Remember in Mean Girls when Cady Heron and Regina George were both into Aaron Samuels, and when Regina found out, she put Cady in the Burn Book? A bit excessive, yes, but two friends liking the same person isn't that impossible of a scenario, and unfortunately, if handled poorly, it can really impact a friendship. As life coach Nina Rubin tells Elite Daily, it shouldn't be all that surprising that two people who have enough in common to be friends would also share similar tastes in romantic partners. "You and your friend may have similar tastes and find certain traits attractive," Rubin tells Elite Daily. "After all, there’s a reason you and your friend are attracted to each other (as friends), so it can be fitting when a new person shows up and catches your eye."
But don't panic. Just because you and your bestie like the same person, doesn't mean you can never be friends again. But by communicating, being honest with each other, and listening to what your friend has to say, you've taken the first step to understanding how to handle this awkward situation if it were ever to arise. Here's what the experts suggest you do if you and your friend are both into same person.
Get Ahead Of The Issue If You Can.
If you and your friend are both single, and there's a chance this issue might pop up down the road, then Susan Winter, NYC relationship expert, love coach, and author of Breakup Triage: The Cure for Heartache, tells Elite Daily it's a good idea to have a joint game plan in place. “Things like this should be hammered out in the beginning of a friendship, especially if you're both single and go out together or hang out in the same social circle," she says. "Someone is bound to be intriguing to both of you. So, revert to your understanding of the rules you've put in place. No one, temporary interest is worth ruining a deep friendship over. Lovers come and go. The right ones will stay,”
What To Do If You Find Yourselves Attracted To The Same Person.
While getting ahead of the issue is ideal, these kinds of situations can sometimes catch you off guard. In that case, Rubin suggests being open and honest with your friend about what you're feeling. “Talk to your friend first and foremost. Don’t wait, hide, or see what’s going to happen. Be direct,” she suggests. Once you've opened up the conversation, you can then decide how to proceed.
Winter says the path you chose depends on how each of you actually feels about your shared crush. “[You can] back off if it's a great friend and you're so-so about the object of interest. Let your close friend have a chance to chat them up,” says Winter. Or, if your feelings for the person are strong, you can make that case to your friend in hopes that they'll give you room to follow your feelings. “State a logical case for your advantage in this selection process. Perhaps your friend will 'give' when he or she hears your determination and reasoning,” says Winter.
It ultimately comes down to a question of your priorities, the experts say. “You quickly learn what's of greater importance: your friendship, or having a partner,” says Winter. If it's the latter, she suggests trying to keep your romantic pursuits and your friendships with people who have similar tastes as separate as possible. Nights where you're out looking to meet with someone, she says, should be with friends where “your choice of 'type' is not in conflict.”
Conversely, if you and your friend liking the same person makes you realize the crush isn't what's most important to you, then putting your friendship first is your best bet, says Rubin. “If you prioritize friendship, a date or an attraction to a new person would not be worth losing a friend. And if your friend and the new person click, be glad and gracious for them. Finding real love is rare,” she says.
At the end of the day, how you choose to handle your shared crush is up to you. It can be a really awkward situation, but know that it doesn't have to end your friendship.
Nina Rubin, life coach