We all know a woman who’s “The Jealous Type.”
She feels entitled to know her man’s whereabouts at all times, and even checks up on him by calling or texting (multiple times). Her boyfriend can barely get his foot through the door before she snaps, “Where WERE you?”
She’s insecure and suspicious of everyone and everything. Every person in her man’s life is perceived as a threat: His male friends are out to sabotage his relationship so he never misses a Guys’ Night Out. And his girl friends? Forget about it. They are not allowed to exist.
It’s no wonder that, behind her back, people refer to her as “The Ball Buster.”
Let’s face it: Jealousy isn’t attractive. And it certainly isn’t drama-free.
So in order to be an easy-breezy, modern DWD woman, we should be totally cool with our guy having as many women friends as he likes, right?
When he goes out for (multiple) drinks with his buddy from work (who happens to be a dead-ringer for Scarlett Johansson – no biggie), we should say, “Have a great time, hon!”
When he heads to the bedroom to take an important call from one of his “just-a-friend…I swear” girlfriends because she’s going through a crisis and needs him, we should make sure to give him his privacy, no?
There’s a difference between your guy being friendly with women… and him having a harem of girl “friends.”
There’s being reasonable…and being waaaaay too naive.
In other words, there’s being a cool girlfriend…and then there’s being a doormat.
Let’s talk about how NOT to be a doormat.
This QUESTION OF THE WEEK comes from Lindsey B in our Facebook Community: What do you do when your guy has female friends that do not respect the relationship by over stepping boundaries-being overly friendly or even inappropriate flirting?
My quick answer is that YOU don’t do anything.
The solution here is not for you to confront these so-called friends. Your boyfriend is the one who has to sort this out.
As we DWD women know all too well, we don’t have control over anyone else’s actions but our own. But we can set reasonable expectations of how we want to be treated in a relationship, make those expectations clear to our partner (in a loving way, of course), and take appropriate action if he doesn’t meet them.
In just a sec I’ll give you a script to use when talking to your boyfriend about setting appropriate boundaries with female friends. But first, let’s look at a healthy opposite-sex friendship and one that crosses the line.
If his relationship with her is healthy/innocent:
- It makes sense that they’re in regular contact: They’re co-workers or are in the same circle of friends (e.g. she’s engaged to his college buddy)
- They keep it casual: Conversation doesn’t go much beyond small talk and there’s never any touching beyond a friendly hug
- There’s very limited contact between seeing each other, and all phone calls/texts are purely to communicate essential information (e.g. “Hope you can Lindsey can make it to Mark’s birthday dinner – 8pm at La Trattoria”)
- You are invited to join all their social plans
- He would not hesitate to cut off the relationship with his “friend” if she ever acted inapporpriately
If his relationship with her is unhealthy/problematic:
- He shares thoughts, feelings, or information with his “friend” that he doesn’t share with you. (creating emotional intimacy)
- He makes more time to see his “friend” than he does you, or regularly makes plans with her on weekends (aka prime “date night” time)
- You are not invited to their get-togethers or, if you come along, are made to feel excluded
- They share lots of secrets or private jokes (more emotional intimacy)
- He gets really defensive when you question the nature of their friendship
- When you express concern that his friend is acting flirty or too familiar, he brushes it off, like, “Oh, that’s just Katy. She’s super playful with everyone!”)
- He makes protecting his “friend’s” feelings a priority over making sure you feel secure in the relationship
- The friend is an ex-girlfriend (chances are, one or both of them still has lingering romantic feelings)
If your guy’s friendship(s) exhibit any of these problematic behaviors, try saying something like this:
“I love that you are such a friendly person. It’s one of the things that attracted me most to you. And I trust you so much. But I am getting concerned about your friendship(s) with [woman/women’s name(s) here]. I don’t feel that she/they respect our relationship, and I need to ask you to set some stronger boundaries.”
Then let him know what those boundaries are for you.
They could include:
- Limiting hanging out to group settings where you will be present
- Keeping conversation casual and not sharing intimate details of one another’s romantic life
- If a friend acts flirty, it’s your boyfriend’s job to let her know that it’s not okay, that YOU are his girlfriend, and if she can’t be respectful then they can’t hang out anymore
- Anything else that will make you more comfortable with their friendship, as long as it is reasonable and respectful. Think: The Golden Rule (“If my boyfriend asked this of me would I feel like he was being controlling or jealous?” If yes- don’t ask it of him.)
Now here comes the tough part… Whether or not your boyfriend will agree to the boundaries you’ve set is up to him. He may even get angry and say, “You can’t tell me what to do – I can spend time with whoever I want!”
Remind him that you DO trust him and that you’re not trying to control him but, without appropriate boundaries, flirty female friendships will only cause trouble in your relationship.
And if your happiness is not his priority, it’s time to let his girlfriends have him all to themselves so you can find a man who makes you #1 in his life.
Have girl “friends” caused drama in your relationships? Share your story — and especially how you handled the situation– in the comments!