Love is complicated, but things can get even more confusing when you fall for your BFF's brother. Your social calendar may be hard to juggle when your best friend and your lover are both fighting to take you to that new Northern Italian bistro that opened up in the neighborhood, touting the best lobster and truffle ravioli. Not to mention, that time with your new beau's family can get awkward when your friend is sitting in the same room while you engage in small public displays of affection with her brother. Before you decide whether or not to integrate yourself fully into the relationship, you need to weigh this decision wisely and make sure everyone is communicating openly about their feelings. While this can be an amazing union, there is always the downside that it could turn into one big sticky love triangle. Below are five points of advice that can help you assess whether or not this type of relationship is worth the risk:
1. Measure the Stakes: Being in a new relationship can be exciting, but those tingly feelings in your stomach might turn to churning misery in your friend's. Your BFF loves you, and if you date her brother, she may feel like you are choosing him over her. Even if things seem to be great in the beginning, your friendship could crumble if she starts to feel jealous about the time you are spending with him. Who knows, she may even start to wonder if you used your friendship as a means to get to him. The upside to this situation (although it's a risk) is that you both could become even closer friends and end up as sister-in-laws in the long run.
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2. Know When to Say "No": Not sure what to do about the feelings you are having for your best friends brother? Take out a piece of paper and carefully weigh the pros and cons. There are several signs that can help you identify when it may be time to keep those emotions inside. For example, if your heart pulsates when you see his face but then his image later vanishes from your mind or if your girlfriend starts to get a little standoffish once you tell her about your feelings, it may not be a good idea to take the next step. You should really commit 100 percent to this relationship, and so should all of the parties involved before you jump in. Don't make your best friend's brother your new flavor of the week.
3. Follow Your Heart: If it feels right, if all you can think about is him, and if you can't go another minute without his name popping into your thoughts, reach out and grab him. Maybe you know your best friend can handle you dating him, and perhaps she has even dropped hints that he likes you. Not only should you be aware of your friend's feelings, but you should also already know her brother to some extent. Don't just jump in because he's a hottie -- make sure you have a strong connection as well. You should also assess the relationship the two siblings have with one another; maybe they don't get along. Knowing the kind of kinship your best friend and her brother share can help you understand the dynamic a little better. Professional life coach and relationship expert Amy Schoen of MotivatedToMarry.com adds, "You want the brother to be sensitive to his sister." With your friendship on the line, be positive that this leap of faith is worth it.
4. Communicate Openly: Talk to your best friend and her brother before you move forward. If you haven't started dating yet, speak to your friend about her feelings surrounding your potential relationship. Ask her if dating her brother would be like Santa giving her the sister the present she always wanted or more like getting the biggest lump of coal in her stocking. If you've already decided to make the move forward with the relationship, let him know that you need to be honest and upfront with your BFF. During the conversation, reinforce that you love her and that her brother isn't her replacement. "You have to be careful to take your friend's feelings into consideration if you want to maintain the friendship," Schoen explains. "In the end, if the two of you are together, she'll have to deal with it, but helping her along with the coping process and being aware of her feelings is the best way to smooth the path for your new love."
Related Link: 10 Tips for Dating Your Friend's Sister
5. End on a Sweet Note: Sometimes, no matter how hard you try or how much you really love someone, the relationship just doesn't work out. When this happens, try to keep the breakup amicable, especially if you want to maintain your friendship with your best friend. Screaming curse words, hacking into his Facebook, or slandering your ex is not the way to secure your relationship with your BFF. Schoen agrees: "If it doesn't work out, you will most likely run into the sibling at times, and you don't want an uncomfortable situation." Remember that, no matter what, she is a blood relative of the guy whose face you just photo-shopped onto that racy nude pic and shared with your Twitter followers. You're still going to see him if you and your best friend stay together, so end it as nicely as you can.
Ultimately, the choice is up to you; just remember that your best bud is caught in the middle of her family tie and her friendship bond. Don't stress her out too much, and try to look at things from her perspective. It's harder to drag your friendship from a burning wreck than to slowly pull it back in from a pool of tears.Lori Bizzoco is the Executive Editor of CupidsPulse.com, a first-of-its-kind website that takes the latest celebrity news and repackages it to help singles and couples navigate their love lives. She is a sought after relationship and entertainment expert who has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, Chicago-Tribune, Working Mother, Woman's Day, Redbook, Parenting, and on Fox News, The Suze Orman Show, WebMD, Match.com, JDate, YourTango, and more. She's appeared in two books, 'No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think about Power' by feminist icon Gloria Feldt and 'Cheat on Your Husband (With Your Husband)' by Andrea Syrtash. Today, CupidsPulse.com has more than one million unique visitors per month.