When Your Friends Boyfriend Hits on You.
At Matchmakers Select we get asked for all kinds of relationship and dating advice, and this topic has come up a lot.
On her best friends wedding day, a busy maid of honour was rushing around behind the scenes making sure the bride had her veil, the father of the bride had his tissues, and generally everything was on track for a smooth ceremony. The groom pulled her aside requesting help with his hair styling. She handed over the cloth case containing hair products for the bridal party, but then out of nowhere this man she had known for years, who was moments away from becoming her best friends husband, made a short declaration of long-time attraction, leaned in for a kiss while pawing at the horror struck maid of honour. Of course he received a slap and the unnerved bridesmaid rushed out to take her place among the wedding party. Minutes later as she watched the couple exchange their vows, the feeling of uncomfortable awkwardness turned to anger and then worry as she wondered ‘How do you tell your friend that the man they are in love with has made an unwanted sexual advance towards you?’
It’s a really awkward and awful experience when the guy who’s with your friend makes a move on you. It’s hard to know if you should tell her what he did, or pretend that nothing happened. If you don’t tell her, there will be the constant worry ‘what if he does it again?’.
The most likely reaction to having your friend’s boyfriend or husband hit on you is shock and then attempt to laugh it off as a joke. You hope it was a joke, but don’t be tempted to respond in a positive or laughing manner. Even if you are attracted to him, he’s your friend’s guy and therefore 100% off limits. It’s bad enough that he’s looking at you (and likely other girls) in that way; if he does more than look that is on his conscience. Don’t let it be on yours as well.
It’s not fair that in life that an unwanted advance from a man makes the woman feel uncomfortable. He’s the one who made the move, he’s the one who should feel uncomfortable. Make it absolutely clear to him that his behavior is unacceptable. Don’t just edge away embarrassed; say ‘don’t do that again’ or ‘I am not interested.’ You can also say to stop it now or you will tell your friend; that may shame him into stopping his behaviour.
Having your friend’s guy make a move on you puts you in a very difficult position. The trouble is that, when told of their boyfriend’s flirting, some women blame the person who tells them rather than the man himself. If she’s a good friend you should know her character well enough to know if she’s the kind of person who likes to know exactly what the situation is. At the very least you can let your friend know that her boyfriend is making you uncomfortable, that you don’t want to make the situation awkward so you’re asking her to talk to him in private, and ask him to stop. It’s likely that she’ll have more words for him once she’s had a chance to think it over.
She may still stay with this slime ball, and if she does, keep your distance and avoid being alone with him. This will deny him further opportunities to try hitting on you. Make sure that he doesn’t have any chance to get you away from your friend, and if you run into him in public places simply exchange a brief greeting, say you’re in a hurry and leave.
It’s not nice to have to be the bearer of bad news, and she may react badly. Sometimes it’s best to just say it straight out. You’re not the one who’s in the wrong – her boyfriend is. If she calms down and thinks rationally, she’ll realise that she should be angry with him, not you. If she refuses to believe you, perhaps it’s better to stay away from this friendship for a while.