Has your boyfriend run off with your best mate, have you cheated with your girlfriend's best mate, or do you have the hots for your friend's lover? We help you do the right thing.

My partner left me for my mate

This is one of the most painful betrayals, when two of the closest people to you hurt you. However, if both of them have known you for a while you would hope it was serious emotions and not just a lust-filled fling that made them do it.

Only you can decide how you will deal with them, if you want to stay with your lover, or stay friends with your mate. It depends on a whole range of things, how long they let it go on before telling you, how they feel about each other, whether they are sorry, and how you feel about it all. Did you think things were fantastic, or was the relationship stale and heading to an end?

Be prepared to go through any number of emotions from anger, to hurt and misery, or maybe even relief. Talk it through with a trusted friend, rather than bottling things up. Think it over and then finally talk it through with your mate and lover.

If they cheated, but want to stay with you
It's up to you to decide whether you want to finish the relationship or not. If you think there is a chance that you can forgive them, it's important to find why they were unfaithful in the first place. You will both have to be prepared to make some changes if things are going to work out.

You will also have to talk to your partner to make sure they didn't expose you to sexually transmitted infections. If you don't believe them, play safe and get yourself a check-up anyway.
Need more help?

The Relate network of relationship counsellors will see single people who find it hard to come to terms with being cheated on. They also counsel couples that want to patch things up after an affair. Your local branch of Relate is listed in the Yellow Pages.

I want my mate's lover
A tricky one, this - really the best thing is to steer clear. However, if you really believe you are meant to be together, and think they do too, you are going to have to talk to them. No physical action should be taken while they are still together. If they do break up, be considerate and leave it a while before jumping into bed with each other.

There is an unwritten rule in friendships that you shouldn't get it on with your mate's love interest. There are some circumstances where it may be OK - if they had only just started seeing them and weren't that bothered and you were up front about your interest, or they gave you the all clear. Yet even then, leaving it a while before making a move would be more considerate.
I want to leave my lover for their best mate

If you were to go for your lover's best friend then you could possibly ruin both your relationship with your partner, and the friendship between them. Think about how you would feel if the roles were reversed. However on the same note if you really love them and know the feeling is mutual, take some time before making a move. Break up with your current partner and take some time alone to think it through without the distractions of his/her best mate.

If you still really believe they are the one for you, then play decently. Their mate may not want to get involved with you, as it could ruin their friendship. However if you are sure the feelings are mutual, talk to his/her friend - don't act on it, just talk. Agree to wait a while before seeing if it will go anywhere, and when you do start seeing each other don't rub it in your ex's face.