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Ask Ogonna: How to handle BFFs, BFs and bros

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Have a problem with love or life in general? Send Ogonna your questions at askogonna@gmail.com and get them answered here in her column. You can also tweet her at @askogonna


Reader: My best friend recently started dating my brother and it’s a little awkward for me. She keeps telling me details I do not want to hear about and I don’t get to spend a lot of time with her or my brother. How should I deal with this?

Ogonna: Boundaries. Set yourself and your friend some major boundaries.

When your friends are in relationships, you are the person they go to with all the mushy gushy and sometimes TMI details of their relationship. This, however, is a tricky situation because you are not only close with your best friend, but you are also close with your sibling. Literally, you share DNA.

While you want to support your friend, you also don’t want to know the intimate details of your sibling’s life. I think it’s perfectly fine to tell your friend this. Let your friend know that while you love her, you don’t love hearing her comments about how attractive she finds your brother, or how his eyes twinkle at night. It’s good to know the limit of what types of conversations you can and can’t stand to discuss with your friend and go ahead and set those boundaries.

You’ve grown up with the guy since the diaper age and are practically attached at the hip with your friend, so you can’t help but feel a tad slighted when the two of them get together and you’re left feeling like a third wheel.

Even though it’s a bummer that you don’t get to spend as much quality time with your friend or your brother, think of what ways you can encourage the relationship. If you so desire, you can help them plan dates or help them choose cute gifts for each other. This way, you’re contributing positively to their relationship as well as your own relationships with each of them. And of course, let them both know you want to still feel included. If you can’t see them at your own leisure, figure out days that work for you to hang out with your friend or with your brother separately so you can still get that quality time.

You love your friend and you love your brother, so you ultimately want them both to find happiness, right? If dating each other makes them happy, you should support that. It’s hard, I know, to watch them change when they’re around each other or when they have to split their time between hanging out with you and hanging out with each other. Sacrifices are not always the most fun, but for friends and family, you can go the distance.

And if all else fails, just threaten that you’ll share their embarrassing stories. You have that power — use it.

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