At first you think it’s your imagination, or just jealously rearing its ugly head. But then you see another arm rub… another gaze held a little too long… another too-loud laugh at a stupid joke. You can no longer deny it: your best friend is hitting on your man!
First, take a deep breath. You don’t want to do or say something you regret.
Next, ask yourself a few questions:
1. Is your best friend a natural flirt? The kind of person that flirts with everyone, from the door guy to the waiter to her boss? Is she extra smiley, touchy and giggly with every man – or just yours?
2. What objective data do you have to back up the idea that your BFF is hitting on your man? Leave your hunches aside for now, and make a list of the facts – definable experiences that you can write down.
3. Review this list, and see which items fall under the “definite” category for flirting or hitting on. If it was a one-off occurrence, it’s probably best at this point to let it go.
4. Now that you’ve looked at the facts, listen to your emotions. Do your best friend’s actions towards your boyfriend make you uncomfortable? Hurt? Angry? Even if your BFF is a natural flirt, you have a right to speak up if her actions are upsetting you.
5. Plan to talk to your friend. But don’t be all dramatic about it, and say something like “WE HAVE TO HAVE A TALK” or interrupt her workday with a tearful phone call. Instead, choose a chilled-out environment with a private space where you can casually bring things up, like your favorite restaurant or coffee shop.
6. Start by telling her your perception of the facts – use specific examples – and then let her know how that made you feel. Practice beforehand, start sentences with “I” instead of “you,” and use a compliment to ease into the talk:
• I love that you get along so well with my boyfriend. You make friends so easily.
• But last Friday at the bar, I saw you rubbing his thigh. Then you sat on his lap later that night.
• It made me feel really uncomfortable.
7. After you’ve stated the facts and how you feel – shut up. Sit back and wait for the response. Listen to the words as well as the tone of voice, and watch her body language for non-verbal clues. Does she get mad? Defensive? Apologetic? Tearful? Your BFF’s response will probably tell you everything you need to know.
8. See how things go the next time you all hang out. In an ideal world, your BFF wouldn’t have realized she was flirting or that it upset you – and now that she knows, she will change her behavior. In the real world, this could happen – or she might be starved for attention, jealous of your relationship, or making a serious move on your man. Rely on the facts and trust your gut to handle this difficult situation.