January 26, 2020 at 10:00 pm #873674RikaGuest
Me and my best friend of 10+ years has different friend groups that we hang out with. I’ve met hers a couple of times when we go out and it’s been nice. But a lot of her guy friends shows interest in more than I would have liked. This includes her ex and the guy she is seeing casually at the moment.
We’ve only talked about it on occasions, but nothing in debths. I know that she likes to keep her different friends groups separated and I understand that. I’ve also made it clear that I would never go for any of those guys, both because of the obvious boundaries and because they aren’t my type at all. She said she knows. But it’s clear she’s still uncomfortable and I don’t know how to change that.
While I know that I could avoid them to some extent, but it doesn’t really seem to solve the problem in the long run. And I would hate it if this could potentially ruin our friendship in the future.
Any advice would be appreciated or similar experiencesJanuary 26, 2020 at 11:49 pm #873681MaltaKanoGuest
It sounds like your friend is going to be more comfortable with some space between friend groups, and you may just have to honor that. Often with old, close friendships there’s a healthy dose of jealousy and rivalry wrapped up in all the love. It’s good you are tuning into her feelings and that you reassured her that you put your friendship before attention from her ex (and current??) boyfriends.
I wonder if you’re somehow inadvertently sending the opposite message with actions when you go out with her friends. How are you surmising that these guys are interested in you? If all these dudes are demonstrating romantic interest or expressing that they want to date you, and you’re not like Beyoncé-hot, then you’re maybe sending some sort of vibe out. Not your fault, but you can try making it clear when you’re out that your friend gets the best parts of your attention and affection. Find ways to make her feel important to you – sit by her, keep conversations with men she’s dated brief and detached, and steer cute guys her way. Wingwoman stuff.
Ultimately, this might be more about her insecurity than anything. You can’t bend yourself into a pretzel trying to navigate around her feelings. It might just be easier to keep hanging out one-on-one until she feels more secure in her social world. Good luck!January 27, 2020 at 10:43 am #873712HelenGuest
I used to have a best friend who liked to keep her friends separate. She did it because she was controlling and had to be the center of all her relationships. Is your friend similar? You seem very concerned with making her happy (it’s not your problem these guys find you attractive) so I’m betting she is. We’re no longer friends because I entered a relationship with her best Male friend and she couldn’t stand not being the most important person to the 2 of us. She hated that she wasn’t invited to stuff we were doing. She did everything in her power to break us up. Didn’t work. We’ve been happily married for years. God she was toxic. She would frequently complain that everyone let her down or abandoned her. That’s how she framed people realizing she was toxic and jumping ship. Always beware of people who make similar claims. The common denominator is themselvesJanuary 27, 2020 at 1:47 pm #873737briseGuest
Helen, this is different if the LW attracts the interest of her best friend’s boyfriend! I understand her disconfort. You say that you don’t want such an attention, so show it more decidedly. It can be very clear when you shut down a guy who is showing some interest. This should solve the problem. But anyway, you have to accept some distance here, as she doesn’t enjoy her guy flirting with a friend! She doesn’t owe you to host you in her own group of friends. But I would cut her short if she speaks at lenght of her discomfort to you. Tell her clearly that you are not interested and would never do that (with her boyfriend). With her ex, after all, she doesn’t own him.
At the end of the day, you can’t help it if men look at you, she has to trust her boyfriend and have a talk with him, not you. But you could ask other people to set you up with some single guys. She will be less paranoid if you are dating, right? Don’t take it too much to your heart.January 27, 2020 at 4:22 pm #873749HelenGuest
I glossed over the part where it was the friend’s bf who was attracted to the LW. But unless she’s brazenly flirting with the bf the bf’s behavior is on the bf not the LW. You say she’s uncomfortable. How is she displaying her discomfort? Is it just something you’re picking up on based on her facial expressions or is she badgering you? Or somewhere in between? I would immediately shut down any requests to alter my behavior or dress because some dude can’t hide his attraction to uninterested women in front of his gf. Unless you’re going braless and purposefully spilling water on your white tee shirt, that you would need to stop.January 27, 2020 at 6:15 pm #873764MaltaKanoGuest
It’s interesting that you’re coming at it from that angle, Helen. I’m the exact opposite: I had to stop inviting a close friend out with me because she would come into every one of my well-established friend groups and NEED to be the center of attention, especially with men. I really don’t think she did it on purpose, and she probably even thought it just “happened,” but it sucked. She is such a good friend one-on-one, but in groups it’s like male attention takes precedence over everything. One night, when she was in a long-term relationship and I was single, she stuck next to me as I was talking with a guy she knew I liked, then physically stood between me and the guy and flirted with him all night until he asked her out — at which point she conveniently mentioned her boyfriend for the first time. It was stuff like that that made me keep my friendship with her separate from my other groups. I could absolutely see her writing a letter like this.
Not saying that has any bearing on the LW’s situation, just wanted to illustrate that it could be any number of things going on. Either way, the advice is the same: let your friend have her separate groups if that makes your friendship stronger.January 27, 2020 at 6:30 pm #873765HelenGuest
Maltakano I’ve had a friend that you describe as well. I’ve also had a friend that guys were just drawn to because she was pretty, funny, and mostly uninterested in them. They were intrested because of the challenge. I agree that any of these dynamics could be happening with the LW. One of the reasons I enjoy reading DW is seeing the different perspectives. I often find myself nodding in agreement at someone else’s view even though its different from my ownJanuary 27, 2020 at 6:46 pm #873767MaltaKanoGuest
Same! It’s cool to see how often we’re all on the same page too, even with different experiences informing our advice.February 5, 2020 at 7:03 pm #874551mellantheParticipant
I’d respect if you feel your friend needs a bit of distance between groups. Most of us would feel a little jealous if we thought an ex was interested in a friend, never mind the current BF.
It’s hard to say if the ussue is LW inadvertently (and accidentally) taking on attention or starting conversations that make her friend feel left out. Or perhaps the friend is a bit more insecure than usual and would see even innocent actions as her men running after women. Or it could be the men are just sleazy.
I’d say part of the problem is partly the current boyfriend. Hey, your ex might be skeevy enough to run after my friends, but what excuse does a current partner have?
It’s not like you’d want to avoid your friends’ partners- most of the time people socialise in groups or as pairs. I’d feel gutted if i had to avoid a friend’s partner because theyfelt we were flirting. my friends come first, and I’m not that close with their partners, but I’dbe sad that it’d affect the whole relaxed couples dynamic we have going.
You could ask your friend what she thinks you can do? Maybe it’s something really simple like ‘don’t have injokes with my BF and bring them up in front of me’. Or ‘it makes me uncomfortable when you turn up to a casual event with my boyfriend and male friends in a bikini’. Equally it might be nothing you’re doing but instead might be down to her insecurities.