Are You His Stand-In Girlfriend? #atwys

Alias (DO NOT USE A REAL NAME!!): Wondering what’s up with mendatingguy6
Comment: I met this really nice younger man via my housemate. He had previously rented my room. At the time we met I was looking for work and he asked for my number so because he had a friend who was looking to hire someone.

He started texting right away and we ended up getting together and going out quite a bit. For months we went to yoga, hiking, etc. etc., and he called on two holidays wanting to spend the time together. He would come over to hang out, have dinner, watch movies, etc. He was slightly affectionate but a little reserved. He put the moves on me twice and then stopped just short of us going all the way, saying “I don’t know if I want this right now.”

He was very Christian, so I respected what I thought was a moral dilemma and was happy just spend time with him because I really liked him and enjoyed his company. He was also 7 years my junior and I wondered if maybe that was part of the issue.

One night he came over to fix something and hang out. After my housemate left the room, he told me that he hadn’t brought it up before but…he had a girlfriend, out of state. They had been having problems and he hadn’t been sure what would happen and was basically keeping me on stand by.

I took it pretty well, but later felt pretty upset that he had been so dishonest. Especially after hearing about what a devout Christian he was. I ripped him a new one via text and told him I wasn’t interested in maintaining a friendship with someone who would lie to me for months.

He texted back saying he was going to ignore all of that because he cared too much for me to lose my friendship and understood I was saying this out of hurt and anger.

We haven’t spoken in about a month. I am starting to miss his companionship, but don’t know if I should even think about mending this fence?
Age: 33
City: Bozeman
State: Montana

“I’m not sure I want this right now” is up there with “I want to take things slow” as the biggest loads of bullshit ever muttered by a man.   Obviously, the guy felt guilty about cheating on his girlfriend. Not guilty enough to not lead you on, but certainly guilty enough not to cross that one huge line.

You were his stand-in girlfriend. He spent time with you, he hung out with you, he confided with you. He did all the things he typically does with his girlfriend. You know, when she’s around. See, he could do all those things and justify them because they weren’t actually cheating.

Your story reminds me of this article that I read yesterday over on The Frisky. The essay is a replay of the often discussed “can men and women be friends” trope. From the article:

Last week, our new dude dating columnist Dater XY wrote a provocative piece about how his best friend is a woman and some ladies he meets online dating can’t handle that. With a few exceptions, commenters on that piece agreed Dater XY is shit outta luck. “I don’t see a way out of this. I think that pretty much every girl, no matter how secure she is, will have in the back of her mind, ‘I wonder what they’re REALLY doing,’” wrote one commenter. ”It’s a red flag,” added another.

Well, that hasn’t been my experience at all. My husband’s two best friends are women and he sees both ladies several nights a week. Their friendships are not suspicious to me at all.  In fact, I think it’s great.

It would be easy to be jealous of Emily and Janet. They are both whip-smart, funny, beautiful, kind, good writers, kickass feminists, and successful standup comics. When Kale moved here from Australia, these ladies welcomed him into their large social circle; when I began dating Kale, I saw both of them as insta-new girl friends for me (whether they liked it or not, bwahaha). Kale has friends who are men, of course, but he is closer to these women, whom he describes as being like sisters. In fact, Emily was Kale’s “best man” at our wedding; we socialize with them frequently and have even all gone away for the weekend together.

Now, I think it’s great that the author isn’t terribly bothered by the fact that her new husband pals around with other women multiple times a week. (I think she’s actually quite bothered by it, to be honest.) If it were me, I’d be giving my guy the side eye. Why? Because this whole “they’re like sisters!” doesn’t really fly with me. As old fashioned and ass backwards as this might sound, I find scenarios like this unnatural. It’s one thing to have friends of the opposite sex. It’s another to develop intimate friendships with them. The examples depicted in the snippet from the article fall into the latter category. It’s cheating without cheating, in my book. There’s a certain level of familiarity I feel is acceptable in opposite sex friends before that friendship becomes something more. And once that door opens, it becomes difficult to close it. Somebody somewhere down the line will develop an attachment that will create problems down the road for th

When my friend of 20+ years cut off our friendship months ago because he said he had feelings for me, as hurt as I was, I understood why he did it. When I hear people complain about how their close friend’s partner put the kibosh on their friendship, I know immediately that their friend’s partner was right to put their foot down. If you don’t understand why someone would make such a request of their mate, then your judgment is clouded by emotions that are inappropriate given the circumstances. There might not be anything sexual going on, and there may not be any romantic feelings, but the feelings  or expectations that do exist have crossed a boundary.

As for the Dater XY guy and his issue with women he dates being threatened by his abundance of female friends, I’ll repeat here what I said in the comments of that post. Between his female best friend and his female roommate and how he prefers to be friends with women over men,  he’s a liability. He’s prefers the company of women for a reason, and it’s not a good one. Women are right to walk away from him.

The guy in the letter writer’s story encouraged an intimate friendship with her to replace the one he had with his long-distance girlfriend. Which is why, I believe, most people already spoken for develop and maintain similar types of intimate relationships with members of the opposite sex. They are getting something from that friendship that they’re not getting at home.

No, OP, you shouldn’t mend this fence. His line about caring too much about you is sweet and all, but it was said to make himself look less like an asshole. Good for him that he’s so empathetic. Give him a cookie and delete his number from your phone.






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39 Responses to “Are You His Stand-In Girlfriend? #atwys”

  1. DMN the Wise Says:

    “Kale has friends who are men, of course, but he is closer to these women, whom he describes as being like sisters.”

    I think it’s more suspicious for a guy to say “oh, she’s like my sister” to a woman. It rings false to me – like a guy trying to speak to a woman in “woman language.” I don’t think a guy would ever say that to a guy. Which is not too much of surprise because in this particular case, the author of that Frisky piece barely knows her husband. So, obviously, he is tiptoeing around her, rather than being fully honest with her. That sort of thing only matters, though, to people who are not in fake relationships.

    I’m well aware that not every guy is like me. However, I’m one of those guys who has a lot of female friends – much more than male friends. I’m certainly not sitting around all day trying to plot ways to have sex with my female friends. I’ve already had sex with most of them, at one point or another. Even for the one’s I haven’t (yet) had sex with, it’s just not in the forefront of my mind. Many have husbands, or boyfriends and it never really comes up.

    But, in all honesty, I most likely wouldn’t turn down a fun roll in the hay with any of them if it were offered. And, sometimes I do. Rarely, but I do. Since I don’t have sex with my sister, and don’t plan to, I could never honestly say that these women are “like my sister.” And, if I said that, it would be because I was trying to manage a potential volatile situation with a potentially jealous girlfriend.

    So…. yeah, if a bona fide guy like me is thinking this way, I’m going to guess that a shady, greencard-chasing guy like Kale’s is much worse. Or, perhaps Kale wishes to have sex with his sister? Or, maybe I spend too much time on ladyblogs.

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      A few choice quotes from the original article:

      My husband’s two best friends are women and he sees both ladies several nights a week. Their friendships are not suspicious to me at all. In fact, I think it’s great.

      They are both whip-smart, funny, beautiful, kind, good writers, kickass feminists, and successful standup comics

      I want a man who can listen — he listens to Emily’s online dating tales, or Janet’s homesickness for Australia, and he doesn’t dismiss their thoughts or concerns as ‘women problems.’ And it speaks volumes to me that his two closest friends are both feminists; when we were falling in love, he thought my beliefs were admirable, not threatening.

      Jessica has written about how introverted she is and how she prefers to stay home and not be around crowds. Obviously her husband is the exact opposite. She’s very naive to think that a fundamental difference in lifestyles like that won’t pose a problem down the road. They got married at a point where most couples are still in the honeymoon phase and everything was awesome and when red flags are usually overlooked. Now that that phase is over, he’s pushing out of the cocoon many new couples exist in for a time and he’s seeing what else is out there.

      If these women are as dynamic and attractive as she says, and they each offer a similarity in lifestyle choices, she’s a fool not to be concerned by that.

      She’s trying way too hard to be the “cool wife.”

      • BostonRobin Says:

        I was wondering where he finds time to see both of them “several nights a week.” When does he spend time with his wife?

      • fuzzilla Says:

        **She’s trying way too hard to be the “cool wife.”**

        Hmm, I can see that. You can’t make a blanket statement that jealousy is always wrong and always the feeler’s fault; sometimes it’s warranted.

        I wouldn’t want to deny my BF female friends, or for him to deny me male friends, but boundaries need to be respected. Slow dancing with other women right in front of her? She says she’s not comfortable with it. I think it would be reasonable to just say, “Yeah, I’m not comfortable with that. Cut it out.” I think the point Moxie’s getting at is, why would the thought even occur to him to slow dance with someone else right in front of her? Does he slow dance with his male friends?

        • Greg Figueroa Says:

          I think the idea is to treat your opposite sex friends like your same sex friends. The biggest issue is boundaries. I have a female best friend and I treat her like I would a guy friend. I don’t sleep with her, cuddle, hold hands, pine for her, flirt with her. I don’t see her multiple times a week.

          I do think new partners should be cautious, but don’t make demands and ultimatums on a first date. See the actual relationship they have before writing the guy off.

          To the OP, he made you mad, but not that mad that you wouldn’t still take him back. He lied and cheated on his GF with you and you want his companionship. Is it that hard to make new friends?

          Mend fences!! He was the one who fucked up.

          • C Says:

            Totally agree. The OPs quasi relationship sounds completely selfish. Whats the best scenario out come she is looking for here? That he will leave his girlfriend, make her his new girlfriend and then line up her replacement while they are still together? Dont let loneliness cloud your judgement!

            As for having opposite sex friends, its complicated. In the last 5-7 or so years, most of the close friendships I’ve developed was with female colleagues. However, I previously had mostly close male friends. I didnt sleep with any of them or pine for (most of) them and otherwise treated both male and female friends the same. It was fine when I was single, but now that I’m married it just doesnt feel right to go out for drinks alone with a guy friend. I know my husband is understanding or at least acts understanding, but the last time I met a guy friend for drinks without my the fiance, it somehow didnt feel right, even if he knew all about it and my guy friend was married himself.

            I would definitely feel my husband was trampling on my trust and respect if he had a female BFF he wanted to meet out without me several times a week.

  2. Janet Says:


    I had a male best-friend once. We hung out together, ate lunch at work together everyday, yadda yadda. Needless to say, we ended up married. Like you, Moxie, I wouldn’t be happy with DaterXY’s husbands friends being female and being that close. That’s how precisely how couples act 90% of the time. The fact that LWs ‘friend’ never thought to mention he already had a girlfriend is a massive red flag that it was never a true friendship and he knew he was leading her on the whole time. I’m sorry she got hurt. He sounds like a dud, devout Christian or not.

  3. Kyra Says:

    I think there are anomalies when it comes to male-female relationships. I have a guy friend who I am extremely close to and we are physically close (hands-holding, cuddling) but due to fundamental differences in lifestyles we would never date or get married. If either of us gets in a relationship the other one knows what kind of behaviour is acceptable.

    We’ve been this close for almost a decade now and while we each have a lot of guy and girlfriends we’re each other’s go-to confidante. Would I turn him down if he asked to sleep with me? No, but it would end up being an fwb situation.

    If any guy told me I couldn’t hang out with Kev anymore, I would kick him to the curb in an instant. But like I said, we’re an anomaly.

    • fuzzilla Says:

      I’m sure you downgrade how often you see Kev and ix-nay the cuddling if you are dating someone.

      I have a male friend I feel that way about although the intensity and amount of contact has cooled now that we’re dating other people (also, I moved). I actually had a lovely double date with him last weekend.

      • Kyra Says:

        True. That’s the rules for the both of us, and it’s why we work so well as friends.

      • fuzzilla Says:

        (No, I wouldn’t sleep with this friend, but yes, I’d be pissy if a boyfriend didn’t accept him/asked me to stop talking to him. I really did have a great double date with all four of us talking and laughing and having a grand time).

    • ATWYSingle Says:

      You’re proving my point. Your relationship with Kev isn’t platonic. You admit that you’d sleep with him if he offered, yet you can’t understand why a man might be uncomfortable with your relationship with him and see it as a flaw.

      • Kyra Says:

        I’d sleep with a lot of people if they asked. But Kev and I are never going to date or get married.

        I simply don’t like people trying to police my friendships; if the guy I’m dating is uncomfortable then we’re just not compatible. I can understand that they might be uncomfortable, but it’s not my problem if they are.

        • Speed Says:


          You are Kev’s beta-orbiter, quite possibly one of many. If you’re down with that, no problem. However, I don’t think many guys are going to want to date you seriously as long as Kev occupies such a big space in your life and heart. I know I sure wouldn’t. You can call it insecurity or jealousy or whatever. I call it reality (or, in the scientific literature, “mate guarding” ).

          Kev will eventually marry and dimunize your friendship (or maybe even maintain the orbiters even as a married man. Why not?) or he will remain single with a harem of orbiters forever—with a nucleus of rotating girlfriends. I can’t really knock Kev. In either case, he gets what he wants. But as for you, keeping Kev so close in your heart blocks the potential for meeting a real boyfriend.

          Bottom line is that ultimately you are going to have to choose whether to play the orbiter role indefinitely or whether you want to find your own boyfriend. This is probably clear to you, deep down.

          • Kyra Says:

            He’s not a player. I’ve known the guy since we were freshmen in highschool. In fact, he’s so introverted that I’m usually the one who’s going out with someone. There’s no harem, lol.

            Our friendship has never impeded any of my relationships before, so I don’t see why it should now. It’ll have to adapt when either of us gets married, but we’re still going to be friends. :)

            • Speed Says:

              Whether or not he is a player is beside the point. Some people (especially women) form harems purely for attention. Either way, the result is the same vis a vis the orbiter.

              Your passionate defense of the situation, and your clear prioritization of Kev over other guys, prove my point. You can’t realistically expect a potential boyfriend to accept Kev’s priority in your life. Personally, I always skip profiles where the woman states, “my best friends are all men” or some such. I have no plan to join a woman’s orbiter system.

              But maybe that is what you want. Having Kev in your life provides a sort of comfort and also provides an excuse for not taking a risk to strike out on your own for a guy of your own.

              • Kyra Says:

                I’m only trying to clarify the situation. Maybe I haven’t explained it properly, or maybe I never should have posted my anecdote…

                I’ve had long term boyfriends, and friendships were never the reason for the break-up. And I have a mix of female and male friends.

                But I think I’m just going to stop, since I’m obviously not helping this discussion. Thanks for your time.

                • Greg Figueroa Says:

                  So do you tell your BFs about the cuddling and hand holding and super duper closeness? I wouldn’t tell them. It will always be a source of contention, but there are guys who can pick on vibes and the weirdness factor going between you and your best friend.

                  So when does the acceptable behavior begin in the relationship or during the courtship phrase?

                • C Says:

                  Greg Figueroa, Moxie and Speed are correct. I dont cuddle with my female friends. This is not a platonic friendship.

              • Greg Figueroa Says:

                You know, if a BF told her , “hey! Inbetween break-ups I cuddle, play BF to my female friend, but don’t worry nothing is happening. Maybe we slept together a few times, but it’s totally platonic and every time we fight, I run to her arms.” That would be a dumb guy and it will put thoughts in her mind.

                That on and off flirtatious nature is always there.

  4. fuzzilla Says:

    I remember one talking to R, a guy I dated, about our OKCupid experiences. He said he tried being friends with some women he met from there, but knocked it off when he started dating someone. “It felt disrespectful.” I was like, “What? Men and women can be friends…”

    Then when I went back on OKC, there were two guys I considered being friends with (yes, I was thinking possible FWBs, should the opportunity arise). I nipped those in the bud when I started dating someone who had potential. Yeah, men and women can be friends, but I could see R’s point – I didn’t know the guys that well and our basis for introduction was a dating site. I though, “Eh, be honest, are they really friends or backups to keep on hand if things don’t work out?” I wasn’t asked to stop talking to them, I just did because it felt like the respectful thing to do. Friends of years’ duration are a different story.

  5. Ben Iyyar Says:

    ATWYS writes, “There’s a certain level of familiarity I feel is acceptable in opposite sex friends before that friendship becomes something more.” I believe that most men, once we enter a committed relationship, or better yet marriage, try to restrict our contact with women to our wives and daughters because of the inherent and very obvious risks. And in my experience I have found that most women in a committed relationship or marriage take a very very dim view of their man or husband being “friends” with a single woman or women. I know my wife, who loves and trusts me implicitly, wouldn’t stand for for an instant me palling around with a single woman!

    • BTownGirl Says:

      Well said! However, in my experience, it can be done if everyone is included. My get-togethers with my longtime male friends (all are married/in committed relationships and I’m single) are now, “Bring your girlfriend/wife/kids over on Saturday for a bbq.” not “Let’s meet for dinner on our own after work”. It’s just a question of being respectful and everyone having the right intentions, I think.

      • Nicole Says:

        “in my experience, it can be done if everyone is included. ”

        Yes, exactly. With my friends (both male and female) the unspoken rule is that boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses are included unless specifically stated otherwise. There are occasional girls’ nights, but for the most part it’s open invitation to bring your partner. And other than work related things, my bf and I don’t really hang out one-on-one with opposite sex friends. Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I’ve always enjoyed the people (men and women) my friends have dated and married.

        It’s not so much a matter of trusting someone to be faithful, it’s more about prioritizing your partner and making room for them in your life.

      • Greg Figueroa Says:

        Texting and communicating is still a one-on-one exercise. You won’t get jealous if you see him laughing and smiling at his phone knowing he’s talking to another woman?

        • BTownGirl Says:

          We don’t really do much one-on-one phone communicating, come to think of it. If I want to invite them over or vice versa, I generally talk to the Social Coordinators, aka The Wives/Girlfriends! Since their partners have been guests in my home many times, I know them well enough that there’s no jealousy there. I’m not some random chick texting their man funny stuff, I’m their friend as well. That’s why it’s so important to include everyone!

  6. BTownGirl Says:

    I have a few close guy friends and all but one of them are guys I casually shtupped in college, the shtupping ended, but we got along and remained platonic friends. For context, we graduated a little over a decade ago. These guys are married or in serious relationships now and of course our relationship is different! We don’t hit the bar together/dance (slow or otherwise…HELLO.) they don’t tell me every detail (ahem) of their relationships or pass out on my couch for the night. Because…inappropriate.

    Ironically enough, I think the fact that we met in, uh, the way we did is what’s held it together all these years. There’s no “I wonder what he/she’s like in bed” tension going on and, if we were still attracted to one another, we’d still be at it. That being said, do I think their significant others would be thrilled to double date with me if they knew (and I’m just assuming they don’t) the history? Probably not.

  7. D. Says:

    I think it’s pretty simple, really. Most people know, deep down, when they’re in a situation that would likely be construed by someone else as “emotional cheating” even if nobody’s actually getting naked. Come on. We know when things are “too close” and when they’re truly harmless.

    So, yeah, you can’t necessarily say “Men and women categorically cannot ever be very close platonic friends.” But that’s because people tend to want to fudge what “very close” means, and may consider “platonic” in a broad sense. Like, there’s a big difference between a friend that you truly view as “like a brother/sister” where there is genuinely no physical attraction for either of you, and a friend that you just aren’t fucking at the moment but might at some point in the future if the opportunity arose.

    It’s that latter category of “friend” that we’re talking about here. Those are the friends with whom your contact steadily dwindles down to a bare minimum as you get seriously involved with someone, because those are the “friends” that are maybe kinda sorta a little bit more than just friends.

    If you want a very clear cut category, consider the following. There are “friends you’d fuck” and “friends you’d NEVER fuck.” We all know who’s who, and we all know that when we’re seriously involved, you don’t carry on close friendships with the former.

    Likewise, you basically don’t get your couple-esque interaction from your friends. You get friendship from them, and I find it hard to believe that people don’t really know the difference. Unless you’re at a ballroom dancing class where everyone’s dancing with everyone, you don’t go slow dancing with someone who isn’t your significant other. This isn’t rocket science. We know what’s generally ok, and what isn’t cool. Sure, there’s a range for that and it varies based on you, your partner, and your relationship, but really, if you’re getting serious with someone, you basically need to be on the same page about that range. And there’s definitely a cutoff point past which you just shouldn’t be doing stuff, or if you do, be prepared to take some shit for it.

  8. Noquay Says:

    Just bailed out of one of these non-relationships myself. Perfect sort for me, older, educated, a fellow athlete, lives 4 hours away. The only enjoyable time I had with an attractive, like minded man all summer. Live in an area with a complete absence of compatible men and cannot yet afford to leave. Lots of hugging, long talks, many emails. The OP was right to tear him a new one and should follow up with absolutely NO further contact. Yep, there were plenty of warning signs here but using someone for attention when one is attached is plain wrong. This kind of s!@# is not OK.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “The OP was right to tear him a new one”

      I agree with everything but this; if a relationship is over, just explain why calmly and walk away–including blocking further contact if necessary.

      To “tear him a new one” doesn’t do anything productive; that will cause him to ignore any productive things you do say, so your relationship becomes nothing more than another “crazy ex” story for his friends instead of a potential learning experience.

      • Noquay Says:

        I think when a woman or man is deceived, they have every right to be angry and to express that anger. We teach people how to treat us. Since this dude is within her social circle, he’s going to come up with some sort of face saving justification of his actions anyway.

  9. Yvonne Says:

    “I wasn’t interested in maintaining a friendship with someone who would lie to me for months.”

    So what has changed? If this guy did this once (and for months on end), who’s to say he won’t do it again during the next shaky period with his girlfriend (or someone else)? Time for the OP to find a man that is going to be all hers.

    And I agree with others that we generally know when a friendship has the potential to be more, just as we generally know when someone we are friends with has a romantic interest in us. It’s not very nice to exploit the latter for our own benefit/amusement.

  10. BostonRobin Says:

    Same thing just almost happened with me, but I hit the eject button before I got sucked in too deep. I’ve been though this before though and have learned to recognize the signs. These people are super nice (almost too nice–it’s a trap!), but they keep everything ambiguous so you can’t call them on anything. It’s almost like gaslighting. They’re not your friends. Friends don’t fuck with your head.

  11. David Says:

    So if people of the opposite sex can’t be friends because of emotional cheating/the risk of cheating/jealousy/red flags/etc, then the implication is that a bisexual person can have no close friends outside of their relationship.

    • Boston Robin Says:

      No! I’m a lesbian and I have close lesbian friends of long standing. Also encountering the occasional lesbian who plays these games. And now and then a straight guy who seems a bit too “friendly.” I’m just saying that people know when someone is too interested, and it’s pathetic if you need that kind of attention. Honestly I get uncomfortable if someone seems too interested and I can’t reciprocate.

      • David Says:

        I wasn’t replying to you directly. I just think that the idea you can’t have close friends of the gender that you prefer is an out-dated idea, or at least that it’s too broad a brush to paint with. Yes, some people are ‘friends’ with people they are actually hung up on, and that can be a dangerous thing, but I don’t think that is equivalent to male + close female friend = red flag (or any other combination), and I think this is best illustrated by the idea that this ‘rule’ doesn’t work in all situations.

        If you’re with someone and there’s no real indication that there is anything funny going on, then the jealousy etc is on you. Men aren’t born to cheat, and I feel like if you can’t trust the person you’re with not to cheat on you then their female BFF isn’t the problem, it’s a symptom of a larger issue with the relationship.

        Also, I don’t feel that it is acceptable to dictate who your partner can and cannot be friends with, except in extreme circumstances. They aren’t making you feel whatever you’re feeling, it’s coming from yourself, and trying to fix the problem by controlling them instead of working on your issues is problematic, to say the least. You have every right to decide that you don’t like it and to leave them, but to try and force them to ditch friends you don’t like for one reason or another is wrong.

        • BostonRobin Says:

          Oh, I didn’t think you meant me. I was just adding my two cents, just saying that we all know there’s a line that sometimes isn’t clear until you get right there, and that is sometimes dangerously close. Words, behavior, body language are the signposts along the way.

          I mean, that’s how we date too, trying to assess a situation as friends or more. Of course people should be able to spend one on one time alone with a BFF of the preferred gender when they’re in a relationship. You have to trust your partner. You should definitely be including this friend in your activities so your partner can see how you interact. That’s how I handle introducing my BFFs to anyone I date, so they can see that we really are just friends.

  12. krismae Says:

    First, the OP needs to cut that boy off for good. That was a sleazy move he did, and he doesn’t deserve to waist anymore of her time. He’s not a friend to her, he was taking advantage of her and he knew it.

    On the topic of men and women being close friends, one of my close friends and I straddled this line for a while. I’ve taken a step back from that relationship, because I noticed a pattern where I would be dating someone but still spending hours on the phone with my friend. It felt really good to be that close to a man, and I really thought/think of him as an older brother. But I also realized that it was harming my relationships with men that I was trying to go deeper with. The last straw was this last summer when I went to visit my friend, and my partner had a moment of jealousy. It broke my heart that I was hurting him, even though I didn’t do anything “wrong”. So, I decided that I need to prioritize my man, and my friendship will be there without the level of intimacy it had before. My friend understands (although he has said that he’s jealous of my partner that he gets most of my time, now), and I’m in a fulfilling relationship. I guess for me, I’m not willing to forego a serious relationship for my friendship. There has to be some compromise, because my partner needs to be my priority, not my friend. If my friend doesn’t understand that, then it’s a one-sided, selfish friendship. Fortunately, my friend does understand what I need, and that means we can’t be as close as we used to be.

  13. sunshine Says:

    Wow. Hot topic. Reading these comments had me closely examining my own male friendships. I have one friend I am close to and enjoy spending time with that gets touchy feely and minimizes it. I actually feel the need to distance myself from him because it’s uncomfortable, and I find that sad because I do enjoy the friendship otherwise. Some people have a difficult time with boundaries, I guess.

    I also have another male friend who is very touchy, we hold hands, hug and snuggle. From the outside looking in I’m sure it looks pretty bad. He was in town last night and we stayed up late having a few drinks, and talking about the pain of a recent break up. I fell asleep on his chest, and I’m sure he probably kissed my forehead after I nodded off before leaving.

    However, we did sleep together once in the past once and realized it was a huge mistake. It was awful. Almost incestuous feeling. Sometimes you can have everything else “click” with someone and just not have sexual attraction.

    We are still very close emotionally and I know that neither of us has any desire to ever cross that line again. But there is still a deep affinity for one another, and we enjoy each other’s company, ….the spark is just not there.

    Had I still been dating my boyfriend still last night, I probably would have had a dilemma on my hands when he came into town, because it would be hard to explain this friendship. I guess all I can say is that my good friends, this guy included, are the ones that are there through all lifes ups and downs. Romantic relationships have come and gone, and still these friendships remain. His friendship is as valuable to me as my best girlfriends.

    If I were to be perfectly honest, he has been like a stand in boyfriend during my single spells. And I’m grateful for it. I see his ability to be my friend and be there in my life and be affectionate, supportive and loving, with no desire to get in my pants as pretty honorable. It kind of sucks that potential mates would view that as a liability.

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