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Relationship; and the one with her Male Friend
January 2, 2013 1:54 AM   Subscribe

At the beginning of the relationship, she had asked to be exclusive. Told me she wants me to be her boyfriend. Thing's were going great. She mentions that she has a male friend visiting from out of town. Wasn't a big deal for me. Then it comes to light that he would be staying at her place for the weekend.

She mentions that she'd see me on Monday, if they go out on Sunday she would let me know. It turned into a huge argument. She said she would have him stay at a hotel. Asked what I wanted to do, how it was planned far in advance, and said she didn't want to break up over it. She basically had plans to spend the whole weekend with him there, made no solid plans to introduce us. Mentions one of us being the third wheel. After he's staying in the hotel, I propose we all meet for dinner on Friday, her response was that he may be tired from flying and want to stay in the hotel. I asked her then wtf are you doing? This is very early in the relationship. She ended up texting me all emotional throughout that Friday night, wanted to stay at my place on that Saturday night...What is your take on this? Dealbreaker? A couple of friends say she's *sleeping with* him, drop her.
posted by Nicholas Geary to Human Relations (120 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, my instinct is that your friends are being ridiculous, frankly. She might be sleeping with him, but there is zero evidence of that so far. She moved the plans to a hotel when asked, she texted you all Friday night, offering to give up her plans with her friend on Saturday night to spend it with you...not to be rude, but what else do you want??

Can I ask exactly how old this relationship is....and roughly how old the two of you are?
posted by Salamander at 2:01 AM on January 2, 2013 [30 favorites]


What you know is that she isn't keen to introduce you to this friend. Have you met her other friends? Have you been together long enough that you would reasonably expect to be introduced to her friends?
posted by tel3path at 2:12 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dealbreaker? Yes, for her.
posted by likeso at 2:14 AM on January 2, 2013 [88 favorites]


Eh, I disagree that you're being unreasonable, but there are some details I'd like to know. How did it "come to light"? Did she tell you or did you hear it through the grapevine? What was her reason for not wanting to introduce at all? It may be innocent, but I don't know. When I was in my early 20's and pulling shit like this, it was usually because I had some cards I didn't want to show to some person, but it didn't necessarily mean sex. You can try talking to her, pointing out specific things that make you unhappy, and asking her what is making her do those things, but if you can't muster enough trust to believe her, I don't see how it can work.
posted by amodelcitizen at 2:37 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Respectfully, I hate it when people ask questions like this and don't say how old they are. If you are young, I totally understand where you're coming from - you need to stake a claim to your territory. Go for it, blow things up if you have to.

Once you get a little bit older, you realize anyone who goes to the trouble of cheating on you is really hurting themselves more than anyone else. Don't take it personally.

I would just encourage her to be really honest. Maybe you can tell her how this situation makes you feel. Hurt, confused, a little bit jealous. Just leave it at that. Huge arguments are usually not as productive as we would hope them to be. If you really feel like she's cheating on you, or are uncomfortable with the idea of a guy staying with her, then break up with her.

If you turn being in a relationship into a performance test, then you are constantly going to experience a lack of power, simply because you can't play hall monitor all the time. Instead, try to get in touch with your own feelings and try to treat others as nicely as you possibly can, even if they screw things up. Trust me, in the long run, you'll have a lot less to feel guilty about.
posted by phaedon at 2:40 AM on January 2, 2013 [21 favorites]


Dealbreaker? Yes, for her.

Seconding this. If I couldn't have a male friend stay at my place without my boyfriend getting upset about it, complaining until I changed my plans to have the friend stay in a hotel, and making himself more upset by listening to unfounded gossip from his friends... well, I'd want to know early in the relationship so I could gtfo with the minimum of fuss.

Yes, it's a little odd that she had no solid plans to introduce the two of you, but if it's early in the relationship that's not a red flag in my opinion.

I think you should be calm, try extending some trust and apologise. Having a friend stay at her house is an absolutely perfectly normal and reasonable thing to do and if you can't let her do it, that's a problem with controlling behaviour on your side, not a problem on hers.
posted by daisyk at 2:43 AM on January 2, 2013 [60 favorites]


A male friend visiting really isn't a big deal, even if he is staying at her place. If they were sharing a bed (even if only as friends), or she refused to introduce me though, that would be weird. It's hard to tell from your question if either of the second two are true though - it does seem like you were upset just with the concept of a male friend staying at her place, which is definitely over-reacting.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:07 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Women are perfectly entitled to have male friends. Either you trust your girlfriend or you don't. My wife is friends with a guy she's known for many years, long before she met me. But I trust her completely, and would have no problem at all with her staying at his place when she's in france.

Given you're so early in the relationship, I'll bet she's been friends with him a lot longer than she's known you. That you (and your friends) immediately suspect they're sleeping together... well, that says more about you and them than it does her.

Unless you have concrete evidence she's cheating on you, you need to back the hell off, apologise for your controlling behaviour and let her keep her own life and her own friends. She clearly very much likes you and is trying to keep the relationship. Don't blow that by being a dick so early on.
posted by ArkhanJG at 3:14 AM on January 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


To me, the first issue is not the male friend staying at the place, it's her failure to be up front about it. I think it's a great idea to let your new SO know when you're having a friend of the opposite sex spend a weekend at your house. But even if you excuse that, it gets weirder when she refuses to introduce them with evasive language. I would just like to know her side of the story.
posted by amodelcitizen at 3:16 AM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


You: "He's just a friend?"
Her: "Yes he is. A good friend."
You: "Cool! Have fun seeing your friend!"

That's how it should go.
posted by fearnothing at 3:28 AM on January 2, 2013 [26 favorites]


"Tired of flying"? I mean, where is he flying from, Japan?I realize people have different biological systems, but this is what I say when I politely want to get out of something while travelling. I wouldn't say it to my boyfriend when he is asks to be introduced to a friend whom I know he feels threatened by.
posted by amodelcitizen at 3:28 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why would you ask metafilter what should be a dealbreaker for you? Understand your feelings and her situation as best you can, talk with her, and then make a decision about what you want to accept.

However, this dealbreaker mentality is a false dichotomy. Would meeting him help? What about staying at her place with them? Or he takes her place and she stays with you? If it still feels like a dealbreaker, dump her and don't regret it.

Whatever you do, never let anyone (neither metafilter nor her) tell you how you should feel. Feelings are incontrovertible.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 3:34 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Having a male friend stay over for the weekend is no big deal. I cannot tell from your question how you found out, though. If she was hiding this from you then I'd be worried.
What.would be a big deal in my opinion is that she refuses to introduce you guy.
IMO sounds like an ex or maybe someone she is kinda hanging on to.
posted by KogeLiz at 3:35 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Up until recently, she could've dated / kissed / slept with any person in the world, including this friend. Of all those people, she picked you and asked you to be exclusive.

At any time, she could decide to revoke that decision and again openly and ethically date / kiss / sleep with others. Presumably, she's not about to.

So, what do you have to gain by acting so jealous and possessive? I suppose the only thing you establish is that she can't secretly sleep with him. If she's ethical, she already knew that. If she were unethical, she'd still find a way. So there's little potential upside.

Meanwhile, there's the downside that people are already pointing out -- that for many people, this kind of jealous, possessive, suspicious behavior would be a big problem or even a dealbreaker.
posted by salvia at 3:41 AM on January 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


The guy might be gay. He might be the first guy she broke up with. Or the guy who left her after a long, tireless weekend and never called back until of course he did. He might be the one who took vows. You can always come by unannounced with friends in tow. Although you now cannot do that. Here's a good way: say she can have him stay the night. Then on one day, invite them out for a group activity. The reason she may be hiding the man from you is that she's afraid you'll put him off ever seeing her again in person (and Facebook can be much more devastating than a real-life affair to relationships). You might be too tough for her messy, now mostly just flirty ex-boyfriend to handle.
posted by parmanparman at 3:42 AM on January 2, 2013


Or let me put this another way, if you seriously think she'd ask you to be exclusive then immediately turn around and cheat on you, there's a real problem. Either that problem is hers, and you should immediately end the relationship, or that problem is yours and you should start working on overcoming your jealousy and mistrust. Sorry if that sounds harsh. Mostly I think you should just try to relax about this situation, even if there is a little bit of a spark between them (as she already chose you), but I'm not there and don't know what's really going on.
posted by salvia at 3:46 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Well, recently I was the male friend visiting for the weekend and staying at a female friend's place despite the fact that she was in a new relationship. Also, the two of us used to date. And we slept in the same bed. And like your situation, I did not meet the boyfriend on that trip. And it was fine - her boyfriend had nothing to worry about from me. That doesn't mean its always fine, but at least I can tell you for a fact that it can be.
posted by Nothing at 3:50 AM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


My son is in town from across the country for the holidays, while he's been here for two weeks he's visited friends all over the state, frequently for a couple of days at a time due to travel, he's stayed with them in all cases, many of his friends are young women he worked with and/or went to school with. They all have boyfriends... none of the boyfriends are going ballistic over this....

Get over it....
posted by HuronBob at 4:26 AM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think some people are taking this the wrong way - even if they really aren't having any sort of romantic contact, I think you are within your rights to find it weird that she wants to keep this active part of her life so hidden from you that she can't spare a few hours in an entire weekend to introduce you.

Now, this is one of those things that people vary on - some people are totally okay with having completely separate lives from their SO, and some people want to be joined at the hip. It's a spectrum between those extremes, and I think you are well within the span of normal to want to meet someone that is special enough to spend an entire weekend with. At the very least, she wants to keep your separate from her friend - maybe she is not a mixer of groups, and this is a deal breaker level issue because she won't want to introduce you to her other friends and family.

She also could be not cheating on you, but keeping him on the backburner in case things don't work out with you.

She might also know that he is not someone that gets along with new people very well, and wants to have intense conversations alone with him in a hotel room without you. That may or may not be something you are okay with, but I really do think the least she can do is introduce you. I think this would be a negotiable problem if you are both willing to work on it.
posted by fermezporte at 4:32 AM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Unless he's an ex of hers, you need to play this a bit cooler. It doesn't sound like such a big deal.
posted by cincinnatus c at 4:35 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty conservative in my relationships and if I were her, and you pushed this further I'd want to break up. Also I wouldn't have been considerate enough to force the guy to stay in a hotel because of you. She must really like you. Maybe something is off about this but let time show that and other behavior. Let this one go at this point, you've taken it far enough.
posted by saraindc at 4:38 AM on January 2, 2013


Your friends are being chauvinist jerks. Women are allowed to have male friends, and if one of my dude friends was coming to visit from out of town I wouldn't hesitate to invite him to stay with me. I would be mortified to have to rescind an invitation and ask a good friend to stay at a hotel instead. Perhaps she didn't tell you all about the arrangements right away because it's no big deal for most people, and thus didn't seem worth mentioning, especially so early in the relationship when your lives are not fully enmeshed yet.
posted by keep it under cover at 4:44 AM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


"At the beginning of the relationship, she had asked to be exclusive. Told me she wants me to be her boyfriend."

Do you have any reason to believe these things are untrue? It sounds to me like she's exclusive and that you are her boyfriend and she's your girlfriend. I would trust that until evidence shows otherwise. It also sounds like she's really going out of her way to accommodate your fears about this...for the record I would be fairly peeved if I had to pay money or force my guest to pay money to stay in a hotel when I have a place perfectly available.

Also, who was the 'third wheel' she mentioned? As her *boyfriend*, I'm gonna guess it's not you. And after all that new, last-minute arrangement I imagine that you meeting the friend and her mediating it is an awkwardness that the both of them would understandably want to avoid.

I think you'll feel better if you remind yourself of the exclusivity and boyfriend/girlfriend status you both agreed to. And then accept that this friend came to spend time with your girlfriend. And that your girlfriend wants to be a good friend and host, which includes not making her visiting friend be a third wheel, be put out, or be placed in awkward social situations. These are normal expectations, but you're making them rather challenging.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:56 AM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I want to thank of you here for your response. The whole idea is to gain an outside perspective. And the reason I'm posting this is because I recognize she did do those things. The girl is away with family for the holidays, she takes it upon herself to call me at 11:59 NYE and 1:30 when she gets home to say she misses me.

For some people male/female friends spending the weekend is apparently normal and platonic. For others people in a relationship don't do that. Still I think the casual way she went about it was disrespectful, oh btw I have a guy here for the weekend, call you on Monday. And being worried about him being the third wheel. And American's can be a bit more prude about these things than Europeans....I had already met all of her friends. Age is early to mid thirties.
posted by Nicholas Geary at 5:20 AM on January 2, 2013


It sounds like this all went down a few days ago (it's Wednesday now). What's happened since?

I'm with those who say you completely overreacted and it may reasonably cause her to rethink the relationship. The comment she made about not wanting to "break up over this" is telling -- apparently that all happened before the friend even arrived! How was it that she got the idea you might break up over it? What were you saying to her that made her agree to the hotel plan? Were you basically threatening her with an ultimatum?

Give it some thought. Your girlfriend is a free person. If she wants to sleep with someone behind your back, do you think having him stay in a hotel is going to prevent that? I mean, think about it - a hotel is where people go when they need to spice up their relationship a little, or decide to cheat. People interested in getting it on can do anything in a hotel they could do in a home. Moving around the sleeping locations does absolutely nothing to increase your emotional security in a relationship. All you've accomplished is that you've made somebody spend a whole bunch of money they weren't planning on spending (Was it the guy friend? or did your girlfriend have to bear this burden?)

And you've also increased your girlfriend's anxiety to the degree that she started changing her plans for the weekend and trying to check in with you on Saturday because she's now super concerned about your reactions, and you've made it so she has to be concerned about them whether or not she sees you or doesn't see you over the weekend. You set her up for a lose-lose, and now she has to caretake you.

As others said - you trust her or you don't. If you don't trust your girlfriend, stop dating her. No skin off your nose, live and learn. If you do trust her - and you should offer your partner trust - then just trust her.

The more I think about it, the more I think that others are right: this probably should be a dealbreaker for her. You seem to lack maturity and a sense of boundaries about your girlfriend's independent life. She isn't yours to control and you don't get to dictate who stays at her home. You can register your fears, concerns and other feelings, but you need to keep it in check, because ultimately it's not your life to manage. You can't control other people, and trying to usually leads to misery for all, as well as being a giant red flag about you as a partner. Sorry for the harsh words but it's something to learn from right now.
posted by Miko at 5:25 AM on January 2, 2013 [19 favorites]


Still I think the casual way she went about it was disrespectful, oh btw I have a guy here for the weekend, call you on Monday.

Didn't you say this was a relatively new relationship? Being casual about it was definitely the way to go. She acted perfectly.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:29 AM on January 2, 2013 [10 favorites]


American's can be a bit more prude about these things than Europeans

Many people who have been responding to you are Americans. BEcause you posted this at 5 AM East Coast US time, you so far have most responses from Western Europe, but as the day goes on you will see more and more US folks weighing in, and I think will find that people in the US will pretty much match the larger consensus.

I'm American, I'm over 40, and the only people I ever had freak out about staying over a male friend's house were my parents, and they stopped by the time I was 17.

The word "disrespectful" is something I missed before. Do you mean "inconsiderate?" Or is there something about "respect" for you that means she should check all her plans with you first? Because being obsessed with that sort of "respect" can be creepy.

she takes it upon herself to call me at 11:59 NYE and 1:30 when she gets home to say she misses me.

That is a totally normal thing to do on New Year's Eve.
posted by Miko at 5:30 AM on January 2, 2013 [24 favorites]


i'm the same age as you both and would've dumped your ass the moment you turned it into an argument. people that are jealous & controlling about partners spending time with friends male or female = massive red flag as potential abusers, especially so early in the relationship. having a friend stay over is not a big deal, especially a visit arranged a long time ago, and so mentioning it casually is not disrespectful—but from your choice of words here i suspect you'd have freaked out no matter how "respectfully" she'd broached the topic.
posted by lia at 5:31 AM on January 2, 2013 [29 favorites]


Girlfriends who tell you about guy friends staying over are less likely to fool around than those who keep such a thing secret.


Still I think the casual way she went about it was disrespectful


What did you imagine? Her asking for your permission? You giving the old guy the once over and then rubber stamping the application? It's not like you're married or living under the same roof. She did what she was supposed to do: she told you about him.
posted by inturnaround at 5:34 AM on January 2, 2013 [15 favorites]


She was casual about it because it wasn't a big deal- it was just a friend staying over. Until you turned it into a big deal. You're the one being "disrespectful" here, not her. You're not her owner; she doesn't need to get special permission to continue to live her life the way she has been living it. You sound like you're seriously overreacting and I think you should get some therapy for your control issues. If I had a friend dating a guy who acted like you describe, i'd tell her that you were at best immature and selfish, and at worst potentially abusive, and that I was worried about her.
posted by windykites at 5:38 AM on January 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


I had a boyfriend in college who got angsty and possessive over my male friends. We were young, I was his first girlfriend, it makes sense, I suppose, to an extent, but it's still bullshit.

Please use this as an excuse to break up with her. Both of you will be better off for it.
posted by phunniemee at 5:47 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


You're really not describing your conversation(s) with her well enough for us to answer this. How did it come up? What did she say? Her refusal to introduce the two of you could be a red flag suggesting she's hiding something, if that happened, but again the actual conversation matters.
posted by J. Wilson at 5:53 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Straight-laced American woman your age here.

Your girlfriend is receiving your concerns with a lot more sympathy than I would at this stage in a relationship. Not wanting a visiting friend to be a third wheel is good host behavior. Giving an out-of-town visiting friend a chance to rest and relax is good host behavior.

Understanding and respecting pre-existing friendships is good boyfriend behavior, and absolutely non-negotiable for me.
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:55 AM on January 2, 2013 [15 favorites]


And being worried about him being the third wheel.

Note also that this is him, not you as the third wheel. As in, she would more naturally focus her attention on you when you're around (which to me indicates that your relationship comes first in her mind) and just wanted to be able to catch up with her older friend.

And I have a number of friends that I wouldn't want to introduce to a new guy since--while I love them--they might give the guy the wrong impression of what I'm like by association.
posted by psoas at 5:56 AM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm an American, I'm older than the both of you, and I would have told you to go jump in a lake if you pulled this tantrum-y bullshit with me.
posted by crankylex at 5:57 AM on January 2, 2013 [13 favorites]


I have some experience with jealous/possessive/insecure boyfriends and I think you really do know she is not cheating on you with this person but are more concerned about the "appearance of impropriety", i.e., what your friends think, than you are about her feelings. If you're 100% honest, it's very important to you not to appear to be a cuckold, right?
posted by miaou at 6:00 AM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Understanding and respecting pre-existing friendships is good boyfriend behavior, and absolutely non-negotiable for me.

So very much on board with this. I have a lot of very close male friends, and while I respect their relationships both long-term and short-term, I don't expect their girlfriends to be assigned instant veto power over something as innocent as whether I may visit them. My guess is that she doesn't want to introduce you in part because of the way you're reacting, and she suspects (probably correctly) that a dinner with you and her friend would be no fun.

I get that friends have to respect relationships, but wow, I mean ... relationships have to respect friendships, too.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 6:03 AM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Just another American weighing in to say that I'm not at all sure what you're upset about. This seems like something that should not have been a big deal given what you've described. (I'll also say, fwiw, that I'm surprised that you're acting like this at your age. I would have assumed you were in your early to mid-twenties given your descriptions and your concerns.)
posted by OmieWise at 6:06 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dude you're being harshed on here unfairly. That is not to say I condone your actions though. I think it is your re-action to poor behavior that is an issue.

There is something odd or not right about your supposedly exclusive girlfriend not telling you much in advance about a guy coming to visit and then not wanting you to meet him or even give an explanation about why you should not meet him. They can all rip you up thread, but something is not right about it. She could have simply said, "He is an ex-boyfriend", "He is the son of my crazy neighbor and my parents want me to entertain him while in town", or a whole host of other very valid explanations. Instead she chose to give you vague double talk.

However, your concern about him sleeping at her apartment is also concerning. I can tell you that regardless of where he actually beds down for the night or where they tell you he is beddding for the night, if they want to cheat or have sex, they can and they will. So the issue becomes one of trust.

You need to either trust or not. I happen to think your gf could have helped with that by being more transparent about who this cat is, but, you still seem to have issues with trust and what is appropriate. There is nothing wrong with having a friend, female or male stay with you. In fact, it is a good thing to have a friend stay with you for a short while. Why you are so against that is an issue that you need to work out, partly on your own and partly with this woman you are dating.

Is there something you have left out that would lead you to not trust her other than her evasiveness and lack of transparency on this?
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:14 AM on January 2, 2013 [13 favorites]


Another American in my thirties. Your behavior would seriously give me second thoughts about being in a relationship with you.

I've visited a strange city and had my friend blow me off for a new relationship. It seriously sucks, no matter what the gender.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:14 AM on January 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


If you trust your partner this little you should probably either look at why that might be within yourself or realise that your partner doesn't have your respect (might be reasonable, might be your issue) and get another partner for the sake of both of you.
posted by jaduncan at 6:19 AM on January 2, 2013


Midwestern U.S. 20-something woman here. If my boyfriend behaved the way you are behaving, he would not be my boyfriend for very long. Trust is important to me.

Jealousy is a normal emotion. You don't even have to like it. Emotional maturity means recognizing your discomfort and dealing with it, without ruining your girlfriend's (and her friend's) weekend.
posted by ista at 6:23 AM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


I agree with JohnnyGunn and with J. Wilson. You are giving out very little information here, but what you are telling us makes both of you look odd.

If I were looking forward to seeing my new BF after the holidays and he let drop that, no, he couldn't see me this weekend, he had a (female) friend staying over, and he'd let me know on Sunday if the two of them could squeeze me in - that wouldn't feel right to me. I wouldn't jump to any conclusions that there was cheating going on or even that I was being pointedly excluded, but I would definitely think that there was something socially weird going on and I would wonder if there was more to it than met the eye.

That is the scenario you seem to be describing here, though you have included so little detail that I had to make some assumptions in order to construct it. But basically, that's the scenario I'm seeing and I would wonder why my new BF had chosen to handle it in a way that made me feel excluded when it would have been easy to handle it another way.

But on further explanation, you're telling us that it's improper for a gentleman to visit a lady in her home and that's what's bothering you about this. The fact that she has a guy visiting her at all. This is what people are piling on, and IMHO everyone is being strangely oblivious to your GF's lack of transparency, but I think your attitude renders that moot.

There are times when you have to take the log out of your own eye. I'm wondering if this relationship will turn out to be for you, but you need to look at your own attitudes first here.
posted by tel3path at 6:29 AM on January 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


By the time you suggested dinner on Friday, you'd been jealous and controlling to the point where she had to ask her friend to stay in a hotel. I don't blame her for wanting to avoid having you meet him in person at that point. Even before you behaved badly, her friend is flying in for two days, and it's reasonable that he might not want to spend some of his short visit hanging out with a new boyfriend. Being worried about him being a third wheel is polite. Would you have considered it "disrespectful" if she'd mentioned in passing that she had a female friend staying over? Or a cousin? (I'm American.)
posted by Mavri at 6:39 AM on January 2, 2013 [12 favorites]


I just went through this, and reacted much like you say you did, to horrible results. I'm 28 and this was my third or so long-term relationship, about 8 months in. In my case, the male friend was visiting from another country, and they were planning to take a road trip together. She insisted they were platonic friends. I had no behavior-based reason to mistrust her (my own insecurities aside). I met him and the way he interacted with her (and the way she seemed to accept his actions), along with some lack of transparency from her (which could be explained just as well by stress/overwork on her end as by any desire to keep me uninformed) set off warning bells for me. My reaction was "this dude is sleazy and obviously hitting on you, why aren't you seeing that/rebuffing it? I'm afraid you want to cheat." Based on the opinions shared above, you can probably imagine where this is going: I am now single (there was more to it than this incident, but this incident definitely played a major part).

I probably would've got a lot more traction if I'd been able to express "I trust your intentions and want you to have fun with your male friends, but the way that this guy is behaving towards you makes me question his intentions, and I want to discuss that." I'm still not sure, in my own case, whether or not her actions, in not making time for me/clearly prioritizing her friend, gave me a legit reason to question her motives. I was definitely hurt, though, and I said and did some stupid things, and now I'm single. I think ista is wise above, though: "Emotional maturity means recognizing your discomfort and dealing with it, without ruining your girlfriend's (and her friend's) weekend."

I will say that don't think you have much of a leg to stand on re: "a woman can't have guy friends over," especially if you've never met the guy or seen them interact.
posted by Alterscape at 6:43 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just to add a few things. I've already met all of her friends. If a guy is taking a 3 Hour flight across the country specifically to see her, he must be an important friend. It was the fact she had NO Intention or desire to introduce us.

By casually I mean she never directly said he was staying over. She mentioned bringing his luggage back from the airport. A lot of people here are ok with having their bf/gf sleep overnight and spend the weekend with other men/women they don't know, and even share the same bed....(Maybe if the guy is gay)
posted by Nicholas Geary at 7:14 AM on January 2, 2013


Do you often act jealous or possessive of your girlfriend when you're around other men? Do you have issues with her being friendly with men that are not you? Because that would go a long way toward explaining why she might not want to introduce you, a relatively new boyfriend, to an out of town male friend she most likely does not get to see that often.
posted by palomar at 7:21 AM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


A lot of people here are ok with having their bf/gf sleep overnight and spend the weekend with other men/women they don't know, and even share the same bed....(Maybe if the guy is gay)

And you are not OK with this? Is that what you're trying to say? Because you're right. Many, many people here are totally OK with it - because we know that if a person has no desire to cheat, there is nothing to fear from time spent with a friend. Yes, even sharing a bed.

But if you're not OK with this as a general rule, you do (in the grand scheme) have a fairly conservative approach to relationships and it's something you should probably make clear in future when you are discussing becoming exclusive. Many women may still find that controlling and want to avoid getting more deeply involved with you, but if it's something you can simply never accept, please be up front about what your expectations are in your next relationship. It's only fair that your next serious partner knows that you would expect them to cut off all close contact with friends of the opposite sex at your request.

I understand that some are saying "what the heck, the woman hasn't behaved perfectly either," but this is really not a problem about the woman first and foremost. It seems to be a problem resulting directly from the expectations the OP has for a relationship.
posted by Miko at 7:29 AM on January 2, 2013 [16 favorites]


IMHO everyone is being strangely oblivious to your GF's lack of transparency

I don't see any lack of transparency. Maybe the girlfriend didn't have any idea it would be a big deal, so it didn't occur to her to mention it. Maybe she thinks that *of course* friends visiting from out of town stay over at your place, because that's what friends are for. Maybe the plans for this other guy's visit pre-date the relationship with the OP, she'd fixed on a "catch up with old friend" vision for the weekend, and didn't think to reevaluate that vision in view of her new relationship.

Also, the fact that when the OP objected, she changed the plans (by sending the friend to a hotel) and offered to change them further (by staying at the OP's place on Saturday), and was all emotional about the crisis on Friday — that sounds like someone surprised and upset by events, not like someone trying to deceive.

The thing about being tired from the flight seems believable to me. I find flights tiring, and the last thing I'd want after one is to have to endure an extended formal social event with a stranger. OP, your reaction to this (I asked her then wtf are you doing?) seems excessive. Assume she's dealing with you in good faith. Spend your time trying to think of ways for that to be true.

that it's improper for a gentleman to visit a lady in her home

Yeah, that notion is a big issue here. It's part of a complex of ideas about sex and relationships — like that men left alone with women will take advantage of them, so women don't let themselves be alone with men unless they want to be taken advantage of, so if a woman invites a man into her home it's essentially an invitation to have sex — which presume guilt before innocence (of all parties) and assume it's impossible for men and women to just be honest and direct with each other, as if romantic relationships are all just deceit piled on bad faith piled on lust. OP, when your friends conclude that your GF is cheating on you on the basis of essentially nothing, they're showing that they subscribe to these ideas. They're not doing you any favours with their analysis.
posted by stebulus at 7:30 AM on January 2, 2013 [25 favorites]


This is a Dealbreaker for both of you.

It is perfectly legitimate for you to desire a GF that would not open her home to a male non-relative visitor to sleep over. You are not "controlling" or "close minded" for wanting this, and don't let anyone guilt you into this by saying you are "wrong" to ever require this. Sharing an intimate space with the opposite gender over any period of time is not cool with everyone. Trust is not the factor - comfort is. This is your Dealbreaker, because you just discovered a major incompatibility between the 2 of you.

It's a Dealbreaker for her ... because she, just like you, has the right to make such a unilateral decision and lifestyle choice, and have a BF that is naturally comfortable with her doing such things. She should not have to change or justify for you, and more importantly, be judged by you.

Having opposite gender friends sleep over without the significant other present is NOT an inherent right. It is exactly one of those things that you/her need to agree or disagree on, and then make the appropriate decision about the relationship, without judgment.
posted by Kruger5 at 7:31 AM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


Just to add a few things. I've already met all of her friends. If a guy is taking a 3 Hour flight across the country specifically to see her, he must be an important friend. It was the fact she had NO Intention or desire to introduce us.

Bingo.

She's fucking this guy.

It's a new year. Go find a new girlfriend.

While she's perfectly free to have whomever she wants stay at her place, you don't go about it this way if you want to maintain an ongoing relationship.

He's staying at my place, you can't meet him, can't come over all weekend... but we're still girlfriend and boyfriend?

Your friends who seem to know you both say she's fucking him. I suspect they're right.

No one is wearing a ring, and you have no right to tell her who she can and can't have over.

But she has no right to TREAT YOU LIKE A FOOL PUBLICLY AND I FRONT OF YOUR FRIENDS and expect you to stick around for the privilege and a second helping the next time she has a booty-call weekend.

Open up the self-respect bag, grab a fistful, wish her well, and move on with you life.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 7:39 AM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Maybe she didn't tell you because it just didn't seem like a huge deal to her. I feel like if I was in that situation, just started dating someone, have a platonic male friend visiting from out of town, I wouldn't really think of it as something I needed to run and counsel with my new boyfriend about, if there weren't any romantic inclinations anyway. If I did have any romantic inclinations toward the visitor, then I wouldn't have him stay at my house.

Are you giving her the benefit of the doubt here? It sounds like you're sort of in a rush to be angry with her about it and make it an issue. Maybe the reason she's disinclined to introduce you is because she doesn't want her friend to see you being jumpy and weird and possessive about her?

It's not really a great way to start a new relationship off on the right foot. (American, female, late twenties)
posted by mermily at 7:44 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was the fact she had NO Intention or desire to introduce us.

So what?

Because she doesn't want to share everything with you, or didn't do so here for whatever reason, that must mean there's something bad about that? No, it means she's a normal person who has parts to her life which are just her own, and that's perfectly fine, particularly in an early part of a non-permanent relationship.

It's coming across that you don't trust her, and maybe don't want to trust her. I have no idea what that's about, but she's been far more accommodating of that nonsense than I would have been.

You trust her, or you don't. And you don't. Break it up, look in the mirror, get your shit together.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:45 AM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm a late-20s American woman. I have an out-of-town male friend who visits for a couple of days every couple of years and sometimes stays with me when he does. He does not necessarily meet whoever I'm dating, regardless of how long we've been seeing each other or how serious it is, even if my boyfriend has met all of my other friends. And there's never been anything romantic/sexual between us.

My point is that it's entirely possible that your girlfriend having a male friend stay over while visiting means absolutely nothing about the state of your relationship with her. That said, it sounds like the way she spoke with you about it and the way you reacted were less than ideal and created some (reasonable) doubt about the relationship on both sides.

If I were you, I'd worry more about your communication problems and the fact that you don't seem to be on the same page about some pretty key things than I would about what's going on between her and this guy.
posted by cranberry_nut at 7:45 AM on January 2, 2013


I just wanted to chime in here to let you know that I think it is generally inappropriate for opposite sexed friends to spent the night alone, together, in an apt/hotel/residence (with the only exception perhaps if one of them is gay). So don't let the metafilter crowd lead you to believe you're some sort of freak for not being ok with that. In the first place it invites temptation, even if the friends don't give into it. And we are not supposed to put ourselves in the path of temptation deliberately. Second, it may give a false (and disrespectful) impression to others who see this going on that the two friends are sleeping together/that your gf is cheating on you (even if it isn't the case). That damages her reputation and makes you look like a fool. While we shouldn't live to please everyone else, we should be careful with our reputation.

Add to it that she is trying to engineer the situation so that you don't meet this guy and it goes from inappropriate to strange and possibly suspicious. Maybe you could take the gentle tactic of just asking her, without accusation, why it seems that she is trying to avoid you meeting each other? Is she worried that one of you won't approve of the other (the most innocent explanation)? And see what she says.
posted by TestamentToGrace at 7:46 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think it is generally inappropriate for opposite sexed friends to spent the night alone, together, in an apt/hotel/residence

In what country, and in what year?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:54 AM on January 2, 2013 [25 favorites]


If this was a female OP talking about her new BF having an old female friend stay over, all the same circumstances, would AMF be so inclined to tell her not to be such a prude and don't expect they're going to have sex?
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:09 AM on January 2, 2013


If this was a female OP talking about her new BF having an old female friend stay over, all the same circumstances, would AMF be so inclined to tell her not to be such a prude and don't expect they're going to have sex?

Yes.
posted by joyceanmachine at 8:12 AM on January 2, 2013 [13 favorites]


Yes.
posted by daisyk at 8:19 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Second, it may give a false (and disrespectful) impression to others who see this going on that the two friends are sleeping together/that your gf is cheating on you (even if it isn't the case). That damages her reputation and makes you look like a fool. While we shouldn't live to please everyone else, we should be careful with our reputation.

Speaking as a late 20's Canadian woman, I couldn't care less about damaging my reputation with anyone who thinks that a woman brings shame upon herself and her significant other by treating male and female friends alike. Anyone who would judge me on that basis would pretty much instantly lose my respect, and my regard for their good sense.

Seriously, OP, take note of the country and the century you are living in, and be careful whose advice you take if you want to keep this girlfriend or the next one. It's not difficult to find people who agree with a dated, and frankly sexist view of how women should behave "appropriately" in the company of menfolk, but that won't help you unless your goal is to dramatically shrink your dating pool or move to a far more conservative part of the world.
posted by keep it under cover at 8:23 AM on January 2, 2013 [24 favorites]


I don't have enough information about your relationship or her relationship with her friend to allow me to make any sort of clear assessment of the situation. However, the public presentation challenge is nothing new really. People in cross-sex friendships have to explain their relationship to both their significant others and their friends all the time. Open and honest communication SHOULD be the answer, but not everyone is capable of this.

I know I am reiterating what others have said, but it all boils down to one's sense of security and trust in the relationship. You need to ask yourself why you feel threatened by someone just based on the fact that they are the opposite sex of your SO? Do you know more about this friend that you're letting on to us? Do they have a history? Is your relationship currently vulnerable to the extent where you believe your SO would either PLAN to cheat or would cheat simply because the opportunity presented itself? If so, how can you begin to repair it? Or do you just think she should not be sleeping in the same room as other men based on some traditional set of gender roles/values you may subliminally hold?

I've been in this position more times than I can count as a heterosexual woman who primarily keeps close male friends. In some cases, I have been completely, clear-as-crystal, transparent with my partners about my platonic male friends (I have even tried to encourage them to become friends with each other) and they have still questioned my intentions and the intentions of my friends when they come to "visit". I found myself asking "why did I even bother trying to be open and clear when I accomplished the exact opposite of my intentions?" I can't know your SO's past experiences or even the amount of information she revealed about her friend and his visit, but sometimes you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. It really just depends on the nature of the relationship, as complex as that is, and I don't have those details in your case.

Also, it must be said again that it is entirely acceptable to want to spend time with friends without your SO being involved or without their knowing every little detail about your plans. As others have said, it is problematic to think that lack of or vague information automatically signals deception. The fact that she is willing to bend to your (rather controlling) requests shows that she values your feelings and the integrity of the relationship on some level.

But then again, I don't know you or her personally or the relationship history, so everything I just wrote may be way off the mark.
posted by Young Kullervo at 8:28 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


...and don't expect they're going to have sex?

People are completely capable of not having sex with each other. Any two people in the same room are capable of not having sex with each other. In fact, I am not having sex with someone right now.

The GF has not provided any reason for the OP not to take her explanation at face value, that nothing's going on.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:28 AM on January 2, 2013 [26 favorites]


If it sounds shady or makes you feel uncomfortable, then you were right to let her know.

How "exclusive" is your relationship? I think her definition of the word "exclusive" and yours obviously differ.

And yes, the gender double standard in the answers to this question are obvious and hilarious.
posted by PsuDab93 at 8:31 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I reject the idea that there's a gender double standard. As far as I'm concerned the answer is the same for either gender: trust your partner, and if you find you suddenly can't trust your partner (either because of your problems or because of theirs) do both of you a favor and get out.
posted by Miko at 8:44 AM on January 2, 2013 [16 favorites]


I just wanted to chime in here to let you know that I think it is generally inappropriate for opposite sexed friends to spent the night alone, together, in an apt/hotel/residence (with the only exception perhaps if one of them is gay).

lolwut

I date both men and women and, shock of the universe, am also capable of being non-sexual friends with both men and women! It's almost like my vagina isn't actually some kind of ravenous Venus flytrap that must be fed every time any person of any gender is asleep in my presence!


OP, I think it is likely that your GF is already aware of your tendency towards jealousy, which is why she was reluctant to introduce you to her nonsexing male friend. Unless you have further details which were not shared in the question, I think your suspicions are unfounded, and unfortunately have been fed and egged on by your friends.

That said, I think you both need to work on better and more honest communication if you want this relationship to succeed. Right now, you're being unreasonable and she's being cagey and none of us can really tell which one started first, since we're not involved firsthand in your lives.
posted by elizardbits at 8:48 AM on January 2, 2013 [26 favorites]


If this was a female OP talking about her new BF having an old female friend stay over, all the same circumstances, would AMF be so inclined to tell her not to be such a prude and don't expect they're going to have sex?

Speaking for this portion of AMF: yes, of course.

I have been -- within the limits of biology -- all three of the people in the OP's scenario: the guy whose new girlfriend will be spending the night behind locked doors with a male friend, the guy visiting a female friend who has a boyfriend, and the guy who is having a female friend coming for a visit.

With the first configuration (me in the OP's role), you have to either learn to to trust people who are important to you or decide you never will. The occasional problem with trusting is nothing to compared with the misery and isolation of trusting no one. When I was living several hundred km away from the current gf, she was coming to visit me for the weekend. She had an early flight and was being driven to the airport by an ex, who was staying at her place the night before. Should I have assumed that they would spend the night having a torrid tryst? Why? It is not like you can prevent others from doing what they want, and even if you could, why would someone announce that she was setting up a situation where this would happen instead of just, you know, quietly doing this?

In the second, I have been the guy arriving for a visit to a far city to visit a female friend. At some point between the invitation being extended (and consequently my airline tickets being purchased) and my arrival, she acquired a jealous new boyfriend. My accommodations got shifted out of her house and into a hostel, where I drummed my fingers for several days while she fretted about whether we could see each other, and what the boyfriend would think if we did. I took in all the meagre sights of a northern town in November and flew home after several days, never having seen her. It was a death knell for our friendship.

In the third case, numerous times have I made my couch, my guest room, or half of my bed (as appropriate) available to visitors. If a girlfriend were to issue an ultimatum that I should rescind my hospitality to a friend so as to assuage her insecurities, it would very likely be step one on an extremely short road to singledom again.

tl;dr: I am sorry I cannot offer you fuller support in your views, but jealousy and insecurity and possessiveness are not notably conducive to happiness. As I read it, she is being more than accommodating to your stance on this.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:49 AM on January 2, 2013 [17 favorites]


American late-20s female here.

I went through the opposite with my last boyfriend. I would never have felt ok asking him to change his plans -- but I did feel put off that he hadn't mentioned it ahead of time. I did the best to swallow my jealousy and deal with it like a reasonable adult. I told him how I felt, and why I felt that way. I didn't demand that he change his plans or do something to threaten the friendship that he'd had before he met me. I did make it clear that I felt uncomfortable with the situation. He wasn't intentionally hiding it -- he just didn't think it was a big deal and mentioned it casually. And he was right -- it wasn't that having a friend crash at his place was a big deal, it was that it made me jealous and I had to process that jealousy. My job was to process my jealously without pushing my bf away.

Now, I driven hours to visit male friends platonically. I happen to have platonic friends who are male who I'm close enough with to visit. I would, no questions asked, want them to crash on my couch if they were in town. Spending $ on a hotel is ridiculous to ask of someone when I have a place they can stay for free. If someone demanded that my good friend (who I had a much longer and more established relationship with) spend $ on a hotel instead of stay at my place for free, I would seriously re-think whether that was the kind of person I wanted to be with.
posted by DoubleLune at 8:54 AM on January 2, 2013


If this was a female OP talking about her new BF having an old female friend stay over, all the same circumstances, would AMF be so inclined to tell her not to be such a prude and don't expect they're going to have sex?

I left my BF in a hotel room alone with an ex-girlfriend whose relationship with him had ended on a notoriously high-drama note so they could "catch up," at his request, from 9 PM to 1 AM, while I went out for drinks and dancing with friends. Because I trusted him. I presume they didn't have sex, because he's not an asshole who cheats, but I didn't grill him about it. Because I trusted him. That was about fifteen years ago; we've been married for nearly ten years now.

So, yeah, actually, I don't see a double-gender-standard at all here.
posted by KathrynT at 8:58 AM on January 2, 2013 [9 favorites]


If this was a female OP talking about her new BF having an old female friend sFtay over, all the same circumstances, would AMF be so inclined to tell her not to be such a prude and don't expect they're going to have sex?

Yes. One of my ex-boyfriends lived with two female roommates when we first started dating. I had no expectation that their apartment was some kind of 24/7 orgy. His roommates were great and I felt totally comfortable in their home. My husband had female friends stay over at his apartment a couple of times while we were dating, and it was as much of a non-issue as the times he had male friends stay over.

Double standards? Nope, sorry.
posted by keep it under cover at 9:09 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Personally, I would have an issue with the fact that she was evading introducing the two of you. I used to be friends with an ex who didn't want to introduce me to his new girlfriend and couldn't or wouldn't tell me why and it made me very uncomfortable, especially considering I met all his ex's when we had been dating. (Note - "used to".)

I work and play in a lot of male dominated fields and have a lot of male friends. I always make sure their girlfriends and wives are welcome and go out of my way to meet and speak with them. Partly because I'd like more female friends, but also as reassurance. Not just for them, but for me. If a male friend doesn't want me to meet their significant other, red flags start popping up.

As to being bothered in general if she has a male friend sleeping over, that would never fly with me. I have male roommates, I have out of town male friends crash over regularly, and I would never tolerate dating someone who got into a rise about it.

I'd be happy to introduce them though.
posted by Dynex at 9:09 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Come to think, at the age of 37 I took a weekend trip with a very close male friend, who's married to a very close female friend. I share interests with both, but they're different interests. The male friend and I both wanted to attend a symposium on a folk music topic, and the female friend didn't. "You should go together!" she suggested. We shared a hotel room and basically spent 48 hours side by side, and we had a great time. There was absolutely no hint of concern over sex intruding on any of this. I respect my friends and their marriage, they trust and respect me, and after all I just do not consider my exclusively partnered, platonic friends as potential sexual partners. That is something I think is true of mature people and something that is certainly important to make you worthy of respect from others.
posted by Miko at 9:11 AM on January 2, 2013 [13 favorites]


If you're still reading, I think you need some perspective on this:

If she wanted to sleep with him, she was going to do it regardless of whether he stayed at a hotel or at her apartment.

Even more generally, if she wanted to cheat on you with anyone there is literally nothing stopping her -- consider that she could have just not told you this dude was coming in to town and you never would have known.

No matter what rules you place on a partner, if they want to cheat on you they're going to do it. Jealousy helps nothing.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 9:12 AM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


I just wanted to chime in here to let you know that I think it is generally inappropriate for opposite sexed friends to spent the night alone, together, in an apt/hotel/residence (with the only exception perhaps if one of them is gay).

Shit, I should tell my male roommates that. I guess we need to find a chaperone for the nights when only one of them is in the house with me.

It seems like a pretty clear consensus already but I'll add my vote to the side that it's ridiculous to think that anything is wrong with this scenario as described. If your friends are also in their 30s, they're remarkably immature about the assumptions they're making. The paranoid side of me wonders if they're intentionally trying to break you up. Do they like her?

It would be different (imo) and more problematic if they were sleeping in the same bed, or if she had lied about it to you. As described, it should be a complete non-issue.
posted by randomnity at 9:16 AM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


And yes, the gender double standard in the answers to this question are obvious and hilarious.

It's obvious in exactly the same way that it's obvious the OP's girlfriend is cheating on him, which is to say, not at all obvious unless you bring to bear a whack of assumptions about How Things Are In Relationships, What Women Are Like, and What Men Are Like. The scenario the OP describes reads like a textbook example of people in a relationship approaching a situation with different whacks of assumptions. One thing that's needed is to identify those assumptions explicitly — which can be hard even when they're foregrounded by this kind of crisis — and see if they really apply to the people at hand and the relationship they have, or to the relationship they want.
posted by stebulus at 9:20 AM on January 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


About three months into my relationship, I went back to my apartment (for the first time in, uh, 3 months) because a male friend of mine flew in and was staying with me. He had come in for a wedding, which I would be attending as his date. I had no intention of introducing him to my boyfriend, primarily because my friend had a packed schedule visiting other friends/engaging in pre-wedding events/getting ready for the wedding itself. I believe he and I had dinner, and quick after-dinner drinks, without my boyfriend. We went to the wedding together (which was lovely). He slept on my sofa bed. In NO way did anything inappropriate happen, at all. Nor was there any risk, either. He hadn't meet my boyfriend not because I was being evasive, but because this trip had been planned five months before, was jam-packed with stuff, and I was respecting my friend's busy schedule, so I had no intention of changing/adjusting our dinner plans to ensure my boyfriend could meet him after getting off of work. If my boyfriend had panicked, or gotten upset about this, that would have been a problem.

The one thing in your question that does give me pause is: By casually I mean she never directly said he was staying over. She mentioned bringing his luggage back from the airport.

This might have been sketchy or evasive. On the other hand, if she had any inkling that you were going to react the way you did (or had past boyfriends who did the same), maybe she was trying to prevent that, especially if she is in a 100%, super platonic friendship with this guy. I think you would have standing to point out that this evaviseness made you uncomfortable, and I think it is something that you guys should have had a conversation about. But instead of having a conversation, you blew up over it, instead. This is an approach that I might reconsider in he future, if I were in your situation. And you can bring up stuff that makes you uncomfortable -unlike some, I would feel uncomfortable if my boyfriend shared a bed with a female friend, even if she were lesbian- but you should aim to do so in a communicative, rather than accusatory, fashion. I think that it's only after a real conversation that you can start to get a real sense of whether or not someone is being honest with you, you know?
posted by vivid postcard at 9:37 AM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


If a guy is taking a 3 Hour flight across the country specifically to see her, he must be an important friend. It was the fact she had NO Intention or desire to introduce us.
Yeah, this guy staying there the entire weekend under these circumstances would bother me and I would need this explained. I wouldn't blow up or anything, but it's not something I'd be comfortable with without more details.
posted by empyrean at 9:42 AM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


And also: I think the length of the relationship does matter here. I get the sense that yours is young (less than, or equal to, six months?). Note that in my example above, my friend and I had plans that were older than my relationship. At that stage, my boyfriend and I were still coming together - I think it would be unrealistic (and logistically impossible) for him to assume that our lives, at that point, would be 100% meshed. I had plans and projects then that didn't involve him, often because they pre-dated him! Once a relationship gets more serious, that changes. Now, my friends basically assume that seeing me will probably involve seeing him, too (though not necessarily, and we do things separately). We live together. We are more of a unit. But at three months, the same could not be said, which I feel is totally normal, even if you are 100% exclusive and faithful.
posted by vivid postcard at 9:49 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


What's troubling is some going out of their way to explain GF's evasiveness. A trusting relationship has clear communication as its centerpiece. Doubt and mistrust come from such kinds of evasive behavior, often when there's no "fire." The OP's approach should be critiqued separately as well, but it's being spawned by the GF's dodgy responses.
posted by Kruger5 at 9:50 AM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


two people in the same room are capable of not having sex with each other

Quoted for truth.

I'm Christian; I'm waiting until I get married to have sex. I don't even have sex with my boyfriend when he stays the night, and I really want to, so not having sex with a platonic friend is not only possible, it's plausible! I don't neccessarily think your concerns are invalid, but you two obviously have different notions of "propriety".
posted by windykites at 10:01 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I agree with those who say we don't know enough to answer-- like, what does she say about her relationship with this guy? Is he an ex? Do you get the sense that she is keeping her life compartmentalized for some reason? The part about how "it was planned far in advance" suggests to me that maybe this is something she would not have planned had she known she'd be part of a couple by then, and it's somewhat awkward for her now. That's the kind of bump you often have to get over in a new relationship, because people don't just drop everything and make a fresh start when they meet you.

In her shoes, I'd probably be breaking up with you for acting so dramatic and jealous, but I also would have tried to spell things out really clearly in order to avoid having stuff trickle out, because that does cause suspicion.
posted by BibiRose at 10:09 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just because it's *possible* for opposite sex friends to sleep together and not have sex, doesn't mean that you're completely unjustified to feel upset. We are only hearing your side of the story, but she did not seem to handle this well with respect to thinking of your feelings and realizing how shady she is acting by not wanting to introduce you to her friend.

If you do trust her, I would let this slide and keep going with the relationship. If you do that, make sure she knows that you still love and trust her, but you need her to be more respectful of your (in my mind justified) feelings on very close opposite-sex friendships and being in situations where cheating on you seems more likely. I don't think this is definite dumping dealbreaker behavior - just a poorly handled incident that can be put in the past.
posted by permiechickie at 10:19 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


If this was a female OP talking about her new BF having an old female friend stay over, all the same circumstances, would AMF be so inclined to tell her not to be such a prude and don't expect they're going to have sex?

Gentle reminder from modland: if you want to talk about site culture or something you perceive as a problem or double-standard with how Metafilter operates as a community or a resource, do that in Metatalk, not in the middle of a thread. Please let this drop in here.

posted by cortex at 10:25 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm uneasy about the actions of both parties here.

1. The girlfriend might have mentioned that she was having a friend stay the weekend with a bit of lead time.

2. You shouldn't have gone all jealous on her.


When your relationship is new, it's hard to figure out what to tell people, when, especially if you're not 100% sure of the status of your relationship. Sure, you're exclusive, but are you an official couple? Are you meeting each other's friends? Is it a bit soon to introduce each other to family or really old friends? These are things we navigate all the time when entering new relationships.

Your girlfriend may have been giving you as much information as she thought was necessary:

1. Friend flying in from out of town
2. He's a dude


What she may not have wanted to tell you was:

1. Dude probably won't hit it off with you, you have nothing in common.
2. Dude is distraught over a break-up and has no capacity for being friendly and cheerful to new boyfriend.
3. Dude has already heard stories about you from her and he's already formed an opinion that your current behavior won't disabuse.

You need to better articulate to your girlfriend what your issue is about this.

"Oh! Gosh, I'm surprised. I didn't realize that you had plans. It makes me feel a bit insecure because I didn't know that you were having company this weekend. I'm jealous because you're seeing another Dude and I don't know him, and I don't know what your relationship is with him. What can you tell me to make me feel less freaked out about this?"

This would let her know what your issues are, and also she could tell you some more facts that would set your mind at ease.

If I were her, this is what I would have said, "Oh, Dude and I go way back to nursery school. He's in town on his way to see his folks and he thought it would be fun to catch up for a couple of days. We've been planning this since before you and I met. Normally, I'd introduce you, but for now, I just want to hang out with him and gossip about people you've never met. I'll see you before I take off to go home over New Years."

If you had the temerity to say anything else after that, you'd be history.

Be more open about what the real issue is. If you feel insecure or jealous, own it. It's not her job to soothe those feelings, but at least you're not blaming her for behavior that is entirely on you.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:28 AM on January 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


Of course she doesn't want to introduce you to him. She's probably worried that after she's disinvited him to stay with her and put him out by making him get and pay for a hotel at the last minute that meeting you will be awkward for everyone involved. It's totally normal and polite to worry about making someone who has come to visit you the third wheel when meeting a short term boyfriend who is pre-disposed to not like them.

That's putting aside the obvious good faith interpretation that she wants to catch up with her friend, that he may have other things planned perhaps without her durning the weekend, or that she doesn't want to impose on him by making plans without asking because it would be rude.

You need to give your girlfriend the benefit of the doubt and learn to talk about things and express your needs without accusing your girlfriend of wanting to cheat or purposefully doing something wrong. Don't attribute to malice, her wanting to cheat on you, what can be attributed to ignorance, her not knowing how big a deal this would be because it isn't to her.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 10:33 AM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure what's going on with your (now ex?) GF and this guy, but you don't seem to be in a healthy place.

I think you should back away from this girl and this situation entirely since it is so rife with high tension and misgivings.

Take a time out from dating, and do some self-work and focus on what is termed "emotional intelligence."

I'm not saying you are a bad person!

I am saying it sounds like this situation should have been easier for you to parse and respond to in the moment. You admit to blowing up at your then-GF right away, and it sounds like the whole thing has been a mess ever since.

Take a break from dating and work alone or with a therapist on your interpersonal skills, because this wasn't so difficult, and it really seems like you are struggling with situations others your age don't find emotionally triggering or overwhelming.

I know this isn't the advice you were expecting. Hope it helps anyway, and didn't get lost in the conversation. Good luck.
posted by jbenben at 10:39 AM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


> Just to add a few things. I've already met all of her friends. If a guy is taking a 3 Hour flight across the country specifically to see her, he must be an important friend. It was the fact she had NO Intention or desire to introduce us. By casually I mean she never directly said he was staying over. She mentioned bringing his luggage back from the airport. A lot of people here are ok with having their bf/gf sleep overnight and spend the weekend with other men/women they don't know, and even share the same bed....(Maybe if the guy is gay)

When friends visit from out of town, they are invited to stay in my home. As my guest. They get a bed/couch/air-mattress for sleeping, and someplace to put their stuff down, and clean towels to use, and I plan to spend most of their visit playing the host. The only time I can think of when a friend would stay in a hotel would be if it's a business trip and their employer was paying. Oh, or if it's a group of friends, or folks with multiple small kids.

I can kind of imagine raising an eyebrow at her having an "overnight guest" if, say, he lived in the same town and there was no good reason why he couldn't get home on their own, but instead stayed overnight...in her bed. But yes, of course he'll be an overnight guest if he's coming from out of town. There's nothing improper about that.

Presumably your girlfriend has reason to spend scheduled time periods with all sorts of men that you don't know. I myself have had just a meeting in a conference room with the door closed, just me and another man, and then we went to lunch together!
posted by desuetude at 10:45 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is a communication and expectations problem within y'all's relationship. She thinks having a male friend spend the weekend at her place and not introducing the both of you is fine. You disagree. That's seems to be the issue here. I say seems, because your original post and followups aren't very clear.

As to whether this is deal breaker, it's hard to say. She sounds like she's adjusting things to appease your feelings, but nothing you've written indicates that things are patched up. It still sounds like you're mad at her or feeling disrespected somehow. You're still in the "How could you do that phase?!" where as she is in the "OK, I messed up and I've fixed things as best I can" phase. Y'all or perhaps just you, need to move forward by recognizing what happened here, talking about what expectations and putting this behind you. Make sex helps.

After he's staying in the hotel, I propose we all meet for dinner on Friday, her response was that he may be tired from flying and want to stay in the hotel. I asked her then wtf are you doing?

A better way to handle that would have been to ask to meet on Saturday or Sunday. Your anger at her is probably what most people in this thread are responding to, not the very understandable discomfort at the sudden news she'll be spending all weekend with her male friend and you seemingly aren't invited.

It's ok to be a little jealous or insecure upon hearing this news. Getting angry and asking "What the fuck are you doing" implies a lack of respect for the other person and the relationship as you make your feelings the most important thing in the situation. It's not about just you.

Y'all are supposed to be a team. Sometimes team members step on each other's toes by accident. Handle it with grace and seek understanding that makes you both happy, not anger and righteous questioning.

Good luck!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:00 AM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, since she compromised, you should too! Offer to pay for the hotel stay (or half) or offer to take'em out to dinner or just change your mind and be ok with him staying over.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:02 AM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Look, I get that you're put out and that other people are suspicious that she wasn't eager to introduce you.

But before you even ever met this guy, or you got to know him, or you observed the vibe between them, you effectively forced her to retract an invitation to him for what, the fact remains, a lot of people (including her) consider no good reason. If this were a blank slate, you'd said it was fine for him to stay with her, and she didn't want to introduce you, then maybe, you have a case that it's suspicious.

But be fair to her, too. You've put her in a terrible position here -- terrible. You've made her take back an invitation she'd already extended (instead of saying, for instance, "I get that it's over and done in this case, but in another situation, I hope you would ask him to stay in a hotel"). You've made her force a friend to stay in a hotel for the explicit reason that her boyfriend doesn't trust the guy not to put the moves on her if he stays at her house. (You can talk about propriety all you like; what they, as people who consider this a perfectly normal thing to do, are probably reading into your behavior is that you do not trust either of them entirely.)

Imagine the conversation she must have had to have with her good friend. "I know I said you could stay with me, I know I already invited you and you already made plans. But it turns out you can't stay with me after all and will have to pay to put yourself up in a hotel you weren't intending to have to pay for when we made the plans in the first place." Do you think she could really avoid explaining that the reason she had to pull the invitation was that you forced the issue? And do you doubt that the two of them rolled their eyes on the phone about it? Because I suspect they did.

She probably didn't want to introduce you because her friend was annoyed at being forced into a hotel at the last minute and didn't feel like meeting you. And I can't really blame him. If I had plans to stay with a male friend and at the last minute I had to book and pay for a hotel room because of his girlfriend, and then he said, "But hey, she'd like to have dinner with you on Sunday to warmly get to know each other, and by the way, if we don't have dinner with her, she's going to be even more suspicious and distrusting than she already is," I would probably say he could forget the whole thing and go home.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 11:40 AM on January 2, 2013 [33 favorites]


Linda_Holmes, I am with you. Imagine how it must feel to be the gf in this situation: something you thought was normal provoked a nasty reaction in a new boyfriend, the only way to fix the situation involved inconveniencing (and probably hurting) an old friend, and the boyfriend is still not happy.

I'll bet she is not feeling very good about any of this, including her relationship with the OP.
posted by rpfields at 11:57 AM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Honestly, I don't entirely get the judgement in this thread. It's okay if you're not okay with her male friend spending the night at her place. It's equally okay if she sees nothing wrong with it, and I would suspect from her casual mention that she didn't even realize it might be an issue.

What matters to you as a couple is whether or not you can negotiate this difference of opinion. My husband would never have been okay with a male friend spending the night at my place. Before I was with him, it would never have occurred to me that it would be an issue. Our perspectives have to do with our cultures and environment and how we were raised more than anything and don't mean that either of us are in some way faulty.

Once I knew this, I had no problem ensuring that I didn't have guys overnight at my place, out of respect for him, as your GF did when she moved her friend to a hotel. That didn't mean I couldn't spend time with male friends or that my BF didn't trust me to have male friends, it just meant that sleepovers were not something he was comfortable with.

You do need to decide whether you are okay with people of both genders having opposite-sex friendships (do you have female friends?). If you are not, this is indeed a deal breaker and you might want to look for a GF who also thinks opposite sex friendships don't really work (and again, there are lots of people in the world who feel this way). If you are okay with opposite-sex friendships, then you need to be okay with it, and I think you owe her an apology for your continued suspicion. Either you trust her or you don't.
posted by scrute at 12:20 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hard to say.

She could be hiding things from you and be unwilling to introduce you to the other guy because of a sexual relationship with him in which case there's a big problem in your relationship. It's possible that your jealousy is a reaction to your perception of subtle cues that give rise to valid concerns.

Or she has a platonic relationship with the other guy but felt like she should keep you in the dark because she had reason to believe you'd behave in a jealous and controlling manner. In that case she exercised poor judgment (that is, she was right to be concerned about your jealousy but handled it poorly), but if you can forgive her for that and if she can forgive you for being jealous and controlling, maybe you can work it out.

None of us here can know what's actually going on (I mean if you're not even sure, how can we be?) and only you can decide what's a dealbreaker. In any case, you'd probably benefit from some introspection on your feelings of jealousy, your social network that encourages those feelings, and whether jealousy is having a negative impact on your relationship potential in general (regardless of whether it is warranted in this case).
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:25 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


If she told you about her friend coming to stay and your first reaction was "WTF!" and intimating that you might break up with her over this, and then you asked to meet him upon arrival, I am not surprised at all that she became reticent for you two to meet. Perhaps she was already wondering if it was worth introducing her old friend to a boyfriend who she might be now feeling not very enthusiastic about the relationship with.

If she told you about her friend coming and you first discussed meeting up with him sometime during the weekend like a normal adult, without shouting or cursing or threatening break-ups, and she was evasive and refused any opportunity for the two of you to meet, then I would agree that there may be something suspicious about the visit.

Context is everything in this question.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 12:47 PM on January 2, 2013


All of you approached the issue from a number of angles. And it brought some things to light that I might never have considered. I'm surprised that so many of you seem ok with your parter sleeping alone for the weekend with someone of the opposite sex, having never met the person and not knowing them. We don't deal with a world of certainty or absolutes.

What my friend said more precisely was that if he's staying the weekend fine let it play out. That I should suggest us getting together and if she's dodgy about introducing us then something is definitely up. Her and I aren't even talking about the issue at this point. We're past that. The emotions pretty much died down. I'm trying to look at what happened from a logical perspective. I'm looking at the whole picture and seeing how all the pieces fit together. I'm very open to the idea that I could be wrong....which is why I'm seriously taking her efforts to compromise and different views on the subject into consideration.

BTW, I've studied the books of Daniel Goleman on Emotional Intelligence. Working with EI and why EI matters more than IQ are really good books.
posted by Nicholas Geary at 3:18 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Nicholas Geary, let me say that I'm impressed by your level-headedness in your latest update. We gave you quite a pile-on here, but you've endured it well. (I see you're relatively new to Metafilter — these pile-ons are a thing we sometimes do. Sorry.)

Her and I aren't even talking about the issue at this point. We're past that. The emotions pretty much died down.

If you're still interested in advice: I'd suggest that the two you should talk about it, especially if the emotions have pretty much died down. It's a good opportunity for the two of you, as a couple, to learn how to work through this kind of emotionally charged issue together. My own experience is that if you can approach it as a joint problem-solving session, like the two of you are working together against the problem, figuring out what it is and what you can (jointly) do about it, well, that can work really well. (It took me and my girlfriend about a year to figure out how to do this, but we're not so smart.)
posted by stebulus at 4:59 PM on January 2, 2013


It's not just that you have different opinions about whether or not having guests of the opposite sex. It's also that your immediate reaction was to get hostile and angry, rather than seeking a compromise. So it's the combination of you having different values, and (seemingly) being overly aggresive in how you deal with them. That's just a huge red flag in a new relationship.
posted by snickerdoodle at 4:59 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


hostile and angry, rather than seeking a compromise.

Who said hostile? Who said angry? Who said aggressive? Uncompromising, sure. But everyone should be uncompromising when it comes to (perceived) disrespect, and if it ends the relationship, so be it.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 5:19 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who said hostile? Who said angry? Who said aggressive?

Starting a huge fight rather than talking through the issues is hostile and aggressive in my book. As is saying "WTF are you doing then?" when you've already "won" and she's asked him to stay at a hotel. Different people have different thresholds for this, but nobody has the right to demand to know what I'm doing, especially using those terms.

Sometimes people do things that don't make sense to you, or feelings get hurt because you come from different places. This happens quite frequently early on in a relationship, and shouldn't lead to a "huge fight" over an assumption of disrespect. The fact that some people think a platonic friend can stay over while others don't is irrelevant. What matters is how you and she feel, how you communicate about it, and whether you're on the same team.
posted by snickerdoodle at 6:02 PM on January 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


But everyone should be uncompromising when it comes to (perceived) disrespect

That is definitely not something I would advise believing.

That I should suggest us getting together and if she's dodgy about introducing us then something is definitely up.

well, something might be up but neither you or your friend can know what it is, and it may well be what many here have suggested: that she was so weirded out by your reaction that she rejected the idea of getting the two of you together out of hand. This, also, is a friend whose advice might not be the best for you to follow.

I'm surprised that so many of you seem ok with your parter sleeping alone for the weekend with someone of the opposite sex, having never met the person and not knowing them.

She knows him better than she knows you. And have you given thought at all to the points made that if someone wants to cheat, they can do it any time? On their lunch hour for 20 minutes? After you leave for work? And so on and so on? It's not about opportunity or pre-existing relationships. It's about the will to cheat. Someone has that or doesn't. There's no difference between spending time alone with someone at home, in an apartment, in a movie theatre, in a hotel, at a restaurant if the intent to cheat or openness to cheating is there. There's also no difference if it isn't there.

We don't deal with a world of certainty or absolutes.

It sounds like you're practicing what you preach here, but it cuts both ways. The world's lack of certainty means there is nothing to do but trust those you love until they prove untrustworthy. That hasn't happened here, maybe "yet," maybe ever. You can't control every variable in the world, and people will do what they do. Somehow we figure out how to love and be loved anyway, if we know where we end and they begin.
posted by Miko at 7:47 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm surprised that so many of you seem ok with your parter sleeping alone for the weekend with someone of the opposite sex, having never met the person and not knowing them. We don't deal with a world of certainty or absolutes.

you do realize the next creepy step down this logic path is "i'm surprised so many of you are okay with your partner ever being alone in a room with someone of the opposite sex", right? if someone wants to cheat, they'll find a way—whether it's sex in a motel or a conference room or a car. with a friend or a colleague or a stranger… or hey, someone of the same sex, so why be ok with your partner having a female guest? and whoa, incest happens, so you can't even let her be alone with a family member either, right?

ugh.

look, either you trust your partner or you don't. you don't, so just break up already.
posted by lia at 8:11 PM on January 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


you do realize the next creepy step down this logic path is "i'm surprised so many of you are okay with your partner ever being alone in a room with someone of the opposite sex", right?

And, if you reason the other way — one or two or three "steps up this logic path" — then you should accept anything. No. Boundaries are a fact of life, and defending boundaries is the basis of respect.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 8:49 PM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


And, if you reason the other way

I think it's important to note that the boundaries did exist: she agreed to be exclusive. This was not a situation with no boundaries; it's once in which the OP wanted to impose additional boundaries not previously discussed and not, in fact, even known to her.
posted by Miko at 8:58 PM on January 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


It's not as if one starts a relationship with a contract of obligations. All relationships are a progressive discovery of each other's feelings. As situations come up, you define the boundaries. You can even think you're okay with something, and then discover that you're not okay with it. This is why I don't like the suggestion that someone can know what the OP should be okay with. It's a question of him searching his own feelings.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 9:17 PM on January 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Folks, try sticking to the topic please? Thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 9:56 PM on January 2, 2013


I count 47 mentions of "Trust" in this thread.

Trust is earned. It is built. It is cultivated. One earns trust by acting trustworthy, by demonstrating one's trustworthiness.

If OP's GF had wanted to build trust she should have said
Sweetie, here's the thing; an old friend is coming over for the weekend. He's gonna be staying at my place. It's going to be just the two of us. It's not romantic, it's not sexual, but we go back, and I need the space to spend this time with him, w/out you. I need you to trust me on this, so that when my old friend goes home after his visit, we can go back to building this NEW RELATIONSHIP together
Straight up, not asking for permission, but respecting her new boyfriend enough to be direct and up front about it. I don't care if you're living in a Whit Stillman movie, if OP was more than her "regular Saturday night thing", GF did a piss-poor way of showing it.

Then it comes to light that he would be staying at her place for the weekend.

I'd love to know how it "came to light". Did she volunteer the information in an effort to be straight up and honest with you, or did you have to ask and "Oh yeah, well now that you mention it..." Because those are two very different forms of illumination.

She basically had plans to spend the whole weekend with him there, made no solid plans to introduce us. Mentions one of us being the third wheel.

For all the chastisement over your not being trusting enough, I ask if her behavior is reflective of the characteristics one would label as "trustworthy". Multiple times in the post, the subject of "new relationship" is mentioned. Others ask "Has she given you reasons to doubt her?" I ask "How much trust has she built up between the two of you in this new relationship?"

Not "this is an old friend", not "We have history and it's a thing we need space for". No, she mentions one of y'all being the "3rd wheel". That says a bunch about how she sees the relationship.

I'm not making judgements about who she has as a guest. I'm making judgements about how she's treating her new relationship with her new boyfriend.

I'm saying that trust is earned, over time, by actions.

And if unfortunately your suspicious friends are correct, remember the ones who looked you in the eye and told you the unpleasant truth.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:57 PM on January 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


> I'm surprised that so many of you seem ok with your parter sleeping alone for the weekend with someone of the opposite sex, having never met the person and not knowing them. We don't deal with a world of certainty or absolutes.

This person isn't a stranger to your girlfriend, just to you. Her judgement of her own safety in her own house with her own friend is less reliable because you weren't consulted to weigh in on his character first?

What my friend said more precisely was that if he's staying the weekend fine let it play out. That I should suggest us getting together and if she's dodgy about introducing us then something is definitely up. Her and I aren't even talking about the issue at this point. We're past that. The emotions pretty much died down. I'm trying to look at what happened from a logical perspective. I'm looking at the whole picture and seeing how all the pieces fit together. I'm very open to the idea that I could be wrong....which is why I'm seriously taking her efforts to compromise and different views on the subject into consideration.

Look, you can get all kinds of viewpoints, and you can ask all your friends what they would do, but they're not you, and they're your girlfriend, and they're not the friend, and they're obviously not sleeping unsupervised in your girlfriend's apartment.

So now that you know that there's a whole lot of variation in opinions regarding this scenario out there, the only "logical" way to further consider the whole picture is to discuss it with your girlfriend.
posted by desuetude at 10:28 PM on January 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I really agree with stebulus and desuetude's latest comments after the OP's last update.

As for trust being something that's earned - in the long run, yes, I suppose it is. But I tend to start off relationships (I mean both romantic and platonic ones) by extending a certain amount of trust and the assumption of good faith towards the other person. I mean that I tend to take them at their word and not go looking for ways in which they might be "disrespecting me" or "taking me for a fool," to use some of the words from this thread. Yep, sometimes I've been hurt and sometimes it's become quickly apparent that the other person was trying to use me. I find, though, that this mostly isn't the case and that by not seeking out ways to distrust them, I feel calmer and can let the relationship develop and trust build organically between us. I really recommend it.

It occurs to me that this trusting/not-trusting default might be something else to discuss with your girlfriend (at a time when you're not both already emotionally charged). Not totally sure about that. It's definitely her you should be talking to, though, not friends who aren't involved with the situation.

In any case, whether you stay together or decide to break up, I hope you've found the varying opinions here useful. Good luck.

(If you want another datapoint for your US/European theory, I am late-20s, British, and honestly would not stay in a relationship with a man who was upset about a male friend staying in my flat.)
posted by daisyk at 2:17 AM on January 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't get the pile-on at all. I completely agree with the OP. This is of great concern. I think it's a red flag. I don't think that paying for a hotel is at all an outrageous thing to request. And I don't think he should stuff his gut feelings.

It's patronizing and a bit insulting to remind the OP that "people can sleep in the same house and not have sex". Really? No shit. Wow, thanks for the information.

Yes, that is true, but something about this sets off the OP's internal alarms and that should be respected. It is OBVIOUS that platonic friends can stay over and nothing can happen. I still think it is disrespectful to automatically assume that it's okay with your new SO without asking them. I don't think this is controlling at all. It's considerate.

I think it is the inconsideration that set off the alarms, not the friend.

So, OP, I completely support you. I would also be concerned about this -- depending on the situation, and especially if I wasn't informed, or if the reason I was misled was that "I might get upset".

As to what to do, I suppose my answer is the same as the others': talk with her about it. But I don't think you should be ashamed of your (perfectly valid) feelings.
posted by 3491again at 4:37 AM on January 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


As you seem to be in a more contemplative, potentially self-reflective state of mind at this point OP, I would urge you to examine your default modes.

When presented with an unexpected situation you do not fully understand, you apparently quickly feel "disrespected" and leap to accusations of unfaithfulness and deceit. You attack your girlfriend, impugning her morals and motives. You demand that she conform to your behavioral standards, forcing her friend into a hotel, and that she give priority to your feelings above all other considerations. You manipulate her into an emotional state and then ridicule her for her emotions. You humble her. You allow her to beg you for attention, though it is unclear whether you deigned to answer any of those "all emotional" texts on the Friday night. She desperately requests to spend that Saturday night with you, giving up time during her friend's short visit to assuage your distrust. Again, it is unclear whether you deigned to allow her to do so. You belittle her late-night calls wishing you a Happy New Year and telling you she misses you, sneering "the girl [...] takes it upon herself ". 

All of this worries me. For you and for her. When anything even slightly resembling contempt enters into a relationship, that relationship is doomed.

You say you're "open to the idea that [you] could be wrong". Wrong about what, exactly?
I wonder, as you consider "her efforts to compromise", are there any of your own to include in these deliberations? I wonder, has she begged for your forgiveness to your satisfaction yet? I wonder, was the ultimate point of this entire exercise to exert dominance?

These are honest and not rhetorical questions I am asking you. And asking you to ask yourself.
posted by likeso at 5:17 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I still think it is disrespectful to automatically assume that it's okay with your new SO without asking them.

But why is it disrespectful and inconsiderate? Having a good friend stay over as a houseguest is, in my opinion, a perfectly innocent thing to do, and a completely minor thing. Why should I need to ask my SO if this is okay? Why shouldn't I expect my SO to respect my judgment as well as my friendships? Why shouldn't I expect my SO to trust me not to cheat?

Before my husband and I were married, we would no sooner bring this topic up as a Serious Discussion About Respect and Boundaries than we would ask each other permission to hang out with any of our friends in any setting. When either of us had friends staying over, it would just be like, "Remember X, my friend from college? X is visiting this weekend so I'm gonna have to clean the whole apartment tonight, ugh!" There was no asking of permission, no demanding of concessions, no suspicion or high drama... there was simply a presumption of trust and respect on both sides.

Defending one's boundaries in a relationship shouldn't mean going on the offensive at every perceived slight, and looking to start a fight at any possible opportunity that your SO might have to bang her friends is not a healthy way to go about building a relationship, in my opinion.
posted by keep it under cover at 6:16 AM on January 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not about trust; it's about consideration. This has nothing to do with the practicalities of whether she will cheat. I think it is inconsiderate of her to have someone over for three days and not ask the OP for his thoughts on the matter. This is less of an issue if there isn't any possible sexual tension (due to the genders involved), but still an issue.

The girlfriend invited her friend over, only mentioned it in passing, and didn't give you a chance to meet the guy. It's inconsiderate of your feelings not to make clear that there is nothing going on. The hotel thing was a step in the right direction, but should not have required a fight or any drama at all.

It doesn't have to do AT ALL with an expectation of cheating. To answer your question, I think there are a lot of reasons to be concerned that she doesn't express consideration for your feelings in this matter. It makes you uncomfortable.

Here's how the dialog should go:

"I feel uncomfortable that your friend is coming over and staying with you and I haven't met him. It also bothers me that you didn't tell me about it directly."
"Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't realize that it made you uncomfortable. Would you feel better if he stayed at a hotel? If you met him first?"
"No, it's not a huge deal. But let's go out to dinner together on Friday night so I can meet him"
"Yay!"

No drama is needed, just consideration of your feelings.
posted by 3491again at 6:49 AM on January 3, 2013


But consideration of the OP's feelings does not mean catering to them. The OP remains responsible for his own emotions and actions. Supposing the OP capable of initially expressing himself so calmly, here is how the dialog should go:

"I feel uncomfortable that your friend is coming over and staying with you and I haven't met him. It also bothers me that you didn't tell me about it directly."

"Really? Why is that, do you think?"

~ hopefully honest exploration of insecurities, doubts and (dis)trust, including:

"Well, it hurts me that you seem unsure of me. But of course we haven't been together long enough to have completely proven ourselves trustworthy in all circumstances just yet. You haven't met everyone I know just yet. And there are quite a few arrangements and appointments I may have made with any number of those people that predate our relationship. I know you don't need to vet them all and approve my calendar, hon! I also know that we have to give each other trust on trust. We have agreed we are in an exclusive relationship. I understand that to mean we are exclusive sexually, but that we are free to have friendships and appointments with other people at our own discretion. And that we both agree when we will be seeing each other, we don't assume all of our time will be spent together. What do you understand it to mean?"
posted by likeso at 7:20 AM on January 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


[Reminder: Ask Metafilter is for providing answers to the poster, not for discussion, argument and debate with each other. Please focus your answers on the OP and his/her question.]
posted by taz at 7:25 AM on January 3, 2013


This may be totally irrelevant, but I didn't see it mentioned anywhere: how long have you been together? If it hasn't been long (say, three months or less), I can totally understand why she wouldn't have given you much information or introduced you. Some people are private and prefer to keep their close friendships private until a relationship is more of a sure thing. In the past, I've had close friends come into town just a few months into a new relationship and told my new partner, but never introduced them. The timing wasn't right.
posted by anotheraccount at 8:08 AM on January 3, 2013


No, she mentions one of y'all being the "3rd wheel". That says a bunch about how she sees the relationship.

I'm pretty sure the OP clarified this by saying that his GF said the visiting friend would be the third wheel. So it seems like your assumptions and judgements might be... a little off.
posted by palomar at 8:16 AM on January 3, 2013


A recent update for you guys, the woman tells me she is heading out of state to a conference for the weekend. However there are no flights departing there at the time she left. She's off with her male "friend" for the weekend. Needless to say I have no words for her. As my friend said before, it doesn't smell like tea, smells like vinegar.
posted by Nicholas Geary at 2:30 PM on January 10, 2013


It doesn't sound like you were particularly close to begin with. It's hard to tell whether you actually know she's seeing the friend or are speculating based on your TV-detective sleuthing work about airplan times, but really, regardless, you don't trust her and you don't actually seem to know that much about her and her activities, so it's probably best that you ended this relationship for the good of you both. You did, right?
posted by Miko at 2:44 PM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Very little room for speculation my friend. I talked to her just before boarding the plane. And she took a five hour flight...to another city. The same city he lives in. And it's not a matter of suspicion. It's a fact. Maybe it will work out between them, who knows, and who cares?
posted by Nicholas Geary at 6:04 PM on January 10, 2013


It's all very confusing, really, my friend. At this point I can't even picture your interactions with this person, or understand what nature your relationship may have had at the time of your latest post. How do you know what plane she boarded, just by talking to her? Were you there, or just on the phone? Were you online comparing flight times and destinations? Why would you do a thing like that? Did she not give you details of her trip, as a normal regular girlfriend would? Did she give you different details than what she actually did? How do you know? Why are you still talking to her? Did you ever have any of the conversations with her recommended by others here? What was the outcome? Why have you apparently been held at arms' length since your first post? What's with the continuing obsession if you decided she was playing you? What were her answers to the discussion you had after posting here? Was she ever actually your girlfriend? Or was this just a wishful thinking arrangement? Why do I bother responding? Why do you?
posted by Miko at 6:59 PM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Does this woman actually know she's your gf?
posted by jaduncan at 7:26 PM on January 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


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