Is It Shady That He’s Close Friends With a Woman? #atwys

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Tierragaslightgaslight
:
Comment: I have been in a committed relationship with my boyfriend for 4 years (we are in our late 30’s) a new single friend to both of us asks him over to her house for dinner. I asked would he be alone with her in her house and he didn’t know. I asked was I invited as well. He didn’t know I think this is a relationship issue. Especially after he told me he showered at her house, and then they had dinner and went out after for drinks. I said this is a DATE. He said well she is our friend. I said I have met her 3 times she is not a friend she is acquaintance.  He said I am over reacting, I said she doesn’t care about your relationship she just wants you.
Age: 35
City: Glen Burnie
State: MD – Maryland

Your guy is probably playing stupid. He knows he’ll be alone with her, and he knows it’s inappropriate of him to be accepting dinner invitations at a woman’s home.

All kinds of warning bells are going off in my head. He took a shower at her place? Nope. Noppity Nope Nope Nope. I don’t care how paranoid or jealous or whatever that makes me sound. Nope nope nope.But what really ticks me off is the whole, “You’re over-reacting” thing he tried to pull. That’s a trick many people use to try and make their partner think they’re going crazy. This is commonly referred to as “gaslighting.” The “Well, she is our friend” is another way he’s trying to make you think you’re going out of your mind. No, she’s not your friend. She’s his friend, and she doesn’t appear to be making any attempts to include you in their friendship. For a reason.

You’re not over-reacting. This woman is after your man. And the fact that he is playing coy and obtuse about it tells me you should let her have him.

This letter reminds me of a post I read yesterday on xoJane.

UNPOPULAR OPINION: My Boyfriend’s Best Friend Is Female AND His Ex, And I’m Fine With It   

I happen to think that there’s something else a bit nefarious at play in this whole “don’t trust a guy who is best friends with a girl” thing. Women are socialized to view each other as competition- we compare our physical attributes, our careers, our status in life, the success of our various relationships, and so on. Men compare themselves to other men as well, of course, but there’s no stereotype about men being “catty” to one another or that men will, as comedian John Mulaney put it, “just say weird, passive aggressive things” to each other.     We’ve internalized the sexism that says we must do that “I’m not like other girls” comparative technique to prove that we’re cool girlfriends, real women, etc. and it can so easily turn into this vicious cycle when you run into the boyfriend-with-a-female-best-friend situation: If you try to keep your worries to yourself for fear of seeming crazy, insecure or needy, then you’ll almost certainly wind up accidentally acting out in a passive aggressive way that actually makes you seem like one of those crazy girls guys love telling stories about. (Disclaimer: The guys who talk about girls that way are generally jerks, so, you know, if you have found yourself the unfair victim of a bit of “crazy ex-girlfriend” slander, just be grateful you’re no longer dating the creep.)

I’m uncomfortable with the idea that, if a woman is uneasy with her partner having a female best friend – especially one that is an Ex – that’s she’s feeling competitive or jealous.I don’t give a hoot about being a “cool girlfriend.” Female best friend who is your Ex? No fucking way. If you ask me, the Ex is a buffer of sorts.

I’ve been the female best friend, and I can tell you right now, I would hear allllllllllll the bad stuff about that guy’s relationship. That alone is the main reason why I would be uncomfortable with the M/F bestie dynamic (not to be confused with a guy who has some female friends). This guy and I built up such a deep level of intimacy that feelings and attraction inevitably developed. He actually had to tell me some time ago that he could no longer talk to me because he had feelings for me and it was affecting his relationship. Several year friendship over.

I had another Ex come to me, one in an open marriage, and we slept together several months back. He called me the next day upset because he “had” to tell his wife what he had done because he knew that he had crossed a boundary line they each had set about not sleeping with Exes. But he was afraid to tell her because “she’d feel threatened.” And you know what? She’d have every right to feel threatened. He and I have a history and established level of intimacy. It’s that intimacy that is the problem in many of these opposite sex best friendships. I don’t care how insecure it makes me look. I will protect what’s mine because I know how hard it is to find and how easy it would be to lose it. That’s not insecurity or jealousy. That’s common sense. I happen to believe that it’s both parties responsibility to hang on to the relationship. Assuming they won’t cheat because they said they wouldn’t is a one way ticket to Cheatersville.

Let’s face it. We, as human beings, can be weak. We can give in to temptation, and we are masters at rationalizing such decisions. It has nothing to do with not trusting my guy. It has to do with understanding human behavior and accepting that people screw up all the time.  Nothing gives me a good fit of giggles like when someone says their partner would never cheat. Famous last words, kids. Famous last words.

When you accept that people are capable of anything and are, for the most part, self-serving in their choices, then you’ll understand why I give a huge “NOPE!” to the female/male best friend dynamic.

 

 

 

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45 Responses to “Is It Shady That He’s Close Friends With a Woman? #atwys”

  1. fuzzilla Says:

    I think there are circumstances in which opposite sex friends can be nonthreatening, but those circumstances include prioritizing the partner’s comfort level (i.e., inviting the OP over for dinner as well, etc.). In other words, doing the opposite of saying shaming/gaslighting crap like, “You’re overreacting.”

    • Lisa Says:

      He shouldn’t have even considered this invitation. But to go despite the girlfriend’s objections? And to add insult to injury by telling her about taking a shower there? Very cruel. (And I am saying this as a woman w/ several close male friends, including a couple of exes.)

  2. bbdawg Says:

    The OP is not being included in the plans that is the basic problem with this. When I read the comment that he took a shower at the “other woman’s” house…well, why would a man this woman barely knows take a shower at the home of a single woman her hardly knows? The only time that has happened to me was when I had sex with a man, I can offer no explanation as to why a man I barely know, an acquaintance would be taking a shower at my house for no reason. Sex is the only reason, basically. And no, a woman who invites your boyfriend over and does not invite you is not a “friend”. If I ever did that to the BF of a female friend I’d be damn sure I’d call her first to make sure it was Ok.

    Considering the OP and her BF have been together for 4 years and aren’t married, I wonder if that is the “way out” to him. They might be the ” I don’t believe in marriage” types but essentially, I begin to wonder how into “commitment” this man is in regards to the OP.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      That shower crap was shady as hell! I mean, really. If he hung out with a new male friend a couple times, would there be a reason to shower at that guy’s house?

      **And no, a woman who invites your boyfriend over and does not invite you is not a “friend”. If I ever did that to the BF of a female friend I’d be damn sure I’d call her first to make sure it was Ok.**

      I mean, maybe it’d be okay if it was an old, old friend with an established relationship pattern or someone who lived out of town. Some chick he barely knows who lives five minutes away? NOPE.

  3. Chris Says:

    In regards of the OP’s issue: If the guy had a shower at a woman’s house he only met a few times beforehand, then he probably had a reason for showering and that’s – hmmm – a little suspicious to put it in a nice way. I agree with Moxie.

    Where I have quite the opposite point of view is being “best-friends” with your Exes. I’m not only “best-friend” with one but with three of my exes. All of them are beautiful, accomplished and amazing persons with whom I had longterm relationships that lasted each 3 to 9 years.

    I have a special bond with every one of these women, one was in senior management of one of the largest multinational companies on the planet, one is an entrepreneur and one an artist. There is some reciprocal mentor/mentoring going on, with each I love and treasure their opinions in different fields. None could replace all others – that’s the beauty of all of us being different individuals.

    There is no (more) sexual tensions, we’re past that, I’m only sleeping with my current girlfriend and I rarely talk about any new relationship issues with any of my exes. They are with whomever they want to be and so do I.

    Not sure you call that “best friends”, I view it as “family” – people I chose to have a special bond with. I would not allow a jealous girlfriend to take that away from me. None of us can be all things to all people.

  4. Greg Figueroa Says:

    How do you guys feel about your S.O. having new opposite sex friends? You’re dating a few months to a year and out of nowhere they start talking about a new guy or girl.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I’d be okay if he hung out with her in groups, had some natural reason to hang out (work/mutual friends), if I were introduced and included.

      • Nicole Says:

        I agree, I’d even be fine with them meeting alone or with my not being included all of the time as long as there’s a reason (Female Work Friend X and I are meeting for a drink after work, as opposed to Female Work Friend Y and I are going out to dinner alone Saturday).
        It’s only really an issue when the friend (old or new) becomes a constant presence – texting nonstop, constant mentions, etc. That kind of thing is annoying and sets off warning bells, even if it’s technically just a platonic friendship.
        For me, I just want to feel like as the girlfriend, I have priority. Like my boyfriend would rather have dinner with me (or take me along) than with some female friend. Obviously exceptions made for close friends in emergencies, etc, but that’s the main point. If you prefer her company to mine, why date me? Either because she’s unavailable (bad) or because you use her for emotional support and me for sex (also bad.)

    • Lisa Says:

      If she is constantly the topic of conversation, and if plans w/ her were taking away from his time with me, I would become annoyed (and also concerned). But if it’s just a run-of-the-mill friendship that’s mentioned once in a blue moon, I wouldn’t care.

      Of course, I would feel better if she wasn’t his type physically or if she were an obligate lesbian. haha

      At this stage of the fame, tho, I don’t think our priority needs to be developing new opposite sex friendships. He and I have other priorities and we try to focus on those (spirituality, kids, each other, family, existing friends, career, etc.) New friendships w/ age-appropriate, opposite-sex ppl would be very low on my list…hopefully on his, too.

    • manwich Says:

      This is a good question.

      I would be more suspicious of new friends. Ya kinda have to be tolerant of pre-existing friendships. If a girl is already best friends with some dude, I have to assume if they were gonna hook up, they already would have.

      When I am between relationships, I cherish my chick friends. I enjoy the company of women.(with or without benefits. When I am in a relationship, I get a little burnt out on the company of women and look forward to time with my homeboys.

      If I’m leaving a girlfriend at home to develop a “friendship” with some other chick, there would have to be a really good excuse. We would have to really have something big in common. My girlfriend would be welcome to tag along.

      Men and women can be friends, but there is a healthy bit of skepticism that goes with it. Attraction is always a distraction. I don’t accept the “friend zone” if I’m attracted to a woman. It’s not an honest friendship. I don’t string a woman along if I can tell she wants more than friendship. I don’t bad mouth a girlfriend behind her back to another woman. I make it clear that my girlfriend is invited where I go.

      There is such thing as unhealthy jealousy, but there is also a level of respect necessary in a committed relationship.

    • C Says:

      I think it would depend on the situation. If the new woman is fresh out of college and wants my guy to mentor her in our field by meeting once a month for lunch, thats no big deal. If this woman is new in town and wants to meet up with my guy AND his friends once in a while for a hobby, that sounds pretty inocous. If instead she starts calling or wants to hang out frequently, I’d think it was totally inappropriate.

      My fiance and I have a long time female friend who likes to go on climbing and hiking trips with my fiance and his friends. I know for a fact that she has no romantic interest toward him and she never contacts him outside of what someone might consider normal “friend” circumstances (meaning theres only the occassional call to catch up or plan a trip). I dont mind their friendship since I’m always invited to join any of their activities.

  5. Sarah Says:

    In complete seriousness, based on age and location, it sounds like you might be dating my ex. RUN.

  6. Yvonne Says:

    In a “committed” relationship, any new person should be friends with both parties. Showering at this woman’s home, having dinner with no one else present and girlfriend not invited, then going out for drinks are all inappropriate for a guy who’s in committed LTR. This relationship has been going on for 4 years, definitely at the point where you’d want to think about living together or marriage, if you are looking for that (I’m guessing you are). Or is the relationship stagnating and not moving forward for a reason?

    You don’t need anyone’s permission to put your foot down and tell your “boyfriend” that solo visits to this woman’s house need to stop.

  7. manwich Says:

    I have a friend who is a really good looking guy, and a talented singer/songwriter/musician. We were in a band together for years. Everywhere he went, he had some young, beautiful woman with him, who was “just a friend”. His wife never came to our shows. Whenever people would make insinuations, he blew it off, like “men and women can be friends”, “no big deal”. He always took the posturing, like he was cool and mature enough to have lots of different friends, some are pretty girls. “so what?” The thing is, he didn’t have lots of different friends, they were all young, female, and pretty. I took him at his word. He swore he would never cheat on his wife.

    The other night we got drunk and he opened up about his sex addiction. Yup, that whole time, he was banging everyone. He fucked a girl in a hotel room bed while I was asleep next to him. He was so in denial of this secret life, he wasn’t even honest with himself. His whole life was a lie he was so used to repeating, he lost track of reality. I felt horrible for my friend to see how lost and confused he was, but also felt a bit judgy. Wow, what a sleaze! What a sad person.

    What’s interesting here is the posturing a cheater takes on the defensive. You are always a little immature, naive, and gossipy for seeing the obvious. They are always a little more mature, worldly, open-minded, and progressive for their suspicious lifestyle. Dishonest people who live in a state of chronic denial get really good at hiding the truth. They make us feel silly for our suspicions. I think as we grow older our sense of skepticism goes through different stages.

    Level 1: as gossipy immature teens, we think everything is way more exciting and scandalous than it really is.
    Level 2: as we grow up we realize that life is actually pretty boring, and nothing is a big a deal as it seems.
    Level 3: we wise up and see that everyone is keeping secrets. Things that seem suspicious probably are.

    As a teen I would have told the OP, “OH MY GOD! He’s cheating! Dump him!”.
    As a 20something, I would have said “no big deal, men and women can just be friends”.
    As an adult, I’d say “yup, this ain’t right”.

    It seems like our opinions are unanimously on the side “this ain’t right”. If he isn’t cheating, he’s trying to, or he is being grossly insensitive. Innocent people don’t like to look suspicious, and are sensitive to compromising positions. Guilty people blame the accuser and try to make them look like the fool. Any guy in a relationship, should care about his girlfriend’s feelings. If he were innocent, he would understand that he looks suspicious, and show some understanding. I’d rather smell bad in front of a female friend than shower at a girls house and hurt a girlfriends feelings.

    OP has every right to be suspicious, but will probably never find out the truth. Better to spend your time with someone who doesn’t act so guilty.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      Great comment.

      I kind of wonder how the issue of the shower even came up. Like, he just blurted it out, or she happened to notice his hair wasn’t 100% dry and said, “Hey, what’s up with that?” Yeesh.

      • manwich Says:

        We’ve all seen the movie TopGun right?

        The “quick shower” is totally a PUA technique. It’s very bold to show up all hot and sweaty from a day of masculine adventure and take a quick shower. It says, “I’m confident”, “I get exercise doing manly heroics”, “I’m comfortable getting naked in random places”. I’ve seriously read this advice somewhere on some PUA site.

        (I find that PUA stuff fascinating from an anthropological perspective, but I don’t agree with most of it. Techniques are for posers. Be your self. If your self ain’t attractive, then get attractive. Playing games is just silly.)

        In reality, how often do we take showers in random places? Does this dude shower at his guy friends house? He is either guilty as hell, or trying really hard to act suspicious.

        • C Says:

          I agree. I think he wants his girlfriend to think he is cheating.

          Really? Thats a PUA technique? How funny!

          I agree. Formulaic moves like that are for people who have no game and are lousy at reading social cues. A good salesman would never try to sell everyone with the same pitch.

        • LostSailor Says:

          A PUA technique would be, when arriving at a woman’s front door after a date, to ask to use quickly use the bathroom. The shower thing in the OP is a whole ‘nother thing.

          At the worst PUA-type game is repackaged salesmanship techniques for socially awkward men designed to lighten their wallets, sometimes by thousands of dollars.

          At best, “game” is an understanding of human nature and applied psychology, or as C says, good reading of social cues.

          And manwich, the “just be yourself” comes too close to a false platitude for me, though you do amend it well; I’d go with “be your best self.”

          • C Says:

            Asking to use the bathroom is PUA technique? I’ve had a couple of ass hat clowns pull that move on me including one guy last year who used my bathroom and then wouldnt leave. I must have politely told him the night was over at least 5 times while he alternated between trying to initiate a make out session in my hallway and insisting i show him around my place.

            So dating rule #1: yes, the house is where sex happens but forcing your way into a womans home by any means wont make her horny for you.

  8. AC Says:

    I think the title of this email was a little misleading. This guys not best friends or even good friends with this woman. The OP has every right to be suspicious because this whole situation reeks. Her boyfriend either a) is cheating b) likes the attention or c) is clueless about relationship etiquette.

    Bottom line, the OP has every right to call him out on this and say “no I don’t feel comfortable with you going.”

    If he balks, maybe it’s time for the OP to walk.

  9. C Says:

    I dont know. What about the old adage of youre exes for a reason? I would think “the new girl at the office” who constantly hangs on my guy is a much bigger threat then the ex who doesnt want him back.

    As for the LW, theres no question whether or not he is cheating. What I dont understand is why he is making it so painfully obvious. “Sure, I always accept home cooked meals from strange women and then need to take a shower afterwards…cause you know…dinner is messy.” Seriously? Is he unhappy and wants you to break it off with him so he doesnt have to do the dirty work? I mean he isnt even trying to cover his tracks. Whats the deal?

    • fuzzilla Says:

      It’s possible that the “other woman” is innocent. Dinner night rolls around and she’s like, “Oh, huh? How come you didn’t bring your girlfriend?” We only know the OP asked about an invite and her BF said, “I don’t know.” Maybe he just wants to screw her but isn’t actually (especially if “random showering” is a PUA technique, OMG…).

      • bbdawg Says:

        The shower though…how does the “can I borrow a towel” thing happen…seriously.
        C’mon.
        The more I read this, the more it sounds like the OP has believed A LOT of implausible stories, if she’s been with this guy for four years. IMO she should move on from this guy, regardless of whether he “truly” cheated or not. If my boyfriend is taking a shower at some woman’s house after they’ve had dinner (cooked by her presumably) without inviting me, I am thinking where ELSE hasn’t he been. Plus it’s been four years. She has no commitment from him. At 35, if she is looking to settle down, it doesn’t look like this guy is a keeper.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          He’s a disrespectful idiot and she should dump him. Just musing how pathetic it would be if he’s acting like there’s all this drama and intrigue around this woman if nothing were even going on (also LOLforever at “random showering” as a PUA technique).

        • C Says:

          I was thinking that too. Marriage isnt for everyone, but who wants a perpetual “boyfriend”?! If after 4 years, he still hasnt figured out if he wants a greater level of commitment then a standing saturday night date, time to get off the pot.

          • Lisa Says:

            That’s all I truly wanted for a long time. Just a monogamous boyfriend who had his own place.

            A long, horrible divorce can do that to a person. Or maybe a very stubborn independent streak.

            Just starting to consider the possibility of more.

      • C Says:

        Thats true…to me, a home cooked meal seems a bit intimate for a couple you barely know. I would probably start by either inviting them out to dinner, or inviting several people over for a dinner party.

  10. E-B Says:

    What about situations where the woman is close friends with a gay man? Happens quite a lot in this city, so I wouldn’t consider it the same as Moxie is describing. The friends may develop emotional intimacy, but the difference in sexual orientation means the relationship should really be a threat.

  11. LostSailor Says:

    Well, I’m reading a “new single friend to both of us” as someone they recently met as a couple. (If that should be a “newly single” friend, it makes Moxie’s title and thrust of the reply more apt, but really doesn’t change much else).

    I agree with the commentariat. There may be a legit reason why he “showered” at her house and why he told Tierragaslight (an apt handle–she really doesn’t need any advice, she knows the score) about it, but then there may be a legit reason to believe you’re going to win $500 million in the lottery tomorrow. Nah, there’s really only one legit reason for a man in a “committed” relationship to shower at another single woman’s house before dinner and drinks: the need to wash off the Eau d’ Frisky Time. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it’s true that most women can detect the lingering perfume of Strange a mile away.

    Yes T-Gaslight, it was a DATE. And you’re being played for a fool. Not knowing what your expectations or relationship goal in this four-year committed relationship are, I still think I can safely say that if you’re not living together or on a short-course to marriage since 31, he’s taking the opportunity to test the waters for something else. If you are living together or are considering marriage, that just makes it all the worse.

    These are the actions of either a complete idiot, someone who thinks you are a complete idiot, or someone who mentally already has a foot out the door. Any way you cut it, you should cut it, and as painful as it may be, move on before you waste more time.

  12. LostSailor Says:

    And now on to Moxie’s topic, which is twofold: men with female besties and men who are still friends with exes. And the answer to both situations is, it depends.

    I’m not going to comment on the XOJ article because there’s all kinds of awful over there.

    But a lot depends on how long a friendship has gone on and how the ex became and ex. It can all be very situational.

    I think a general rule is if your guy has been close friends with a woman for many years and there’s an effort to include you in that friendship, it’s probably just fine. Same with a friendly ex. The key is whether as a couple, he doesn’t necessarily try to keep that part of his friendships separate (assuming a committed relationship–until your really officially together, you don’t get to decide his friendships). That doesn’t mean that friends don’t want or need some private conversation, but as long as most of the interactions are open, it shouldn’t be a problem.

    I hate to say it, but the situation Moxie describes from her experience aren’t like this. The guys she talks about were actively hiding the friendship or the ex-status relationship from their wives, which is a prime indicator of “not good.”

    It’s only shady if it’s kept in the shade.

    Some of my closest friends are women. We have a very long history. I’m still good friends with my ex-wife and we also have a 20-year, mostly good, shared history. There is absolutely zero chance that I will ever be romantically or sexually involved with any of them. But, yes, there is an emotional involvement, else we wouldn’t be friends.

    Anyone who seriously dates me, or more, will have to accept that. If not, they’re not emotionally mature enough or we don’t have enough trust in each other to be together.

    Yes, human beings can be weak, and there is always a non-zero chance that someone might cheat given the right opportunity. But there are no guarantees in life and love inherently involves risk.

    But if life and love didn’t involve those things, they wouldn’t really be worth having…

    • C Says:

      I’m with you. I’m not besties with any of my exes but I’m on good terms with most of them and have remained good friends with a couple of them.

      I’ve done a lot of business travel under circumstances where my coworkers wouldnt be judged for cheating (because it was so common) and their SO back home would never know. Some men and women would pursue new lovers literally as soon as they boarded the plane while others never looked at someone else even when they were gone from home for 3.5 years with a trip home only once every few months.

      Cheating seems to have much less to do with opportunity then with character.

  13. Chester Says:

    Very pathetic. It’s bad enough he’s cheating. But he is so brazen and blatant about it, that only a woman blinded by love would not see this. He is so disrespectful, and makes the OP look foolish. I have no respect for guys like this.

    If OP has any desire for marriage and children, it’s not going to happen with her present guy.

  14. Howard Says:

    No need to join the bashing and name-calling of this guy. Almost all the posters before me covered that well. The bigger picture is the mentality that some people have that there isn’t a price to pay for the good things in life. This guys is the classic example of that. If one wants to have a good relationship, one has to be responsive to his or her partner’s concerns.

    Just the fact that something troubles the love of your life should cause one to pause and say, “Let me do everything in my power to put your mind at ease and be sure that you are happy”. This is an easy enough thing, especially when the issue of contention is not something that important. If your lover asks you not to go to work one day, then you may have reason to refuse that request, but dinner at someone’s house, is really easy to bypass.

    My honey and I have this thing, where if something troubles one of us, we each immediately defer and do what it takes to get the other person back in sync. There is no consideration given to right or wrong. The key is fixing the troubled mind. We may come back later and discuss it but, it’s about acknowledging and reassuring in the moment, when there is a displacement. It’s really important to not minimize the other person’s concerns. Saying someone is overreacting, is definitely not the way to handle these situations.

    As to where she should go, it’s easy to say, “leave him to other woman”. But four years is a long time to just suddenly do that. The level of investment demands a more proactive approach. He definitely needs a wake up call. I am not sure how it should go.

    I don’t believe anything is going to happen after that dinner, given him knowing the OP’s guard is up. However, the OP has to have a conversation with him about responding to concerns. Relationships are supposed to make us feel better and whole, not more frazzled nor struggling to be understood. If you’re going to leave him, leave him for stressing you and poorly responding to your concerns, not speculation about cheating.

  15. NASHWC Says:

    Like others have mentioned, no sense in piling on this fella based on partial (and certainly a fair amount of omitted) information from the OP so I’ll defer on that. However, I would remind all the women here (as guys already inherently know this) to keep in mind a cardinal rule when it comes to men and women being ‘friends’, and that is this: A man can only be ‘friends’ with a woman he has absolutely no sexual interest in. Another way to put it is: If a man finds you attractive, he cannot be just ‘friends’ with you. Argue and deny it all you care to; doesn’t change a thing.

    I always chuckle when I hear a woman say that she has allot of ‘guy friends’. I always respond with a simple scenario: If you were both alone at your/his place one night and you excused yourself to the bathroom and came out naked and offered to have sex would he: 1) Tell you he doesn’t want to risk the beautiful friendship you have created with messy physical entanglements, or 2) Comply. There’s your answer.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      So wise.

      Yeesh.

    • C Says:

      I chuckle when men think they can “friend” their way into a womans pants while the woman spends months or even years banging everyone but you.

    • Lisa Says:

      A friendship can still exist if one person is attracted. Just have to be willing to control it.

    • Selena Says:

      “Another way to put it is: If a man finds you attractive, he cannot be just ‘friends’ with you. Argue and deny it all you care to; doesn’t change a thing. ”

      Well, I guess I’m in an argumentative mood today. I believe people (not just men) can find lots of other people attractive. Even happily coupled people – not just singles. What changes the ‘thing’ is understanding we don’t have to act on an attraction. We can recognize the attraction and decide NOT TO GO THERE. Maybe because we don’t want to damage our own relationship. Maybe because we don’t want to damage the other person’s. Maybe because we know acting on the attraction could have adverse consequences (workplace romances as an example). We do have the power of self-control. Whether we use it – or not- is completely up to us. We certainly CAN be friends with people we are attracted to, but it involves consciously flipping the switch from high intensity to low level. If we find that really hard to do…we distance ourselves from the object of our attraction. Not a difficult concept to grasp, but does require a certain amount of self-awareness and impulse control.

      To the OP: After 4 years together you probably know your partner very well. As someone who doesn’t know the two of you, it seems likely to me he is trying to ‘cheat his way out’ of your relationship. He won’t end things with you until he has the ‘new’ relationship firmly established. Hence the gaslighting. I’ve been through this and I know how painful it is. (((Hugs to you))).

    • manwich Says:

      Men and women can be friends, even attractive ones, but you have to be cautious of peoples motives. People have self-control. Can you be friends with a dude with a hot wife? Can you have a hot co-worker without trying to fuck her? If you spend enough time with someone, the attraction wears off. If you are harboring a huge crush on someone, however, then friendship is a sham. If someone has a huge crush on you, you shouldn’t string them along. People who have ulterior motives aren’t trustworthy. They kiss our ass and tell us what we want to hear. I need honesty in a close friendship.

      I agree that when an attractive girl has mostly male friends, it’s a red flag. I’ve heard so many women justify how “girls are catty and competitive, but guys are just nicer, and easier to get along with”. Bullshit! Men are some of the biggest assholes ever.
      Hitler = a dude
      Charles Manson = dude
      Bin Lauden = yup, another dude
      Ted Bundy = he’s a dude
      Stalin = look, it’s a dude
      Napoleon = more dude
      Vlad the Impalier = guess what, a dude
      …Seriously, do I have to go on? 99% of all the horrible shit that has ever happened has been done by men. Don’t tell me guys are nice. A well-adjusted person should be able to bond with their own gender. Opposite sex relationships are rarely equitable. The hot chick hanging out with a bunch of dudes is gonna get special treatment. She’s gonna be the center of attention. A woman hanging out with women is on a level playing field. True friendships should be built on a level playing field.

      It’s interesting that guys rarely put women in the friend zone. I have female friends, but I don’t mix it with dating. I think women crave the novelty of male attention. All my chick friends have qualities that I’d be friends with if they were guys, like common interests. I don’t string women along for the attention and admiration. For girls, the friend zone is a way to get all the perks of a boyfriend without having to put out. Guys are the opposite. We put girls in the FWB-zone. It’s all the benefits, without the expensive pain in the ass of having a girlfriend.

      Obviously, it’s an ego trip for a guy to get laid. I think it’s an ego trip for girls to get male attention without sex. Women know they can get sexual attention, but if a guy accepts and appreciates a woman without sex, it seems validating. For a guy it’s very invalidating. It’s feminizing to tell a guy how nice and sweet he is. The thing is guys are such chumps, that we still kiss a girls ass and give her special treatment even if we know she’s not available. The presence of a beautiful women is mesmerizing.

      I fell into this trap a lot in my youth. Every girl I really liked became my new best friend, then I had one more chick giving me terrible dating advice pushing me deeper into the friend zone. As an adult I’ve learned that you have to be sexually assertive early to avoid that. If you take a girl out on a dozen expensive dates, then get up the nerve to kiss her, she is gonna freak out, like “I thought you were such a good friend”, yeah, because that’s what guys do. We take people out on expensive dates because guys are sooooo “nice”.

      • Howard Says:

        Trust me, I was the friend zone master, and it’s a ploy that works very well at getting a woman more interested in you. The trick was to friend zone her before she friend-zoned you.

        The things we guys did when younger, but we all grow and get past such puerile things. That is the power to who we are. That’s why it’s important to not write anyone off easily, or dismiss someone casually. We also have to be willing to give people the chance to see the light and correct the error of their ways.

        I still believe the vast majority of people don’t set out to deliberately hurt anyone. They just have objectives and desires that end up hurting other people. The guy in this story just doesn’t fully grasp the effect of his actions. Sometimes there is room to get a person to see things more clearly. Sometimes that is not going to happen, so we have to start afresh. The problem with letters like this is that we, the readers, just don’t have enough information to say which route is better.

  16. D. Says:

    Ultimately, I think it depends heavily on the circumstances and the underlying relationship between the two romantic partners. If you have a strong relationship where you trust each other, where that trust has presumably been earned, then I’d see it as less of a problem if a partner is hanging out with a friend of the opposite sex. Of course, the nature of the hanging out and the friend’s behavior matter, too, as does the behavior of your partner.

    In this case, showering at a woman’s house before dinner and drinks…yeah, that’s just…weird. Like, weird enough that it has me questioning the honesty of the OP’s submission in the first place. If you were gonna cheat, why would you basically broadcast the fact, including announcing that you showered at the woman’s place? How would that NOT suggest that there was something off happening? It just seems like such a stupid move on the guy’s part to say “Oh, yeah, sorry, I showered at Kristy’s place,” that I find it hard to believe it’s a real story or that we have all the info.

    That aside, if it gets to a point where on of you is uncomfortable with the other, then the issue isn’t what is and isn’t going on, but rather the fact that your partner is really uncomfortable. At that point, it’s up to you to try to get them to feel comfortable, and that involves more than just telling them “You’re being crazy/unreasonable/etc.”

    • Selena Says:

      “If you were gonna cheat, why would you basically broadcast the fact, including announcing that you showered at the woman’s place? ”

      Because he hopes being honest about some things will deflect her from looking deeper into the situation? If he’s honest about him being invited to dinner and showering there, maybe she won’t ask why HE feels comfortable having dinner with a new friend/acquaintance without her? Maybe she won’t think about the possibility he’s been communicating with this woman unbeknownst to her and that’s why the woman thought it was okay to invite him only to dinner? Or perhaps she did invite them both initially, but he doesn’t want his girlfriend to know that because he wanted to see the new friend alone?

      I agree there seems to be considerable info missing. The OP asks point blank if she was invited – he says he doesn’t know. That’s a yes or no question, either she was or she wasn’t. Why did the OP accept that answer? She seems upset that he went on this dinner and the new woman’s motives, but didn’t she feel something was off beforehand?

      • fuzzilla Says:

        **The OP asks point blank if she was invited – he says he doesn’t know. That’s a yes or no question, either she was or she wasn’t.**

        Exactly. She should push the eject button for that alone.

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