Best Friends, Boy Friends, and the Girl Rule

Best Friends

At some point in your life best friends and boyfriends will clash. Learn the girl code and how to lay out rules. Explore what to do if your bestie and man are too friendly. Let our dating coach be your guide in the world of best friends and boyfriends.

Best Friends and Boy Friends Problems

Reader Question

Okay, so there's this guy who I thought was completely NOT my type and I wouldn't give him the time of day. But, one day my friend and I saw him at the movies and they're good friends and she tells me that I should talk to him and give him a chance, so I do. We talk and get to know each other for a long time and I realize that I like him a lot, but I don't want to date him just yet. One of my best friends finally figured out a way to tell him. And now, the other day, she tells me that she likes him. I don't really feel comfortable with her liking him, because we actually almost had something, and I think that he might be starting to like her. How do you suggest that I tell her that I don't feel comfortable with her being in a relationship with him, because I do still feel something for him even though I'm not ready to be in a relationship at this time?~~Chasity

Expert Reply

Dear Chasity,

Every set of best friends has at some time or another had to address boys. This is how the "Girl Rule" came into play. The girl rule says that as long as one best friend likes a boy, the other friend can't do anything about it. This doesn't mean she can't have feelings for him, it only means she won't act on those feelings. The thing about the "Girl Rule" is that it works the best with best friends. That's because best friends are willing to do what it takes to maintain the friendship.

Knowing that your best friend cares enough about your friendship to not ruin it will make it a little easier to bring up the subject of boys. Up until now you and your best friend have shared everything, no secrets. This is what makes a best friend a best friend. Now your relationship with each other has progressed to the next level of friendship, "the rules" level. To tackle such a difficult topic, I would suggest that you bring up the subject in person and not over the Internet or on the phone. You can start talking about boys with a little girl gossip, i.e. who's popular and who's not or who likes who. Then move the conversation to what ifs. What if a girl likes a boy and he doesn't like her, would it be ok for her best friend to like him? What if a girl had been in a relationship with a guy and the relationship ended, would it be ok for her best friend to start liking him?

After talking about the different what if scenarios you each can think of, you can then suggest that you have "Girl Rules" to protect your friendship and recommend some ideas you think are important. You can have girl rule # 1 and girl rule #2, etc. Write the rules down for each other so there is not confusion later on. Once you have all your rules in place, you can move the conversation to each of you sharing your current boy likes and which rules apply. This will give you an opportunity to talk about the boy you wrote about and how you feel about him.

Girl rules don't always work in friendships. Sometimes a friendship will end over a boy. But, having rules will reduce the likelihood that any boy will come between best friends.


Friends and Boyfriends

Reader Question

Dear Lori. I am a 19-year-old girl and I have had some very close friends for about two years that I love very much. Now there suddenly is a rift between several of the other girls and me, because I have started to see a guy (the second guy I have ever gone out with in my entire life) that one of them said she liked for several months. One of the other girls has also indicated that she likes this guy, while I have kind of hinted that I have been interested in other guys. This special boy that "everyone" likes has not been dating any of my friends, but been friendly with all of us. A couple of weeks ago he and I started to talk more frequently and discovered that we really liked each other's company. Now that I have told my friends that we are starting to go on dates, they are almost accusing me of a crime. There is no problem between him and me, but the crumbling relationship between my friends and I is really hurting me and I can't really understand what I am doing wrong. After all, he was not dating any of my friends, and I don't see why they have monopoly on him just because they happened to say that they liked him before I did. Now I wonder if there is an unwritten rule out there that says that you can never be interested in a guy, or date a guy, that your friends are interested in too, even if he is not interested in them, but likes you? He was actually the one who started pursuing me. I would have understood their reaction if I had pursued a relationship with him and he was actively dating one of them, but I have not caused any break ups between anyone here. I feel like I have to tell them that I really like many guys, just to be sure that they can accept me dating anyone in the future. What have I done wrong? Please give me advice about what to do and what to tell my friends. I want to keep their friendship, but I also really like this guy. Why can't we all be friends like we were before he and I started to acknowledge that we liked each other a little more then just friends?-- Contributed by: Jan

Expert Reply

Dear Jan,

My guess is your friends had been confiding to liking this guy while you implied that you were not very interested in him. You did this by hinting that you were interested in other guys. Then, without your 'close' friends knowing, you and this guy started talking more frequently and then started going out on some dates. You did this without sharing the news with people you call your close friends. My guess is their reaction to you about this is coming from feeling deceived by your secrecy.

There is no unwritten rule out there that says you can never be interested in a guy or date a guy that your friends are interested in too. However, there is an expectation in friendships that you share personal information with each other. You treated your close friends as if they weren't so close. Then you expected them to react positively to the news that you and this guy were together. No fair!

What have you done wrong? You didn't behave like a 'good friend.' You kept secrets, you got defensive, and you blame their hurt reaction. This is why your friends are angry. They're hurt and disappointed by your lack of openness and honesty. It is up to you to initiate a talk with your friends and own up to not being a good girlfriend. Talk to them about why you didn't share your interest in this guy and led them to believe you were interested in other guys. Explain what kept you from telling them about you and this guy talking, hanging out and dating sooner rather than later. Then, without getting defensive, listen; really listen to their hurt feelings about your behavior. Once everything is out in the open, take responsibility for your behavior and let them know that you will do your part to be a better friend.

Being a close friend means being vulnerable. You do this by sharing personal information about yourself as well as being a good listener to others. Moreover, you don't judge your close friends; you accept them for who they are, warts and all.


Should Friends and Boyfriends Mix?

Reader Question

My best friend knew a boy from school, but they NEVER hung out except at school. She told me she only thought of him as a friend and nothing more. I started going out with him and she always wanted to tag along. Then she started seeing him without me, at school football games, at the movies, even at his house. They say they are just friends but now they stick together like glue and they say they love each other as friends. I told them I'm not comfortable with the situation, but they say they have a right to be friends and it shouldn't affect my relationship with either of them. What should I do?-- Contributed by: Becca

Expert Reply

Dear Becca,

I once had a best friend and a boyfriend that were very friendly. When I couldn't go to his games, she would go. At first, I thought their friendship was innocent even though my gut kept telling me something doesn't feel right. Soon I started to request that they not spend so much time together and it was then that I learned their friendship had blossomed into something else. I felt deceived and betrayed. I also felt embarrassed that I was the only one who didn't know what was happening until it was too late.

While I am not saying that my situation is what is happening in your case, I do think that this guy became more interesting when your relationship with him got serious. That was just enough to ignite some jealousy in your best friend. From your boyfriend's perspective, he gets two girls for the price of one. I think there is a lot of electricity between you all. Where there is smoke, there is fire. This means only time will tell if your best friend and your boyfriend will be able to keep their relationship platonic.

You need to listen to that little voice inside you, it's telling you something. Whether that something is jealousy or suspicion, I can't tell. If you don't feel good about the friendship between your boyfriend and your best friend, you need to pay attention. The same holds true for how these two people are treating your friendship. They replied to your concerns by saying they have a right to be friends. This is true, but it may be at the expense of your friendship. This is something only you can decide. Real friends don't ignore the feelings of a friend who is hurting, they listen and change.

~~Lori .

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