Friendships are the spice of life, except when you’re feeling threatened by your boyfriend or girlfriend’s attractive best friend. Even if your partner reassures you that they’re “just friends—always have been and always will be,” you can’t help but feel jealous and nervous sometimes. Are you right to be concerned about their chemistry? Consulting the Tarot can clear up the situation.
Is That Feeling Intuition or Paranoia?
Kelsey, 31, called me because her longtime doubts about her boyfriend’s female friend, Jenna, had bubbled over. “I’m freaking out,” she said. “I was trying so hard to keep things in perspective and stay cool, but then Jenna’s mom had a heart attack. Naturally, Brian rushed to the hospital to be with her, and I’m so glad he’s the kind of guy who would do that. But I’m petrified something romantic is going to happen, and this will be the catalyst that brings them closer. I feel silly for worrying at a time like this, but I can’t help it!”
Signs of a Not-So-Innocent Friendship
There are a few sure warnings that your partner’s best friend is a threat to your relationship:
Does he or she consistently cross boundaries, like calling or texting too much or touching your partner inappropriately? If you’ve made it clear to your boyfriend or girlfriend that their texting while you are on a date or cuddling makes you uncomfortable, then it should be a red flag if those behaviors continue. The problem isn’t so much their closeness as their flagrant disregard for your feelings.
Does your partner try to keep you and his or her best friend separate? It’s one thing to have group brunch, hikes, and game night. It’s another to regularly take his or her best friend out for dinner and a movie—without you. If you normally hang out with all of your partner’s friends except his or her best friend, that should be an eyebrow-raiser.
Does your partner’s best friend try to undermine you by saying mean things or treating you rudely in person? If your gut says he or she wants you gone, you might be onto something.
In Kelsey’s situation, there were no immediately apparent warning signs that Jenna was a threat. However, I could tell that the ambiguity of her feelings was causing her considerable anguish—she exuded an aura of frustration and even self-loathing, as if she wanted her discomfort with Brian and Jenna’s relationship to disappear. I offered to give her an intuitive Tarot reading that might clear up the triangle dynamic, and she readily agreed. “I just want to know if I’m being irrational,” she said.
Insights from the Tarot
I shuffled the deck and explained that the first card would represent Brian and Jenna’s relationship. It was the Six of Cups, which depicts two children playing in a garden. “This card represents childhood, nostalgia, and simple joys,” I told Kelsey. “Brian and Jenna have known each other for ages, haven’t they?”
“They met in the third grade,” Kelsey confirmed.
“This card tells me their relationship truly is platonic at its core. Their friendship is rooted in a pure and child-like affection. It would quickly sour if a romantic element were introduced.”
“That’s a relief to hear,” sighed Kelsey. “But it somehow doesn’t make me feel less jealous of their connection.”
“Let’s see what the next card has to say. This one is about your relationship with Brian.” I drew the Two of Cups, which shows a man and a woman locked in an embrace with gold chalices held to the sky. “According to the Tarot, you and Brian share a soulmate connection.”
“But he has so much in common with Jenna! They grew up together.”
“That’s not necessarily what a soulmate is. They might have years of inside jokes and shared memories, but the relationship you have with Brian is a different kind. I sense that when you first met, the attraction was powerful and instinctive. You’re drawn to each other almost magnetically. That feeling will last for many years.”
“That sounds right,” Kelsey agreed. “I guess I’ve just been paranoid about Brian and Jenna.”
“Not necessarily,” I said. “Don’t discount your feelings. I’ll bet there’s a real reason for your anxiety, perhaps something that’s out of balance in your relationship and needs correcting. Let’s consult the final card of your reading.” Rarely are our intuitions “irrational” or “silly,” and I hoped I could convince Kelsey to take hers seriously.
Curiously, I drew the Eight of Swords, which shows a blindfolded woman in a bind. “Typically, this card represents a denial of your involvement in an uncomfortable situation. I sense that, although you may not be aware of it, you’ve positioned yourself opposite to Jenna instead of on her team. What do you think?”
“Maybe. When Brian first introduced me to Jenna, I felt like such a third wheel to their friendship. He invites me to go to brunch or the dog park with Jenna every few weeks, but I always decline because I don’t like feeling so awkward.”
“You need to embrace the awkwardness, Kelsey! It will be uncomfortable, just like you’ve experienced already, because you are changing the dynamic of a years-old friendship—but it’s the natural evolution of things. With time, I sense this will resolve happily if you are willing to join them.”
New Relationships, New Friendships
For Kelsey, the Tarot revealed that her insecurities about Brian’s oldest friendship stemmed from her own avoidance of the situation. Because she felt awkward being thrown into the dynamic of two childhood pals, she intentionally distanced herself from Jenna, forcing Brian to see them on separate terms. I advised Kelsey to speak honestly with Brian about her feelings so he would be more attentive to her comfort and inclusion around Jenna. I also encouraged Kelsey to give hanging out with the two of them another try.
Jealousy in relationships is normal, especially when it comes to your boyfriend or girlfriend’s attractive friends. Although you might initially feel competition for affection and attention with your partner’s closest mates, remember that real friends will support your relationship and welcome you. If your intuition is sending up warning flares, don’t hesitate to investigate.
Are you feeling jealous of your boyfriend or girlfriend’s attractive friend? An advisor at KEEN.com can clarify the situation.