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He Said, She Said: The Jealous Best Friend

Jealousy is a powerful human emotion that touches all of us at least once in our lifetime. It’s best defined as an insecurity and fear; a feeling of being threatened in a situation where you might lose someone. It typically refers to negative thoughts or feelings of anxiety over an anticipated loss and most times, comes with great anger, resentment, self-doubt, and helplessness. With that in mind, dealing with jealousy in relationships can go down a very sour road, so what do you do when you have a jealous best friend?

Jealousy Dictionary

Image Credit: We Heart It

Jealousy in a relationship is a very delicate situation and should be addressed properly, with proper timing in order to keep the peace. The negative human emotion is such a strong one that statistics have proven one-third of couples see jealousy as one of their main problems and primary reason of break-ups or even divorce. There are many situations where jealousy in relationships can begin, though most times it involves the two who are currently in the present dynamic. Often, such an emotion is brought up due to issues with trust and loyalty, fear, insecurity or a personal situation.  Those involved in such a situation and facing jealousy usually neglect the issue or worse, deny the fact that they are jealous.

But if you’re not dating or aren’t married, what happens when you have a jealous best friend? It’s never any fun when your best friends begin to act strangely toward you when you’ve found new love. The fear of being replaced in a friendship can bring about much jealousy and sadly, eats away at the positivity and love between the two friends. Eventually, it could lead to resentment from one or both involved. Such feelings should never be ignored as attempts to broaden such sensitivities can easily turn into arguments. For as long as you can remember, you both shared intimate details about everything that goes on in your lives, but now your friend is acting like you’ve done something wrong; dramatically altered your dynamic with them and soon, sarcastic remarks and teasing of the cold front blows in. So what exactly is going on?

Your best friend’s behavior might seem ridiculous to you but there is a definite reason for it. Sometimes it’s about the lack of time spent with them or the imbalance of attention. In any case, one must strive to make time for both the best friend and the new significant other. If they continue to act up and prove jealousy, be sure to talk it out and ask them what they think of your current relationship as soon as possible and keep an open mind to what they have to share. Always reinforce that you value your friendship because once your best friend has opened up, they will be vulnerable so it is in your best interest to show them how much you appreciate them as well. Dating jealousy is a transient emotion that can be overcome with great discussion. You don’t have to be single forever to remain good friends with someone but you do both have to be good friends to one another if you want to a solid friendship while one or both of you explores the experience of love.

This week we hear from Nicole of Grand Rapids, Michigan who is growing curious and quite concerned of her best friend’s behavior towards her new boyfriend. Is her best friend simply jealous and afraid he’ll lose Nicole? Or is he secretly harboring his own feelings from her? Our writers try their hardest to crack the case.

He Said She Said - Nicole September 25 2013

Kathleen says…

Nicole, thanks for writing in. Sorry to hear about your situation–how frustrating!

To me, it sounds like your best friend has a case of the “green-eyed monster.” Based on what you’ve shared, all signs seem to point to jealousy. It sounds like you’ve taken the higher road thus far by suggesting double dates and making time for your BFF despite having a boyfriend. I think the logical, though difficult, next step would be to have a straightforward conversation with him about the way he has been acting. You will never know for sure what he’s actually thinking or why he’s acting the way he is unless you ask!

I’m hoping he’s harboring a secret crush on you and will come clean when asked and then you’ll both leave your significant others and live happily ever after…but that’s the romcom-loving girl in me. Best of luck with your situation, Nicole. I hope you are able to continue your friendship, but eliminate the drama!

Andrew says…

Nicole, I agree with Kathleen, this all sounds very frustrating. It takes a lot of courage to introduce your significant other to your best friend(s) and when it doesn’t turn out the way you’d hope, it can be very aggravating.

I don’t want to jump to the conclusion that your best friend is jealous, but there isn’t a lot of other ways to look at this situation. It can, however, be a very sticky thing to call him out on being jealous, especially if he is isn’t or, if he is, he’s unable to recognize and admit to it.

I think you’re doing the right thing thus far by trying to make time for both of them, but also working towards getting all of you (including your friend’s girlfriend to hang out together). I think the best thing to do would be to have a serious conversation with your friend. Ask him to be completely candid and honest about the whole situation because you want to make things work.

I know it can be scary to confront an issue head on like that, but it seems like you friend is dead set on beating around the issues. That’s why it’s important to get him one on one, in a private setting where you can really talk and be honest and see what’s really bothering him. If it’s just that he doesn’t like your boyfriend, then that’s a different issue that you’ll need to resolve.

I don’t think you should be forced to choose between one or the other though. Anyway, my advice would be don’t let it bother you but that’s easier said than done. Your relationship is your business but if you really do want to work on a relationship with your friend, then maybe that is the direction you should be going. Figure out what you want, either your friend and boyfriend to get along or something else, and go for that.

Stephen says…

Nicole, I have to say I am in agreement with Kathleen and Andrew. This does seem like a simple case of jealousy. However, it is wrong to jump to conclusions, and unfortunately the only way you will be able to draw anything but conclusions, is if you have that difficult conversation. I can guarantee that this conversation will be uncomfortable but it sounds to me like you are going to need answers sooner, rather than later.

As Andrew said, I think you are dealing with this situation incredibly well thus far, and the fact that you are willing to make time for both of them in equal measure speaks volumes about you as a person, and even more about your resolve to fix the issue.

Just as one final thought…you asked the question, “Is this even jealousy?”, and I think that is an interesting thing to ask. The alternative is that you have a friend who is more like a brother to you, and just wants the best for you in every case. The name calling could be symptomatic of brotherly teasing; especially if there is no real venom behind it. The only thing that flies in the face of this theory is that he refused to go on a double date with you. Maybe it is just difficult for him to see you so happy with someone other than himself, but that is something he will have to get used to.

Either way, you need to talk to him. Good luck!

Desi says…

Nicole, yes, he is probably jealous – but he’s also being disrespectful, both to you and to your current significant other. If you want to bring up that you suspect he is jealous, that might be the best way to start introducing it. Ask him why he is blatantly calling your boyfriend by the wrong name or making fun of him. Approaching the conversation in this way might feel less awkward or accusatory for you, while still forcing him to address his feelings toward you, your boyfriend, and even his own girlfriend.

It may be possible that the boys are right and he thinks he is teasing you in a brotherly way – this might be even more likely if he does not have sisters. He might not have grown up with the fun teasing, so now it’s just coming off as mean.

Whatever you choose to do, do it before you let your own emotions bubble over and let it ruin the friendship. Eventually, you might start to resent his behavior, and the best way to get him to cop to what he is feeling and/or doing is before it gets to that point. Good luck!

* * * * *

If you seek advice from our writers, email us at thehudsuckerblog@gmail.com! Perhaps your question will be featured in our next installment.

While our team of writers have given their advice with the best of intentions, they nor anyone of this site assume responsibility for your actions or the results of them.
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