It’s not ideal, nor that common, but, in some instances, there are situations when a buddy you’ve known for years drops the news that he once hooked up with, dated or had a one-night stand with the girl you’re currently seeing. In other words, the two of you are eskimo brothers. At first, it might not be that big of a deal, but, depending on how their relationship went and ended, it could be an issue that weighs on you.

Some guys like to internalize these feelings and play it cool when it comes to this type of situation. Problem is, we’re human, and it’s only natural to want to get as much info as possible about what may have been between your buddy and the girl, as well as wanting to know if there’s still any feelings between them.

So, what should you do if you find yourself in the precarious situation? We give you some tips on how to handle it right, so not to strain either relationship or make things uncomfortable for anyone moving forward.

Be candid

It’s completely normal to feel pissed off, a little bitter and downright uncomfortable that your buddy and you are eskimo brothers with the girl you’re currently seeing. Rather than keep those emotions inside, though, now’s the time to voice how you feel to both of them separately, letting them know how it makes you feel. In most cases, you’re going to feel weird, but, sometimes, it may not even bother you at all, understanding that it was in the past and you’re OK that it happened.

Ask questions

Going along the same lines as the above, before making your decision on what to do and coming to a conclusion for your next move, ask specific questions about what happened. Now’s not the time to try and play it cool when, deep down, you need to know the ins and outs of their relationship. Was it a one-time deal that happened while drunk? Was it a friends with benefits kind of thing? Did they do it frequently and had a flirty, physical relationship? Get your facts and, once you get answers, see what you want to do next.

Don’t force a friendship

Look, you’re probably going to feel like third wheel as you gather facts about what happened between them and how deep their relationship was. However, once you get your answers and make your decision on what to do, the last thing you want to do is make it even more uncomfortable by forcing a friendship between all three of you. For instance, just because this guy is your buddy and eskimo brother who you think the world of, doesn’t mean the girl you’re dating thinks so highly of him. Likewise, your buddy may be telling you to stay away from her because she’s a bit crazy. Either way, don’t try to make the three of best friends who plan things together, that’s just strange.

Make the tough decision

Either you want to stay friends with your buddy or you want to keep on dating the girl. Yep, it really is that simple — however, the steps to get to that verdict isn’t so easy. Once you’ve got all the info that you think you need to determine next steps, analyze your feelings first, and think about how you might feel if this girl and you get serious. Then think about the friendship with your buddy, wondering if he’s someone you see in your life for a long time or just someone who likes to drink with you on the weekend. Finally, is this girl really someone you could see a future with? If so, do you trust her? Do you think she’s the one who should get between you and a buddy? You’re an adult, and these types of things are what you need to think about before making the tough decision moving forward.

Set boundaries by learning to co-exist

If you’ve come to the conclusion that it really isn’t that big of a deal, no matter how it all went down, then make sure you set boundaries with both of them so that everyone is comfortable. Let them know how you’d prefer they communicate, if at all, and listen to what they have to say about how they’d like the relationship to be handled. Sometimes, both people will just agree that they don’t want to address the situation until things between you and her get more serious, avoiding group hangouts until trust is built. Other times, they may be fine being in the same room, just not engaging with one another. This is difficult, but, if you can co-exist, it’s important that everyone’s on the same page so that no drama comes down the line.