DEAR KELLY: Plain and simple: I like my best friend's girlfriend. I know it's wrong and I shouldn't, but I do. She and I are more compatible and get along better because all they seem to do is fight and then she calls me every time to tell me with these long calls about what a jerk he is, but then she continues to stay with him.
They've been going out for a long time and I don't think either of them is really happy being together, but they won't break up.
I don't think he likes her that much because when we're together he says things like he should be single because then he could talk to all the girls he wants without making her mad, and that he needs to get some space soon so he can hit on other girls.
So how do I tell myself not to like someone? Is that possible? If they do break up, what's the right time limit before I can go out with her?
– Bad Spot
DEAR BAD SPOT: Plain and simple: He is your best friend. You need to step off.
You have triangulated yourself into their relationship by becoming her "comfort call" when they fight.
That should not be your job. If she wants to call someone to talk about what a jerk he is, it should be one of her girlfriends or her sister, not his best friend. That puts you in the middle you shouldn't be there.
"Bro code" means you don't go after your best bud's girl, regardless of how much you think the two of you are more compatible. She is not single and she is not available. You need to respect that. More importantly, she is your best friend's girlfriend and you need to respect him enough to back off.
Even though your buddy tells you he wants to be single, he isn't. And he hasn't made any moves to be single. He has a girlfriend and they are in a relationship. Being in the middle has made your vision blurry and you can't see the boundary lines clearly. You are developing an emotional relationship with his girlfriend and you know it's wrong.
The best way to tell yourself how to not like someone is to see them for who they are – in your case it's your best friend's girlfriend. Is she worth losing your best friend over? Are you willing to gamble a good friendship for a girl, who, by the way, doesn't seem to be that honest and open if she is calling her boyfriend's best friend to say what a jerk he is?
Tell yourself you have to move on. Let go of the romantic idea that she'd be better off with you. You don't know this to be true and shouldn't base your actions on it. Drop the belief that you would make a better couple because, right now, she is a couple with someone else. Don't hold out for someone who is holding on to someone else.
If they break up, give them plenty of time to figure things out before you rush in and try to be her next boyfriend. There is no set time limit because each situation is different. Some couples break up but keep talking with the goal of getting back together.
Other couples break up and are done for good. Let them figure out their relationship before you interject yourself into the situation. See how things pan out after they break up. Give it time. Show respect to your best friend. Put yourself in his shoes and imagine how you would feel if the roles were reversed.
People are not possessions and he doesn't own her, but this is more of a respect issue for your friendship. Put your friendship before a possible relationship that may never work.
The next time she calls to vent about what a jerk he is, remind her that he is your best bud and you probably shouldn't be her venting board. Suggest she call a good friend instead and end the conversation about him. Set firm boundaries with her and stick to them. Open your eyes to other nice girls around you who are single and available and won't cause any drama if you decide to go out.