Post # 1
Long time lurker. I love the advice you all give so I figured I would create an account for some help. Last night, my boyfriend and I had a pretty significant argument that ended with him leaving in the middle of the night. We’ve been together for two years (both in mid 20’s) and nothing like this has ever happened between us.
We were at a restaurant and I was having a conversation with a friend of ours and I told her that I considered my boyfriend to also be my best friend.. He was really quiet on the car ride home so I asked him what was wrong. He said, “I’m your boyfriend, not your best friend and I really don’t like when you tell people that I’m both.” I started laughing because I seriously thought he was joking but he wasn’t.
This really hurt my feelings because I felt like the two kind of go hand in hand. So I asked him if I was his best friend and he said, “Abolsolutely not and you never will be. You’re my girlfriend.” He said he was terrified that we’d end up being too good of friends and that he would be friend-zoned because that happened in his buddy’s relationship.
By this time, I was getting emotional. I asked him who he considered his best friend since I apparently wasn’t and he said it was his female friend from college. I was instantly in tears. I’ve never liked this girl, but I’ve tolerated her. She’s attractive, flirty, and the kind of girl you don’t want around your boyfriend. But again, I’ve tolerated her because the two of them are super close.
By the time we got home, I was bawling my eyes out because I felt hurt. He was crying because he felt like I was dismissing his feelings. So he ended up leaving and we haven’t spoken since last night.
How can I fix this? Was I in the wrong and did I overreact? I regret acting the way I did but I still have negative feelings towards his female friend.
Post # 3
@GirlPower: So is he concerned that by being best friends the lovers aspect of the relationship will suffer? If so, I wonder if he may also have some concerns about how to blend the wife(lover)/mother roles.
Post # 4
This sounds like classic miscommunication. It sounds like you two just have different ways of thinking about relationships. If he loves you and treats you right, what does it matter whether he describes you as “best friend” or not.
I think you both owe each other an apology and need to have a conversation about what your relationship means to each of you. You can explain what you mean by “best friend” and how it doesn’t mean that you don’t have passionate and sexual feelings for him. He can explain what “best friend” means to him and why, even though he loves you, he considers it to be separate from girlfriend. I don’t think anyone’s definition is right or wrong; you both need to make an effort to understand and appreciate each other’s perspective.
Post # 5
I don’t think you were wrong. My DH and I consider each other best friends (although I also have a female bet friend, but it’s different). I would be hurt too if he told me that I wasn’t his best friend and some other girl was. I think he needs to get it together and realize that people who are married can be best friends as well as lovers.
Post # 6
@GirlPower: I also wonder if maybe he fears the pressure of being both your best friend and boyfriend? My FH and I constantly encourage each other to have friends, and support each other’s relationships with our respective best friends. It’s my belief that one person can’t be all things to their SO. We need other close friends in our life to support us in ways our SO simply can’t. That said, my FH is my top priority in life, I love spending time with him. But we happily have other best friends, rather than each other. We define best friend as someone we’ve known for a long time (in some cases longer than we’ve known each other!), who we share interests with (that might not be shared between us), who are just plain, old good people! But you should both try to keep talking about this, now that the emotions have been released. Talk more about how to define boyfriend/girlfriend vs best friend and his fears about intimacy dying out in your relationship.
I think your feelings about his female friend are a separate issue, relating to trust, confidence in yourself, and confidence your relationship. All worthy of more thought and discussion between the two of you.
Take some time to cool down and sort out your thoughts. This isn’t a huge red flag that your relationship is in trouble or anything like that. Just part of getting to know each other better and defining your relationship – all good in the end, I think!
Post # 7
FI and I know that we are each other’s best friends but I do have another female best friend. It’s a bit different though because she definitely doesn’t know everything about me like FI does but I do feel comfortable telling her pretty much anything. I would be a bit disappointed too if FI told me that I wasn’t his best friend. I think that friendship is just as important as the love/sex aspect of a relationship.
ETA: I think in your talk with him it is important to assure him that just because you two are/should be best friends doesn’t mean that you have no other friends. Perhaps he is worried that if he has that label that you won’t be friends with anyone outside of the relationship.
Post # 8
Hmmm, I don’t think you’re in the wrong, but I’m not 100% sure he is, either. I think maybe he is confused by what you mean by best friend (though this surprises me somewhat, as the “my lover is my best friend too” mantra is by no means a rarity).
I think he somehow has it confused that to be friends with someone, you cannot also be romantic. I’n my opinion, when the romance wears off, the friendship is what gets you through dry spells – something it sounds like you grasp, but he hasn’t computed entirely yet, probably because of friendzoning in the past clouding his view of the term “friend.”
You maybe need to explain to him how important it is to you that there must be a sort of friendship there in your relationship, and that rather than you being friends acting as a hindrance to your romance, it is actually very necessary for you, and that if you didn’t consider him your friend, you couldn’t consider him seriously as a boyfriend, either. I think that is the key to what he is missing.
Explain to him that given that for you to actually want to be with someone romantically, you somewhat expect to be best friends through thick and thin with them, for him to instead feel that way about someone else, essentially sounds to you like he should be romantically linked with that person, not you, if he does not feel that way about you, but does for this other girl.
Do not think your feelings are illegitimate. I think I would tend to feel quite the same way if my boyfriend freaked out on me for thinking he’d my best friend, then told me someone else – a girl – was his. I think most women would. Again, I am more than a little surprised he has not heard the best friend/lover idea before. It is very well known.
Post # 9
I am mostly shocked that he left you in the middle of the night over something like this.. I feel that was very immature on his part.
As for the friends vs lover debate – if my FI told me he had a Best Friendship with a female friend that was more significant (even if it was a “friend zone”) than ours I would be greatly disturbed. It seems to me that you guys need to have a conversation and lay out your feelings and understand what your views and expectations of eachother and the relationship entails.. Him leaving you in the middle over this and not communicating to you since then speaks volumes of his maturity – I would also be questioning what the “fight” was really about.. Sometimes people hold something back and it can surface or explode over something completely unrelated.
Post # 10
Uh he can’t dictate how you feel, first of all. Second of all, he does not have to feel the same way you do, either. Third, leaving in the middle of the night is a dick move.
Call him. There’s no point in waiting this out any longer and see if you can revisit this with cooler heads. But seriously remember, you both are not going to have the same viewpoints on things, and the fact that his best friend is a girl is a moot point.
Post # 11
@GirlPower: heeeee overreacted…. In a huge way, right off the bat. You don’t have to be his best friend for you to feel like he is yours. And he doesn’t have the right to tell you how to feel. Likewise, he is also entitled to feel how he wants about this.
The problem is that the both of you are discontent with how the other views this. You two are obviously aproaching this from different directions.
Post # 12
@Starling13: I was shocked too because he’s never done that before. I think he was a little embarrassed about getting emotional. It was the first time I’ve ever made him cry and he was kind of trying to hide from me when we got home but I wouldn’t leave him alone and that’s when he left. But he still shouldn’t have left in the middle of the night.
Post # 13
@GirlPower: Over reaction on both your parts. You simply have different definitions and beliefs surrounding them. You feel he is your boyfriend and best friend. He believes that girlfriend does not equal best friend. What possible difference can it make in your lives? Absolutely none.
Phone him. Apologize. Move on.
Post # 14
I would be crushed if my DH told me some other woman was a better friend than I was. Maybe he was confused about the whole “friend zone” aspect and you guys just need to have a heart to heart when you’re both calmer?
Post # 15
@Westwood: That’s why I was so upset.. I honestly thought we were each other’s best friends, which I thought was so romantic. I’ve tried calling and texting him today but he hasn’t answered or replied to anything. I hope he’s just busy with something and not ignoring me… I’m thinking about stopping by his house later with a little gift or something to show him that I care. We’ve never had a fight like this so I’m really worried.
Post # 16
@GirlPower: Don’t do that…it sounds like he needs space.