Editor's note: Is your guy friend really just a friend? Are you sure he isn't waiting on the sidelines for the chance to pounce? It's easy to tell! Check out the sneaky tricks guys use to break up your relationship.
Become Her Confidant
One of the first things you need to do is make a place for yourself in her life; you can't just be the guy she works with or her neighbor. Find common ground and establish some flirtation without directly coming on to her. Without being too obvious, steer the conversation toward problems in her relationship. But bear in mind that you can only chip at cracks that are already there — get her to reveal their problems rather than listing what you think are his major flaws.
The main sources of arguments are money, sex, work, housework and children — although if you want to break up a family rather than just a couple, maybe you should think long and hard about the whole affair. Bring up one of these and there will surely be something that she is desperate to vent about. These problems may seem minor, but they are often indications of deeper, more serious issues. A small itch about housework could really be about respect, money arguments could be about power and responsibility in the relationship, and sex issues might have to do with love and the need for intimacy. Keep subtly bringing these to the surface to remind her just how unhappy she is. Mix in your concern about other issues that are seemingly unrelated to him — this will build up your intimacy. However, avoid finding yourself in the friend zone. Keep the flirting going and make sure that you are a man in her mind, not another girlfriend she can moan to about men.
Play Devil's Advocate
Once she has started to complain about every bad part of her relationship, don't just sit there agreeing with her or attacking him — this will only get her to defend him and concentrate on his good points. At worst, she could develop a "persecution syndrome," which could lead her to think that everyone is against her doomed relationship and make her do anything to save it.
Instead, defend his actions while distancing yourself from his behavior. Say, "Not every guy would do that, but maybe he thinks..." By doing this, you will push her to focus on his bad points. To win the "argument," she will have to convince you — and herself — that her boyfriend is no good for her. When she's spent enough time "convincing" you that he is bad for her, agree with her. Tell her you had no idea her partner was that bad. This way, she will have heard nothing good about him — save for a few deliberately lame excuses from you — and will leave thinking she's right and he's wrong. An added bonus is that this tactic covers your tracks nicely. If you're accused of breaking them up, she will defend you and tell everyone how you tried to keep them together.
Be the Man She Wants
By now, you know the kind of guy she wants to be with, and you have planted doubts in her mind that her boyfriend is that man. It is time to step into the void that has been created. Gradually start acting like her ideal boyfriend. If she craves attention from him, drop casual lines like, "I was watching this show and I thought of you..." If he's not the giving type, pick up thoughtful yet nonthreatening gifts for her. As for sexual problems, increasing flirtation will get her pulse and mind racing over you. In short, progressively create the feeling that the two of you are already in a relationship. Cultivate inside jokes, ask about her family and suggest one-on-one activities.
Make Her Jealous
If you really want to make sure you don't end up in the permanent friend zone after becoming her confidant, you must make her jealous of the other women in your life. Don't be entirely at her beck and call — keep dating other women. Let her know this, especially if the women you are dating are the sort she doesn't get along with. She will wonder why you'd rather be with them than with her. Of course, don't take it too far: She has to know that there is still a chance of something happening between the two of you. The aim is to get her to compete for your attention — not her boyfriend's.
Use Her Friends
It is sometimes possible to attack on two fronts and get her friends to help you with your dirty work. However, there is always the risk that someone will figure out what you are up to. Aim for them to think favorably of you. If they also don't like him, they might start to ask her why she's with "that loser" when she could have you instead.
Your absolute last resort — and the lowest thing you can do — is to spread rumors about him. If you are caught doing this, you will watch all your hard work fall apart as she runs back to him. But rumors can be devastatingly effective. A whisper campaign about loyalty and commitment will create distrust and arguments in the strongest of relationships. Strengthen this by tailoring it to the circumstances and basing it on a specific issue or person that is causing problems. It is best if you can distance yourself from the rumor. Drop hints around known gossips, then wait for them to put the pieces together and start whispering about it.
So, You Got the Girl
Of course, once you have her, how can you be sure you'll be happy? And at the back of your mind, you'll know that she fell for it once, so why wouldn't she fall for it again? These are the factors you have to consider before you embark on this treacherous journey.
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