His Girlfriend's Best Friend Is a Guy
Q: My girlfriend has a couple of guy friends. She likes to hang out at happy hour with one of them a lot. I have friends that are girls too, but I don't go out to bars with them and hang out without my girlfriend for hours. This is getting old. She says he's just a friend, and that he's got a girlfriend. She gets irritated when I ask her why she doesn't go to happy hour with me. She says she needs some time to do her own thing and that she was friends with him before she met me. I don't like how things are going because she's now trying to hide it and make me think she's doing something else. Then she just happens to stop off at the bar and he's there. I don't really know if I can trust her. Even if I can, I don't know if I want to date someone who has to hang out at bars so much with another guy. What do you think I should do? —Martin-47
Dr. Pamela: It's not unusual for a woman to have close male friends. Many women feel that men are easier to be around because female friendships bring way too much drama. But, I understand that it can be difficult dating a woman who has several male friends, including one who is especially close. In your situation, you need to think about acceptance, self-confidence and trust. If you care about your girlfriend, you won't try to change her and you won't feel the need to dictate her friendships. It's totally acceptable — even natural — for you to feel a bit insecure. But remember that your girlfriend wants a guy who knows that she cares about him, knows it enough that he is OK with her male friendships. She doesn't want to be dragged away from her friends by a jealous boyfriend.
Instead of trying to adjust her life now, embrace the situation. If your girlfriend agrees to it, try to get to know the guy you are worried about. You might begin to understand why she values his friendship, and she will probably appreciate the effort you make. You may even begin to form your own friendships with him and the others. Have faith in her. If your relationship is real, it's real. Keep that in mind when she is with her friends. But if she continues to hide her contact with her friend after you demonstrate acceptance and trust, then she has given you reason to believe that she is untrustworthy. Then you can, and should, move on and find someone more worthy of your trust and acceptance.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.