mysql Multiple Foreign Keys in a Table to the Same Primary Key

All we need is an easy explanation of the problem, so here it is.

I have a table user with userID as the primary key. I have another table called Friends. In the Friends table, I have two Users as friends represented by the columns UserID and FrndID where both UserID and FrndID should be a userID in table user.

I want to enforce data integrity. Could I use something like this?

ADD CONSTRAINT `ufd_users_fk` FOREIGN KEY (`userId`, `friendId`)
REFERENCES `users` (`userId`, `userId`) ON DELETE CASCADE ON UPDATE CASCADE;

I want to know is REFERENCESusers(userId,userId) referencing a column multiple times correctly? The reason I am not creating 2 separate constraints, is that both users must exist in table user.

How to solve :

I know you bored from this bug, So we are here to help you! Take a deep breath and look at the explanation of your problem. We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first method because it is tested & true method that will 100% work for you.

Method 1

No, you should create two foreign keys:

ADD CONSTRAINT `ufd_users_fk` FOREIGN KEY (`userId`) 
  REFERENCES `users` (`userId`) 
  ON DELETE CASCADE ON UPDATE CASCADE,
ADD CONSTRAINT `ufd_users_fk` FOREIGN KEY (`friendId`) 
  REFERENCES `users` (`userId`) 
  ON DELETE CASCADE ON UPDATE CASCADE;

Note: Use and implement method 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

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