Ask Patty: Three’s Company or a Crowd?

Ask Patty: Three’s Company or a Crowd?

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"Help! I’m in a friendship triangle! My best friend Melissa introduced me to one of her friends, Karen. Karen and I clicked right away and have been hanging out, sometimes without Melissa. Melissa is getting super jealous and doesn’t want us hanging out by ourselves. She asked if we wouldn’t hang out unless we invited her. What gives? It’s like I can’t have any other friends besides Melissa. Should I end my friendship with her?"

— Taylor (Anderson, Ohio)




Good friendships are about considering each other’s feelings, and if your friendship with Melissa is a valuable one you shouldn’t go as far as ending it over her insecurities. You are right that sometimes people will click differently than others, and part of the reason people have many different friends is because each person offers a varying experience and point of view.


You and Karen may have hobbies or interests in common which Melissa doesn’t share. However, she did introduce you, and it would be the considerate thing to do to make her feel invited or welcome to your plans.


Try extending an invitation to Melissa even if it’s not something she would particularly like to do. Sometimes just having the option to decline will be enough to make a world of a difference. Also, make an effort to invite her to dinner or some other neutral event as a group once in a while.


If she continues to behave jealously or tries to control your friendship, however, you may have to sit down and be honest with her about how this is making you feel. If she is a true friend and appreciates both you and Karen’s friendship, she will more than likely want to work out the issue so that everyone can get along in the future.