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Can Guys And Girls Be Friends?

Dear Sugar
I am divorced with two small children and I am in serious relationship with a wonderful man. It has come to my attention that my boyfriend still sees his ex fiancée, who is engaged to another man, from time to time. I also found out that one of his close friends that I know used to be his girlfriend in high school. She is now married with children but my boyfriend still visits them regularly.

I am not a possessive woman and I don't necessarily need my boyfriend to be with me every second, but is it odd that he keeps such close relationships with these women? My parents think this behavior is a great big red flag that I should be concerned about it. It really didn't bother me at first, but the more I think about it, maybe I'm just being naive. Should I be worried? Apprehensive Annabelle

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Apprehensive Annabelle
Are you upset about your boyfriend's relationships with these woman or are your parents making you second guess his intentions? Why are you now just finding out about these friendships? Are you feeling like he has been hiding these women from you?

If you're feeling insecure, talk to your boyfriend as he could be clueless that these friendships are hurting you. Trust your own instincts and try not to let your parents judgement interfere in your relationship. Has your boyfriend ever given you a reason to doubt him in the past? If his friendships with these woman are affecting your relationship, something has to change.

Can men and women be friends? - is an age old question. Each person has their own opinion on this matter but it ultimately depends on what feels right for each couple. If you are uncomfortable with these friendships, then your boyfriend should respect your feelings and back off. Good luck.

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Join The Conversation
LadyDragoness LadyDragoness 9 years
I have to disagree with you getstinko. My best friend and I are also exes. And truthfully we are much better friends than we ever were as a couple. Just because a relationship is over does not mean the friendship is over. I have maintained friendships with all my exes. For me my boyfriend is also my friend someone I also share insights with. So just because a romantic relationship did not work out it does not mean I no longer value their friendship.
getstinko getstinko 9 years
The question isn't "Can men and women be friends?" (because they can) the question is "Can ex-boyfriends and girlfriends stay friends without compromise or underlying interest?" Most of my best friends are women and I've been married for 10 years. I don't think there is any value in staying friends with exes, those relationships are over. Does it concern you that your boyfriend has most likely been intimate (probably many times) with these women? Does it seem appropriate to have him still spending time with women he's been intimate with?
Honeychild Honeychild 9 years
I think the issue here seems like he cant let go of his past. I dont think it is a matter of being friends with an ex lover or high school sweetheart. Seems there is something deeper than that. NOT saying he is cheating or planning on cheating. It might be a fear of moving on and excepting change.
LadyDragoness LadyDragoness 9 years
Men and Women can be friends...if it was not for men I would have no friends at all. I've never in my life had a female friend. I realized how lucky I am though. My best friend in the world is also an ex. (We've been best friends longer than we were a couple). He and my other really close friend are roommates. Often when I go out with them or just hang out at their place I end up staying over. My boyfriend has never said a word about it. He trust me.
Mimitaro Mimitaro 9 years
I agree with DEARSUGAR. If I were you, I'll be mad at him and beg him not to see his ex or some other woman. So I think you're great to being calm. I wanna be just like you.
liron liron 9 years
Dearsugar, I have to disagree with the following: "If you are uncomfortable with these friendships, then your boyfriend should respect your feelings and back off.". I grew up with a circle of male friends and to this day, we are very close - some of these are my ex boyfriends. My best friend is male and we've gone through many things together, just like best friends do. My boyfriend is aware of my male friends, and as much as I love my boyfriend, I would seriously doubt our relationship if he asked me to back off my friends. I wouldn't expect anything else from my boyfriend either, if I would have the eventual nerve to ask him to back off his friendships with women (some of which, yes, are his ex girlfriends). Some of his best friends are women, I wouldn't dream of having the "hutzpa" of asking him to tone these friendships down.
Daisy6264 Daisy6264 9 years
I agree with DearSugar on this one.
Fancy04 Fancy04 9 years
Sure you can be just friends. I have alot of male friends. _________________________________________ Brad is so sexy!
Moni-B Moni-B 9 years
I think the best way to go about this is to get to know them. Ask him maybe one day if you can meet his friends. That way, you'll probably feel more comfortable knowing who they are and have some sort of clue about them. ~M~
Toronado Toronado 9 years
Catch-22. If you stay silent, you'll never know the whole story...but if you voice your concerns it'll seem (to him) that you're implying he can't be trusted. Sticky situation. Choosing between the two, though...I'd say that yeah, you should talk to him about it. Risking a little fallout is better than suffering silently and letting it eat you up inside until you go insane.
Lindsb Lindsb 9 years
I am friends with my ex boyfriends. I truly feel that it's the mark of a mature person - if they can move past whatever it was that caused the rift to break up the relationship. In general, I try to remember that it's called a break up because it's broken. I wouldn't worry much. I hope things work out! :)
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 9 years
The only thing you can do is talk to him and maybe stop feeling jealous and see it for what it is...a friendship. If it's more, fine, you'll have to deal with that. But, don't deny him any friendships because you're insecure...it's not fair. SOme of my best friends are guys! When a crazy person (long story) was trying to ruin my relationship with my then-fiancé it was my guy friends who came to my rescue. They moved my stuff out of my apartment, hid my wedding outfit and protected me. Sure, we flirt and my husband knows and doesn't care because he gets along with them too. We all know where the boundaries are and they are VERY clear. Guy friends help give me a male-perspective on things I'm dealing with and I love it. I've never ever had one miscommunication of feelings with a guy friend because I'm clear from day one... Good luck.
bluejeanie bluejeanie 9 years
i think they're just friends since one is married with kids and the other woman is engaged to another man. they've moved on and so has he. it sounds like he's a nice guy and things ended amicably with those other two women many years ago. guys who are on really bad terms with their exes frighten me more. it makes me think that either he is unable to forgive or he did something unforgivable. i agree with dearsugar, unless he's done something to make you nervous, i wouldn't think too much into it.
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