Friendship can bring emotional intimacy and a confidante as you go through life together, but it can also pose challenges when one or both of you begin dating. You may notice that your friend's attention is shifting from you and onto your boyfriend. While these can be an uncomfortable situation for you, it may be possible to preserve your friendship and relationship when a friend starts flirting with your boyfriend.
Consider These Questions
Before you confront your friend, it may be a good idea to step back and evaluate whether her behavior toward your boyfriend is actually flirtatious. Is she affectionate with most people she meets? Her behavior may be her personality, rather than a conscious desire to flirt with your boyfriend. Frequency is also important. Does your friend behave this way as a matter of course, or did it only happen once? Has your boyfriend behaved in a way that may encourage flirtatious behavior? This can also give you time to practice what you plan to say, according to the PBS Kids article, "When Friends Fight."
Talking it Out
Arrange a calm, quiet time to discuss the issue with your friend, and keep a few specific examples of her behavior handy. You might open the conversation by saying, "I feel hurt when you frequently tell my boyfriend how good he looks and what a great catch he is. Can we talk about it?" Saying, "You're always flirting with my boyfriend!" can come across as presumptuous and confrontational, according to the TeensHealth article, "5 Ways to (Respectfully) Disagree." Give your friend the opportunity to explain herself and share her feelings. If the conversation gets heated or she is unwilling to talk about it, suggest discussing the problem at another time.
Your Boyfriend's Role
Your friend may be flirting, but it is also possible that your boyfriend is playing a role in the behavior, according to the "Two of Us" article, "Opposite Sex Friendships." He may flirt in return or show appreciation for her comments, which may encourage more flirtatious behavior. Alternatively, your boyfriend may not be aware that your friend is flirting with him. Ask your boyfriend if he has noticed your friend's behavior. This can also be an opportunity to share how uncomfortable the situation makes you. You might say, "It makes me feel uncomfortable when you tell Sarah how pretty she is after she says you're handsome."
If your friend continues flirting with your boyfriend, it may be time to decide whether or not the friendship is worth keeping. Distancing yourself from your friend and seeking out new friendships may be ideal in that situation, according to the PBS Kids article, "When Friends Fight." Spending more time with acquaintances or getting involved in a club at school can help you bond with new people. If you do carry on with your friendship, spending time together one-on-one may be ideal, if your friend has difficulty maintaining boundaries with your boyfriend.
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