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He’s in a Relationship. Can You Be His Friend?

We’ve all been approached by the married man, or the guy with a girlfriend who just doesn’t understand him or is no longer making him happy. At first, the tone is innocent. The word “friendship” is tossed around. But have you ever wondered if a man wanting to be your friend is actually flirting with you? Caitlin wrote to me recently and she’s wondering the same thing:

Dear April,

A few weeks ago I met this drop-dead GORGEOUS guy at a party and the sparks were flying! We had a great time chatting and dancing, and during the evening he asked for my number and I gave it to him. Later in the evening he mentioned he had a girlfriend. We both understood that to mean that this was just a fun evening and that it wouldn’t go anywhere. But since that night, he has continued to call me and text me! When I object, he says “It’s ok, I just want to be friends.”

I’ve told him that I won’t get involved with a guy who is already in a relationship, and he says he understands that. But he has also said that if his relationship were happier, he probably wouldn’t be calling me. I’m trying to get the message across that until she is out of the picture there can be no relationship (or friendship) but it’s hard to do! Especially because he is so persistent, not to mention smokin’ hot, with a great job and a charming personality. Help! — Caitlin

Caitlin, I get that you’re very attracted to this guy, but knock it off. I’m sure you’re gorgeous, but there’s nothing easier than tempting a man who’s in an unhappy relationship. Since most people (men and women) need a bridge-relationship to get out of a current one, you might just find yourself as just that. A bridge, and a temporary one at that.

Which brings me to a bigger question. Can men and women in relationships have friendships with the opposite sex?

Certainly, we can all do whatever we want, but for those who are paired off, the feelings of one’s partner must be considered. That’s both the beauty and the challenge of being in a committed relationship; you have to think how your actions — such as spending time with a new friend of the opposite sex — might affect someone you love.

Mixed Messages

Caitlin, a single person like yourself is not committed to this man or to his current relationship. You don’t know her, so it’s easier to assume that what he’s telling you is true. That his relationship is somehow lacking, and you just might be the girl to make him happy again. But — he’s not telling the truth. He doesn’t want to be your buddy. He wants to date you.

You’re better and smarter than this. Why waste your time and lower your standards? Surely, you’ve met great guys who were single and available, yes?

You’re also being weak with your intentions and communication. You say you’re “trying” to make him understand you don’t want to get involved if he has a girlfriend, and yet, you’re texting and continuing to communicate with him. I doubt that if you had a boyfriend, you’d be okay with him starting up a friendship with a new woman. Think about that.

Choose Yourself and Confidence

I appreciate your candor here, and I know how difficult it is to push away someone you like, but the only way to handle this is with clarity, honesty and confidence.

No one is forcing you to chat with this man. This is all in your hands. “Trying” to tell someone is not the same thing as simply telling them and being strong in your convictions.

I take a hard line on this topic because as a Matchmaker, I see every day how many wonderful SINGLE people there are out there. No need to go after someone who’s already taken. Besides, no one likes to be cheated on, and I advise you to never be the cause of a break up or heartache. His relationship, whether good or bad, is not your business. It’s not your job to fix it or make it better.

My Advice to You

I suggest you send him a note:

I think you’re great, but I’m not interested in communicating any further. If you ever find yourself single, feel free to give me a call. Otherwise, I would appreciate it if you stopped texting and calling me. Wish you all the best. – Caitlin.

And here’s the hard part Caitlin. Don’t text him again, no matter what he writes back. Remember, you’re not angry. You’re just exhibiting confidence, self care and self respect. Continue the dialogue and your message will never get across.

I hope this helps and I wish you all the best in your journey to love.

Have You Been There…?

Okay, Sparks! readers. Share your thoughts or stories. Have you seen a situation like this have a positive outcome? Have you been in Caitlin’s shoes? If so, what did you do and how did you handle it? Everyone has very strong feelings on this topic so please be kind to one another.

Much love,


2 Responses to “He’s in a Relationship. Can You Be His Friend?”

  1. Lauren says:

    Yes I have been there the only problem is he just wants to be just friends but I don’t and the guy won’t take a hint that I can’t be happy if all I can be is his friend he’s refusing to let the friendship go he’s considering his girlfriends feelings more then mine how can I tell him that just friends can’t happen anymore when it will break his heart

  2. Amy says:

    I am currently in this same situation. The guy and I exchanged numbers after years of having a crush on each other, but then he told me he had a gf. I was really disappointed that he has a gf but I was so excited to know that he also had a crush on me, so I tried to be friends with him. That didn’t work because he kept flirting with me and my feelings for him only grew stronger. I had to stop, so I told him that we can no longer meet or text each other. It was really hard to say that to him but I knew it was the right thing to do.

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