Be Friends with Someone when They Might Have a Girlfriend
Edited by Robbi, Eng, Lynn, Anonymous and 4 others
Asking a guy to be friends and then finding out he has a girlfriend who is jealous can put you in an uncomfortable situation. Reality is there are a lot of women who remain to be close-minded and indifferent about friendships between their boyfriends and other women. It really depends on the girlfriend's mindset and attitude. While a bit of jealousy could ignite some degree of excitement in a relations, the green-eyed monster can be very hard to contain in some women and can be overpowering and self-destructive at some point. Girlfriends could at times be too focused on their man that they seem to forget that other people exist. This world is in fact a matter of coexistence and people are wired to be social and are bound to evolve and interact with each other on a day-to-day grind.
While it should not make any difference if a guy has a girlfriend if you are just friends, it all too often does end up being a problem that you don't need to deal with. But, if you are really just buddies then the problem could be mainly on the guy's girlfriend. She needs to open up and accept that a healthy relationship should involve other people too. It's not just about a couple in love but a support system or network of family, friends, and colleagues are crucial to the success and longevity of any relationship.
If the guy knows his girlfriend is jealous but accepts your friendship anyway, he could be using you to make her jealous and that is not really friendship. But, he could just be genuinely interested in pursuing friendship with you just as he does with his other close friends. So it could be in your best interests to ask him if he has a girlfriend. If he does, there are quick questions that need real answers - Does she have a problem with him having friends who happen to be women? Will it matter that you are a woman or she is cool with it? Is it absolutely clear that you are both in the friend zone and not attempting to cross lines?
Steps to Having an Honest Friendship with a Guy who may have a Girlfriend
Ask his friends if he has a girlfriend if you don't want to put him on the spot.
If you are his co-worker or have common friends, you can nonchalantly ask about his background and relationships. Not that you are wishing he does not have any jealous girlfriend stalking or lurking behind; but you just want to know a friend better so you can both adjust to certain situations. You can talk about your current relationship status first and find out that other people actually become more comfortable in sharing personal things in this manner. You can easily progress to other details when you have formed a trusting friendship out of mere acquaintances.
Make it clear that you are only interested in friendship with him, his friends and any of his family members that you may know.
They say that there is a degree of sexual ambiguity between a man and a woman which makes it impossible for anyone to become "just friends". However, forming friendships (no romance or intimacy) with the opposite sex has been found to be possible and happening in real-time. There are many factors that make people attractive or drawn to each other besides sexual tension or pure chemistry. In fact, many people can now easily decipher and ascertain if one can potentially bud into a romantic relationship or stay in the friend zone. It is important to make the "friendship status quo" clear to both your family and circle of friends to avoid any jealousy pangs especially if he has a girlfriend.
Ask him either directly or indirectly in a way that leaves him feeling at ease about answering.
Most guys are really not that comfortable or are withdrawn when talking about personal or mushy stuff especially with women. They could either regard relationships as private and intimate or are plainly secretive of their relationship status just to lure more women towards them. The best way to make a guy open up about personal details like if he has a girlfriend is to talk about your relationship status too. If you are single, in a relationship, or have just come out of a bad breakup then you can mention those and ask about his without appearing to be too inquisitive or privy. It is better to get the facts straight before you pursue a friendship especially with a guy friend.
Decide if your interest in being friends with him is really for friendship or to get your foot into the door of a relationship with him.
If he is clearly in a relationship and you are interested in being more than just friends with a guy then you are bound to disaster. You should be certain about your intentions and purpose in pursuing a friendship with a guy before you go further into the relationship. If he is single then getting attracted to him would not be a problem. In fact, friendship is dubbed to be the best foundation of any committed relationship. But, if he happens to have a girlfriend then that is entirely another story. You are bound to hurt not just other people but yourself if you decide to cut your way into a relationship. Be the better person and decide to move away from wrecking a relationship if you pursue your romantic feelings with a guy who happens to be in a committed relationship with another woman. It could be easier to just give in to your instinct and emotions with a guy who has a girlfriend but a good friend would never attempt to intrude or destroy another person's happiness especially if you know that your buddy is really happy with his current girlfriend.
If his answer is that he has a girlfriend and he accepts your friendship, set some ground rules regarding the friendship right away so future problems can be avoided.
Friendships are made and do not just happen overnight. It dramatically evolves and changes over time and charade of experiences together. If you happen to be developing a friendship with a guy who has a girlfriend then it is better that you set some rules for yourself to be sure that you are not crossing beyond the safe lane. There are women who could be jealous or insecure with their boyfriend's female friends while others are generally cool and can even be best buddies with their man's circle of friends. Your friendship should not be affected but you should be able to adjust to the situation and with the fact that your buddy has a girlfriend and she comes relatively first than any other woman in his life (second fiddle to the mom of course). Certain limitations or boundaries must be set so that you would not interfere with his relationship or become too close for comfort and trigger jealous feats from his girlfriend.
Make an extra effort to befriend his girlfriend.
There are relatively lots of instances that girlfriends become very doubtful of a female friend's real motives towards her beau. This could be somehow reasonable especially if there has been a history of infidelity in the relationship. You could however initiate the move to assure his girlfriend that you have no ill intentions of screwing around and stealing her boyfriend. It would be great to actually set a date for you to go out together in a group (with her girlfriend and other friends). This would really not be much of a big deal if you have a boyfriend too as her girlfriend will not look at you as a threat. The jealousy is typical if the female friend happens to be single as there is a huge probability that something can evolve from the friendship. You need to make her feel that you can be trusted and it starts with genuine conversations with his girlfriend. You can in fact become really close with his girlfriend too if you go that extra mile. There are lots of activities that you can do to be comfortable and get to know his girlfriend. Get her number and add her on Facebook or Twitter and other social media sites that you both share. You can invite her out to watch a movie, enjoy a cup of coffee, go to the spa for a relaxing massage, do a makeover, go to gym classes, or just have fun shopping. You can even hang out at her home for a chit-chat while having your nails done. The possibilities are indeed limitless. The familiarity and constant connection with her would send a signal that you are trying to reach out and you want to build a friendship with her just as much as you would with her boyfriend.
The Right Attitude
- Accept the fact that he has a girlfriend, she must come first for him.
- Keep a little bit of emotional distance so you don't make the mistake of thinking it could be more than friendship.
- Be realistic on your expectations of the relationship so you know when to back off and maybe end the friendship if necessary.
- Keep it friendly but not too friendly so he knows you are only asking for friendship.
- Let him know up front that his girlfriend won't need to feel threatened by your friendship.
- Ask to meet her and try to develop a friendship with her as well.
- If he says he does have a girlfriend, show interest in meeting and getting to know her.
- If he has a girlfriend and accepts your friendship, set clear limits, not just for him but for you as well.
- Have other friends, both male and female, so you are not depending on his friendship entirely. Socialize, mingle, and continue to meet diverse individuals and keep genuine connections.
- Go slow in developing a friendship with someone who has a girlfriend and be ready to back off at any time.
- Be prepared if he says he does not have a girlfriend to let him know you do not intend more than friendship.
- If he has a girlfriend but does not want you to meet her, it could prove problematic for the friendship. This can also mean that he is not being entirely honest about his relationship and could be pulling your strings.
- An emotional distance is best so you do not get entangled in something you are not prepared to deal with.
- Letting yourself become too involved in a friendship with a guy before knowing whether he has a girlfriend can lead to problems.
- If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.
Recent edits by: Doug Collins, Alma, Marian Raquel F. Roncesvalles