How Can I Tell If My Boyfriend Is Really Just Friends With Her?

My boyfriend insists on staying friends with a girl with whom he is attracted to, and who has point blank invited him to have sex with her. I feel uncomfortable, and he refuses to stop talking to her, insisting they are “just friends”. Am I being irrational? My boyfriend and I met, sparks flew, and things got serious very fast. He spent a lot of time with me and invited me to practically everything he did, including dinner with a female friend of his (who lives across the country and was visiting). Since I completely trusted him, I declined because I was tired. The next day we met up and he informed me that he was going to brunch with her and another friend the day after and broke pattern by not inviting me (we had previously made plans together for that day). Warning bells went off in my head.

A few weeks later, he received pictures from her from their dinner together. They were very close in the pictures – hugging each other, her behind him with hands on his waist as he leaned against a car, him picking her up and dipping her, etc. I got very upset about how inappropriate I felt this was, and he yelled at me, insisting that they were not flirting (which they clearly were). I told him that I didn’t like him being friends with her because I felt it was not 100% platonic, to which he responded that they were “just friends” and I shouldn’t tell him who to be friends with. My problem is, it doesn’t feel like they are just friends, given that after their dinner together he wanted to see her again alone, and seeing the pictures she sent him that showed a lot of heavy flirting. He also admitted later that she had offered to have sex with him that night, to which he declined. He felt that admitting this to me should prove trustworthiness.

I feel like it’s extremely inappropriate to be friends with someone of the opposite sex who is clearly after more than just friendship. I am considering breaking up with him because 1) that night after dinner she asked him to have sex with her and he still thinks its okay to be friends; 2) he flirted heavily with her; 3) he lied to me about flirting with her when the pictures clearly say otherwise; and 4) my gut is telling me there is a problem here considering he wanted to go to brunch with her without me there. He continues to maintain his relationship with her via phone, email, etc.

I am already in love with this man and we have had a great relationship up to this point but I find myself having trouble trusting him now. I have never had trust issues in the past, and did not have them with him prior to this. I really don’t want to leave this relationship but am worried about his continuing fidelity. Am I being irrational or are my worries justified? –Kathy

For any of you who think that I always side with flirtatious men, take another look here and here.

So let’s sum up the answer to how to deal with a man you can’t trust:

You should NOT be in a relationship with a man you can’t trust.

A relationship with a man you can’t trust is going to be miserable for both of you.

You better make sure that the reason you can’t trust your boyfriend is because he’s ACTUALLY doing something wrong.

It’ll be miserable for you because you’re always on pins and needles, wondering about his whereabouts. You get concerned when he talks to women at parties. You check his Facebook page to see what he’s saying to his ex’s. You casually browse his cell phone when he’s taking a shower to see who texted him. You technically have a boyfriend, but you don’t have any of the benefits of having a boyfriend, because you always feel compelled to second-guess the status of your relationship.

And don’t forget how miserable it will be for him. After all, he’s the guy who is always being questioned when he comes home an hour late or takes a weekend trip with his guy friends. He’s the guy whose integrity is constantly being impugned. He’s the guy whose charisma you adored being told that he can’t display it to anyone other than you. Finally, he’s the guy who has to put up with a constant barrage of queries, regardless of whether he’s done anything wrong. I’ve been this guy and it’s an awful feeling having an otherwise delightful partnership being dissected to death because of your girlfriend’s insecurity.

Which brings me to my real point for any woman who is rightfully sympathizing with Kathy:

You better make sure that the reason you can’t trust your boyfriend is because he’s ACTUALLY doing something wrong.

Not because your previous boyfriends have cheated on you.

Not because he makes other women smile at parties.

Not because he maintains friendships with attractive women and writes things on their Facebook Wall.

Not because he goes to a strip club at a bachelor party.

You can only mistrust your boyfriend if he’s done something proactive that intimates that he’s not trustworthy. Like hanging out with a woman who wants to sleep with him. And lying about it.

But beware of the potential for you to create a cycle of lying in your man.

If you’re always on his case even if he has absolutely no intentions other than staying in touch with a girl friend – he’s going to feel rightfully insulted by your constant questioning. He will get the sense that he can’t tell you the truth because you won’t accept the truth. And he will find that it’s easier to lie to you about a platonic lunch than tell you the truth and be chewed out for it.

Believe it or not, that’s not his fault. It’s yours, for not trusting him.

And if you feel your hackles begin to rise at me for stating the male perspective on what it’s like to be a good person who is mistrusted, I invite you to reread my mission statement from the top of this post:

You should NOT be in a relationship with a man you can’t trust.

It’s that simple.

Yelling at me that some men ARE liars is useless.

Yelling at your boyfriend because you think he’s a cheater is useless. You’re driving yourself crazy and you’re making him even crazier.

If you can’t trust your boyfriend, for Chrissakes, do all of us a favor:

Find another boyfriend.

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  1. 61

    I hear this kind of complaint from women every single day. I actually received a call from a man who is “in the doghouse…again,” last night. The guy had cut off all his old, long-standing, platonic female friends for the sake of his relationship -but he’s in trouble because he lied about not knowing who was calling. (Hint: It was an old, platonic friend.) I’m a relationship coach, but I do read Evan (the genius) for insight. Basically, Evan is 100% correct. You want to make absolutely certain that your man is doing something wrong, or else it’s a serious hit to his integrity.
    Personally, I prefer the guy I’m seeing to not have too many females fawning over him, but he’s an amazing man so that’s going to happen by default. The one thing that would bother me is if the man I was dating exclusively, decided to engage in a deep “connection” with another woman.  That would make me worry, because when you take all that communication you’re supposed to be having in your relationship and you give it to someone else, it can cause a rift. I do try to be the “cool girl” as often as possible, but it’s hard when I know he’s chatting (as casual as it may be) with other females. Maybe I’m wrong?

  2. 62

    Real, honest and profound friendship is utterly normal among human beings, regardless of sexual tendencies, political views, age and cultural backgrounds. Friendship is NOT and WON´T ever be in any way real if there is sexual attraction of any level. Friendship is sexless…..
    Finding someone good-looking or attractive it does not mean one is sexually drawn to somebody…. we all have different likes and it happens often that we can believe someone (either sex) is attractive but it is not our type……if your boyfriend or girlfriend has a friend that is attracted sexually then it is not a friend…and we all know when someone is attracted to us especially when is somebody that spends time with us like friends do…. and there is no excuse to deny it or maintain the relationship…..if they want to maintain that “friendship” is because they like the attention and feeds up their egos….that is one form of cheating….. also, real friends can be affectionate with each other but never interact physically to the level of closeness as with your partner.

    I am a male, mid 30´s and always believe on friendship (different kinds and levels)…..I have female friends of very different ages (24-75), male friends (21-80), gay and lesbian friends (25-55)….all from different backgrounds (social, cultural, etc.)…… and I interact exactly the same way physically with all….never inappropriate or out of context….. I hug them all in the same way….our souls are connected…not our bodies….. my body is only reserved for my girlfriend, my full soul too, and my entire heart…… Many many times I have had to hear lame excuses from people telling stories of getting drunk and making out and having sex with friends (depending on each other´s sexuality)….and I always ask the same: For instance, if you are heterosexual and get sexual with your friend (female) why don´t you do the same with your male or gay friends then?……
    I have met very interesting people that I found to have a great connectivity but also felt their attraction for me, and every time I told them that it was impossible to be friends like that and stopped any contact….. life is much more than simply throwing principles and loyalties for SEX or filling up our insecure egos…..

  3. 63

    leave him.
    the same thing happened to me but i trusted him so much that i even became friends with that girl but after we had the small fight he broke up with me and married her within a months time. 

    1. 63.1

      Good grief. It would’ve been far too easy for him to just set you free.  If he married that quick, he wanted her all along.

  4. 64

    Well.First off this girl friend of his that he insists on keeping knows he is with someone and she is trying to seduce him into sleeping with him and he admits it. Then she sends photos to him in the hopes of stirring trouble to obviously break you up so she can have what she is after.Sleep with him basicly. And strange that he sees her as such a great woman friend  when she is trying to get him to sleep with him knowing he is in a relationship.Dump him. He obviously is not as into you as you are into him. That happens. He is disrespecting you and allowing this other woman he has obviously slept with since now he wants to be alone with her now. You have to respect yourself and don’t let him run all over you trying to ease you into accepting his cheating ways. 

  5. 65


  6. 66
    the realest

    Smh ok all you had to do was talk to him and reverse it.. I know in damn well if you were hanging out with a guy and he said he wanted to have sex, your man would be mad as fuckkkkk… if it was the other way around the guy would of did the same get mad and say Na I don’t want you to be friends let a lone even talk to him, I know everyone is trying to be optimistic but lets be serious here..

  7. 67

    hey kathy, i can understand how you r feelling because the same situation is happening with me from past few months but stil my bf didnt agree to break his frnshp wd that girl n lie to me everytime. Anyways its very difficult to brokeup and forget someone so easily so i think you should talk to him once again about the matter and still if he yells at you say him you are leaving him foevr. if he really loves you he wil stop you or try to convince you and ask you to forgive him and if he dont that means he never loved talk to him again.. GOODLUCK!!

  8. 68

    i agree. There is no “right” fighting here.  She may have had intentions, he declined, he  told you… If you don’t trust your mate you will only drive them and yourself crazy.  Think about your own actions on a girls night out.  If you can’t do something then that you wouldn’t do if he was there… Think like a man.  Him admitting that she offered sex is his way of saying, “see I’m loyal”. If you force a man to decide it won’t usually work in your favor.  Even if he wants it to. Ego.  Think like a man.  Speak with respect and listen to what you each reveal to each other. If you think you are being disrespected, the bus comes by every 15 minutes…

    1. 68.1

      Thing is why would you continue being friends with anyone who would try to break you and your significant other up? That’s not friendship! Friendship is being happy for each other, not being a homewrecker! My boyfriend’s ex friend tried to break us up and you know what? That’s why they’re ex friends! Because you don’t need people like that in your life. The fact that this guy insists on being friends with this girl is a red flag.

  9. 69

    My ex husband had a friend who was a girl. I did what all these new age women and men said and gave him trust and space, even when he told me they kissed but was me he wanted to be with, she invited him to come stay at hers when we had a fight. Turns out the little tramp had been bad mouthing me all along and encouraged my ex to take me for everything i had and to lie to me and to leave me for her. Turned out he had sex with this woman and didnt tell me until after he left me….. for her. So to all those new age people telling people to trust their partners with the opposite sex…. go take a hike and wait till it happens to you. I will not tolerate a man i am in a relationship with to be overly friends with females, especially not ones who are attracted to my partner or my partner attracted to them. End of. Men, treat women with respect and maybe you wouldnt get accused of cheating. If you are taking your moods out on your woman all the time, especially when she is just being her normal self, and you belittle her, ofcourse she is going to feel there is someone else. A man should never treat another woman better than his own partner. If he does ( and this goes for women too) then he deserves every accusation coming. Try being a bit more sensitive to women if you expect a woman to man up about stuff. Men and women in general, stop trying to seduce people in relationships and then complain when you get called homewreckers and tramps. Dont act like one and dont get called one. New age people to me are just walking excuses for cheaters these days. Rules are there for a reason. Perhaps many need to grow up a little more yet before they realise the benefits of rules. I gave up a male friend for my partner im with now because to me your partner is everything. You should be willing to sacrifice all for love. Your family, friends, belongings. If you cant do that then it isnt love in my eyes. If your family or friends love you they will support you to be with your partner that you love. Love means nagging too or do we all forget our mothers chasing after all our butts nagging us to do stuff because she loved us? Guess she is an overprotective control freak too if a woman naghing her partner is. Immature is what i call complaining about someone nagging. Dont do something nag worthy. Should think yerself lucky because if it was yer mum nagging you you would get a slap and more if you didnt live up to her expectations. Perhaps we are now raising brats that believe they should never be moaned at for anything because they feel they are entitled to allsorts of freedom. If you want freedom, dont be in a relationship. Simples. If you want love then do all it takes. Make sacrifices. Grow up.

  10. 70

    Victoria: It seems like, regardless of what your actions would have been, your ex-husband would have cheated on you whether or not you allowed him to have female friends. Just as they say, a man (or woman for that matter) will cheat if he/she has the intent to do so.

    The problem is, you mentioned you “gave him trust and space when when he told me they kissed”. To point out the obvious, this was much more than just a platonic relationship, and I wonder if he told you as a way to slowly break apart from you.

    Men are attracted to women all of the time, and vice versa. It really boils down to self-control and character. It seems that you are blaming the other woman when it was your husband who was married and became an active participant in this affair.

    You should not have to sacrifice all for love.Perhaps compromise is more appropriate, but if your partner makes you separate yourself from your friends and family (unless they are truly toxic), he is not a good partner to begin with. And no partner can really force you to do anything. Love isn’t about controlling one another.

  11. 71

    I wouldnt bother talking to him about it anymore.  You had your say, he disagreed…loudly. I’d pull back from this relationship and start dating others.   He will either get the message, straighten up and start valuing your feelings, and make amends by changing his actiona and reactions or he won’t and will do as he pleases instead. But if that becomes the case, it was the eventuality anyway.  You can’t talk someone into or make them behave the way you want, but you can clearly define your boundaries and keep your dgnity when someone oversteps them.


  12. 72

    What this guy said is true…..have been having trust issues with my boyfriend but I think am going to try what he said……..thanks for saving my relationship in advance

  13. 73

    Something similar to this happened to me. My boyfriend and I have been together for 4.5 years. A few years ago, a mutual friend of ours from college invited my boyfriend over to her place while I was away on vacation and straight out asked him to have sex with her. She knew I was away and tried to get my bf to cheat on me with her. He refused of course, but thing is he also cut off all ties with her… he deleted her number, blocked her on facebook, and was truly disgusted and never spoke to her again. I cut ties with this “friend” as well. It’s good that your bf didn’t cheat on you, but the fact that he is flirting with her and would continue being finds with anyone who tries to break you guys up is terrible. I truly would dump him.

  14. 74

    This article does make the assumption that the criteria for ‘having done something wrong’ are the same for everyone. Everyone’s boundaries are different, you should know what your partner’s boundaries are and your partner should trust that you don’t cross them and vice versa. So I agree with this article mostly, except that it implies that only when someone actually does something sexual with another person they are doing something wrong. I would not be comfortable with my partner having an intimate friendship with a woman who does not see him as just a friend and who actively tries to seduce him. I don’t care if nothing is going to happen between them or he sees her as just a friend. the friendship with her alone I would think is inappropriate and would cross my boundaries.

    My boyfriend has a friend who’s a girl who clearly does not have feelings for him and vice versa, I am okay with that.

  15. 75

    All the guys who commented here and say that guys can have platonic relationship with a girl they find attractive are definitely lying. Psychological studies say so. If friendship alone is what he is after, you would not have to go the extra mile of spending time with her every now and then. Friends are friends no matter how close or far they are.  Spending way more time with her with no particular reason at all and willingness to put your relationship at risk is a “no no” for what thet consider as “friendship”. You definitely have no trust issues. Break up with him. A man worth trusting is a man who values your feelings and never put himself in a position where he knows he might be tempted. We are humans and to say he is not tempted to that sex offer is simply ridiculous. It only takes time before he succumb.

  16. 76

    Firstly, your bf should NOT be yelling at you for such matters.

    It is true. You have no right in telling who your bf can or cannot have as friends. But when it concerns a girl who has no respect whatsoever towards the fact that your guy already has a gf ( you) and behaves like he doesnt have one, then yes. You do have a problem.

    Sometimes, these are not ‘over thinking things’ or ‘over reacting’. Sometimes, these are red flags. Real red flags.

    1) that night after dinner she asked him to have sex with her and he still thinks its okay to be friends; 2) he flirted heavily with her; 3) he lied to me about flirting with her when the pictures clearly say otherwise; and 4) my gut is telling me there is a problem here considering he wanted to go to brunch with her without me there. He continues to maintain his relationship with her via phone, email, etc.

    Just look at the points that you’ve written. No boyfriend who has respect or love for his gf, does this. He is very CLEARLY crossing the line.

    Get this. If he really thinks that he’s doing nothing wrong, and that the relationship is platonic and that he only loves you, then he should be able to sit down and listen to your side of the story and understand where you come from. If he wants to earn your trust, he should be reassuring you as many times as it takes, and proving to you via his actions that there is nothing between him and that girl. People who genuinely love their partners will not want to see their partner in pain. They will try to ease that pain.

    If the roles were reversed, and you were the one who had a close male friend who is interested in you and your bf is in pain seeing you all chummy with your guy friend and then acting as if everything is platonic, wouldn’t you try to ease his pain? To reassure him ? To prove him wrong and even go so far as to severe that friendship if you’ve found valid points in your bf’s defense ? You need to tell him that you would do that for him because you love him. And that if he loves you, he needs to start proving it. Words without action mean nothing.

    Girls like this are trouble. They start off bit by bit, slowly, pushing the boundaries further than they should go. It is bad enough already that that girl is disrespectful enough to try those things on your bf but it is worse when your bf is actually reciprocating and then lying to your face about it ! As a couple, both of you are obligated to protect each other and each other’s feelings.

    The sad truth is that you’re going to have to work up the courage to leave him. This can be really hard when you’ve already invested in him- energy, effort , love.  But you can walk away.

    I disagree with how “deal with it” Evan’s response sounded like. He very clearly made it sound like it was so easy to dump a person that you’ve already harbored genuine love for. Well, it is not. And he ought to have more sympathy and a more understanding tone when replying. Hope you find a good solution, Kathy

  17. 77

    Most of this I agree with, some bits…ehhhh…

    You’re right.  She needs to trust her boo.  I know because I’ve been this woman before.  HOWEVER, maybe I’m lucky in this regard, but her boo also needs to be someone worth trusting.  My boo is a patient man and he is VERY understanding.  That’s probably why we’ve worked out.  I communicate my feelings very well and he does his best to empathize and be compassionate and passionate.  He is exactly the type of man I was supposed to meet as I worked on my issues.

    You say that it’s the girl’s fault if the dude starts lying about his platonic luncheons in order to avoid confrontation.  NO!  Lying is never the answer.  It just makes things worse!  You ask a girl to try and trust you and work on her, but then you lie to her just because you don’t want to put in the work of “explaining.”  She doesn’t sound perfect and it sounds like she has trust issues…but if part of being committed to a partner is agreeing to work through those issues (if you choose to do so).  It sounds like she wants to and it also sounds like he’s will to try.  DON’T EVER LIE TO YOUR PARTNER.

    I told my boo, “I know I have trust issues.  I’m working on it, but when you lie or are secretive about the most mundane things, then it gives me reason to worry and I have trouble trusting you.”  He understood and now he’s totally transparent.  We both are.  THAT’S called being an adult, I think.

  18. 78

    If he truly valued you he would stop seeing this woman period.  If male or female friendships affect a relationship they need to end.

  19. 79
    Desiree Ciak

    Lol imagine if you went out with another man, and your bf saw pictures of that man touching you and picking you up? Then you admitted to your bf that the man said he wanted to fuck you? And when he stated he felt uncomfortable with you remaining friends, you yelled at him, basically choosing this man over your bf?Pretty sure he would feel insecure, too. Don’t be dumb. He is not the one for you- he doesn’t love you, or he wouldn’t be intentionally hurting you like this. He would rather keep an open door for this other woman who he already knows wants to fuck him (which means he probably wants to fuck her too). Move on.

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