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Dublin: 18 °C Monday 16 July, 2018
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Dear Fifi: Help! I'm falling in love with my mate's girlfriend

Tuesday again somehow… It’s DailyEdge.ie’s resident advice columnist Dear Fifi with another dose of dubious advice.

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August? AUGUST? How the hell did we let that happen?

Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about the incessant march of time – but I can help with your problems. Maybe. Find out by sending me them and I guess we’ll see.

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I think I’m falling for my mate’s girlfriend. We’ve been mates for years and I’ve gotten to know his girlfriend pretty well over the last years too. I considered her a very good friend too, but in the last couple months I’ve started having feelings for her I know I shouldn’t have. Of course, I haven’t expressed these feelings or told anybody about this. I don’t want to cause any problems for anyone.

The last thing I want is to lose my friendship with both of them but it’s gotten to a point where I’m avoiding them because I feel awkward around her. (I can’t tell if she notices). I don’t know how to quash these feelings before I cause hurt for her or my friend. We also have a lot of mutual friends, and I’m afraid of losing them over this too.

It’s not that I want to be with her or think she would be better off with me. If anything, I want to stop having feelings for her – yet I don’t want to lose my friends by drifting away from them either.

Oh, man. The silver lining to this sticky predicament you’re in is that you haven’t lost your head. I’d say about 90% of the Irish population would have had a shandy too many by now, said or done something revealing and wigs would be on the green. You’re doing great so far. Fair play for being so sensible about this situation.

You’re wise to have kept these feelings firmly to yourself while you figure out exactly what to do next. Protecting yourself by removing yourself from the situation was also a good call, but as you know, you won’t be able to do that forever as eventually it’ll arouse suspicion.

What should help you big time is that you harbour no secret passions to run away with this girl and you realise that your crush is unrealistic – that’s a huge head start. Hold onto that.

You know you don’t want to be with her. This crush has probably fed off itself due to your sole focus on it. Can you tell someone outside of your circle of friends who you trust? Saying it out loud might pop the bubble and bring you back down to earth. It’s easy to obsess over these things when we keep them a secret, as they wind up holding more power over us. Unburden yourself if you can.

Secondly, I assume you’re single yourself. Why not play the field a bit and try to meet some other women? There are plenty of great, unattached women out there for you to date. Realising that and acting on it might help you shake out of this funk. Download Tinder, set up an OKCupid, join a meet-up group or hobby club, strike up conversations and get yourself out there.

And finally, be kind to yourself. This will pass. Peppered throughout your (much longer) letter was repeat assertions that you didn’t want to hurt anyone or lose your friends. Obviously they’re important to you. You seem a decent sort. Rather than worry about their feelings and relationships, focus on forming some of your own. In a few months, I’m sure your feelings for this girl will seem like a distant memory.

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 Want to talk?

Confess a story, ask for help or just shout into the void for a bit and see if that helps. All welcome. Anonymity totally guaranteed always. 

Check out previous advice>

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