Is a chaperoned friendship worth having?
August 18, 2011 6:47 AM Subscribe
I have a friend who isn't allowed to hang out with me unless his "female friend" (explanation inside) either grants permission or is present. And that "female friend" used to be my friend. But my friend is really, really cool; how can we remain friends when there's this unusual set of requirements?
posted by Ashen to Human Relations (58 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Basic info: I am a straight woman. My friend and ex-friend are a straight man and woman, respectively. With the exception of my friend (who's 23), we're all seniors in college.
To explain, ex-friend and I met friend (let's call him Jake) at the same time. Ex-friend started sleeping with him shortly after; Jake and I remained friends. Jake made it clear to her that he wasn't interested in a relationship, so they just hooked up and became friends-with-benefits. After I moved closer into the city, Jake and I started hanging out more (usually with my roommate, who is also a good friend). Ex-friend still lives with her parents in an outlying suburb with no car - inviting her over each time was a huge hassle. In fact, every time we DID manage to get her to our apartment, she would call Jake over (if he wasn't already there) and go home with him to have sex - and then have us cover for her when her mom came to pick her up. Even though I didn't want to keep excluding her, I didn't want to get used again; Jake and I just hung out more, and became better friends. Fast-forward a few weeks:
I got a phone-call early in the morning from my ex-friend (before she became an ex-friend), who expressed her chagrin with "Jake only casually mentioning hanging out at (my) apartment after-the-fact" and the fact that we stopped inviting her when he was present. She informed me that even though he made no indication of wanting to move into a relationship, she thought they were close and I needed to back off. She demanded that both of us stop hanging out without asking her or telling her in advance, bringing her along or only in spaces where she already happened to be there. I swiftly ended the friendship after she accused me of trying to "steal her man:" if I wasn't willing to oblige her with even "something so small as telling me when you're hanging out with him," then I was sneaky and not to be trusted. I've never had to do such a thing with other friends who happened to be dating (or just sleeping with) other friends before.
She had the same conversation with Jake, and though he said she was being irrational, he stopped hanging with us for a while. Since my ex-friend routinely goes through his phone, he doesn't call or text me when he wants to hang out with my roommate - most of the time, he goes through my roommate (who is also a woman, and with whom he is "allowed" to have dinner with/hang out with one-on-one/etc.). But the school year begins next week; I want to remain friends with him, but how is this going to work? IS this a friendship I should even try to maintain?
Sorry for the long question, but thank you so much for reading!