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What To Do When Your Best Friend Has Another Best Friend

“I’ve been best friends with the same person for years, but recently they’ve been spending lots of time with someone else. I don’t think I’m my best friend’s best friend anymore, and I feel lonely. Is this normal? What should I do about it?”

Discovering that your best friend is close to someone else or that they don’t consider you their best friend can be upsetting. But it doesn’t have to be the end of your friendship, and it doesn’t mean that your friend doesn’t like or value you. In this article, you’ll learn what to do if your friend has another friend and you’re feeling left out or jealous.

1. Spend quality time with your best friend

If your best friend chooses to spend all or most of their time with someone else, you can’t stop them. But they are more likely to keep investing in your friendship if you are a good friend who is fun to be around. Positive people tend to have more friends, and their friendships tend to be stronger.[1]

You could:

  • Try a fun new activity or sport together
  • Make an effort to have deeper conversations with your friend; sometimes, we assume we already know everything about our friend and begin taking them for granted, which can make the friendship become stale.
  • Learn a new skill together
  • Plan a trip or special outing to make new memories
  • Schedule a regular hangout time so you know that you’ll see your friend regularly. For example, you could sign up for a weekly workout class together and then grab a drink afterward.

2. Avoid being clingy

If you feel that you are losing your best friend, you might be tempted to call, message, or see them much more than usual. But this kind of behavior might make your friend feel smothered. If you are prone to clinginess, see our guide on how not to be clingy with friends.

3. Get to know your best friend’s other friend

If you don’t already know your best friend’s other best friend, try hanging out with them both if they’re open to the idea.

There are several benefits of this approach:

  • Your best friend’s new friend could become your new friend too, and the three of you could hang out together.
  • Your best friend will be happy if they see that their two closest friends can get along.
  • Your best friend will respect you for making a good faith effort to get along with their other best friend.
  • You’ll see that the other person is not perfect, which might make them seem less of a threat to the bond you have with your best friend.

You could make a general suggestion that the three of you should hang out.

For example:

  • “It sounds like [other friend] is really cool! I’d like to meet them sometime.”
  • “I’d love to meet [other friend], they sound interesting!”

If your best friend seems enthusiastic, you could offer a more direct invitation.

For example:

  • “I was thinking we could see a movie this weekend. Maybe [other friend’s name] would like to come too?”
  • “It sounds like [other friend] likes being outdoors. Maybe we could all go for a hike next Sunday?”

Don’t try to force a friendship if you don’t click with your best friend’s other friend, but give them a chance.

4. Develop your other friendships

If you have several friends who you like and enjoy spending time with, you may not feel so threatened or worried when your best friend has another best friend. Try not to build your social life around a single person, even if they are a very close friend.

These guides may help you expand your social circle and get closer to people you already know:

5. Talk about your feelings

It’s not wrong to feel jealous, and friendship jealousy is common.[2] Jealousy is a sign that you are worried about losing a friendship that means a lot to you.[2] You might be jealous of your best friend having other friends because you’re afraid that they will choose to spend time with them rather than you.

However, although jealousy is common, it may help to have a frank conversation about your feelings if you’re finding it hard to act normally around your friend.

Your friend may be relieved to know why you’ve been behaving differently, and they will probably be happy to reassure you that your friendship is still important to them.

Be honest, but be careful to make it clear that you are responsible for your own emotions. Do not ask your friend to give up their new friendship because this is controlling and toxic behavior.

For example, you could say:

“I admit that I’ve been feeling a bit jealous of your friendship with [new friend’s name] recently. I’m working on it, and I know you haven’t done anything wrong. It’s awkward, but I think it’s best that I’m honest with you because I know I’ve been acting distant lately.”

Do not get into the habit of asking for reassurance because this will make you come across as needy and clingy. It’s fine to talk openly about your feelings, but it’s up to you to manage your jealousy.

6. Remember that each friendship is unique

It’s healthy and normal to get different things from different friendships. Just because your friend has other friends doesn’t mean they don’t value you.

For example, let’s say you and your best friend both love classic movies and have a similar sense of humor, plus you have lots of shared memories. But you are interested in political issues, and your friend isn’t. It would be natural for you to find friends who would be happy to talk about politics. In the same way, it’s normal for your friend to have multiple friendships that fill different needs.

7. Make sure your expectations are realistic

If you have unrealistic or unhealthy ideas about what your friendships should be like, you may be easily hurt when they don’t live up to your expectations.

It can help to remember that:

  • It’s normal for best friends to grow apart over the years for various reasons. For example, you may move to a new city or adopt a very different lifestyle. You may reconnect in the future if, for example, you live in the same area again. Try to be patient. One day, you may be close friends again.
  • Some people like to have several close or “best” friends. It doesn’t mean they value one best friend over another.
  • It’s OK to have a best friend who doesn’t consider you their best friend in return. This can happen for various reasons. For example, you may be an introvert with a smaller social circle than your best friend, and you might invest more deeply in your friendships. Or your best friend might not feel the need to label any of their friends as their “best friend.”

Common questions

How can you get your best friend back from someone else?

You cannot control what your best friend does or who they spend time with. Instead of trying to undermine their new friendship, focus on enjoying your best friend’s company. Your friend will probably resent you if they realize you are trying to get in the way of their new friendship.

How do you know if your best friend is replacing you?

If you feel you’ve grown apart from your best friend and they spend a lot of time with someone else, they may no longer see you as their best friend. You may hear from other people that they’ve grown close to someone else. You may also realize that you are no longer first to know your friend’s news.

What should you do when you and your best friend are not talking?

If you have fallen out with your friend, reach out to them. If you don’t already know, find out why they are upset. Apologize and make amends if necessary. If you have drifted apart, send them a message letting them know you’ve missed them. Invite them to hang out and catch up on each other’s lives.

What do you do when you lose your best friend?

Acknowledge your feelings and allow yourself time to grieve the friendship. Try to be thankful for the good times you had together. Focus on meeting new people and growing your social circle. If you feel very low or depressed, talk to a trusted friend or therapist.

We recommend BetterHelp for online therapy, since they offer unlimited messaging and a weekly session, and are cheaper than going to a therapist's office.

Their plans start at $64 per week. If you use this link, you get 20% off your first month at BetterHelp + a $50 coupon valid for any SocialSelf course: Click here to learn more about BetterHelp.

(To receive your $50 SocialSelf coupon, sign up with our link. Then, email BetterHelp’s order confirmation to us to receive your personal code. You can use this code for any of our courses.)

Can you have 2 best friends?

Yes. You can have 2 or more best friends who are equally as important or special to you. You don’t have to pick one friend who is closer to you than the rest. If your friend has another best friend, it doesn’t mean they like or value you any less.

Show references +

Viktor is a Counselor specialized in interpersonal communication and relationships. He manages SocialSelf’s scientific review board. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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  1. I have (had) someone who I have known for over 15 years. We lost contact and then found each other again.
    My problem is that since we reconnected he comes over and spends more time with my neighbor than he used to with me. He doesn’t let me know he’s there and sometimes he’ll stay overnight and then leave. I’ve gone weeks without him coming over to visit and if he does it’s usually just for an hour or two, if I’m lucky. If he does happen to notice me he’ll say hi about half the time, sometimes I don’t even say anything back to him but go back inside and close the door.
    I expressed my feelings about it and he said that we are still friends but that he needs help more than I do, yet I live alone and my neighbor is married
    Since then I was in a head on collision and have been in a lot of pain and not able to do much of the things that I used to. I’ve only asked him for help when I had no one else to ask and then it took a few days for him to help me.
    This year for my birthday he offered to drive someone we both know to move to another state and when he got back a few days later, I felt like I should be graced by him showing up and telling me all about the trip.
    I have said to him that I would like to have some time with him to talk about something that is bothering me and he doesn’t seem interested in talking with me but more about other people and what’s happening with them.
    I do here from him when my neighbor doesn’t have what he needs to do something and he’ll come over and be nice to me asking to borrow this or that.
    Am I going crazy or what? He tells me that he’s been busy with other things and I have nothing to worry about. Yet there’s others telling me he’s playing me and I just need to get rid of him.
    I have major trust issues and he knows this, I’ve been manipulated by people that stole from me and lied to me and used my good nature to help themselves not caring about what they do to me.
    I know what I should do but I used to trust him and now there’s doubts and he doesn’t want to talk about anything with me anymore. Almost every time I bring something up he tells me I’ve told him already or he saw what I was watching. I don’t believe it anymore because there’s been a few times I know he never heard me tell him because it had just happened.
    My heart is going to be broken and I can’t take it anymore, I don’t know how to deal with this anymore because I know he’ll break my heart.

    Reply
  2. I have a best friend and one time we got into an argument and she chose her other best friend over me when I have been with her for the past 8 years and the other best friend had been with her for only 2 months approximately and the other best is very clingy she doesn’t let me near her and she always interfere between us and she always says that she wants to be in between us and my best friend don’t even say anything to her until I told her that her other best friend is very possessive of her and this thought is always on my mind

    Reply
  3. I have a friend that only spends most of the time playing with some one else.
    Ones they lied to me saying that they are going to spend their trest of ressece apart. I knew that there was something wrong, since that never happens. They just separated for 10 seconds. Then they came back together. After that I didn’t talk for the rest of the day.

    Reply
  4. I have only one best friend and we don’t even live in the same country
    But I love her so much I can’t even spend my day without talking to her she is so important to me and I just can’t even imagine losing her.
    But I feel jealous when she is with her other friends whenever I saw a picture of her with her other friends idk why I just start crying🥲🥲because IK that she has so many friends but I have only her. And I can’t even tell her that I’m getting jealous🥲

    What should I do? Do I need to change myself?
    🥹🫶🏻

    Reply
    • The same thing has happened to me. My best friend move to another state 4 years ago and somehow I got her number but now I know she has another best friend of she didn’t replace me but it does make us jealous but maybe we should don’t stop them because even though we are apart we are close from the heart and plus they also need to make some friends and so do we so I’ll recommend making new friend too either it’s ur choice

      Reply
  5. How about if I just leave the friendship and we don’t have to see each other again… My best friend can enjoy their time with someone else, not me.

    Reply
  6. I was so depressed but since I joined this company my friendship changed, I’m now a relationship girl, thanks

    Reply
  7. thank you so much!!! my best friend Emily is having a new friend Addie and they have been spending a lot of time together and sometimes I think that sometimes maybe you should let the friendship work out itself.

    Reply
  8. I really loved this site.
    There was everything I needed and I felt relaxed reading this.
    Now I have a little bit of confidence
    Thank you!

    Reply

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