I recently had a discussion with a friend about the pitfalls of having a guy as a best friend. You see, I do have a best guy friend, but as we were talking about it we both came to the conclusion that he is really much more then a friend—he’s more like my emotional boyfriend.
My guy friend and I have known each other for a few years now and honestly have a different type of connection than I have ever had with a guy. I can talk to him about anything and everything and he does not judge me. He offers me advice on dating and what he thinks about the guy that I am currently dating and I do the same for him. I feel as though I can be myself around him and not put up any walls when I am with him. We tend to have goofy conversations like randomly blurting movie quotes or song lyrics, but we also have deep conversations. But the thing is we tried to date, and it just didn’t work out. We were and are better off friends.
The problem is that I still rely entirely too much on him for so many things. He satisfies the emotional needs that I have and I turn to him when I feel lonely. His opinion does matter a lot to me and I do love that I can say whatever is on my mind to him and he does the same. But if and when I do get into another relationship, is my friendship with my guy friend going to get in the way of me getting close to another man?
If I’m honest with myself, my “emotional boyfriend” keeps me from being open with other guys. In the back of my mind, I think I’m still holding out some hope that things could work out between me and my guy friend—that we could become more than best friends.
After thinking about it, I know now that I do want the same kind of connection that I have with him, but with a guy that will date me and be in a committed romantic relationship. But I know that if I stay so attached to my guy friend, it might be hard to give another man the chance to get that close. I’m at a point where I don’t want to have him out of my life, but I also need to distance myself from him so that I can pursue another relationship.
That’s not to say that you should give up all your friendships in order to date someone. No one wants to date someone who is controlling or has jealousy issues—I was in a relationship like that before and it was very lonely. But it is also important to build trust in a relationship, and having a guy you are really close to can cause trust issues with a boyfriend who becomes suspicious of cheating. So that means having boundaries in friendships with members of the opposite sex. For me right now, these kinds of boundaries can also help me to stay open to the possibility of meeting and falling in love with someone else.
Here are a few guidelines I’ve come up with for me and my guy friend:
1.) Don’t hang out one-on-one with a guy friend late at night. When we’re tired and feeling lonely we don’t always have the best judgment.
2.) If either of you is in a relationship, don’t talk bad about that relationship to each other. It’s better to talk to the person you are dating about the problems in your relationship so that you can work on those problems together, NOT to your guy friend. Talking bad about a relationship to your guy friend can drive a wedge between you and the person that you are dating and make you feel farther from your boyfriend and closer to your guy friend.
3.) Don’t text him about every little problem you have. Don’t let yourself rely only on him—call another friend or family member instead.
Have you ever had a guy best friend? What did you learn from it?