My Boyfriend Is A Little Too Close To His “Best Friend” & It Makes Me Uncomfortable

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Hey Xemmy! I love the articles you’ve been posting lately. Especially the ones about relationships. I don’t know if you really read your emails, but in your last video you said you did so Im hoping you’ll read mine and maybe you can reply. I just got into a relationship with a guy I met last semester in my remedial math class. LOL! I’m not a dummy Xem but math is just not my subject. Don’t judge me. Im a freshman. So anyway this story is really crazy because I was attracted to this guy from the first day of school back in January. He sat in the back of the class all of the time, so I started sitting in the back row too. He stopped coming to class for a while and then showed up again right before spring break in march. Our professor gave us a take home midterm exam to basically make sure everyone passed since the class was only a pass or fail type of class. My boyfriend talked to me for the first time on that last week before spring break and asked if I knew how to do the problems on the exam. I never even knew he was paying me attention until that day. I told him that I did and he asked me if I was going anywhere for spring break and if I would help him with the exam. I told him I lived on campus but was going home for spring break which is only a 45 minute drive from school. He said he lived off campus but would meet me anywhere because he needed the help. I gave him my cell phone number and he gave me his. To make a long story short Xem we worked on the test at his apartment that Saturday morning before my mother came to pick me up. I honestly didn’t know he was into guys until we started texcting back and forward the entire spring break. I even came back to the dorms one day early just to go to his apartment and see him. We have a lot in common as far as music and liking the same video games. Im a lot more outgoing than he is though. He doesn’t really talk to a lot of people and he isn’t as affectionate as I am at all!!!! But what really gets me Xem is the fact that my boyfriend turns into a completely different person when his best friend comes around. They are roommates and I didn’t know that until after spring break because the best friend wasn’t at the apartment when we were working on the midterm together. My boyfriend laughs a lot more when his best friend is around. They walk around the house in their boxers and no shirts and lay on the couch together. But when I try to do that with my boyfriend, he doesn’t really hold me or hug on me if I lay my head on him. Him and his best friend go to the gym together in their apartment complex and even just play around a lot at the pool if we all go together. I honestly think his best friend likes him because the best friend barely speaks to me when Im at their apartment. If the best friend is fixing food in the kitchen, he will only make enough for him and my boyfriend. He never even asks if Im hungry or want anything. But when I bring food over to the house lets say Im coming from my parents house and going there for the weekend, I always offer the best friend some of our food. I realize the bext friend was there before me but I just don’t feel comfortable with how they act around each other. His best friend is ALWAYS hugging on my boyfriend or grabbing on him in really cutesy ways that only I should be doing. My boyfriend still hasn’t posted a picture of us on his facebook but always posts pictures of him and his best friend on facebook. I really don’t understand and when I ask my boyfriend why he just says he doesn’t want everyone in his business. We argue a lot now because I keep asking him why he doesn’t act the same way around me that he acts around his best friend and he says Im making a big deal out of nothing. I don’t know what else to do because Im already in love with my boyfriend but him and the best friend seem to have a relationship that’s even closer than ours. How would you handle this because Im about ready to go HAM!!!!

XEM SAYS…

 

I’m smiling from ear to ear reading your message to me. I find young love to be so innocent and sweet. I remember the years when going to class and spending the rest of the day with my boyfriend were the highlights of my life. Meanwhile, I have focused a great deal on your concerns as it pertains to the relationship between your present boyfriend and his best friend. Based on the information that you have shared, I certainly understand why you feel uncomfortable with their relationship on the surface. I too would probably be upset and slightly bothered by the fact that my boyfriend was able to ‘come alive’ in certain ways around a close friend than he was willing or able to do with me. However, before you go ‘HAM’, please consider a few things regarding your new romantic relationship.

If you and your boyfriend officially met and started talking in March, you two have really only known one another for four months. If your boyfriend is indeed an introvert of sorts, as you stated he doesn’t associate with too many others, he hasn’t quite warmed up to you. One of the reasons why you see him act in ways that are a little more expressive when he’s in the company of his best friend is because they’ve obviously established a close-knit bond. Your boyfriend naturally feels comfortable letting his guards down around his best friend; being silly, walking around in his underwear, posting online photos of the two of them together. The best friend is already a permanent fixture in his life, and has obviously had years to establish a certain level of trust with your boyfriend. The space they share in and outside of the apartment is one where your boyfriend feels extremely comfortable and safe. You will eventually benefit from seeing your boyfriend in this same light when he is spending one on one time with you. However, for private or introverted individuals, four months isn’t necessarily enough time for them to reach a level where they are willing to let loose and be unguarded with someone new in their lives.

I do however empathize with your attitude and feelings towards how your boyfriend’s best friend mistreats you. I do not agree with the ways in which he ignores your presence when you visit their apartment, or the fact that he doesn’t so much as offer you food when he’s preparing a meal for him and your man. I am sure that he is simply use to your boyfriend being single and simply isn’t convinced that you will be in the picture for an extended period of time. Remember, you’ve only known your boyfriend for four months. Sometimes, the “best friend” is very overprotective and territorial. They aren’t willing to accept new individuals who enter their friends’ lives romantically. They fear the new romantic interest is a temporary entity, and will do nothing but hurt, disappoint and then abandon their best friend. This is why some “best friends” remain distant and will not overextend themselves when you come around. They often times don’t see the point or purpose in establishing a relationship with someone they assume will be here now and gone tomorrow.

However, if I’m being completely honest, in the thirteen years that I have witnessed and experienced really close “friendships” between two, same-gender loving men, their relationship began sexually or romantically. Often times, the friendship developed AFTER the two guys attempted to date, “talk” or physically engage with one another. While I’m not necessarily suggesting that is the case surrounding your man’s relationship with his best friend, it would certainly benefit you to inquire. The best friend may honestly have romantic feelings for your boyfriend, even if your boyfriend has decided to maintain a strict friendship. The best friend may see you as a threat since you’re possibly the first guy your boyfriend has brought around him in a while. What you are experiencing are common feelings associated with an everyday situation.

At this point, I simply advise you to continue honestly expressing yourself to your boyfriend. It is certainly inappropriate to address the best friend at this early stage. You can’t make your boyfriend post photos of the two of you on his Facebook page, but you should say, “It makes me feel invisible to the important people in your life to not be present in any of your social media photos.” You aren’t in a position to control your boyfriend or his best friend’s behavior, but you can say, “I feel uncomfortable watching you parade around the apartment half naked in front of your best friend/roommate. I’m the only one who should be seeing you in your underwear.” If your man truly cares about your feelings, he will make the adjustments, even if he thinks you’re being insecure, jealous or dramatic. Our partners are supposed to make decisions that aren’t going to negatively affect the comfort levels that exist within the romantic relationship we share with them.

Also, since you are the more outgoing one between the two of you, plan dates and activities that take place outside of your boyfriend’s apartment. Since him and the best friend workout together in the complex gym and swim at the complex pool, the two of you need to establish special, regular activities as well. Introduce your boyfriend to some of the places you and your friends enjoy attending that are close to your parent’s house. You said that you live 45 minutes away from the college campus, so spend time with your man on your home turf instead of always seeing him on his. Since you two are still a new couple, you shouldn’t be surrounded by his friends all of the time when the two of you are together. The more he begins to attach you to joyous, comfortable, private moments, the quicker and easier it will be for him to let his guards down and completely open himself up.

Keep in touch with me. I hope my advise helps you get through this final month of summer before the fall semester begins.

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