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Auntie SparkNotes: I Like My Bestie's BF; Is That Why We're Drifting Apart?

Auntie SparkNotes: I Like My Bestie's BF; Is That Why We're Drifting Apart?

Dear Auntie
I have a game for you! I figure you can't have many people telling you about their problems in a fun format good for ages 6 and up, so I thought I'd give it a try. Here are three facts. Two of them are not true, and one is. Happy guessing.

1. I am a purple badger.
2. I am a green badger.
3. I am sorta in love with my best friend's boyfriend.

So, assuming you guessed that one and two were the lies, you are correct. And hopefully you see the problem.

Background story: I met him on the first day of school, and I knew right away that I liked him. But when he met my absolutely fabulous best friend, all bets were off. We agreed that we weren't gonna let the situation get the better of us, and I told her that if she wanted to be with him, then I was a hundred percent for it. We all stayed good friends, they got together, and I was (honestly) totally cool with it.

Fast forward to the start of the second semester, and imagine my dismay when I didn't have any classes with my best friend. We tried to talk, but both of us are very busy, and the only time I see her now is at lunch with all our other friends. We are growing apart and it is scaring me. I talk to her boyfriend more than I talk to her now, and I still like him, even though I am perfectly aware how awful it makes me.

Auntie, did I let this happen? Are we growing apart because of the awkward situation, or because we can't see each other? Is it wrong for me to be so close to her boyfriend, when I like him sooooo much?

I'm going to answer your questions, Sparkler, I promise… that is, just as soon as I get over my devastating disappointment that this turned out not to be a letter from a green or purple badger, when answering such a letter has been one of my lifelong dreams.

[Hurls laptop across the room while sobbing, climbs into box of Cheez-Its for next six hours]

...Okay, I'm good now.

So, moving on from the sadness of not getting to talk about real, actual badger problems, the short answer is, no, you didn't let this happen, and no, you're not doing anything wrong. Your crush on your best friend's boyfriend sucks, yes, but only because it sucks for you. There's nothing wrong with your feelings themselves. They are what they are. And having to settle for just-friendship with a guy you're crazy about, and doing it so that your closest friend can be with him instead? That is some poignant emotional torture, my friend. I feel so sorry for your poor heart right now that I want to wrap it in a nice, warm blanket and give it some hot chocolate and lots of hugs.

But despite the inherent suckiness of this situation, it is a situation you've been dealing with for a pretty long time—and despite your describing it as "awkward," it sounds like the loss of closeness between you and your friend started happening only after the second-semester scheduling shakeup that made it so hard for you to spend time together. Under the circumstances, it's not exactly hard to figure out where the blame for the change in your relationship lies, and it's clearly not with you.

Which is something you would realize, I think, if not for the guilt you feel over your continued friendship with her boyfriend. Let me guess: You miss your friend and don't want to lose her, but at the same time, it isn't exactly terrible how you're suddenly getting to spend all this time with a guy you really like, is it? Considering your feelings, it would be bizarre if you weren't enjoying the chance to be around him—but that doesn't make you responsible for it, and you certainly don't have to feel bad about it. As long as you're respectful of his relationship with your bestie, and as long as you trust yourself not to let your crush get the better of you in that arena, there's no reason why you shouldn't be glad for this chance to get closer with a cool person on a platonic basis. (Although if it's making you feel worse and worse about not being able to be with him, that's a good argument for distancing yourself—but since you haven't said that this is the case with you, I'm assuming that you're still content with the just-friendship you've got.)

Of course, there's no reason why you shouldn't also make an effort to talk to and spend time with your best friend outside of school—and if you continue to feel like you're growing apart even when you're working hard not to, then it might be time to consider whether a) something is happening on her end to widen the rift between you, or b) your relationship is just one which naturally wanes when you're not together a lot. That's not unusual, and it doesn't necessarily mean anything permanent about your status as BFFs; oftentimes, the best friends in your life turn out to be people who you don't necessarily talk to or see all the time, but can pick up with like nothing ever happened when you do manage to get together.

But if it turns out that this is the beginning of a shift in your friendship, then that still doesn't mean it's your fault, or even that it's a bad thing. Rarely if ever do the relationships we form stay exactly the same year in and year out, especially in high school, when so many things are in flux. It's in the nature of friends to get close, to drift apart, to get distracted or diverted by other relationships—and sometimes, hopefully, to come back together.

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Topics: Life, Advice
Tags: auntie sparknotes, crushes, best friends, lust, coveting, territory, secret feelings, rifts, changing friendship

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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