How do I become comfortable with a partner's opposite sex friendships?
August 3, 2017 11:27 AM   Subscribe

My partner's female friend has been showing up more than usual recently and I am struggling with jealousy. It got me to thinking about how to recallibrate my thoughts on the issue?

As some mefites will know my partner and I are soon embarking on an LDR. During this time he is attending a far-away wedding in the country where his 'best female friend' also lives. He only brings her up occasionally, as friends he spends time with in-person comes up more naturally.

But last weekend when we were on a romantic getaway so to speak, she called him on his phone late at the bar. He said this was strange, as they usually 'schedule' calls and shut off the phone. Later, as I emerged from the bathroom, he was texting her to say he was with me right now & would call another time, whereas I would have loved if he would have just kept the phone shut off all night. Here's the kicker: when I asked if he had had feelings for her, he said he had about 4/5 years ago. But then decided that the friendship was not worth losing. This made me feel more uncomfortable, than if he had only ever seen her platonically. They seem to mainly have sports and a similar upbringing in common.

Now, they are planning a trip together while he is in her country. And I admit it - I am jealous. I am jealous that she gets to spend time with him in this amazing place he asked me to visit with him when it is impossible for me to get the time off work; a little irked that he is spending time with someone of the opposite sex that he obviously cares about immensely; and a little concerned because in a previous gushy message to him on the 'facebook anniveresary' of their friendship (!), she joked that most of their meet ups had been alcohol fuelled...

In a previous relationship that I ended, one bone of contention was that my ex was too close with his female friend. He is now marrying that female friend and I have told current bf about this insecurity on my part.

Aside from this stuff, my trust in him is rock solid but an LDR will be challenging as it has only been a year.

So, in your experience: what are normal boundaries for opposite sex friendships? And how do I become more comfortable/supportive with this one, while still honouring my own needs? LDR experiences especially appreciated.

For example, I meet my close male friend for a day trip, perhaps, but not multiple days/getting inebriated as I don't see it as very respectful while in a relationship.
posted by Kat_Dubs to Human Relations (29 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
In my relationship, calling or texting regularly would not be an issue. Attending a wedding and drinking with a female friend would not be an issue. A day trip with a female friend would not be an issue.

It would not occur to me to plan a multiple-day drinking trip alone with a female friend - especially if we were staying in shared accommodations. For the maybe one person in my life where I'd consider that appropriate, I'd ask ahead of time if it was okay and establish parameters that would make my wife to feel comfortable - things like not sharing rooms, not drinking too much, etc. I would also make a point of ensuring she knew I was thinking about her, safe, and not getting into trouble - texting often, saying I miss you, etc.
posted by notorious medium at 11:40 AM on August 3, 2017 [37 favorites]


I entirely agree with notorious medium.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:11 PM on August 3, 2017


I would be jealous too if my husband was planning some cool trip in some amazing place. But that wouldn't have anything to do with the friend, but the opportunity. So maybe separate your feelings between female friend and awesome time without you, and deal with them accordingly.

That other stuff isn't a problem for me. It's not a problem for me to begin with, and furthermore if someone who doesn't usually call called my husband, I would be concerned more than anything else, and want to make sure everything was okay. But I'm not you! If these things are a problem for you, that's perfectly acceptable.

One of my best friends does not "believe" in having friends of the opposite sex. It's not okay with her, and it's not okay with her husband. To me, this is just bananas, but for them, it's how they define boundaries in their marriage.

The only person whose boundaries I care about are mine, and my husband's. If my friend wants to limit her friendships to women-only, that's no skin off my nose.
posted by lyssabee at 12:25 PM on August 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


I would be jealous but I would deal with it. I think there's always some level of erotic affection between close friends of *any* gender, so intimate journeys across the ocean between two old friends who probably have mutual attraction is definitely a tricky situation, but also one that grownups can deal with and avoid the pitfalls of if they want to. Our relationships are built on faith (people call it trust but I think faith is better), so if you think he's worth of that, then nothing should happen and you have no need to worry.
posted by dis_integration at 12:34 PM on August 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


"I think there's always some level of erotic affection between close friends of *any* gender"

Blech, I can attest that I have zero erotic affection for my old college buddies. Anyway, it's ok that you feel a little jealous about this, but if this is an old friend from back in the day, there is a strong likelihood that this is completely innocent. It is ok for your boyfriend to have close female friends. Do not ask your boyfriend if he has ever been attracted to female friends in his life unless you can handle the truth.
posted by cakelite at 12:40 PM on August 3, 2017 [16 favorites]


I think the fact that she called him when you were together and instead of answering he switched off his phone is a potential red flag. A normal response to an unexpected call would be to wonder if something was wrong and answer to quickly find out what was up and then say it wasn't a good time to chat. The fact that he apparently won't speak to her in front of you now makes me a bit suspicious.

I also would be extremely uncomfortable about my husband taking a trip alone with a female friend, and it wouldn't occur to me to take a trip with a male friend myself.
posted by hazyjane at 12:46 PM on August 3, 2017 [14 favorites]


It sounds like he is capable of seeing women as people - this is good! It also sounds like he is honest with you which is also good even if you didn't like the answer he gave. If he had said "no never" you'd still be looking for signs that something is up, because it sounds like you don't like/trust his friend and are sensitive to her. This might pass with time - I can remember having similar feelings towards ex's female friends and time always helped because there was genuinely nothing weird going on.

With the phone call what he did (not taking the call, then texting back while you were busy) seems considerate. I can see how it could be interpreted suspiciously though with the late phone call though, that's a bit of a flag I agree but from prior questions you say he's sort of quiet and stress prone so he might really not have wanted to talk to her.

The trip isn't that iffy to me, if they don't live near one another there's no other way for them to spend a good amount of time together, and they've been friends for several years. It doesn't sound like he's pining after her, he appreciates her as a friend and probably has some good reasons why things wouldn't work between them, he's been friends with her for years before he met you (and thus decided he wanted to meet someone else), focus on that.

I think normal boundaries means there is trust and that the boyfriend/girlfriend takes priority over the friend. So in this case your boyfriend wanted you to go on this trip, he didn't run off to talk to his friend that night, etc. For the trip you can ask that they not share a room, that would feel off to me even if they've done that platonically in the past, and you can ask that he check in with you at certain intervals, this is a good conversation to have as you prepare to move anyway.

With my friends who are male, I've dated some of them or there was some semi-mutual interest when we first met, our time together is centered around shared interests and my boyfriend has said he's not bothered and trusts me, and if the guys seemed to have ulterior motives that would be the end of the friendship. I was infatuated with one of these friends and am over it now, I have no desire to be more than friends and am so much happier with my boyfriend regardless of the past. I also share most everything with my boyfriend which helps with the trust. With my boyfriend he's made it clear that any social thing he does I am welcome and his female friends live in his hometown so it hasn't come up yet. If he had old traditions with female friends I would try to respect that (like they have one messy weekend together once a year), as long as they didn't end up sleeping in the same room or spending tons of time alone together. If I felt like he enjoyed his time with them more than with me, or didn't want me around, I'd be bothered.

The unfortunate truth is people can cheat under your nose and you can't stop it from happening, so you need to decide if you trust your partner. Without trust and communication you'll be unhappy while you two are apart.
posted by lafemma at 1:09 PM on August 3, 2017 [8 favorites]


The theme of your relationship questions about this guy is that he's been getting more and more distant, and now is spending more time with another woman than he is with you. You probably don't feel comfortable about this because you shouldn't feel comfortable about this.
posted by empath at 1:15 PM on August 3, 2017 [14 favorites]


I'm with hazyjane. The phone behavior is suuuuuuper weird. Is he really protective of his phone? Assuming he only talks to her and there would be no "text evidence", have you EVER actually heard a conversation between the two of them?

I'm just going to copy-paste one of my old answers here, because it basically applies to this situation too, even though this previous guy in the previous question was a lot more egregious:

I honestly believe there is a lot of unnecessary browbeating of "jealous" girlfriends these days, and a huge amount of pressure to be the 100% Cool Chill Girlfriend. He's texting his ex? It's 2016, you jealous hag. He plays video games all day? Who are you to infringe on his freedom, you fun-hating harpy? Etc. Etc. It regularly makes me roll my eyes and I disagree with it on principle. I mean, are you slashing his tires? Boiling bunnies? No? Then the hand-wringing and moral outrage seems a bit much. You're hurt and worried. You feel bad. You've tried to talk it out. You expressed your preferences and they were ignored. And you're probably right, he probably does have some romantic or emotional attachment to his ex, and some burning need for female validation. Lots and lots of men with many "female friends" have this. It's not always the case that they're just "soooo enlightened and have moved past seeing gender" and you're the shrew. Please. My ass!

When these questions come up there tends to be a looooooot of "they're just totally enlightened opposite gender buds, they probably don't even think about gender!" on MeFi that I disagree with most of the time, TBH.
posted by stockpuppet at 1:23 PM on August 3, 2017 [42 favorites]


Some things just don't pass the "sniff test." You are allowed to feel concern without being required to provide a perfect, airtight case.

It sounds like you're trying hard to be reasonable, but if he's still OK with causing you that level of distress, you might want to think very seriously about the long-term implications.
posted by bunji at 1:37 PM on August 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


So, in your experience: what are normal boundaries for opposite sex friendships? And how do I become more comfortable/supportive with this one, while still honouring my own needs? LDR experiences especially appreciated.

There is no "normal" here, as you can probably already see based on the comments so far. What matters way more is whether your partner shows respect for you and behaves in a way that promotes mutual trust. And as I read this question, it seems like he's a little awkward and cagey about talking about this friendship. This is a really close friendship that he...only mentions in passing, every once in a while? I'd be a lot more concerned about his actions and behavior than I would be about "opposite sex friendships" in the abstract. There's a possibility that he senses your discomfort, and that's why he's trying not to bring it up--and if this is that best-case scenario, then I think you could try bringing it up proactively with him more often.
posted by capricorn at 1:37 PM on August 3, 2017


Yeah, the trip is inappropriate. I would only consider doing that with a male friend (I'm female) if my boyfriend was also pretty close to that friend and was completely okay with it. And we would not be sharing a room or anything like that. Even then, it would feel weirdly intimate and uncomfortable.

My read on this is that your boyfriend gets a little butterflies-in-the-stomach thrill when he hangs out with this person. Whether or not he'll cheat on you is a separate issue, but it seems that he's comfortable giving himself reins to hang out alone with someone he has a crush on, and that seems a little weird and self-indulgent to me.
posted by delight at 1:38 PM on August 3, 2017


You wrote: "Aside from this stuff, my trust in him is rock solid but an LDR will be challenging as it has only been a year."

Thing is that your trust in him isn't rock solid, because you probably wouldn't be asking this question if you felt confident in him and your relationship together. Also, while LDRs can be hard for various external reasons, a year is generally plenty of time to assess whether or not someone is trustworthy. The bottom line is that, based on your posting history, your relationship with this guy has had its up and down. As others have said, this situation is setting off alarm bells and likely with good reason -- not necessarily because there will be cheating but because it is making you so upset.

I think there could be a lot of other emotions here, especially resentment. You wrote: "I am jealous that she gets to spend time with him in this amazing place he asked me to visit with him when it is impossible for me to get the time off work" I think it's good that you can recognize and name those feelings but I'd go a step further. He is welcome to visit friends and go to places alone on vacation when you can't; while you shouldn't resent him for it, you would be justified to feel like he isn't prioritizing you and your relationship together. I believe that's the greater issue and absolutely something you should discuss. But first I'd ask yourself: what do I want from this relationship and what am I getting from it? Why do I love this person and why do I want to be with them? He may well not be worth the pain or compromises but, if he is, I'd look into having more open and honest discussions with him about all of this. This is the sign of some bigger issues, not necessarily the issue itself.

If you're having lots of issues but are invested in the relationship (and he is as well), I'd seek out a couples counselor before you move apart to reassess wants and needs and better understand each other. It's possible that your expectations are off but it's also possible that you and he see relationships differently, and it's OK to agree to disagree and part ways. What do you want?

Finally, if you are motivated to try to make it work, perhaps finding ways for all three of you to hang out together -- such as via Skype or FaceTime -- will help you get to know her better and understand the relationship your boyfriend has with her. Their having private friendship time is important, too, but I know getting to know her better and vice versa would likely help you feel more comfortable with her and this trip.
posted by smorgasbord at 1:44 PM on August 3, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm bi, so if there were a rule that I could never go on a trip with someone I could theoretically sleep with, I'd never travel with friends. (I do - my husband and I have very different travel personalities.)

That said, you're uncomfortable with this relationship it sounds like so that's really the core issue. You are 100% allowed to be uncomfortable or even irrational in your needs and wants as long as you communicate and behave respectfully.

You: "dear love, I want to be cool with your plans but I am not. This is a sensitive time in our relationship. Would you consider changing your plans with FemaleFriend so that they're not a big overnight trip?"

Him: "okay" - done
Him: "hmmm....what might make you ok with it? FaceTime every evening? That we stay in separate hotels? That I bring my cousin along?" - etc.
posted by warriorqueen at 1:50 PM on August 3, 2017 [7 favorites]


post from delight is my fear - 'My read on this is that your boyfriend gets a little butterflies-in-the-stomach thrill when he hangs out with this person. Whether or not he'll cheat on you is a separate issue, but it seems that he's comfortable giving himself reins to hang out alone with someone he has a crush on' - this is what I am struggling with and don't know how to resolve. Although lafemma may be right.

He is visting me a week before he goes on the trip with his friend, so at least we'll have some time together beforehand. He also invited me on a trip with him and his close friend circle next month.

the not answering the phone isn't that weird. Because I work in social media/technology all day, boyfriend knows I like to unplug when we have time together & have previously expressed displeasure about him answering the phone when we're together. He leaves his phone out and right next to me all the time, so I don't believe he's hiding anything.
posted by Kat_Dubs at 2:04 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


My wife and I had a conversation about one of my female friends that went along these lines:

Wife: Hey, you know your friend X? I just want you to know something. I feel a little jealous/uncomfortable when you hang out with her, and I'm not sure why. I trust you, and I don't think anything is going on, but I thought you should know how I feel.

Me: Ok.

From then on, I didn't stop being friends or hanging out with X, but when we were making plans together I made sure to take my wife's feelings into account. While I might be fine with going on an overnight trip with Friend Y and only Friend Y, with X I would usually try to setup activities with a group, or otherwise avoid situations that might otherwise make my wife uncomfortable. Consider whether you could have a similar conversation here.
posted by craven_morhead at 2:36 PM on August 3, 2017 [8 favorites]


"Here's the kicker: when I asked if he had had feelings for her, he said he had about 4/5 years ago. But then decided that the friendship was not worth losing."

Hey, I think it's encouraging that he's being truthful -- or what sounds truthful. A serious liar would have given "No" as his answer, because that's super easy and convenient. Be happy about the apparent honesty.
posted by puddledork at 2:57 PM on August 3, 2017 [4 favorites]


I may take *craven_morhead*'s advice. I would be more comfortable if they were not alone, at least some of the time, if it is a longer trip. Also no shared rooms. He is always patient and kind with me when I raise any issues, so hopefully this will be no different.

He is truthful. All my friends and family that meet me tell me what a stand up guy he is - and I agree! But I have more baggage than he does because I am his first really serious relationship. That baggage includes two exes who got together with their female friends after our break up. It sure is hard to shake that stuff out of your subconscious.
posted by Kat_Dubs at 3:25 PM on August 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


"Here's the kicker: when I asked if he had had feelings for her, he said he had about 4/5 years ago. But then decided that the friendship was not worth losing."

I HATE this line of "reasoning." It sounds like that means SHE is so valuable he couldn't bear to lose her but you're some nobody who doesn't matter so risking a romantic relationship with you isn't a big gamble. I don't get why any of us are supposed to find that comforting, it's totally bizarre.

It would be one thing if this was just his friend and nothing else was going on, but he already admitted to having feelings for her. Maybe some people can just shut those off, but I honestly had an on and off fling with my high school boyfriend all the way into my late 20s, even with years in between each interaction, so some of us find it easy to rekindle feelings that have faded with time. I don't know your boyfriend but "I liked her 4-5 years ago and decided to be friends instead" doesn't sound like "I love you and actually can't imagine even finding her sexually attractive anymore--we're just friends!"--it sounds like he knew the relationship wasn't going to work out so he didn't pursue it.

I would be uncomfortable with this. Being uncomfortable with this doesn't make you some kind of controlling harpy shrew, despite what some people here imply. You're allowed to have the kind of relationship with the kind of boundaries you want. I would have a heart-to-heart with your boyfriend and tell him why you're uncomfortable, and ask him what he thinks about that. His answers could be very telling, and hiding your feelings is definitely not going to help. If he says "well sorry I'm going and she's really important to me", can you deal with that? Forever? I couldn't. Don't stay in a relationship where you feel this way! It's a waste of time and emotion and you CAN find a partner who is on the same page as you with regards to opposite sex friend vacations.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 4:55 PM on August 3, 2017 [7 favorites]


Lol nope. I would not be cool with this. Overnights with alcohol? Hard pass.
posted by Marinara at 5:14 PM on August 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I'm with Marinara, and you. He wants to do an boozy overnight trip in a foreign country with a friend who he once had feelings for? I wouldn't even feel bad about putting the nope on that one.

The problem, unfortunately, is that putting the nope on it doesn't help you. The fact remains that he thinks this is okay, and is open to creating situations where cheating on you is a (strong) possibility. That's an unsolvable issue that isn't fixed by him not going on the trip or you putting your foot down. You might already have lost here.

I hope this doesn't sound too dire, but there's no way in my world where that would an acceptable course for a person in a committed relationship.
posted by half life at 5:40 PM on August 3, 2017 [2 favorites]


Just want to say real quick - he hasn't actually said he's going on a boozy, alcohol fuelled trip. Just that she once mentioned that this is what they usually spent a lot of time doing (mainly during their student days, but I know she wanted to repeat it when we were dating last Xmas).

I get the impression she thinks the friendship can continue as it always has and he also told me she hasn't had a serious relationship in her life since he has known her. At the moment his plans are still in the really early planning stage, hence why I want to talk boundaries now. He has literally never had to think about 'boundaries' either, I believe because 1) he has never been in a really serious relationship before me, where it comes up and 2) he thinks himself to have such a hard moral compass that cheating would just never be a thing. Perhaps he is right, but I think it is naive to place yourself in vulnerable situations to begin with.
posted by Kat_Dubs at 6:11 PM on August 3, 2017


I (female) have had the same group of male friends for two and a half decades. We've had more alcohol fuelled nights than I can count, which more often than not has ended up with me asleep in the next room or passed out in the bed next to them (platonically). We've gone away together, shared camping tents, you name it. We are very very close and heck, I introduced one of them to their wives.

I live far away from them now, and I'm married with young kids but the bonds are still there. These days when we catch up and have a boozy night, they pack me in a cab and send me home. We don't share tents and we don't share beds. Is it because we don't trust each other not to have an alcohol fuelled orgy? Ha! That's laughable, like it would ever happen. No. It's because we put our relationship with our spouses first.

For my husband - and me - to be ok with these very close opposite sex relationships, not only do they obviously need to be above board, they need to have the appearance of being above board too. I don't ever want the question crossing his mind that something could or would ever happen, so he never has to think, I wonder what went on when she crashed that night? I wonder why she's hiding her phone? I wonder why she never brings them up? We are completely in the open about it all and the boundaries are clear.

This is why these men's wives are ok with me being friends with their husbands - because they know my husband is always my first priority and we all put our friend's spouses comfort level with regard to our friendships first. I respect that their relationship comes first. (The spouses are always welcome to these get togethers but a lot of the time choose not to come.) And that's how we stay friends.
posted by Jubey at 7:27 PM on August 3, 2017 [11 favorites]


I (married, female) go on platonic trips with my (male) friend when I'm on his side of the country. We've done this a bunch of times. It's fun! He is open to different travel experiences than my husband is, so it's worked out really well.
posted by armacy at 7:50 PM on August 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


she called him on his phone late at the bar. He said this was strange, as they usually 'schedule' calls and shut off the phone. Later, as I emerged from the bathroom, he was texting her to say he was with me right now & would call another time,

I don't agree with responses upthread that consider this suspicious behavior. He didn't interrupt your date night to answer the phone to attend to his friend, as that would have been rude. He texted to let her know that he wouldn't be available to chat. That IS prioritizing you over her.

I am jealous that she gets to spend time with him in this amazing place he asked me to visit with him when it is impossible for me to get the time off work; a little irked that he is spending time with someone of the opposite sex that he obviously cares about immensely; and a little concerned because in a previous gushy message to him on the 'facebook anniveresary' of their friendship (!), she joked that most of their meet ups had been alcohol fuelled...

It's certainly okay to be envious that he gets to travel when you cannot, but I'm still not seeing how he's doing anything untoward. He asked you to visit this country with him for a wedding but you can't go, it's not like he's jetting off just to take a vacation with her in your stead. So what that she took Facebook's rather overblown prompt to recognize an arbitrary "Facebook friend anniversary" to say something "gushing?"

Look, if you don't trust him or you think he's cheating on you, deal with that, but I don't think it's a smoking gun that he appears to enjoy the company of his best friend.
posted by desuetude at 9:24 PM on August 3, 2017 [3 favorites]


My very closest friend for many years was a woman. I had feelings for her at one point, but I knew we would never actually work as a couple, and at the time it made sense to preserve the friendship rather than, I guess, never see her again. Romantic feelings passed, and the friendship remained. Some years ago the two of us traveled together for two weeks, got super drunk many nights, slept in the same motel rooms (once even in the same bed because they screwed up our reservation), and absolutely nothing happened. We're not as close as we used to be, but she still sends me <3 messages and "miss you!" and stuff when, for example, Facebook says "wow you guys have been friends for years!" You'll have to take my word for it that I'm not romantically interested in her, and she isn't into me.

I honestly cannot understand the logic that someone not answering the phone while they're out together MUST mean that there's something fishy going on. If this person, my old friend, were to call while I was out with my girlfriend, I wouldn't interrupt our dinner to pick up. THAT would be weird in my book. Texting to say "hey, what's up? I'm out with [partner] and I can't talk right now" is also not intrinsically suspect. I'd probably do that to anyone who called unless they made it clear there was an emergency, especially if my girlfriend had gone to the bathroom and I had nothing better to do.

My personal experiences aren't universal, and if your ex married his friend, then I'd imagine this isn't easy to think about. I can't tell you this is totally harmless, because I don't know anyone involved and I'm not psychic besides. I'm just weighing in because most of my close friendships have been with women. I wouldn't be surprised if my girlfriend felt jealous that I was taking a trip with one of them without her, and I would hope she would talk to me about it. I don't think it's unreasonable to feel jealous and uncomfortable in your situation, especially because you've admitted this hits an insecurity of yours. But because of my own experiences, I'm not automatically suspicious of this guy you're seeing, and it's not unimaginable to me that someone might make those sorts of plans. I've seen nothing in your question that suggests he gets butterflies in his stomach when he thinks of her.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 6:57 AM on August 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


I think such a question posted here will get a variety of responses because, in the end, only you know yourself, and you are the one who actually knows your boyfriend, and his friend. You know, as we cannot, what his face and body language tells you when he does or doesn't talk to her, and only you know what your gut says. People tend to repeat relationship patterns. You may not be wrong to wonder if he'll end up with his friend, if he gives you no reason to think he is different from your exes. On the other hand, if you and he have established a basis of trust which you feel confident in, you will know, on some level, not to worry, even if your concious mind goes on worrying anyway. My point is trust your gut. I believe this intuition is often stronger than people realize, assuming they aren't inclined to paranoia brought on by illness or drugs, and it is when it gets ignored or talked away, that things happen that could have been avoided.

This is in no way intended to be dismissive or condescending, I hope it doesn't come across that way and I apologize if it does.
posted by Crystal Fox at 7:05 AM on August 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


But I have more baggage than he does because I am his first really serious relationship. That baggage includes two exes who got together with their female friends after our break up. It sure is hard to shake that stuff out of your subconscious.

Experience is not baggage. You have had two serious relationships from which you have learned some self-protective behaviors and some things that you don't like in your mate - that is not baggage! Someone who has never been in a serious relationship before, at all, may in fact be carrying much heavier baggage than you are.

I can't say whether or not this guy is on his way out, but your spidey-senses are tingling and this kind of self-deprecation is a sign of you simply not trusting your own instincts.

Trust yourself. Listen to yourself. Your posting history shows that this guy doesn't prioritize you. Heck, your last question was about him not being a planner, and this one is about him planning a trip with someone else. He doesn't have to cheat to make it not be right for you.

He is truthful. All my friends and family that meet me tell me what a stand up guy he is - and I agree!

Of course they tell you he's a-ok. You care about him and they care about you and how the heck would they know otherwise? If you break up I guarantee you that at least one of them will eventually tell you they never thought much of him.
posted by headnsouth at 8:46 AM on August 4, 2017 [5 favorites]


I'm coming in way late here, but as the once "other woman best friend" in this type of scenario, this comment rang very true for me:

"My read on this is that your boyfriend gets a little butterflies-in-the-stomach thrill when he hangs out with this person. Whether or not he'll cheat on you is a separate issue, but it seems that he's comfortable giving himself reins to hang out alone with someone he has a crush on, and that seems a little weird and self-indulgent to me."

I think this was true of my close friend who had a girlfriend but who would hang out with me alone, have skype calls, etc- we even lived in different countries as well. I don't think my friend would have tried to outright cheat with me, but he did get a secret thrill, I think, from our interactions. And I definitely had a crush on him. Your situation sounds like mine, from the other side.
posted by bearette at 9:40 AM on August 8, 2017


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