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Ask an Intern: I'm Jealous of My Boyfriend's Female Friend!

Ask an Intern: I'm Jealous of My Boyfriend's Female Friend!

Conventional Wisdom is a different kind of advice column. Your questions will be answered by people from all walks of life rather than by advice experts. This week, our fabulous new intern dispenses advice to a woman who is beginning to wonder if her boyfriend's female friend is "just a friend." If you have a question, you can submit them here.

This week's question:

I've been dating this wonderful guy for two years now. Lately, though, I've gotten really insecure about myself and the relationship.

During the last six months, there's been a girl that he has started hanging out with more frequently. They go to school together and often have breakfast or go to sporting events. (I see him about twice a week.) I feel like I should relax and let him have his female friends, but I can't get over the fact that they might not just be friends. (He told me once he didn't think men and women could be platonic friends.) I get this awful sick feeling every time he mentions her name, I don't know if its jealousy or insecurity, but I just feel bad!


I tried talking to him about it a few months ago, and all he said was that I'm the one for him and he can't help it if his friends are hot. (That didn't help me feel much better!) I know we are in an adult relationship and he is allowed to choose his friends, so how can I change the way I think and feel so that I'm OK with it? Help!

Insecure and Hating It. To hear what an intern has to say about this,

Dear Insecure and Hating It,

I often shy away from confronting people with my insecurities and worries, but I have come to realize that if I am having a dilemma then it’s best to just talk about it. Have you asked your boyfriend if he is romantically interested in this other woman? If not, then you should. It’s a legitimate question and don’t be afraid to ask him what their relationship is and how he feels about her. It’s good to talk about things and get them in the open.

If you’re not ready to talk, maybe ask him if you can join them on their outings and then use the power of observation to see what their relationship is like. But remember, it’s good to be direct. I’m personally tired of playing games and while the natural inclination may be to find yourself a new cute guy friend to stir jealousy, I doubt that will work. Good luck!

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
My thing about the "women and men can't be platonic" comment is this, and the basis for most of my argument above: I don't really believe that they can be either, but there are exceptions to every rule. I also think that you can be friends with someone, find them attractive, and even occasionally think about sleeping with them in an abstract way, and still be "just friends" for all intents and purposes. I have a guy friend that I find attractive, and I've thought about what it would be like on occasion, but I would never actually do it because I love my boyfriend and don't *actually* want to stray. I guess maybe my definition of platonic is a little more flexible or something.
bvfashion bvfashion 7 years
My inital reaction was that it was probably nothing. But this might because my best friend is a guy, and people always think that we have some secret relationship. But the fact that her boyfriend has said that he doesn't believe that men and women can just be friends raises a red flag. I think that she should try hanging out with the two of them, to see how they are together before questioning him. She'll definitely gain a lot of insight into her boyfriend's relationship with this girl that way. If she still has vibes after hanging out with them, then she should definitely talk to him about it.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 7 years
* almost always * uggh
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 7 years
You know tlsgirl i would totally agree with you, but every time I've been in a shitty situation (like this or not at all) my gut has almost been correct. At best I would say the biggest red flag for me was that he has said himself that men and women cannot be platonic friends. If he doesn't think he and lady friends can be regular platonic friends, how does he expect you to believe that this new girl is purely platonic? At worst, I'd say that since it sounds like he's seeing her more often than you, I'd keep my ear to the ground. Are you friends with his friends? do they know her? if they don't then you have a serious problem. And while the best solution would be to have a sit down serious discussion with him, it doesn't sound like he'll be either willing, or will actually listen to you.The fact that he has already addressed that she is "hot" when as far as we know you only addressed your discomfort with the time he's spending and have not told us that she is some super model, means he's thought of her in a sexual way and probably does almost every time he thinks of her or talks about her. It's very meaningful that you are willing to make an effort to change the way you are reacting in case you are overreacting, but i think you need to have another adult conversation before you can decide whether it's you being irrational, or him being deceitful.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I have to say, all of this "he's inconsiderate," "go with your gut" (despite what he's been telling you and is just as likely to be true), and "no opposite sex friendships unless they've known each since diapers" is making me really glad that I'm not this guy.
cwpn cwpn 7 years
I was in this situation and at first it wasn't bothering me but when she started drinking out of my boyfriends glass infront of me I started to realise it was more than jealousy, I confronted him and he told me that he liked her and text her before we were together asking if they could go out and she rejected him. By this time I was madly in love with him and told him to stay away from her, he did and we have been together for 3 years now. What I suggest you do is try hanging around with them (you never know this girl could be really cool and you could become fast friends) but the other outcome could be worse, if you watch them and she is flirting with him infront of you and not backing down then she means business, if this happens and your guy is responding, leave him your obviously not meant to be together and by him flirting hes telling you he doesn't care about your feelings. Good luck hope everything turns out well.
GScott86 GScott86 7 years
The intern's advice is on point. Good luck to advice seeker and anyone else in this situation. Living with this insecurity is not worth your time in life.
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
Talk to him and ask if you can hang out with the two of them, if he says no or avoids it, then there's a problem, and if he says yes, check for anything that would suggest there's something going on between them in regards to body language and whatnot. While I know it's perfectly possible for men and women to have platonic opposite-gendered friends (I hang out with a lot of guy friends on a regular basis, and during the summer see them more often than my boyfriend, and he hangs out with a lot of girl friends and befriends girls easily, just as I befriend boys easily), the fact that your boyfriend doesn't seem to think it's possible (my boyfriend and I are friends with our ex's and both laugh at the thought that men and women can't "just be friends") throws up warning flags. Confront him and if you're still suspicious, dump his sorry bum.
msame msame 7 years
I was in the same situation in a previous relationship of 4 years. I even called him out on it, and directly asked if he had feelings for this other girl. In response, he got incredibly angry and couldn't believe that I would think so lowly of him. We had a messy break up within a few days of this conversation, and he immediately started dating that girl within two weeks. I hope your situation is different, but I am only speaking from my own experiences. GOOD LUCK!!!
danizzle danizzle 7 years
GO WITH YOUR GUT FEELING! one thing that is in all women's DNA is intuition. goodluck!
Pistil Pistil 7 years
If my boyfriend was investing more time and energy into a relationship with another girl than he was with me, I would feel the same way. "He can't help it if his friends are hot"...? What a terribly immature and insensitive way to defer the subject. I would talk to him about it again... a real discussion. It's making you uncomfortable and your boyfriend of all people should be sensitive to those feelings.
lickety-split lickety-split 7 years
Does it matter what's going on? You're uncomfortable about it and he doesn't respond in a caring way. Bye-bye inconsiderate schmuck :wave:
appolgurl appolgurl 7 years
I completely agree with the others who said to trust your gut. you DO know the whole situation, and your intuition is ringing alarm bells about it. I do think he may have feelings for her-it's not like they're hanging out in a group-right? One-on-one opposite sex outings with someone that's NOT a childhood friend is bad news. especially if he keeps hanging out with her more and more.
karlorene karlorene 7 years
How would he feel if it was switched around? What if you started having a "great guy friend" you went to breakfast and lunch with? Come on, sorry... he wouldn't be about it. Maybe he isn't physically cheating, but there are certain situations that aren't acceptable and I feel like he's crossing the line- but to each her own
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
I dunno, it kind of sounds harmless to me on its face. I could understand if there were more than an off hand comment about platonic friendships, but you can have good friendships with people that, yes, you occasionally think of in a more than friendly way. It doesn't necessarily have to lead to anything.
ali321 ali321 7 years
I think that men and women can have platonic friendships, but I can also understand why you would be wary. And I think he should be understanding too. It's probably not a good sign if he just blows it off and then rubs it in your face that she's hot when you try to talk about it. Maybe they are just friends and maybe he's insulted when you question it, but at least for me that's not a relationship I'd want to be in. He should see where you're coming from. People cheat all of them time. It's normal for you to be scared. I agree you should ask if you could hang out too. It's not like he can say he needs guy time. And it's not as if they're old friends. It's really not going to kill him to give the girl up. I can see if it was a work thing and other people from work went too. Honestly if I was the girl I don't think I'd personally feel okay going to a game or hanging out alone with a guy in a relationship that I'd just met without even meeting the girlfriend. It might be innocent or I might think he was a creep. Anyway why can't we ever get updates on these stories?
imLissy imLissy 7 years
He's spending all this time with this woman and has the nerve to tell you he thinks she's hot? Sounds like he wants you to be jealous.
MissSushi MissSushi 7 years
Some people are just that brazen. My sister is going through this right now. Her husband of 4 years started developing a friendship with a girl he worked with. Doing innocent things like going out to lunch and such, and then it was hanging out... and then it was trading sweaters, all the while telling my sister exactly where he was and who he was with. Eventually, it was him choosing the coworker over my sister blatently, but not ending the relationship. Yeah, I'm cheating on you, so what? I see it all the time with coworkers and friends, as well. I'm not saying he IS cheating, I'm just saying don't blow it off becuase hes open about where he is. Some people realize its easier to do things when you arent dodging and lying, and they don't have any respect for you. They say go with your first hunch though... and you don't seem overly paranoid. You also need to factor in the fact that he sees her more then you, not really a good situation even if he isn't cheating on you.
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 7 years
I agree that you should ask to hang out with them sometime. If he is willing to have you hang with them then he probably isn't hiding anything. The fact that he tells you about the girl and you know they hang out together makes me think that nothing is going on, in my experience its the ones who lie about who they are hanging out with who are the ones with something to hide. If you do hang out with them don't ask to bring a male friend, unless your boyfriend is an idiot he will see that you are just trying to make him jealous or something along those lines.
SouthTxHottie SouthTxHottie 7 years
He wants his cake and to eat it, too. Leave now before this situation starts to wear on you, and become unhealthy.
Leanne1078 Leanne1078 7 years
I have to say that 9 times out of 10, that first initial intuition is correct. However, for that one time it's not, it is worth it to dig deeper. You really need to sit him down and talk to him. If he is not responsive/won't look you in the eye/blows you off/gets angry at you, then something is up. RIght now he might be trying to keep both things going and you are letting that happen by not confronting the situation. If nothing has happened between them yet, he still has time to choose you--but you have to stand up for yourself and find out the truth.
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