Dallas, TX

"You can't be the third in a couple unless someone lets you," woman on relationship

Amy Christie

*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission

Being friends with someone but also interfering in a relationship they're having causes confusion, arguments, and plenty of expectations that can't be met. Whether you're hoping they will leave the other person they're dating for you or if they end up letting you go, giving your time to such a connection will rarely make you feel fulfilled or lead to long-term commitment.

My friend Candace has been friends with John for almost two years. Their friendship has meant a lot of exceptions to the way friends usually behave towards each other, and she's often stayed overnight at his place in Dallas, Texas, and they traveled together as a couple.

John has been in a relationship with Gina for three years, and they were together before he met Candace.

"John and I were just friends for a year and a half, so it's not like I walked in and wanted to be with him and replace her. It only happened in the past six months, and it was spontaneous. We both wanted it; it wasn't me pushing him to do anything," Candace said.

Once they were together once, things kept going that way, and John found excuses for his girlfriend and went out with Candace every time he could.

They had the same friend group, so it wasn't always easy to find a way to be together, but they managed to spend at least a few hours together every three days.

"Gina didn't pay that much attention to what was going on. I expect she just got comfortable with trusting him and didn't think anything could go wrong. You can't ever forget about men. They will get bored and look for something else and get it even when they're with you," Candace said.

She doesn't feel like she's preventing Gina and her boyfriend from getting married. In her opinion, if he makes time to be with her, it's because he doesn't care much about his girlfriend anyway.

"You can't be the third in a couple unless someone lets you. And John certainly allows me to distract him, and he's more than happy to be with me every time we can have fun. I've been with him for months; we go on trips. He's in a relationship," Candace said.

John still goes with Gina to see her parents, and they're often invited to her parent's parties. He gets along well with her sisters, and everyone thinks they will get engaged soon.

Candace doesn't feel the same way, but she would like John to leave Gina without telling anyone it's because of her.

"I want to keep my friends, and they won't like it that much if they find out I've been doing all this without any of them finding out. And John and I would probably be criticized when we just like each other so much that we can't avoid being together," Candace said.

She's not that worried about Gina finding out because it would be a reason strong enough to prevent her from trying to stay with John. In the meantime, John isn't giving any indication he likes Candace more than Gina. He still spends most of his time with his girlfriend and only calls Candace when he doesn't have anything else to do.

Candace's parents also want her to have a boyfriend and a family, and they keep asking her about her relationship. She told them she's dating someone, but she hasn't told them who it is.

And the longer it takes to meet her boyfriend, the more they doubt she's actually seeing anyone. Her brother also thinks it might be a married man.

"I let them think what they wanted. It's not like it makes any difference. I want John to make up his mind first. I can deal with my family once I know for sure we're together, and he wants to be my boyfriend only," Candace said.

Gina also confided in Candace last week that she thinks John might want to propose, so that left her confused.

"Could I be wrong about all of this? He chose a ring for her, but he wants to be with me. I want him to stay with me, not with her," Candace said.

John hasn't proposed yet, and Candace keeps calling Gina to check if anything new has happened.

What do you think about this situation? Is it fair for Candace to keep wanting John to leave his girlfriend if their relationship started before she met him? Would it be ok for her to tell Gina she's been seeing John too and let her decide if she still wants to be his girlfriend?

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Amy Christie is a passionate writer and journalist, always striving to bring out the positive and create meaningful connections.

Dallas, TX

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