Her Best Friend is a Guy

Q: My best friend is a guy. We've been friends for a long time, and my boyfriend knows this. I made it a point for them to meet when we first got together. They became friends, but ever since then my boyfriend's friends have been saying that he shouldn't let me hang around my old friend. So now he doesn't want me to hang out with him as much, and I can't be in the house with him unless the lights are on and he (my boyfriend) knows about it. He also told me that he doesn't fully trust me and what I'm capable of. How should I feel about this? -- Lacy, 19

Dr. Susan: Your boyfriend isn't to be faulted for not knowing what you're capable of. The vast majority of us have no idea what we'd be capable of, given the right circumstances. Anything from kissing a forbidden person to murder. The thing about relationships, though, is that they need room to grow. You should feel concerned that your boyfriend is giving you hard and fast rules about how to behave. Lights on is a good rule in any case. But you shouldn't have to ask permission to hang with an old friend. He's going to have to take a leap of faith and trust you to make good decisions until you prove you're untrustworthy. Something else to consider: now that your boyfriend knows your old pal, it might be HIM he doesn't trust. It takes a guy to know what another guy might do when tempted. So be easy on your boyfriend. Take his natural feelings of jealousy into account and try not to torment him unnecessarily. How about opening up to him conversationally the way you do with your "best friend"?

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