She Says “No” Because I Dated Her Friend?


Here’s an interesting love life problem. You fell in love with a woman (or man) who is a friend as well. She won’t allow your relationship with her to become romantic because you went out with a friend of her’s at some earlier point in time. She feels (and knows) that her friend would be upset.

By the way, the friend who would get upset has moved on with her life, as in husband and kids. I guess she (the one that moved on) is still feeling “possessive” over this guy she once dated and was probably disappointed about not getting.

The woman who is not allowing the romance to take place is concerned about negatively affecting the relationship between she and her friend (who dated the guy earlier) so she is saying “no.” Are you still with me?

This problem was presented to me as a “barrier” to a love relationship. It was presented by the man who is in love with the friend of the friend he dated years before. Being optimistic when it comes to love life issues, as well as liking a good love life challenge, I explored the possibilities with him.

He told me he had tried a few times to get beyond this barrier with the friend who is saying “no.” She knows he is in love with her. But she held fast to the “rule” that falling in love with a guy who dated her friend is damaging to the relationship she has with her friend. Friendship loyalty I guess (and maybe a little anxiety about getting into another love relationship?).

He has worked through his personal feelings of frustration by getting to the point where he had “given up” on trying to get romantically involved and is simply living with the fact that he can’t have her. So he just maintains a really close friendship.

By the way, I made a big deal (he hesitantly considered it) out of the fact that she (the woman he loves) is still single and unattached. Was she waiting for him on some unconscious level to figure out how to get out of this conundrum? I say yes to that!

So we talked about a alternative he had already considered and acted on. The alternative is to set up a meeting with the woman he dated years ago. In fact he talked about this with the friend he is in love with to no avail. She was hesitant about giving him her friend’s number. He didn’t push it. So once again he gave up.

I say, there are plenty of ways to find out where people are these days. I say be creative, for love, the greatest of all causes. The purpose of the “meeting” would be to get her “blessings.” I thought that would really be the only way out of this love life stalemate. The leverage is to point out to her in a open and caring kind of way that this problem is really about two people loving the same person. 

If she (the friend he dated) has love for her friend (the single woman who won’t fall in love with him because he dated her friend) then she will realize that giving her “blessings” would be a “gift” she gives to her friend. A gift of love. In fact, it’s a double shot. Why?

Because not only would she be giving a gift of love by giving her blessing, she would also be giving to her friend a man who is in love with her (the single friend). Is there a better way of showing your love for your friend? I think not. (Is she, the woman he dated years ago, thinking he’s a better catch than her husband was? I hope not.)

Here’s to hoping that she (the friend he dated) does the right thing and gets out of the way so that love can once again fly free to its natural destination. Remember, the “rules” we set up in life, that are built on past frustrations and disappointments, can never be permitted to control the love we feel and can feel for each other.

Comments? Welcome. Dr. Tom Jordan


Dr. Jordan

Dr. Thomas Jordan is a clinical psychologist, certified interpersonal psychoanalyst, author, professor, and love life researcher.

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