My Man’s BFF Is a Woman, and They Seem a Little Too Close

Ask Demetria: It’s possible that men and women can be friends, but the question is, can he put you first in the relationship?

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“My boyfriend has a woman friend who knows every move we make. They talk constantly, and she knows everything he does before I get an update. They grew up together and are super close. Is this just friends being friends or suspect?” —B.A.

I can’t give you a definitive answer based on the information given. I do know that when you’re in a relationship, things go much more smoothly if your partner gets first dibs on major information. Thinking of quitting a job? Tell your partner first. Earned a promotion? Partner first. Starting a new business? Partner first. If you can’t get first dibs on information about your partner on a consistent basis, are you really a partner? 

In the best-case scenario, he hasn’t adjusted to being in a relationship, or he’s unaware of some of the basics that come with the “boyfriend” title. The most glaring is that you don’t speak all your business, especially about your relationship, to other people. Another is that your partner gets major news before any of your friends of any gender.

Let’s hope for the best here and have a conversation about the amount of time spent with his female friend and the boundaries that he’s crossing by telling your relationship business to her. That she feels comfortable telling you what she knows first makes it seem like there are three people in the relationship, and that makes you uncomfortable, too. Ask him to set boundaries on the information he shares and pull back on the time he spends talking to her or with her. This is a reasonable request of a person in a relationship. 

In the worst-case scenario, this reminds me of the old Biz Markie song “Just a Friend,” in which there’s a whole lot more to the story, and it doesn’t end well for you.

Let me preface what I’m about to say with this: I do believe that men and women can be platonic friends, but sometimes there is more to a so-called friendship than what meets the clichéd eye.

Several months ago, a man wrote in to complain that his long-term girlfriend had flipped out on him. He had a daughter from a previous relationship, and the child and the mother (and her boyfriend) lived in another city. He kept in contact with his daughter nightly, via Skype. After he and the child talked, every night he would also talk to the child’s mom. Not about anything in particular or anything necessarily related to the child. Just to talk about this and that and all the details of his life. 

He said that he and the child’s mother had grown up together, been in a relationship, had a child and parted ways, but they had gone back to being only friends and co-parents, and he liked to just talk to her. This is his version of the situation, not mine.

After two years of this, the girlfriend had had enough and went off. He’d written to me on ask.FM to figure out what to do to make his lady happy with him again.