• Resolving Problems

You’ve been friend poached!

Published: December 28, 2015 | By | 12 Replies Continue Reading
A woman asks: Is it normal to feel jealous and sad when you’re friend poached?



A few months ago I made a new friend and I tried hard to get to know her because our husbands are friends. I introduced my new friend to my BFF and we all hung out together on random occasions.

My new friend wasn’t a fan of my BFF originally but tolerated her. Now they have exchanged numbers and there have been a few occasions where my new friend calls my BFF first instead of me. I seem to be last. And now they have hung out a few times without anyone else and no one called me to invite.

I don’t understand why this is bugging me so much, but I’m finding it hurtful, I’m jealous and sad. What’s wrong with me?

Signed, Moira


Hi Moira,

It’s totally understandable to feel hurt and sad when someone swoops in and “steals” your BFF. It seems like both women were somewhat insensitive to your feelings, both the new friend whom you took under your wing and the old friend who switched loyalties.

Unfortunately, friendships are sometime like matters of the heart. Loves and allegiances change. You can’t account for the chemistry that draws two people together.

I’ve posted other questions from readers who were friend poached. It might be helpful (and reassuring) to look at some of those prior posts.

My best, Irene

Prior posts on The Friendship Blog being poached (with a few excerpts):

Friend poaching: It’s complicated

…Feeling hurt is understandable whether you’re in seventh grade or in your seventh decade…suddenly you’re on the outside looking in.

Is it okay to befriend your friend’s friend

…A classic case of friend poaching: You introduced your friend to a friend of yours—and the two of them hit it off and left you in the proverbial dust. When that happens, it’s always disappointing and it’s understandable to feel hurt.

…Try not to take this too personally. I think it has more to do with the two of them than it does with you. Unless your friend is a serial poacher (and you’ve given no indication that’s the case), it wasn’t something she did to hurt you.

Poaching social networking: What’s the difference?

…Because friendships change over time, a friendship that is ‘stolen’ may have long been gone. It may offer the poachee an opportunity to change, take a break from, or get rid of a friendship that was draining, all-consuming, or toxic in other ways.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Helen says:

    I know how this feels – it has happened to me twice and the first time it was 2 BFFs who I knew independently that I introduced to one another. It’s heartbreaking. I think we play down how situations like this can make us feel as we don’t want to appear unreasonable. But if a partner went off with someone we introduced them to, no one would think it unreasonable to be upset about that. I personally invest a lot emotionally into close relationships so when this happened to me, I felt a bit grief stricken. I think all you can do is try and use the situation to your advantage- arrange gatherings where you all go out or see each other as a group of 3 and hopefully it will become normalised to hang out as a group rather 1-1. I hope you find a way to resolve your upset with the situation soon.

  2. marinakis says:

    unfortunately i see a lot of people here say “well my other friends had more things in common so they left me, but that”s ok)!..that”s ok?..sugar coat it all u want, but for me betrayl is betrayl all the common on the planet one has!..that shows someone with low self esteem and someone who doesn”t beleive they are worth something, and if not fixed will be repeated some time in the future!..like i said, for me there”s no justification for betraying someone, unless something really really bad has happened period!!

  3. Kirsten says:

    Thank you for your post Moira, I have been in the same situation as it is not easy to get through the pain and disappointment but there is always lessons to be learnt. Mine was that I did not have to lose my identity and voice in order to be accepted as a friend. And also not be treated as a lesser being because of my disability. I simply had two friends who had more in common with each other than with me. I was too different for them so they moved on and so have I. I am scared but emboldened to seek out new friends that accept me for me.

  4. Maddie says:

    Yeah, poaching is so thoughtless. Sorry you have to go through this. I keep my friendships compartmentalized.

  5. Tanja says:

    I don’t agree that you can “steal” a friend. It sucks to feel jealous. However, as adults, it is okay to let them go off on their own. If it bothers you, you can ask them, why was I not invited or could you invite me next time. I do not think it has anything to do with switching “loyalties”, they may just have something in common and they go out together for that.

    I once had two friends, both single moms. i was in school and studying. They called me alot, they were bored and lonely. I found an opportunity to introduce them to each other. They became better friends than I am with them. One I do not even talk to anymore. But, I was okay with it.

    In life friendships change. No one belongs to anyone. It is life. Make new friends, go out, join clubs…

  6. Bridget says:

    I have had both sides get mad because they don’t want to get together. I had a group of local friends that i went to conventions with.I made a friend online and told them there was a convention in their city. They were fan of the show and I was interested in meeting them face to face. They said they would not be attending. That was fine.

    My friends and I arrived at the con and shared a hotel room. After we checked in, the online friend showed up. I introduced everyone and invited her to come with us. She said no, that she had other plans and wanted me to go with her. That gave me pause as to what to do. She showed up unexpectedly and wanted me to drop what I planned to do. I felt that would be wrong to my local friends and said she was welcome to join us. She left and made me feel I was in the middle.

    We were having dinner and one of the actors was a local musician. The online friend showed up and I was glad that she came. What I didn’t know was that she was mad.Because i had injured my foot, I could not go on the scheduled hike. I planned to take a tour bus and see the sights. The online friend said she would take me. I said I didn’t want to bother her. She said it would be no bother. So i said yes. After the tour bus left, she said she changed her mind and said she was no longer interested and left. I was stranded at the airport hotel. To me this was a deliberated snub, because she was mad that I did not drop everything for her at a moment’s notice and leave my friends.

    I feel awkward when that happens and don’t know how people deal with that situation. It feels like a tug of war. Maybe it’s acceptable to be rude and move on?

    Some people are uncomfortable with ending relationships. They just drift away. It’s sad, especially if that person has been a long time friend, but you can’t make people like you or love you. It’s their loss.

    A guy I dated did just that. he even told me (when I broke up with him) that when he wants a new girlfriend, he starts dating another and lets the old girlfriend “figure it out”. He even invited me on their date asking me if it was OK to bring a friend. I have no idea what he told his new girlfriend, but they walked ahead of me ignoring that I was quite a bit behind in the mall we were in. Eventually I “caught” on, but refused to leave. I wanted to make him admit that he was seeing another. He wouldn’t, so instead of disappearing, I told him that I knew what he was doing and that he didn’t have to lie to me anymore. He asked if I was seeing someone else. I said no. We went on lots of company sponsored ski trips. It was fun and later on in his life, he worked with disadvantaged kids and a rocking chair dedicated to him at the camp was dedicated in his honor for his work. In some ways he was very nice and in relationships, he wasn’t. It hurt and my mother said to forget him, but I was mad and tried to force him to say he was seeing someone else. I have thought of telling people how I feel, but then I realize that is pointless. They wouldn’t care if you told them or it would feed their ego if you did tell you were hurt. If they don’t want to invite you, you can’t make them. It is sad that you have been left out, but in the future they may include you.

  7. Amy F says:

    For me it comes down to this, people aren’t property and they can’t be taken or stolen. Friendship is supposed to be voluntary and for what ever reason, the your new friend and BFF gravitated to each other. Acknowledge your feelings, because emotions aren’t right or wrong, they just are.

    Rather than allowing negative feelings to drag you down, remind yourself that you haven’t lost friends, they’ve simply gotten together without you. I assume you’d be comfortable going out with one or the other, and not feel like you must include the third, that’s all they’re doing.

    The worst thing you can do, in my opinion, is show your jealousy because that comes across as needy and demanding. Invite one or both of them for lunch and enjoy yourself with your friends. If you aren’t able to do this, focus on other friendships with the knowledge that you’re choosing to distance yourself. That way you won’t feel like a victim, which you aren’t. You have all the power to create what happens going forward.

  8. Renee2776 says:

    The feelings of hurt, upset, betrayed, etc. are all normal things to feel in that type of a situation. In the ebb and flow of life, there are always things changing. Life is always throwing things at us. I truly feel there is always a reason why everything happens. It may not be shown to you right away, but there is always something to gain from an experience (a lesson or knowledge). Unfortunately, not everyone stays in our life. If it is a recurring theme with the two of them, you may have to call them out on it. Your feelings are valid. I wouldn’t hide your feelings away if it is something that truly upsets you.

  9. LauraSL says:

    I’ve been poached and it hurts. You introduce 2 people because you think they’ll hit it off and they hit it off so well, they forget about you. In my case the draw was their life circumstances were so similar (divorced). There’s nothing you can do it about it other than keep busy with other friends and activities, or else you’ll look needy and probably feel worse.

  10. marinakis says:

    @ elizabeth…first off, betrayl of a friend is worse than betrayl of a lover (especially if it”s a bff), and secondly in order to go to other friends if something happens with your bff, you must have other great friends, and not everyone is that lucky, or else they wouldn”t be here!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I don’t feel that “betrayed” is exactly the right word for the way I would feel in this situation. (These are friends, not lovers.) But I’d definitely feel sad, left out, jealous. Most of all, I would feel left out. I am not sure if there is anything you can do about it — unless it would make you feel better to talk it over as tactfully as you can with your BFF. (Irene, would that be appropriate, or not?) I suppose it depends on the level of conversation you are able to have with your BFF and how comfortable you feel opening up about this.

    It could be that your two friends are in the early stages of getting to know one another, and perhaps they will begin to include you once the novelty of their new relationship wears off? In any event, all you can do is wait and see, or maybe try inviting them both to lunch and see how things work when you’re in a group situation?

    In the past, Dr. Irene has talked about the importance of having more than one “best friend” and why we need to have several friends to rely on when one isn’t available or lets us down. I think this would be a good time for you to seek out a couple of new friends or renew some of your other friendships. Speaking personally, when one of my best friends lets me down or disappoints me, I deliberately spend time with another friend and remind myself that I can have a great time with other friends.

  12. Amy Jones says:

    So sorry, Moira. I noticed that you tried to get to know your new friend and made the effort because of your husband’s friendship. So maybe this thing with her would not have happened on its own. If this were me, as it has before, I’d feel very bad about my bff betraying me like that. I know that people can have a change of heart but they should at least be respectful of you. I totally get why you feel hurt because these other two are being rude. Anyone would feel the same. Best to you, Amy

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