Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “I’m Jealous of His Female Best Friend”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

My boyfriend and I have been dating for about two and a half years now and we’re currently in an LDR (with possible plans to move to the same city in about a year, after college). Generally, everything is great, except that I’m jealous of his relationship with his female best friend. I’ve met her a few times before they started getting closer and she seems nice, if a little distant (maybe shy?) around me. But they’ve been getting closer recently, planning church events together and going to the same school and having the same group of friends.

This would all be fine except for certain things. First, she’s gotten him, in my opinion, inappropriate Christmas/birthday gifts. Things like a really expensive pair of gloves or an expensive backpack. It seems like too much money to spend on just a friend. Second, they hang out a lot alone, and while I don’t think he’s cheating on me with her, I think it’s disconcerting that they’re getting so close. Third, she lives near him and it would be much easier for him to date her as opposed to someone who isn’t 4 hours away (i.e. me). Fourth, he’s admitted to me (while we were drinking, but by no means drunk) that if we broke up, she would be his “second choice.” I was really upset with that and he said that he only said that because he doesn’t think he could date someone he wasn’t friends with first.

That last point really pained me and now whenever they’re together, I get anxious and upset. My boyfriend says that I’m being silly and I basically need to get over it. Am I being crazy?? Or justified? And if I’m crazy, how can I fix how I’m feeling towards this girl?? I don’t want to upset him, but I also don’t want to sit here and sulk about it. Help! — First Choice but Still Anxious

120 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Amanda February 15, 2012, 9:10 am

    No, you are not being crazy. Say it out loud to yourself a few times. LW, did your boyfriend tell you “if we broke up, she would be his second choice” and that you have to get over your insecure feelings? Then, WHY oh WHY would you want to be with a partner who clearly lacks respect for you? THAT is where the “crazy” is in this story. A true partner would not dismiss your feelings and continue to spend so much time with another potential lover, especially when you are dating long-distance. THAT is crazy.

    LW, I would give it one more shot and communicate to him your feelings in a clam, rational manner. If he still dismisses you, DUMP HIS ASS!

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    • avatar

      Jessibel5 February 15, 2012, 3:08 pm

      I may have read through it too quickly, but where did you get that he told her to “get over it”? and dismiss her feelings? I read that more as he realized he said a dumbo thing and backtracked to make her feel better.

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      • avatar

        Jessibel5 February 15, 2012, 3:22 pm

        Scratch that, I reread it and he did, he DID tell her to get over it! Not something a concerned caring BF would do! (Apologies, I can’t delete my previous post!) Sorry I doubted it!

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      • AnotherElle

        Laura February 15, 2012, 3:22 pm

        In the second paragraph, the LW says “That last point really pained me and now whenever they’re together, I get anxious and upset. My boyfriend says that I’m being silly and I basically need to get over it.”

        Telling someone their feelings are “silly” is a pretty big dismissal of them.

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      • AnotherElle

        Laura February 15, 2012, 3:23 pm

        Lol, we posted at the same time 😉

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      • AnotherElle

        Laura February 15, 2012, 3:24 pm

        I also meant third paragraph. Apparently I went too fast, too!

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      • dandywarhol

        dandywarhol February 16, 2012, 6:56 pm

        Yikes, you’re not kidding! I have anxiety problems and whenever someone tells me to “get over it”….boy that does NOT help. It usually makes it worse.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 February 15, 2012, 3:38 pm

      I know this is a typo, and I have a million on here, but the thought of them getting inside a clam and sharing their feelings really cracks me up!

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      • avatar

        Amanda February 15, 2012, 5:45 pm

        Yes, a clam rational manner is called for in this discussion 🙂

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary February 15, 2012, 9:19 am

    Ugh, I totally agree with Amanda. No, you are not being crazy. Your boyfriend should never tell you who his “second choice” is. In fact, any man who respects his girlfriend/wife/partner should never HAVE a second choice. If you are happy in your relationship you don’t think about who you would date if you broke up with that person. Also, and this is my personal rule and its not for everyone, but I do not (and neither does my bf) hang out with anyone of the opposite sex in private: aka in an apartment not OK, a restaurant or other public setting is OK. If you are uncomfortable with the amount of time your boyfriend is spending along with this girl, tell him, and if he doesn’t stop then he is simply not respecting your requests or you in general.

    And yes, you should be worried that he’s so close with another female. Not because it’s easier for him to date someone close to him, because you just need to put this thought out of your head when you are in LDR, but because they have such a close emotional relationship. Cheating on someone emotionally is real and it can be a lot more threatening to a relationship than cheating on someone physically. Of course one can lead to another and vice versa. You need to trust your gut on this one and address this with your boyfriend one last time or break up with him. If he refuses to cool down his relationship with this woman than you will truely see where his loyalties lie.

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    • avatar

      cporoski February 16, 2012, 6:36 am

      Kerry- My husband and I don’t have a “rule” but we practice the same thing. Now, I do think that this tends to happen over time naturally. If the LW is in college, then I am assuming that she is 21sh. This is where the LW is in a situation. So College is a time that you are super social, and don’t have the normal support structure of family.

      It sounds like this girl is in clubs with him and Church. They aren’t going to be able to avoid each other without him quitting what he loves. I think that is unreasonable to ask.

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  • Budj

    Budj February 15, 2012, 9:19 am

    I can’t get over how stupid and/or clueless some guys are….

    Two things I’d address here – IMO opposite sex relationships are typically one-sided…I think in most cases one person is secretly pining for the other UNLESS you are equally good friends with a couple or you and your s/o have a bunch of other couples you hang out with…

    Second…if it is one of those rare occassions where they are just platonic friends then it is important for the partner with the opposite sex friend to make sure their s/o is comfortable and not second guessing if they come first…your boy friend is definitely not doing a good job at that at all.

    Some more speculation here….but his “friend” is guarded around you because your bf told her you are threatened by her, she really is carrying a torch for your bf or BOTH…with his diarrhea of the mouth it is most likely the first option, but I would not be surprised at all based on the expensive gift giving and one on one hang outs that she likes him as more than a friend as well.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl February 15, 2012, 2:31 pm

      Amen to your first point. When the BF and I were long distance he had this female friend who he spent a sizable amount of time with. I told him over and over and over again that she wanted more/thought there was more to their relationship which he thought was crazy. Then one night she gets hammered and confesses her love for him. I told you so! They stopped being friends after that. Your point is right on in my experiance.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 February 15, 2012, 3:40 pm

      I agree with all of this.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar February 15, 2012, 4:06 pm

      Eventually you have to learn things don’t just need to be proper but have the appearance of propriety – you have no idea what is going on in the other person’s head. I had to learn this the hard way.

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    • rainbow

      rainbow February 15, 2012, 5:41 pm

      I don’t agree with this. I have a few very good male friends I wouldn’t hook up with if they were the last man on earth, and I know they don’t want me either.
      BUT we do things right. We are super nice to each other’s partners when there are any, do our best not to look threatening when we are first introduced, and always say “do *you guys* want to come over?” instead of “do *you* want to come over?”
      Then the other one comes alone. Because honestly most of my partners would be bored to death if they joined my friend and I in an 8-hour tarot reading session, and I’d rather not have them there. But we make it clear that we’re not waiting to be single to get together.

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      • avatar

        cporoski February 16, 2012, 6:42 am

        Rainbow, have you ever seen this youtube video? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_lh5fR4DMA

        It is pretty funny because it shows just how hard this is.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow February 16, 2012, 9:22 am

        No, I hadn’t seen it. XD

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      • Budj

        Budj February 16, 2012, 9:20 am

        Yea I don’t doubt that it is possible, but you are friends with the couples from the situations you described. The situation where the girl doesn’t want to be friends with the other girl are very sketchy.

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  • avatar

    bethany February 15, 2012, 9:21 am

    My husband has a close girl friend who he hangs out with on occasion without me- however, he has never said something like “that if we broke up, she would be his “second choice.”

    There’s a difference between being friends with someone who is just a friend and being friends with someone who you could see as a romantic possibility in the future. Count yourself as lucky, because now you know what he’s probably been thinking for quite some time.

    I’d take a step back and seriously evaluate this relatioship if I were you.

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  • avatar

    HBomb February 15, 2012, 9:21 am

    It is always really hard to not feel a little jealous of a female friend, or vice versa for the males.
    I agree that close proximity is a “pro” for him to end up dating her, but I also think you need to remember the he flat out told you that she would be his 2nd choice. He was either being brutally honest, or trying to make you jealous. I would definitely have a candid conversation about this situation with him and let him know that yes you are a little jealous, but that you also want to be clear on everyone’s feelings. Don’t sit back and wait until she swoops in to take him.

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  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com February 15, 2012, 9:29 am

    This seemed totally garden-variety to me (anxiety over the BF’s female friend is a common plight) until that line about her being his “second choice.” Ouch.

    I tend to agree with others that this was totally unacceptable of him to say and OF COURSE you are anxious now. Man, throw in the long distance, and…. yeah, I would be a basket case in your shoes. That said, I’m trying to give your man the benefit of the doubt for simply being an IDIOT as opposed to a sneaky cheat who’s “not that into you.” Unfortunately, guys can be very literal in this way and probably have an auto-ranking of just about every female in their orbit. You know a ranking of likelihood that they’d sleep with or date the woman under other circumstances.

    My point is that the notion of her being a 2nd choice could be something that’s on an imaginary/hypothetical basis –just in the same way my BF loves to rattle off his assessments of every woman on The Bachelor.

    And I commiserate. I really do. My BF had a very longtime female friend who he’d met in a dating context. Knowing that they’ve slept together sometimes sends my mind to crazy places. BUT, I also know that if they were GOING to be together, they would BE together –and all of that was decided long before I came into the picture. Hopefully that’s the case here. And what you might need is a second conversation with your BF to get that clarity and reassurance that you absolutely NEED to keep any relationship, but especially a LDR, afloat.

    FWIW, I also tend to agree with some of Budj’s speculations.

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    • avatar

      va-in-ny February 15, 2012, 4:12 pm

      My ex-fiance and I had a long distance relationship and I told myself over and over agian that our relationship wasn’t exactly “convenient” for me or for him and if there were someone else, he’d probably just be with them becasue he wanted to and it was easier. That was my way of talking myself out of the crazy places my mind would go to – and it turned out that I was wrong. He had the other girl AND kept me around for over a year. Why? I have no idea.

      I promise I’m not trying to make you worry or anything, just noting that I had a different experience.

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  • avatar

    mainer February 15, 2012, 9:32 am

    Your fourth concern, about her being his second choice, how was that brought up? Were you fishing for that information? Like throwing hypothetical situations at him. “If we were to break up, who would you date?” “I don’t know.” “No, come on, who would it be? Just curious.” “Ah, Sarah I guess. We already have the friend thing going.”

    Or were you two just sitting around watching TV and he said “You know, I was thinking. If we were to ever break up I’d probably date Sarah.”

    I think if you have a certain notion in your head, it’s easy to confirm it. It’s already real in your head, so you just look for confirming behaviors (which are usually misinterpreted). If, on the other hand, he was really that stupid and insensitive to blurt that out, then yes, you may want to dump him on the grounds of being an idiot who will probably not hesitate to sleep with his friend should the opportunity come up. Well, the opportunity has come up just by virtue of hanging out alone with each other. So if there is something there, it has either already happened or it will happen if he feels you’re trying to control his life. But if thinking back you feel you may have pushed the issue, it may not be as bad as you think.

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    • avatar

      Christy February 15, 2012, 9:43 am

      YES.

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    • parton_doll

      parton_doll February 15, 2012, 3:48 pm

      Double YES.

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    • rainbow

      rainbow February 15, 2012, 5:49 pm

      Exactly. The fact that she says he ADMITTED to her he would date his friend makes me think maybe she was pushing too hard. I had a paranoid boyfriend once, and he would push me to “admit” lots of far-fetched things, and I would admit them just so he would shut up and let me sleep.

      If he didn’t admit it but mention it out of the blue, then yes, he’s an ass.

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    • Budj

      Budj February 15, 2012, 5:53 pm

      Good exception. I hadn’t considered that when I wrote my initial post.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest February 15, 2012, 9:34 am

    I was fine til this…
    he’s admitted to me (while we were drinking, but by no means drunk) that if we broke up, she would be his “second choice.”

    WTF. You should’ve give him the chance to be with his second choice right then and there. MOA.

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  • avatar

    TheRabbit February 15, 2012, 2:22 pm

    Hmmm I’m bothered by a couple things (in addition to the second choice comment). First is that he dismissed your concerns by calling you silly and telling you to get over it. That’s not cool. But (similarly to mainer’s point about how this “second choice” thing came up) was this his immediate reaction or his reaction the 862nd time you brought it up after he had done his best multiple times to reassure you?

    The other thing that bothers me is that they do spend a good deal of time alone together. (What is a good deal? Everyday? Every week?) When I was in a LDR, while I was happy to hang out in mixed-gender groups, I avoided too much one-on-one time with any one guy socially, ESPECIALLY ONES WHO I WOULD DATE IF I WASN’T IN THE LDR, just to protect my relationship. Nothing beyond coffee every once in a while or something like that, and certainly no expensive gifts. And Budj is right, it’s his responsibility to make sure that you are comfortable with the arrangement.

    So to answer only one of your questions, I don’t think you are crazy.

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny February 15, 2012, 11:05 pm

      YES TO STAYING AWAY FROM THE DANGEROUS ENTITIES. This is the best way to protect yourself from unfortunate entanglements. There are no less than four really good-looking, funny, smart men that I work with that I just will not hang out with too often or one on one because I know I don’t want to set myself up for temptation.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl February 15, 2012, 2:24 pm

    “Fourth, he’s admitted to me (while we were drinking, but by no means drunk) that if we broke up, she would be his “second choice.””

    LW your boyfriend sounds like a real butthead. I mean who says that?? Tell him that their relationship makes you uncomfortable and that you would apprecaite him respecting that. If he continues to have this inappropriately intimate relationship with her, dumb him. I bet they’ll be dating with in a month.

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  • FireStar

    FireStar February 15, 2012, 2:26 pm

    Everyone has a different threshold for what is acceptable. You need to negotiate what kind of behaviour is acceptable with someone of the other sex within the confines of your relationship. My husband and I have different notions of what is acceptable for other sex friendships but we figured out a way to keep the friendships and not be disrespect our relationship or each other. Your boyfriend all but told you this woman is in contention for his affection – right now second to you. What is his solution to this situation? I’m sure he is fine having a surrogate girlfriend since you can’t be there 24/7 but that is not acceptable. Your relationship needs boundaries. I think Budj is right – some people are clueless to other people’s motivations; others quite frankly want their cake and to eat it too. Either way, something has to change. If he dismisses you or calls you crazy instead of addressing your legitimate concerns then tell him by all means go settle for his second choice.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey February 15, 2012, 2:28 pm

    Cardinal rule for you to commit to memory: When a dude brushes off your legitimate concerns with something like “you’re being silly” or “you’re crazy,” after he said something as ridiculously inappropriate and worrisome as “she’d be my second choice,” it means he’s dodging. And he’s dodging because he KNOWS you’re right to feel worried…but wants to keep doing what he’s doing, anyway.

    My best guess? While he may not be cheating on you, he’s definitely lapping up the attention he’s getting from this other girl. Yes, it’s inappropriate for her to give him (and for him to accept) such lavish gifts. What is he giving her in return, exactly?? And YES, it’s INCREDIBLY inappropriate for him to outright tell you “yeah, she’s my second choice.”

    Bottom line, your boyfriend sounds pretty immature – which , unfortunately, is somewhat to be expected in college. But most importantly – you can’t have a healthy relationship when you’re constantly worried and anxious, and can’t trust him. It sounds like you can’t trust your boyfriend, which means you really can’t have much of a relationship anymore. Honestly, I think you need to MOA…you don’t need to be in a relationship that gives you anxiety (that’s NEVER healthy), and you don’t need to feel like you’re one step away from losing your boyfriend to his “second choice.” Drop this dude and go find someone who thinks you’re his ONLY choice.

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    • avatar

      PFG-SCR February 15, 2012, 2:42 pm

      “Drop this dude and go find someone who thinks you’re his ONLY choice.”

      Eh, I don’t think you need to be all “Romeo and Juliet” in a relationship.

      She’s obviously feeling insecure about the relationship, but the first three points seem to be more her issues than the boyfriend and his close girl friend. The fourth point did strike me as a major concern, but then I read mainer’s comment, and I think he brings up a very good point about the context of that “confession”.

      As far as his comments to her: we don’t know how she’s acting toward her boyfriend, and we don’t know what he’s done to try and alleviate her anxiety about this other girl, so it’s unfair to assume that he’s automatically in the wrong. However, if she doesn’t deal with this insecurity, that insecurity might contribute to the end of the relationship.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 15, 2012, 2:49 pm

        While I definitely think it’s possible that she may be teased the “second choice” thing out of him, I still don’t believe you should have a “second choice” in any healthy relationship. Hence my comment about dropping him and finding someone who’d make her his only choice. It was meant to drive home the point that there are plenty of guys out there who you wouldn’t feel worried about and anxious about all the time (because that’s not healthy). It may have come off as overly dramatic, but that’s not how it was meant.

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      • MELH

        MELH February 15, 2012, 4:27 pm

        I don’t think you were being overly dramatic. I read it like someone who treats you like the only one for them. Not to say if you broke up that person would off themself, but that while you are in a relationship, the person isn’t looking around him for a back-up plan.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 15, 2012, 4:29 pm

        Yes, thanks for saying it better than I did! 🙂

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      • avatar

        Rachel February 15, 2012, 4:40 pm

        Definitely, this. I am in a great relationship, and just can’t imagine dating anyone else, though clearly if we were to break up, I would eventually. But I remember when I was with my ex towards the end, I would imagine being with like every guy I knew.

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    • avatar

      mf February 15, 2012, 4:31 pm

      Your first paragraph made me think of this article:

      It really pisses me off when a man (or woman) dismisses the needs and concern of his/her partner. At best, it reeks of “I don’t care about you enough to listen.” At worst, it’s emotionally manipulative.

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  • avatar

    D February 15, 2012, 2:29 pm

    When you’re in an exclusive relationship with somebody, certain things just need to happen. Friendships with members of the opposite sex are one of the things that change when you are committed to someone; you aren’t hanging out with another guy and telling him your secrets and letting him buy you gifts, right? It’s your and your boyfriend’s choice to be with each other. In an ideal situation, that should include the exclusivity of emotional intimacy to each other.

    And, ouch, I know I’d be having some really wacky dreams if I knew who my boyfriend’s second choice/next girlfriend would be.

    You know if you love your boyfriend. You know that if you were hanging out with some guy one-on-one, hours away from where your boyfriend is, the way he’s hanging out with his girl best friend, and he told you that he wasn’t comfortable with it, you’d probably quit it, right? You should be able to expect the same.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl February 15, 2012, 2:30 pm

    Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
    Sally: Why not?
    Harry: What I’m saying is — and this is not a come-on in any way, shape or form — is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way.
    Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and there is no sex involved.
    Harry: No you don’t.
    Sally: Yes I do.
    Harry: No you don’t.
    Sally: Yes I do.
    Harry: You only think you do.
    Sally: You say I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?
    Harry: No, what I’m saying is they all want to have sex with you.
    Sally: They do not.
    Harry: Do too.
    Sally: They do not.
    Harry: Do too.
    Sally: How do you know?
    Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
    Sally: So you’re saying that a man can be friends with a woman he finds unattractive?
    Harry: No, you pretty much want to nail ’em too.
    Sally: What if they don’t want to have sex with you?
    Harry: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
    Sally: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.
    Harry: Guess not.
    Sally: That’s too bad. You were the only person that I knew in New York.

    ——————————————————————————–
    I’m not saying that this is always the case but it is a big possibility. I’ve been in a few LDRs and I don’t recommend them, especially since you’re still young and there are other men in your area code that would probably be interested in you.

    Would anything he says actually make you feel any more secure? He probably isn’t cheating but I can picture them getting together in a dumb drunken moment (he seems to be good at that). Are there no men in your own area that you could date. The problem with LDRs is that you don’t have actual face to face contact on a regular basis and that makes it tough to deal with issues like this.

    I know you love the guy and it may very well work out but I advise you to not put all of your eggs in one basket with this guy.

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    • avatar

      Firegirl32 February 15, 2012, 3:00 pm

      Fantastic perfect example! Bravo! 🙂 Love that movie.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray February 15, 2012, 2:40 pm

    I seem to find myself in this LW’s boyfriend’s female best friend role, a lot. The girl who pines for a guy who’s taken. The other woman. The bitch that is trying to steal your man. … Whatever you want to call it, I can tell you that this female best friend is acting the way she is because your boyfriend let’s her – nay, ENCOURAGES her. I’m not saying she is behaving well, but she thinks she has a chance. She likes him. She’s created a Rom Com fantasy in her head and she’s Katherine Heigl and your boyfriend is her best friend who wakes up one day and realizes his true love is right in front of him! … I know this because that is me. Yes, she’s delusional a bit (slash, a lot), but your boyfriend is the one playing with fire. He needs to cut that shit out. Why is he doing this to you? To her? To himself? Wait, is your boyfriend’s name David??

    Eh, this was really better for the confession thread last night.

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    • Lili

      Lili February 15, 2012, 2:48 pm

      SO the confession for today was that Addie thinks she’s Katherine Heigl. I love that. Along those lines, I want to confess that I feel like a caricature out of a rom com often as well, but I don’t think I’m Katherine Heigl, she’s tall statuesque and blond. I’m neither of those.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 15, 2012, 3:02 pm

        Well, I’m the shorter, less blonde version of Katherine Heigle. Though, we share the exact same birthday – month, day, year. Weird, eh? It means I’m destined to live out my own Rom Com. (Barf.)

        And before Regina Rey shits on me for saying that I “seem to find” myself in this situation, what I mean is I actively bring this shit upon myself. But, my point is, and there is no doubt about this: the dude is encouraging her; he’s getting close; he’s letting their friendship blossom…. committed dudes don’t do that.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 15, 2012, 3:30 pm

        And by “shits on me” I mean nicely and constructively points out the error of my ways, out of love. I need to stop saying “shit” so much. I know it’s harming Sarah and maybe others.

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 15, 2012, 3:36 pm

        I really have your best interests in mind when I poop on you, Addie.

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      • rainbow

        rainbow February 15, 2012, 5:55 pm

        “Shit” is not harming Sarah. “Poop” is.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 15, 2012, 6:13 pm

        Poop and cereal + milk. Haha. I bet Sarah would die if she saw actual poop in a bowl of milk. Not just coco puffs.

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      • Lili

        Lili February 15, 2012, 4:34 pm

        “the dude is encouraging her; he’s getting close; he’s letting their friendship blossom…. committed dudes don’t do that.”

        AGREED! Although I’ll admit, I can’t differentiate often times between whats a reasonable boundary with opposite sex friends when in a relationship because I think my SO is so awesome why WOULDN’T she want him. When in fact that is not often the case…IDK. I’m rambling today. Too l ittle sleep, too greasy of a lunch and now too annoying of a construction distraction outside.

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    • Budj

      Budj February 15, 2012, 2:55 pm

      Exactly. The BF is the one making this a bad situation. Not saying he is cheating (yet), but he is TOTALLY playing with fire and not being respectful of anyone…

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    • avatar

      ktfran February 15, 2012, 3:01 pm

      I really dislike Katherine Heigl and I was totally bummed that she’s playing Stephanie Plum, because I love those books.

      But, Addie Pray, I hope to like you if the March 3 date is still on.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 15, 2012, 3:03 pm

        It’s so on! You will like me. I promise to not have an affair with YOUR significant other. (I’m so selfless, huh?)

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      • avatar

        ktfran February 15, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Ha. Thanks! Now, I just need to find that significant other . . .

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 15, 2012, 5:10 pm

        Well we can talk about this at Lady Gregory’s on March 3 and we will find you one right after we find me one.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CGW February 15, 2012, 3:09 pm

      Great points Addie (even if it stinks that you’re drawing them from real life!). I think the answer to your question about WHY he’s doing this may lie simply in the nature of the LDR —just his basic desire for female attention while the GF is so far away, attention which he probably deems as totally innocent but which ends up hurting both women.

      That was a really long run-on sentence! Sorry!

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster February 15, 2012, 3:29 pm

      It’s ok Addie, I’m confessing too: My boyfriend and I were best friends before we started dating and we thought everyone was being ridiculous for thinking we were romantically interested with each other- particularly our significant others at the time. Eventually we were both single at the same time and it was kind of a duh moment when we realized we’d both been in love with each other for awhile, though he claims to have realized this before I did.

      I’m not saying this is happening to the LW, but when I think about all the hilarious things I wrote in my journal about how great it was to have such a wonderful platonic male friend I can’t help but laugh at my naïveté. That was also 7 years ago, so I’ve grown up quite a bit. What landygirl quotes above from When Harry Met Sally is my favorite reference point on the subject!

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    • avatar

      mf February 15, 2012, 4:38 pm

      Yeah, I think you’re on to something there. Even if the BF isn’t interested in the his best friend, how much do you wanna bet he likes the attention? And since he doesn’t get day-to-day companionship from his girlfriend, it could be way too easy for him to fulfill that need by getting close to his best friend.

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    • rainbow

      rainbow February 15, 2012, 6:00 pm

      “this female best friend is acting the way she is because your boyfriend let’s her – nay, ENCOURAGES her”

      This! I have this male friend I see only when he’s in town. We were always a little bit attracted to each other, but not enough to act on it. Yet the last time we met for drinks (first time since he got together with his new girlfriend) he brought his male friend I didn’t know along with him. Now, this other guy was a tool, he didn’t even participate in the conversation and he just sat there. But it definitely communicated my friend’s intentions: We have unresolved sexual tension, I’m taken, I’m not risking it.

      And that’s how you do it. Not like this.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      Iwannatalktosampson February 15, 2012, 8:27 pm

      Addie I would just like to say that it is a true testament to how much everyone here loves you that you can openly admit to having affairs, or flings with committed guys, and everyone is like, “Addie you are so harmless and cute” and if anyone else said that everyone would be all like, “that homewrecking skank”. I just thought it was funny and had to point it out. Although I am TOTALLY in the camp that thinks 1. You can’t wreck something that’s not already broken, and 2. The person is the one in the relationship and the one that owes a duty of loyalty and not to cheat, not the “other person” (see how i’m being gender neutral here). But it’s funny because I have gotten FLAMED on this site for having that opinion before.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 15, 2012, 11:24 pm

        Haha. I’m a fucking delight, aren’t I?! Let’s see if people think this is cute: I kicked a puppy today. (God, no I didn’t!! Relax.)

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson February 15, 2012, 11:29 pm

        Too far.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 15, 2012, 11:40 pm

        Yea, I regretted it as soon as I hit “submit.”

        Hey, how are those MC problems coming along? … The key to success on the bar exam is doing more and more MC problems. You should pay me for a course and I’ll just sit you down and say do 10 problems, stat. I wish I had a job where I could yell STAT. Instead my job has a lot of STET – you know, in writing, to ignore the edit. But at least that’s an improvement, right? My boss makes all these edits and then says “never mind” via “stet.” I get validation at work through things like this. Speaking of work, I have only like 6 weeks left… This is me rambling. I do that late at night. And sometimes in the morning. And sometimes during the work day too.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson February 15, 2012, 11:52 pm

        You are so stingy with you life plans! 6 weeks? What are you doing? Where are you going? Are you doing the yoga instructor ‘eat pray love’ Costa Rica year plan or just moving to a different firm?

        You can be my bar prep coach. You can even by my life coach if you want. I was telling HMC about how I woke up in the middle of the night last night and I came to mid sentence of a property rule – so I think I have officially learned how to study even in my sleep. Efficient right? Keep in mind this is even after i’ve upped my sleeping pill dosage. My body is like it’s own creature right now.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson February 15, 2012, 11:54 pm

        stingy about sharing your life plans**

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 16, 2012, 12:14 am

        Aw well it’s because my “plans” aren’t really well planned out. My “plan” today is to continue to try to find an in-house job. (I’ve had bites but no offers yet.) It’s frustrating as I know many of you know – looking for a job sucks! If I don’t find anything by the end of March, I’m walking away from the job. (Yikes – right??) I’ll stick around Chicago for April and May. And do Bikram – maybe twice a day. And read. And watch movies. And continue my job hunt at the same time. (I’ll have lots of free time!) And at the same time I want to plan a trip – either a road trip around the country or abroad. If I still have no job by the end of April, I’ll do the trip for the summer. And then if I still don’t have an in-house job somewhere, I’m going to pack up and move to Minneapolis (where I have family). So, voila, that’s my plan (for today). What do you think of those life plans?

        p.s. You really don’t want me to be your life coach. Anyone who quits to do yoga and plan a road trip is probably unqualified to be a life coach. 😉 But this change is necessary. I don’t like big firm law. And sure I could do “just one more year” and save and save … but then BAM I’ll be 45 and I will have committed the last 20 years of my life to this and … I don’t want that. So I’m not doing that. And the time is now. I don’t want to wait any longer.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson February 16, 2012, 12:27 am

        We can help eachother with our late night life plans. Everytime I comment i’m going to immediately do 10 MBE questions.

        So I am totally on board with your plan. If you’re unhappy now and have been for a while – you need to retake control of your happiness. I have thought about doing big law firm for a while – you know first just to pay off student loans, then to just pay off the mortgage…. but the thing is there will always be an excuse for why you have to make a lot of money. But then you’ll have less time for DW, yoga, and wine – which is the tri-fecta of happiness. I would be more judgmental about your plan, but you’ve thought it through, and i’m assuming that means you have saved up enough that you can take a year off.

        And this is my reading between the lines thought – I think you really want to go back to Minnesota, but don’t want to actively do it, you want to do it the back door way. I know you have mentioned a lot about how much you miss your family, and I think that maybe subconsciously that there is a bigger connection between you hating your job and wanting to be near your family than you want to admit. I also know that you were super close to your Dad, and so I can see how that event might have triggered a desire to be closer to your family. Again this is just me playing crystal ball. So I guess I just think nothing bad can come out of you taking time off. Except you might gain weight like I just did sitting at home studying for 8 weeks. But lets stay focused on you.

        Carpe Diem. Seize the day. You are obviously a capable attorney. You must have a good resume and I don’t think it will be hard to find a job wherever you decide you want to go. If you end up being unemployed for a few months – that might be a good thing too. I’m not going to say everything happens for a reason – because that saying annoys the shit out of me – but I do like the idea of having faith that life just work itself out. You will be okay. And it’s hard to find true happiness if you don’t go looking for it.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 16, 2012, 12:47 am

        Good work, Iwanna! You hit a number of things on the nail. Including saying “that saying [about everything happening for a reason] annoys the shit out of me” — because me too, me too! I have been a good saver the past few years. I purposefully avoided the golden handcuffs because from day one I knew I knew I was not in this for the long haul. Hell, I never even put up pictures on my wall at work — because I didn’t want to be the person who made a big deal of hanging shit up only to quit the next day. *That* is telling eh? Out of curiosity, how much do you (and anyone else still reading this – anyone? anyone?) think you need to have saved up to take a year off? I am pretty risk adverse and very conservative when it comes to shit like finances and savings and whatnot, so I’m interested to know what normal people think.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray February 16, 2012, 12:52 am

        Iwanna stop doing practice MC problems and come talk to me. Though my eyelids are getting very very heavy. …

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson February 16, 2012, 1:00 am

        So I have a problem with downgrading my lifestyle – so I would plan on having the exact same monthly budget. So like right now I probably spend about $2,000 a month on my life. We’re just not going to count my husband because that complicates things. But like me as a human being living in Denver Colorado. So I would first decide whatever your amount is – and then add maybe an extra $1,000 a month for good measure/emergency. So for me I would probably want to have like $36,000. Clearly this is not roughing it. So I guess if you really plan on like backpacking around the country, you would need a lot less. But even if I ever did that ‘eat pray love’ shit I would not be giving up my mani/pedi addiction. Plus it depends on if you own/rent. If you own is it paid off? And if not would you rent it out or sell it? These are just the types of questions you have to ask yourself. And if you are willing to downgrade – like shop less, eat out less, drink less (which frankly is silly – I mean if you’re taking a year off I feel like part of that is having fun – which normally involves tequila sunrises) you will need a lot less. I have a friend that went to thailand for 6 months and drank beer on the beach and took $10,000 and was fine. And he lived in a hotel too. So now I’m rambling too.

        So I don’t know – I’m just going to live vicariously through you and see what you do – and if that works out – then you’ll know it was a good idea. You should make a blog about it like that Tyler Clouston guy.

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      • AnotherElle

        Laura February 16, 2012, 2:03 am

        Soooo it won’t let me reply to your reply down there (or now up there? Commenting on these threads is so complicated for me!), but anyway…

        I saved up about 12k for moving from NorCal to SoCal and I’ve been doing solid for about 7 months. HOWEVER. That is with crashing at my bf’s for 3 months, and a lot of random, BIG expenses (like moving multiple times, a new car because of an accident, a rental while I shopped for a new car, deposits, etc). Not sure how it would have panned out without the crazy shit that’s happened, but I was sure glad I had the funds to pull it off. I’m just now starting to feel concerned about my dwindling cash supply and will officially freak maybe after April’s rent.
        So I’d say a good 24k-30k should be okay, and give a comfortable cushion for emergencies. And I really think it can be done on less, but I didn’t feel like changing my eating out habits and other extras, but I will once I need to.

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      • Budj

        Budj February 16, 2012, 9:09 am

        To have any sort of fun and take a year off of work while maintaining my living situation I would have to pretty much save up about $30,000.

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      • Budj

        Budj February 16, 2012, 9:10 am

        $45,000 if I wanted to actually travel a bunch.

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger February 15, 2012, 2:45 pm

    You’re NOT being crazy.
    Any guy who tells you “this other girl is my second choice” and then tells you you need to get over your insecure feelings about it… is just a bad person.
    I know you have been together for a while and have great plans for the future but… I’m sorry. I can’t believe he’s not cheating on you with her, or at least pushing it. I just can’t. Even if he’s not doing anything with her physically (which I doubt), he’s at least filling the emotional void from your absence by spending time with her. That’s called an emotional affair, and they can be just as hurtful as a real one. I’m sure they flirt, I’m sure since they hang out so much that they do couple-y things like go out to eat and go to the movies and shop and stuff. Especially if they drink together, I can’t imagine there hasn’t been a time when they’ve at least tiptoed over the line, if not more.

    If he hadn’t said the “second choice” thing, I wouldn’t be saying all this. LDRs need trust to work. But he broke that trust by blatantly telling you he’d be with another woman. That’s not how you keep your relationship intact.

    He’s getting from her what he’s not getting from you. Someone to hang out with, someone to confide in, someone of the opposite sex to be with on a regular basis. You are absolutely in the right to be concerned. It would be one thing if he were adamant about not having “relationship-y” feelings for her. If he insisted “we’re friends, we’ve always been friends, you being my gf doesn’t change that. If I wanted to date her I wouldn’t be dating you. You’re the one I’m with, I love you, etc etc” that would be totally different. But he pretty much did the exact opposite of that and told you “yeah, if you weren’t in the picture, I’d probably be dating her.” That’s a HUGE red flag.

    You should probably bring your concerns to his attention before just moving on, but if he insists it’s not a big deal and expects you to apologize for “being crazy” then you definitely should get out. If he apologizes and insists that he loves you and there’s nothing to worry about, then maybe give it a while longer. I just don’t think I could trust a guy who told me he has a backup girlfriend waiting in case our relationship doesn’t work out. I just couldn’t love someone who told me that.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didn't February 15, 2012, 3:28 pm

      yes, yes, yes. If they are drinking together, they’re doing other couply, private things together and I’d be willing to bet that strangers or casual acquaintances have told them “ohhh, you guys are such a cute couple!”. Except they’re not. I also find it hard to believe that he hasn’t cheated. He’s at the very least considering it.

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      • avatar

        LW February 15, 2012, 9:43 pm

        LW here! They’re not drinking together, she doesn’t drink, and he only drinks when he’s visiting me or vice versa.

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  • mandalee

    mandalee February 15, 2012, 2:57 pm

    Yes, I can see the issue from both side’s- the female best friend and the girlfriend. When I was the “female best friend”, I tried my best to be the “look, I’m such a better option!” girl without confessing my undying love. I was also young (18) and thought that eventually he’d see the light and we would be together. He encouraged me by spending way too much alone time with me than my other guy friends and doing “boyfriend” things with me like buying each other birthday and Christmas gifts. He is the other guy I highlighted in my confession yesterday, so if no one remembers ha!, but needless to say we both cross the line and were both shitty because of it.

    However, my husband had a girl best friend much like this early on in their relationship. She started to go a little overboard with things stating “she had to approve of me before our relationship got serious” and tried to dance with multiple times at my birthday party. When she started calling him late at night, I finally mentioned that I didn’t appreciate it her behavior. Before I knew it, she faded into the distance and her behavior stopped. Turns out, my now-husband was annoyed with her making me feel uncomfortable and told her to knock it off.

    Two similar scenarios, two different outcomes- based on if the guy encouraged the behavior or not. Saying she would be his second choice? LOL What is wrong with men! Having friends of the opposite sex is fine, but having a declared “second choice” buying your BF expensive gifts and spending solo time together is not. Your insecurities aren’t silly, even if nothing is happening. He should address the situation or you should MOA before you drive yourself crazy.

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  • avatar

    ktfran February 15, 2012, 2:58 pm

    Normally, I’m an advocate of opposite sex freindships. Probably one of the stronger advocates on this site. I don’t see problem with them.

    However, that is not the case in this situation. Escpeically when it seems that one, or both, parties is harboring feelings for the other. It’s a crappy situation.

    LW, I’m guessing you’re in college. You’re young. It sucks, but I would honestly MOA. You deserve someone who doesn’t even think about a second choice because he has his only choice – YOU.

    And please don’t let this deter you from forming male friendships, or dating someone with a female friend, in the future. It can work, but unfortunately, not in this instance.

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  • Lyra

    L February 15, 2012, 3:14 pm

    Have you made an effort to get to know the girl? Maybe if you hung out with her with your boyfriend when you’re visiting you’ll see the dynamic between them firsthand. Maybe it IS just an innocent friendship. My boyfriend has a bunch of platonic female friendships and I was jealous of many of those friendships when we first started dating. Now, however, I have become friends with many of the girls and we can have a great time together…and I can have a good conversation with them even when my boyfriend isn’t around. Just being the devil’s advocate…it IS possible to have platonic friends of the opposite sex. My suggestion to you, LW, is to first explain your concerns by talking to your boyfriend about it if you haven’t already. It could be that he doesn’t understand why it makes you uncomfortable. If he respects you, he will agree to find some sort of compromise and maybe hang out with her less or ask her to give him less expensive gifts.

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  • avatar

    Jessibel5 February 15, 2012, 3:21 pm

    It sounds like this chick has a thing for him and is waiting in the wings for when you guys break up, or just trying to plain old steal him away. The expensive presents are what makes me think that. He may or may not realize it. You should talk to him about how you feel and if he does dismiss it and your feelings, you need to MOA. You don’t want to be with someone who doesn’t care how this affects you. Plus, if he gets “stolen” away by this girl, it wasn’t meant to be anyway. My semi-long distance (Annapolis to DC, like, 40 minute drive) college boyfriend had a girl “friend” from HS always telling him how lucky she thought I was to have him, or joking with him about them running away together. He broke up with me in June one year, and then by October one of our mutual friends said he was at a Halloween party at her house (I was abroad and didn’t attend) that he spent the entire time talking on the phone with a girl and it sounded like they were together. Sure enough, it was the girl “friend” who he started dating almost immediately after he broke up with me. His claim when he broke up with me was that he couldn’t do the distance anymore, but he ended up with this girl who went to University of Kansas. I was much closer. To this day, I believe that she had her claws in him way before he and I broke up, because she had had a crush on him in HS and worked her flattery and availability since he was home in the same town as her for the summer.

    Also, this girl is probably distant because she hates you…not because of who you are, but because you’re an obstacle to what she wants. His saying that she’s his “2nd choice” after you shows that he’s already thought about this possibility, and therefore she is no longer a platonic friend in his eyes. Bring up your concerns in a calm, adult conversation. If he truly doesn’t see her as a romantic possibility, he will be very concerned that you feel that way, and probably limit his time with her.

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  • avatar

    KAM February 15, 2012, 3:25 pm

    I’m going to echo what Mainer said about the LW possibly fishing for the “second choice” admission – He must be a halfway decent boyfriend for them to have been together for 2-1/2 years now (in a relationship that’s described as “great”) – and most halfway decent boyfriends don’t’ just blurt out (drunk or not) who they would date in place of their girlfriends.
    I’m going to go ahead and say that the LW’s letting her jealousy get the best of her. Some of the supposed “cheating signs” seem way too far fetched (i.e. they go to the same school and share the same group of friends and therefore that makes her a threat?). Also the gift insecurities, I think, are a little ridiculous. No matter the price, gloves and a backpack sound like pretty platonic gifts to me. Especially when you consider that most guys don’t care about the price of the gift – it’s the thought that counts.
    I’m sure I’m going against the grain when I tell the LW that she should relax a little, but I don’t think that it’s uncalled for. Sounds like you guys are in college – well, in college, members of the opposite sex hang out, sometimes alone and *surprise, surprise* don’t have to have sex! Hell, they don’t even have to have romantic feelings. I can’t possibly be the only one on this message board to ever have had a large group of platonic male friends. It’s not that rare.
    I will agree with the other commenters that the LW’s boyfriend should address her worries and concerns and try to make her feel more comfortable around this friend but I also think it’s crucial that the LW not have a panic attack every time her boyfriend hangs out with his friend. If she goes ahead with her anxiety unchecked, she’s going to eventually come across as controlling, which is only going to make matters worse.

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  • avatar

    Liz February 15, 2012, 3:29 pm

    I have a legit question related to this letter. I have several really, truly, strictly platonic male friends. Like, we hang out and watch movies together, and ok, I made out with one of them once, but I would never want it to happen again. When a girlfriend comes into the picture, what are my boundries? One of my best friends had a girlfriend for awhile, and while this male friend and I hardly even hug, she was understandably upset that we spent so much time together. I didn’t want to stop spending time with one of my best friends when there was GENUINELY NOTHING going on, but I could still absolutely understand how she would be uncomfortable about it. They eventually broke up, but it was always kind of an elephant in the room. It’s kind of a conundrum, and not always clear cut.

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    • avatar

      KAM February 15, 2012, 3:47 pm

      All you can really do is treat the girlfriend like you would a new friend. If she meets you in the pretext of “so-and-so’s girlfriend” rather than “possibly-cool new person to get to know” then it’s going to cause some sort of discomfort for her. In my experience, these kinds of friendships/relationship triangles are only a problem if there is any amount of exclusivity to the friendship. Their relationship, yes, has its boundaries but it’s your job as his friend to be a nice, welcoming person.
      Unless the new girlfriend is kind of a biotch. Then you treat her as such.
      Though that may be an unpopular opinion….

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 February 15, 2012, 4:09 pm

      So if this does happen again, I think he has to make the choice to not hangout with you so much, if it is getting in between him, and his girlfriend. If not there isn’t much you can do about it. If it really did bother you, I would just ask him if his girlfriend is comfortable with the situation, because you would like to be just a good as friends with her as you are with him since she means so much to him, and you wouldn’t want to do anything to make things weird for her.

      I think the truth is that if a guy really likes a girl and thinks she is the one, that girl is going to be every bit as much his best friend as you are, and he should always pick her over you, if he doesn’t then he either likes you more than her, and is lying to you, or he just really doesn’t like her that much.

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      • Lili

        Lili February 15, 2012, 4:52 pm

        Wise words bagge!

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    • kare

      Kare February 15, 2012, 5:54 pm

      The best way to be the platonic friend is to put the guy on the back burner and focus on the girl. Don’t hang out one-on-one with the guy because that will probably make the girlfriend uncomfortable if she doesn’t know you very well. And when you hang out with both the friend and his girlfriend, make sure you focus your attention on her. Be friendly and genuinely get to know her. Don’t deny her Facebook requests/block her etc. Oh and NEVER EVER mention you made out/kissed/accidentally saw naked/thought about having sex one night when you were bored/went on a date/etc. Girlfriends can have a tendency to be jealous of female friends, but a lot of times their suspicions are right. Which sucks for the people that are truly platonic.

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    • rainbow

      rainbow February 15, 2012, 6:14 pm

      I find myself in this situation often. What I do is treating her like I would treat my brother’s girlfriend when she came over for the first time.
      I make it all about getting to know her, making sure she’s comfortable, finding things in common, mentioning how cute they look together.
      I act like she knows more about him than I do, even if it’s not the case (“so, since X is in the bathroom, do you think he wants cream with his coffee?”)
      Also I look at hermore than I look at him when I’m speaking, and rotate my body in her direction, not his.
      It usually works. I’ve never had a problem with it.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle February 16, 2012, 9:17 am

        That’s really good, specific advice– & it’s interesting, because the dynamic between a guy’s good girl friend and his GIRLFRIEND are so similiar to the one between a guy’s sister and his girlfriend. The potential for tension is pretty high in both of those relationships.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 February 15, 2012, 3:53 pm

    So your boyfriend admitted that he like likes his best female friend, and the only thing keeping him from getting with her is the fact that he is in another relationship? This guy has it made, because he pretty much has two girlfriends right now, and if you ever get the nerve to break up with him it seems like he has himself set up to walk right into his next relationship. Your boyfriend doesn’t sound very smart, and should have kept that info to himself, but it really works out for you, because you have a chance now to tell him that he needs to back off from her, because you really do feel uncomfortable, and if that doesn’t work you need to break up with him. I would definitely start looking for other plans for living arrangement, do move your life around for this guy until you get things straightened out.

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    • bagge72

      bagge72 February 15, 2012, 4:02 pm

      Don’t move your life around

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  • avatar

    Renee February 15, 2012, 5:09 pm

    My husband and I don’t have conversations like, “If I died, who would you marry?”

    If the relationship is serious enough to be exclusive, there is no ‘second choices’. Either you’re with someone or you’re not. Have a relationship or MOA.

    You can’t build a healthy relationship, if one is thinking about the alternatives.

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    • Lili

      Lili February 15, 2012, 5:22 pm

      ‘You can’t build a healthy relationship, if one is thinking about the alternatives.’

      Agree 100%!!! However aren’t doubts a part of life as well?

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      • avatar

        ReginaRey February 15, 2012, 7:24 pm

        In regard to your question about doubt, I think there’s definitely a healthy amount of doubt that’s normal in a relationship. I think the best test, at least in a serious long term relationship, is how you feel when considering spending the rest of your life with them. Naturally you’ll always wonder “Can this REALLY work FOREVER??,” but if picturing you two together for the long haul is something you feel excited about and at peace with, that’s a good sign.

        On the other hand, and I’ve definitely experienced this, if picturing yourself with someone forever makes you anxious and worried and fills your mind with even more doubt, that’s usually a red flag. I experienced that with a former boyfriend, and finally came to realize that the doubt was, in and of itself, a sign that the relationship wasn’t right. While assuredness isn’t the sole factor in a relationship being right (and sometimes people can be “sure” about the wrong person…as we’ve seen on a lot of DW letters), you should definitely have it in a healthy relationship.

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      • avatar

        Renee February 15, 2012, 8:40 pm

        Great point.

        A wandering mind isn’t doubt. Doubt is deciding whether be single or with that person.

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. February 15, 2012, 5:31 pm

    Wow, this reminds me of my last boyfriend. We attempted an LDR (US & UK) and for a while things were good. Then I began to hear all about this other girl he knew. (They worked for the same company and now in the same office since his move.) I heard about how they hung out on weekends, how they went to events together and had a standing dinner date every Friday. At first I thought I had nothing to worry about, since he was teling me all these things up front without my asking him. (I found out later that he had asked her to go on an overnight trip with him and she turned him down. She also sent us a joint present during my visit.) Then, when I finally got to visit him, I heard that not only did they have dinner together every Friday, but lots of alcohol was consumed. (I don’t drink.) He also mentioned her name at least three times a day every day. (Yes, I counted.) There were other issues, the big one being that this was the first time he’d seen me in four months and he didn’t bother to clear his schedule. I spent my first night there sleeping in a chair.

    I tried very hard not to obssess about this girl. However, my gut told me something was up. (As if sleeping in a chair was not enough.) Finally, I consulted a male friend who told me that, in his opinion, this guy either had already cheated or was seriously thinking about it.

    The bottom line is nothing is ever guaranteed to last forever. If it’s going to end, it’s going to end. You have no control over what someone else will do. You can ask him what’s going on. He may tell you the truth, he may not. You know him, I don’t. Follow your gut.

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  • avatar

    *HmC* February 15, 2012, 6:34 pm

    I think there is a LOT of grey area in between obviously inappropriate behavior (cheating) and obviously appropriate behavior (not even a whisper of cheating). Someone doesn’t have to actually BE cheating on you in order for you to feel justified bringing up some grey area behavior that you are not comfortable with. And this grey area is different for every couple, because every couple has their own values and ideas regarding how monogamy works for them.

    That said, if this were me, I would not be ok with your boyfriend’s behavior. And that’s whose behavior I would focus on, not this other girl. He’s the one committed to you and, supposedly, invested in your feelings. He shouldn’t be accepting extravagant presents from her, spending an inordinate amount of alone time with her, and especially not telling you that she’s his number 2 (um ick!) if those things are not ok with you and he wants to be in a relationship with YOU. At the very least, he should be concerned enough with your feelings to talk it out with you and come to some sort of compromise, or at least be able to put your mind at ease. I don’t think telling you to just buck up and get over it is appropriate here, because to me, your feelings seem pretty normal.

    I’m a super duper non-jealous type. I think what it comes down to for me is, if I can’t trust you, I just simply don’t have the energy to worry about you and try and control you. I think I’ve been really fortunate to have partners that shared similar ideas about what constituted inappropriate behavior in the context of monogamy. You’ve got to at least try to get on the same page unless you want basically a lifetime of uneasiness.

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    AnotherWendy February 15, 2012, 8:13 pm

    I would be concerned that he spends so much time with someone he thinks of as a girlfriend candidate if you two broke up. I wouldn’t have a problem if he said he thinks of her like one of his buddies, or like a sister. But he is admitting he is able to view her in romantic terms. Proximity breeds opportunity, and it sounds like they both seek close proximity to one another.

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    Helen February 15, 2012, 9:09 pm

    As the girl friend of the guy, I have some great advice.
    ASK HER. Point blank. Seriously.

    FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY: ASK HER.

    Because if you have no idea what she is thinking, than you WILL make yourself paranoid, and if she doesn’t have any feelings for your boyfriend, you are GOING TO LOOK LIKE THE CRAZY GIRLFRIEND.

    I have a really good guy friend who was super into me, but I never thought of him that way (friend zone!), and his girlfriend ended up HATING me, pretty much for existing. Before they broke up, she would yell at him for being friends with me, threaten me, ask him to stop being friends with me, not to hang out with me, etc, etc, and yet she never asked, “Hey Helen, do you have a thing for my BF or is this just me being crazy,” which would have solved all of her problems.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar February 15, 2012, 9:34 pm

      The girl doesn’t owe the LW the truth – or anything actually. It’s the boyfriend she needs to talk to about setting boundaries.

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        MarieDC February 16, 2012, 1:06 am

        Agreed. The girl doesn’t owe the LW any explanation and so what if she likes the LW’s boyfriend? As long as the boyfriend doesn’t like her back or is encouraging her, there’s no threat to the relationship. What she should do instead, is talk to her boyfriend. The girl’s feelings or lack of has nothing to do with the LW’s relationship.

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      june February 16, 2012, 12:27 am

      “if she doesn’t have any feelings for your boyfriend, you are GOING TO LOOK LIKE THE CRAZY GIRLFRIEND.”

      Nooooo, this has nothing to do with the friend’s feelings (or lack thereof) for the boyfriend. How she feels is actually mostly irrelevant I’d say. This is between the LW and her shady-ass boyfriend; I wouldn’t get the friend any more involved than she already is. The LW is NOT CRAZY for reacting to the fact that her bf fundamentally admitted to being interested in his “friend” as more than a friend.

      Seems as though you’re personalizing this situation. Your friend’s girlfriend maybe shouldn’t have “hated” you, but can you see why she wouldn’t want her boyfriend to hang out with you all the time if he “was super into” you? Doesn’t matter how you felt. Same deal here.

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    • kare

      Kare February 16, 2012, 1:21 am

      Yeah but in your situation, the guy was into you. So either way the relationship was doomed. Probably like the LW’s. I hate to be so negative, but she deserves better than a guy who pretty much has his next girlfriend lined up.

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      Zepp February 16, 2012, 5:02 am

      Who cares if the female friend likes him or not, that would change nothing. The issue is if he likes HER. I mean, if my boyfriend was “super into” another girl, that is what would bother me. I wouldn’t give a crap if she liked him back or not.

      Hearing that you didn’t like her boyfriend back would not have solved ANY of the girl in your story’s problems, as her boyfriend would still be “super into” someone else.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster February 16, 2012, 12:12 pm

      As the friend-turned-girlfriend I have to disagree with this. Back when my boyfriend and I were still just friends he decided to break up with his current girlfriend. I actually advised him NOT to do this, which is funny in retrospect, but I digress. After they broke up she confronted me about whether or not I was interested in him. At the time I was dating someone else, and I was delusional about my feelings. So I told her with absolute sincerity that I was 100% not interested in him. You can see how she probably thought I was lying to her all along when he and I eventually got together even though it happened way later. And I totally can’t blame her for that. In retrospect, she had no right to ask me what my intentions were to begin with, but at the time I felt bad for her broken heart and it didn’t cost me a thing to give her an answer.

      On the flip side, the relationship that I was in at the time of my story had some major red flags that I was being ‘replaced’ and I’m glad listened to my gut because he had a new girlfriend three seconds after we broke up. I’m big on trusting your own intuition. I just don’t think the LW can gain anything from having a convo w the best girl friend. The issue is between her and her boyfriend.

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    LW February 15, 2012, 9:53 pm

    LW here. Some clarification: the conversation that led to him saying she’d be his second choice was probably a little pushed upon him by me.. We were talking about having dreams about being with other people and he said he’d dreamt about kissing someone else recently [which didn’t really upset me, I get those dreams too sometimes] and I asked who and he told me it was the girl. So then the conversation went from there and I asked him about if he’s thought about her any other way.

    Also, that was the only time he referred to her as anything other than a friend, he usually talks about her and the other girls in their friend group as being like sisters to him.

    And he didn’t tell me to get over it, sorry if my wording made it seem so harsh. It was more like a can-we-move-on-from-this type of feeling.

    Thanks for the help! Continue, please!!:]

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      Zepp February 16, 2012, 5:10 am

      okay, hearing this I think he’s probably just friends with her. I have guy friends. Granted, i do not buy them gifts. Occasional bottles of liquor. I’ve gotten jealous of my ex boyfriend’s female friends even though there was nothing to be jealous about. It’s a universal thing. Actually, one of my favorite things about my current boyfriend is that he has no female friends! And I’m such a hypocrite because one of my best best friends is a guy, Chris. (Chris is also the best friend of my current boyfriend and he introduced us, we’re like a friendship triangle)

      My best guy friend Chris got this new girlfriend, who was SO jealous of Chris and I’s friendship because 8 years ago we used to hook up on and off (but never sex and we decided the spark wasn’t there for dating). She made such a big deal out of it. However, Chris and I have been really really good friends for almost 15 years now, and we’re part of the same “best friends” friend group. And I am an important member and her being jealous of me was just forcing her to the outside. So he told her, “Zepp is one of my closest friends, but that is it. You have nothing to be jealous about. I love you, etc ,etc” but he also told her she either needed to get over the fact that he had some female friends, or they needed to break up.

      So, I can tell from the gifts she;s giving your boyfriend she has a crush on him, but if you make a big deal out of it, it will only push him towards her. So just drop it, be confident in your love, and don’t make it worse in your mind than it is.

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        KAM February 16, 2012, 4:34 pm

        I disagree with the gift assessment. I’ve gotten platonic male friends some really nice presents in the past but there was absolutely no romantic connection to it. I spent an equal amount on my girlfriends. I think this whole concept of “tons of money = romantic love” is ridiculous. You don’t have to be IN love with someone to want to get them something nice. And having genuine affection for a friend is also not the same as romantic love.

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      Addie Pray February 16, 2012, 6:18 am

      Here’s the thing: girls don’t usually do things — like flirt, buy gifts, become emotionally close, etc. — if the guy doesn’t encourage it or act a certain way that makes it ok. I mean, Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction is the exception, not the rule. And if/when a girl does cross the line — like, the gift was too, too nice — and the guy really did not intend to create a relationship where a girl who is not his girlfriend is giving him really nice presents, then his reaction to that (e.g., he says he can’t except it or he pulls away from her because he realizes he’s leading her on or whatnot) resets the tone of their relationship/interactions … So all I’m saying is, if you’re worried that this girl is buying your boyfriend inappropriate gifts and that she must like him or whatnot, that’s sort of a moot question. The real question you need to be asking is what is your boyfriend doing to encourage this and why is he doing it? It could be that he likes likes her or it could be that he just likes the attention… either way, it’s not respectful to you. … So how do you get him to be more respectful to you. I don’t know. Maybe you bite your tongue until the LDR is over and you’re back together. … That’s probably would I would do but my gut instinct when it comes to communicating with men is usually wrong.

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      june February 16, 2012, 9:06 am

      You asked him if he’s thought about her any other way and he said that yes, he considers her his second choice? If that’s really the way you asked (open-ended question), I wouldn’t say you were being pushy. Unless you were like, “You have to admit it! Admit she is your second choice!!” I’m still gonna stand by: he shouldn’t have said it, and this probably points to trouble.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to handle this situation if I were you. I have to be secure in the fact that my SERIOUS LONG TERM BOYFRIEND only wants me, or I’ll MOA. It just takes too much emotional and mental effort to deal with something like this, when there are so many men out there whose intentions and actions would never make you lose sleep at night. There’s so much temptation in these situations to make excuses for the guy (you love him and don’t want to admit that maybe you’re being a little bit duped and have wasted your time with him). But usually, if you feel this unsettled, you should listen to your gut.

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    LTC039 February 16, 2012, 9:00 am

    You are not being crazy. I was in a LDR with someone who completely dismissed any feelings at all whatsoever I had. Now, I admit I wasn’t easy, however, he would do things all the time to make me upset & then laugh at me & call me “phsycotic” when I did. There was one girl he befriended at school (they didn’t know each other from before) & they spent a LOT of time together. He promised me he wouldn’t be alone w/ her but he butt dialed me one night & was in her room alone w/ her… After getting super upset he said “you’re crazy”, then he would go silent, never respond to me & eventually would tire out & say “alright I gotta go.” Don’t ask why I put up with this crap for so long, I was 18 & stupid!
    Now I understand your boyfriend isn’t that big of a heartless douche-bag, but he is definitely dismissing very relevant & appropriate feelings of yours. I’m not gonna say he’s cheating bc that hasn’t been confirmed by you, as you yourself say he’s not, but this behavior is inappropriate. Unfortunately, due to the fact that you are LD, you have zero control over it. It’s up to you to decide whether you want to put up with this for another year or MOA.
    Him telling you this girl would be his “second choice” & then ignoring you when you relay your uncomfortable feelings to him IS wrong. Your partner is supposed to comfort you & make you feel safe, not insecure.
    I would go ahead & talk things out w/ him, give him another opportunity to work together with you so you guys can survive this year, but if he doesn’t come through, move along. LDR’s suck horribly as it is & if it’s gonna be with someone who acts that way, it’s def. not worth it. You need to put your happiness & sanity first.

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    Bossy Italian Wife February 16, 2012, 10:46 am

    You need to break up with this guy and go for someone in your vicinity. If he is spending time like that with a person of the opposite sex that is not his family, it’s not a good sign. And the gifting thing is super weird… there is no reason they should be spending that kind of money on one another. What really puts the nail in his coffin for me is the “second choice” comment. WTF?! You don’t say something like that….

    It’s easy to settle on the fact that you feel “crazy” but in reality, you would be doing yourself a favor if you MOA and find a relationship wherein you don’t have that feeling, don’t you think? Because in a relationship of any kind, trust should be a firm foundation, and if it’s not, then it’s just not worth the trouble.

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      LW February 16, 2012, 12:17 pm

      Don’t know if it changes anything, but she’s the one spending money on him. He hasn’t gotten her a Christmas gift till this past year, and it was something pretty small. She’s been getting him expensive gifts for the past 3 years.

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      • Budj

        Budj February 16, 2012, 12:22 pm

        Does she buy all of her close friends expensive gifts?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson February 16, 2012, 12:23 pm

        Yeah this situation is just kind of sketchy. So I used to be that girl – except I didn’t spend money on them. But I used to be best friends with this guy and his girlfriend was always super weirded out by it. We never did anything and at that age I thought she was just insecure. But now looking back it was a little disrespectful of the boyfriend to not care about her wishes. I just thought it was kind of funny because he would end up lying to her about us hanging out all the time when we would just be like drinking and playing mario cart. I knew everything about him, and it was obvious when we would all hang out together. He and I hung out every single day one summer (they were together for 3 years). At the time I really didn’t think it was weird because I felt like one of the guys and he treated me that might, but now I still think even though we didn’t cheat on her – there was still something wrong with that dynamic. They might just be really good friends. But it’s still disrepsectful.

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    Mrs. D February 16, 2012, 2:19 pm

    I don’t think you’re being crazy. I would be upset and anxious if I were in your situation as well. Actually, I was kind of in your situation, before my husband (then boyfriend) smartened up about needing proper boundaries with other women, especially single women that may or may not have been showing more interest than they should in a man already in a relationship. (Nothing ever happened with that girl, or any girl – I was his first ‘exclusive’ girlfriend so he didn’t really get it at first).
    The gift thing, in itself, wouldn’t worry me. She may be the type of person who spends a lot of money on all gifts she buys for friends (I have friends like that). But, the comment your boyfriend made would have hurt me too and made me feel even more insecure about the situation.
    I would have a long chat with your boyfriend – but only when you’re feeling calm and unemotional. Just tell him that the situation makes you uncomfortable, and that you wouldn’t consider spending that much time with someone of the opposite sex because you value your relationship with him too much to risk jeapordizing it. If, after calm explanation, he still refuses to consider your feelings and be willing to make a change (not giving up the friendship, but maybe setting boundaries i.e. no alone time together), then I would MOA. If he can’t respect how you feel on this matter, it doesn’t bode well for the future of your relationship.
    Hope it all works out.

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    Sue Jones February 16, 2012, 4:41 pm

    You could always ask the girl “What are your intentions with ____?” Ballsy, yes, but to the point.

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    Rusty February 17, 2012, 5:46 pm

    I don’t know – maybe it’s because I’ve always been best friends with guys, but something about this situation annoys me a bit. For example, my best friend at the moment is a guy who started out as a (not close-)friends-with-benefits situation. (We’re not hooking up at the moment, but I’m not going to say we won’t in the future.) But now we’re best buds – we talk every day, hang out a lot, are eachothers’ go-to when something goes wrong, buy eachother birthday & Christmas presents, I occasionally sleep over at his (literally just sleeping), & he is the most important friend in my life. I love him dearly.
    But I’m not *in* love with him. Never will be. And he’s the same. We’re not what eachother wants in a partner. And it’s the big stuff, the important stuff – for example, I want someone who challenges me & wants to be challenged by me, whereas he goes for more naive girls who will frankly worship him a bit. So it’s never going to happen. And we both know it. I’ve watched him cry over other girls, I know who he’s interested in, & when he meets someone who makes him happy & gets in a relationship, I’ll be happy for him.

    I’ll also understand that some stuff will have to stop – sleeping over being an obvious example.

    But if some girl came along & suddenly started telling me I couldn’t buy him what I wanted to when his birthday comes up or didn’t want us hanging out alone, I would be PISSED if he did everything she demanded. He’s my best friend. I want to be able to hang out with him alone – in the exact same way I like hanging out with my best girl mate on our own, because we’re not in the same group of mates & so have more fun, quality time together on our own than when diluted by other people. I mean, I love her husband, but don’t want him around all the time – want some quality time with my girl!
    And it’s the same with my guy friend. I know some people are going to jump on the fact that we’ve slept together, but honestly it was a “you’re single, I’m single, neither of us are dating right now, why not?” kind of thing. If we wanted to be together, we would be together. And I don’t think it’d be fair if a girl came along & I couldn’t see him as much, or alone, or buy him things to celebrate his birthday, merely because she didn’t believe that. Surely that’s kind of her problem? Doesn’t there has to be a point where the LW – or anyone else in her situation – has to just trust their partner & their intentions?
    I totally agree that the LW’s boyfriend should respect her feelings, & know that in a LDR, it’s always going to be hard not to feel anxious about your relationship. But I don’t know if it’s fair for him to have to radically alter a great friendship just because it’s with a female.

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    Rusty February 17, 2012, 5:57 pm

    (And a commenter above asked if the girl in the letter buys all her mates expensive gifts for Christmas & their birthday, & in my situation, I do. My guy mate gets nice presents for Christmas, my best girl mate gets nice presents, my big bro who I’m really close with gets spoiled rotten – Me buying him presents don’t mean “I bought you this so you’ll fall in love with me”, it means “I think you’re awesome & want to treat you, like I do everyone I care about.”)

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    Manda Belle October 12, 2012, 10:57 pm

    I have the same problem. My husband and I were friends before we dated and he said to me that he wanted to date his other friend but she had a boyfriend. We eventually got together and he now claims she is one of his best friends. She calles him all the time and has texted him in a flirty sexual joking sort of way. My husband and I have a child and I asked him to tell her to back off. He says that Im over reacting. I am tempted to tell her to back off. I feel like she has a spell on my husband. What should I do?

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