PBS Kids GO! It's My Life
Crushes: Three's A Crowd

It's one of the oldest, most common problems around.

Roxi, 13, wrote to us that she likes this one boy, and he likes her back, but her friend likes him too and is trying to tell him really bad lies about her.

Then there's the problem that Aaron, 11, is having. He can't help having a crush on the girl that his friend Daniel is going out with, but he knows that they're about to break up. Should he tell one of them how he feels?

Our close friendships usually last longer than our crushes, but our romantic feelings are pretty important, too. Here are some ideas for keeping it all together:

DON'T go behind your friend's back. This might seem like the solution to a problem that's happening right now, but think a few days or weeks into the future. Your friend will probably find out what you've done, and POOF. There goes his or her trust. Consider what's most important to you, and talk to your friend about how you're feeling. Let your friend know that you respect his or her feelings, and that the friendship is very important to you, but you're also struggling with your crush. If you stay honest and thoughtful, chances are good that you and your friend will be able to figure something out.

DON'T talk trash about your friend. If you and a friend are in competition for a crush, it might seem like putting your friend down or making insults in front of your crush will score you more points. But it's more likely that your crush will think you're mean or a bad friend. Plus, you just know that what you're saying will get back to your friend and cause big trouble!

DON'T force your crush to choose. It may seem like the best way to end this situation is to ask your crush to pick between you and your friend. But forcing a decision like this can lead to a very awkward and dramatic scene, and you may not like what you hear. It's better for both of you to back off and let things happen naturally.

DO talk it over with your friend. Real friendships are supposed to be strong enough to survive the occasional bump in the road. It's important for both of you to be honest about your feelings and to explore how you might be able to work things out. If you truly value your friendship, one solution is for both of you to back off and not try to get closer to your crush. Otherwise, you'll have to figure out a way to deal with the fact that you both like the same boy or girl. Of course, if neither of you plans on doing anything about the crush, and you want to just keep it in a "what if?" mode, then you can both crush without having to compete.

DO back off if you can. Perhaps your friend likes your crush more than you do. Maybe you have the same crush out of a sense of competition with your friend. If this is the case, you might want to be the one to let go and tell your friend that she can have the crush all to herself. This may hurt a little, but if you're only in it for the competition, it's not worth fighting to win. Maybe you'll find another crush who you like even better!

DO remember the reasons why you're friends. Never forget what made you friends in the first place. A mega-crush can make you temporarily blind to the strengths of your friendships, but make a point of reminding yourself.

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