He says they’re just friends. But you’re worried it’s more.
Although there’s nothing strange about having female friends, as the girlfriend (or wife) it can be tough to handle.
Especially if there is something about that connection that sets off alarm bells for you.
Is your jealousy unfounded? Or are you right to be on your guard?
Here are some strong signs he likes his female friend, and what to do about it.
10 concerning signs he likes his female friend
1) He never seems to shut up about her
Maybe you wouldn’t feel quite so jealous or suspicious if he ever stopped talking about her.
There are only so many times that you can hear another woman’s name brought up in conversation by your man without it starting to grate on you.
He seems to “casually” drop her name on the regular.
“Sarah said to me the other day..”, “Sarah tried that new restaurant and said it was really great”, “Sarah hates it when…”
…I mean, would you please just shut up about Sarah.
If this female friend gets brought up way more than his other friends, then it could be because he has a bit of a crush on her.
2) It’s a relatively new friendship
Was she a strong and stable feature of his life way before you came on the scene? Or has this apparent friendship only materialized recently? (and seems to have intensified quite quickly).
The length and depth of the friendship do make a difference.
As highlighted by this guy speaking anonymously to Your Tango:
“It’s one thing for a straight guy to have a straight woman as his best friend when he’s entering a relationship (someone he’s known his whole life, for example, who is like a sister to him), and another thing entirely for him to be in a relationship and develop a new friendship with a woman and put her in ‘best friend’ status. Why wouldn’t your guy’s closest lady friend be you? It is weird.”
3) They act flirty with each other
Flirting with your friends whenever you are in a relationship is a total no-no. Even if you have a flirty personality and you “don’t mean anything by it”.
You’re asking for trouble. It’s bound to create some jealousy and insecurity in your relationship.
Of course, there is a big difference between being friendly and flirty. And where you draw the line isn’t totally clear-cut.
Unfortunately, you and your guy may disagree on exactly where that line can be drawn.
One woman’s “flirty” might be another man’s “friendly”.
If the way he behaves towards her makes you uncomfortable, or they act outright flirty towards one another, it’s understandable that you fear things between them go deeper than just friendship.
4) He’s just way too up in her business
He seems way too involved in the details of her life, and perhaps vice versa (she’s too involved in his as well).
And it feels unhealthy. It crosses boundaries.
Being a supportive and attentive friend is one thing. But he seems to intentionally put himself in the middle of things that aren’t really anything to do with him.
He knows every little detail that is going on with her. He makes it his business to find out.
Perhaps he even comments on her love life.
He doesn’t like the guys she chooses. But rather than being a concerned friend, it seems more tinged with jealousy.
His life with her just feels too entwined for a mere friendship.
5) They’ve hooked up (or come close) before
Admittedly, you can look at this one of two ways.
You could argue that if they have a past but it never went any further then that’s for a good reason.
They realized they are better as just friends or didn’t have strong enough feelings for things to progress.
On the other hand, you could take the stance that having a romantic or sexual history of any kind shows there is something between them.
If they’ve had drunken hookups before then they’ve already crossed a line that suggests he could like her.
6) He priorities her over you
We all have shifting priorities in life that compete for our time, energy, and attention.
It’s to be expected that you may not always be your man’s number one priority all the time.
Work, family, and friendships all have to get a look in too.
That’s just part of creating a balanced life and a healthy relationship. After all, it’s never a good idea to build your entire world around just one person.
But if she always wins out in the priority pecking order, then that is going to sting.
It is a red flag if he drops everything and goes running whenever she needs something, even if that means ditching you.
You should still feel like one of his biggest priorities, even when there are other women in his life.
7) He doesn’t want you two to be friends
If there is absolutely zero between them romantically then he should have zero problem in you two being friends.
But let me clarify.
That doesn’t mean suddenly becoming her bestie. It’s understandable if he wants to hang out with his friends on his own.
That time apart is healthy for relationships. It’s fair enough if she is primarily his friend and not yours.
But when we are in a relationship, we merge lives to a certain extent. That means meeting and hanging out with each other’s friends too.
You would think that he would encourage a friendship between you two. I mean, he cares about you both, so surely that would be a good thing?
Not if he is intentionally trying to keep you apart.
8) He looks at her with puppy dog eyes
This is obviously wholly unscientific but I think you get what I mean. I’m talking about those lovey-dovey heart eyes we can get for someone.
They say the eyes are the window to the soul. So you can get clues from the way he looks at her.
When a guy’s feelings run deep, he can get this puppy dog expression on his face.
His eyes light up when he sees her. There’s an extra sparkle whenever she is around. You catch him looking at her and it feels like he is checking her out.
Maybe his eyes seem to constantly scan for her whenever he is in the same room as her —like he is trying to keep tabs on her.
Research even shows a man’s pupils will dilate when he is attracted to someone.
These could all offer clues that your guy likes his female friend.
9) You feel like he compares you two
It feels like he puts her on a bit of a pedestal and you can’t live up to that.
Maybe he directly compares you two. Or maybe it’s more subtle comments that make you feel like he’s measuring you up against her:
“Sarah would have found it hilarious”.
There is no excuse for comparing you. It’s not a competition. And if it were, as the main woman in his life you should win hands down.
So if he makes you feel like you don’t stack up against her, it could be because he has stronger feelings for her than he is admitting.
10) You feel excluded
As I mentioned earlier, downtime with your friends is essential.
No matter how much he enjoys being with you, seeing his friends is a different experience.
And you shouldn’t take it personally if he doesn’t always want you to join. It’s important to spend time apart so that you maintain a level of independence. Plus it gives you a chance to miss each other.
But if you have never once been invited to join their plans, or to even meet her, you might begin to feel like you are being intentionally excluded.
Or perhaps when you are all together, you end up feeling isolated and left out.
Even though it’s her who is technically third wheeling it with a couple, for some reason you are the one that feels like you are just tagging along with them.
I’m worried about my boyfriend’s female friend, what should I do?
1) Listen to your gut but don’t overreact
I know this is a bit of a contradiction, but unfortunately, both do apply.
You have to pay attention to your intuition. That means tuning into those gut feelings you have that something isn’t quite right.
Often, it hasn’t come out of nowhere, it’s because you are picking up on (sometimes subtle) signals.
But (and it’s a big but) that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dig deeper into your gut feelings and question them.
Before jumping to conclusions or going in all guns blazing, you need to ask yourself some self-aware questions.
Are my insecurities getting the better of me?
Could I be reading into things that aren’t there?
Do I have a history of jealousy or trust issues?
Because the problem is that paranoia can kick in and give us a “bad feeling”. But rather than coming from our rational intuition, it’s actually being driven by irrational fear.
The truth is that having female friends is very normal for plenty of people. So unless there are more glaring signs that he likes his female friend, tread very carefully.
Because whilst it may be unclear to you whether he likes her in that way, one thing is more certain:
Extreme jealousy will ruin a relationship.
2) Talk to him about behavior that bothers you
Let’s say there are certain behaviors or aspects of their friendship that are getting to you, and legitimately so.
Perhaps you think he is flirty, maybe you feel like he puts her before you, or he creates little comparisons between you that make you feel judged.
You need to discuss this with him.
Calmly tell him how you feel. Resist the urge to get defensive or point fingers. Instead, listen to what he has to say and try to be reasonable.
But make it clear how it makes you feel and what you need from him in the future.
If you put it to him the best way and he cares about you, I’m sure he won’t want to do things that are making you uncomfortable.
3) Focus on your relationship
In order to feel more secure in your relationship, work on strengthening it.
That might mean tackling any bigger trust issues you have.
It could involve strengthening your emotional or physical intimacy.
Work on injecting as much happiness, fun, and quality time into your relationship.
The more you can deepen your own bond, the more you will hopefully feel assured that he has zero desire to look around for anyone else.
4) Boost your confidence
A little bit of jealousy in a relationship is actually quite normal.
Experts even say in very small doses it isn’t such a bad thing. It actually shows that we care about someone.
But when it gets too much, it is always unhealthy and destructive. It erodes trust and those suspicions slowly eat away at your bond.
If you have self-esteem, self-worth, or self-confidence issues that could be adding to the problem, try to work on it.
Boosting your own self-image is one of the best things you can do for not only your relationship but your own long-term happiness and success.
5) Reinforce your boundaries
I really hope that you have come to this article for reassurance and found what you were looking for.
Fingers crossed the conclusion you have reached is that you are probably just having a little attack of the green-eyed monster and there’s most likely nothing to worry about.
But if you have realized that your man is overstepping the mark with his female friend then it could be time to bolster your boundaries.
Know what is reasonable and what is not in a relationship. Be clear about what you will and won’t tolerate.
It’s important to establish clear and healthy boundaries to keep a relationship on track.
Can a relationship coach help you too?
If you want specific advice on your situation, it can be very helpful to speak to a relationship coach.
I know this from personal experience…
A few months ago, I reached out to Relationship Hero when I was going through a tough patch in my relationship. After being lost in my thoughts for so long, they gave me a unique insight into the dynamics of my relationship and how to get it back on track.
If you haven’t heard of Relationship Hero before, it’s a site where highly trained relationship coaches help people through complicated and difficult love situations.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
I was blown away by how kind, empathetic, and genuinely helpful my coach was.