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How Do I Tell My Best Friend I Want Her Ex? 

Dear Athena,

One of my best friends (girl A) has been on and off for the past two years with someone (girl B) who is a really close friend of mine, as well. We're all in the same friend group, and the three of us often hang out together without the rest of our friends. Before I really knew either of them very well, I had a one-night stand with girl B, but as soon as I found out about her relationship with A, I pushed my feelings for her to the side. However, as I have become closer to girl B as a friend, it has become harder to ignore those feelings. She will often hug me, kiss me on the forehead or ask to cuddle with me when she sleeps over. She doesn't seem to do this with her other friends. I know that girl A still has some feelings for B, and I feel like a horrible friend and person for liking B, too. What should I do? Is there any way for me to act on my feelings without losing girl A?

Lovers and Friends

Dear L&F,

You know what the biggest bummer is here? You're falling for someone, and you can't enjoy it. For too long, you've had to stifle your heart's desire to protect someone else. You're supposed to be drunk on love right now, and you can't be.  

You know what you have to do next, and that's why you feel like a horrible friend. It's also why you're asking for my advice. We both know you'll regret it if you don't try.

It seems like you're afraid that your friend, girl A, will punish you for your feelings, as if you've done something wrong. You're worried she might banish you from her life. That, unfortunately, is a possibility. Or she might just need some time to process this new development. But it's not as though you woke up one morning and decided to pursue her ex just to stir up some shit. Your heart went where it wanted to go.

Besides, because you and girl A are close friends, it's not so surprising that you would have the same taste in women.

Based on your description of B's behavior, it sounds like she may have met you halfway already. But you need to find out if she wants to go the rest of the way. Life is too short to wait around and see what happens, or to keep your secret any longer. Tell her how you feel and see where she stands.

If the attraction is mutual, then you must tell your friend. Let her know that it's important for you to explore this new romance, but it's also important that you two remain close. If your friendship is strong, she'll understand and accept it. Yes, feelings might get hurt. But I hope girl A will ultimately want to see you — and her ex — happy.

Yours,

Athena

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