Dear Dr. Love, I’m part of a wonderful group of friends (about 12 of us with a pretty even gender mix) who all spend a decent amount of time together in a week. Already in this group there are several couples, both from two singles forming a couple within the group and couples joining the group already united. One of the girls in the group broke up with her boyfriend of almost 8 months (who is still in the group and a good friend of mine) about a month ago. From what she’s told me about the breakup, it was because she felt that the relationship wouldn’t be able to make it past the dating stage, they had too many differences. He also was starting to feel the same way, but not as strongly. The breakup was amicable and they are remaining friends. I’ve wanted to date her ever since I’ve known her (about a year). I asked her out not long after we first met, but she had just started dating her recent ex-boyfriend just a few weeks before I asked (the news hadn’t reached me at that point). So, I never found out if she sees me as a possible romantic interest because it never came up. Right now, I’m just continuing to be a friend to both her AND her ex. Since the breakup, we have continued to interact in much the same manner as before. She and I have done things together (movies, eating out, hanging out) as part of a group be it small (3-4 people) or everybody. We have been talking and e-mailing more often than normal, and we’ve just made plans to see a mutually liked theater company just the two of us (because nobody else in the group could make it or was interested). My question is this: If I do decide to take things to the next level, what kind of effect could it have on the group (which I wouldn’t do anything to harm) or my friendship with her ex? Also, since I already asked her out once, should I still make the first move or should I wait for her to ask me? I’d greatly appreciate any help you can give. . . . . Sensitive Friend
What a thoughtful and considerate person you are!To think about how other people will feel if you go forward with this girl is so wonderful. More people should stop and consider the effect that their actions will have on others before they actually act.The best way for you to find out how the group will react is to have a group meeting. If that isn’t practical, then speak with each of the members of the group on an individual basis and each for feedback. And, make sure to do the same with her ex. .The act of asking how your group would feel about your dating her, shows love and concern for the members of your group. The sheer act of asking for input is protective of the group and its members.I wouldn’t be surprised to find that all of the people you ask will encourage you to follow your heart. They love you as much as you love them, and they want your happiness.