going on between Tim and me, and that I still liked him but a few nights ago kissed him on a night out. Mary apologised and I forgave her but I don’t know how to feel. I’m upset that she betrayed me but I feel like I have no right to feel that way since we weren’t together and I was the bad person in the first place for being interested in my friend’s long term boyfriend. What should I do?

View related questions: broke up, drunk, his ex, workplace

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (14 November 2017):

aunt honesty agony auntWell to be fair you and him did not work out, and well if he did not want to he would not have kissed Mary. Also was Sally not one off your friends? So surely you already broke that friend code? Sorry but he is not a toy and he told you he was not interested in a relationship with you so you need to accept that, and he is free to kiss who he likes.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (13 November 2017):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntJust because Sally dated Tim, does not mean she has some sort of say over who he dates in the future. I appreciate you feel loyalty to her as a friend, and it is good that you didn't rush into a relationship with her ex - even though it sounds like HE called the shots on that one and you MAY have jumped in if he had given you the green light. He sounds like a sensible young man when he says he is not ready for another relationship yet.

There are no right or wrong feelings. We feel as we feel. We can't control that. HOWEVER, why are you just mad at Mary, and not Tim? After all, I assume she didn't FORCE him to kiss her?

You can't really put a relationship "on hold" and expect others to stay away from the guy. You decided to stay friends. That does not mean he is reserving himself for you or that he should not kiss other girls.

I would recommend staying away from Tim for a while and perhaps dating other guys. If you two are meant to get together, leave it till the time is right. In the meantime, neither of you has any claim over the other. End of.

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A male reader, TylerSage United States +, writes (13 November 2017):

TylerSage agony auntWell you have to admit that was a bit of a shady move on Mary's part. Did you not just tell this girl that you liked this guy? True, Tim doesn't belong to either of you, not to mention he's your friend's ex but you made it clear to her that you like him.

Tim seems to be the lucky one if you ask me. I say life is short. Text Sally that you've been talking with Tim for a bit and you'd like to get to know a bit more. Don't discuss anything about what Tim knows of feels for you, that's not her business. As far as you know you don't know anything about his feelings. If she's fine with it, great, if not, decide if Tim is worth having over your friendship with her.

Also, talk with Mary, find out if she likes Tim also. It could turn out to be a friend competition between the two of you.

All the the best.

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A male reader, Allumeuse United Kingdom +, writes (12 November 2017):

It's never a good idea to get together with a person when they are fresh out of a relationship. He is likely to be in no place to work out where his feelings are to wards anyone. You did the right thing to put off any romantic entanglements but Mary owes you nothing so you shouldn't feel aggrieved about her behaviour- liking someone does not give you 'dibs'. Nevertheless you shouldn't trust anything he or she says about their relationship from now on- they have made a poor choice in the timing of their coupling which may cause them to regret what they did, not because they broke some unspoken highschool rule but because they can't trust their feelings towards each other, simply because it'll look and feel like a rebound.

I'd forget about him if you can. He might be the most perfect seeming guy in the world bit his timing and judgment are flawed. Not ideal for the long term. Good luck!

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A female reader, Honeypie United States + , writes (12 November 2017):

Honeypie agony auntYou can't call dibs on a guy. It's that simple.

You and Tim decided that there is no immediate future here (unless you want something casual) and the fact that you are Sally's friend doesn't help either.

I get that you "kinda" like him and was hoping for something there. But I don't think he was as into that as you were - if he had been... then he wouldn't be snogging Mary.

So no, I don't think you have ANY right to be miffed that Mary felt she could give it a go. Who knows maybe she has fancied him for a long time too and just never let on.

Personally? I'd stick to being friends with Tim. 1. he is a coworker and 2. the EX-bf of a good friend. There ARE more guys out that so you don't have to "recycle" your friend's ex-bf or use your place of work as your dating pool. and lastly 3. HE isn't looking for anything serious and will probably "use" whoever pursues him as a rebound. Not something you want to get into, I bet.

If you are looking for a BF, look elsewhere. Date someone outside of your workplace and friends group.

I think you dodged a drama bullet here. So stick to being friends. If he and Mary work out - great. If they don't... well, it will be awkward for THEM (not you).

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A male reader, Been there Now over it United States +, writes (12 November 2017):

It's almost like you've left something out, that being why Mary would think that you have any romantic relationship with Tim or any other kind of exclusivity going on that would preclude her from having more than just a platonic friendship with him. I don't see any real betrayal here on her part. In re-reading your post, it isn't clear whether you or Mary kissed Tim, but it seems as though Mary is the one who kissed him.

Tell Mary that you like Tim but you don't think it is a good idea for you to starting dating him. Tell Mary that Tim is all hers and you wish them luck. Tell her that her apology wasn't necessary but that you appreciate the gesture.

It seems as though you really want to date Tim. But you're right that it would hurt Sally. That and the fact that you work with Tim are two good reasons to let Mary have him while you look outside your company for companionship.

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