My Ladyfriend Hates My Lady Friend
by The Concessionist
The Concessionist gives advice each weekend about the sordid choices of real life. Trouble? Write today.
I’m in a long distance relationship with my girlfriend and have been for about 1.5 years. It’s not always easy, it definitely takes effort, but it’s going great! We were friends before, and after a period of me chasing her we started dating. She’s probably my first serious girlfriend.
One problem is one of my good friends, who is a girl and lives just down the road in my city. We met on the first day of college and have been friends since, and to be clear, the relationship has always been platonic. Nothing remotely sexual/physical/romantic has ever happened between us, and it’s highly unlikely that something of that nature will ever develop. I see her like a sister, and I’m sure she views me the same way because during our friendship she’s always had boyfriends anyway.
The thing is, my girlfriend becomes a jealous, paranoid, insecure nutcase whenever I’m with my friend. The first time my girlfriend got really mad was because my friend and I watched a film together in her room, just us — which, to be fair, we’ve done millions of times before. It’s gotten to a point where I can’t even meet her for coffee without my girlfriend getting mad. And on another hand, objectively speaking, my girlfriend is way hotter than my friend is — all my guy friends are aghast that she could be so insecure.
What’s happened is that I’ve stopped seeing my friend so often, and when I do see her, I don’t tell my girlfriend. We don’t take pictures together and she can’t post anything related to me on social media. It would be less crazy if we were actually having an affair.
My friend feels bad that my girlfriend feels that way, and I feel bad that she feels bad. And as much as I care about my girlfriend’s feelings, she’s my good friend too and I do care about her. What do I do, Concessionist? What do I do?! Enlighten me!!
There’s a reason that some women get their hackles up about their boyfriends being friends with women. That’s because dudes are always cheating. Being cheated on is one of the 26 tolls that you pay when you date men. (The full list is pretty dreadful so I’ll spare you. Let’s just say that G is for Gaslighting and H is for HPV and I is for Infidelity. Yup, it’s going to make an AMAZING children’s book.)
I think you two should break up, because you called her a nutcase, and also, because she’s a nutcase. That’s a strike against each of you already in one short letter.
But if you would rather stay together, you’re going to have to talk about it until she is completely exhausted of the subject. The only way through this kind of thing is relentless talking. And even then she might still be like “Hey yeah I’m just not okay with this, why aren’t you listening to me? WHY ARE YOU SO STUPID? WHY DON’T YOU GET OUT AND LEAVE ME ALONE?” Etc.
To be fair to you, as far as we know, her fear of your best friend, no matter how well-founded in history, is still mean and small-hearted of her, and also kind of offensive.
Yes, historically, you’re the more error-prone and stupid of the two or so genders in your relationship. LET’S SIDEBAR: There’s a somewhat attractive school of thought here that would suggest that the two of you are closer to being of the same gender actually — when compared to single people, or queers, or gender outliers, or babies, or anyone that isn’t what y’all are. One point being: people that are this similar find pretty nuanced things to have conflict over! Like this argument you are having!
But your native male emotional disfigurement doesn’t mean that you’re not capable of being straightforward about fidelity. I believe in you. For now.
So you get to feel good because your girlfriend is close-minded and wrong — but not randomly so. Talk it out or breakup, yes.
But also the two of you should talk about what you want. Abandoning outside friends for a relationship is always a travesty. It’s also unhealthy.
Anything that brings a relationship closer to a closed and isolated dyad is bad. The conception of coupled lives as two people living unified against the world are both economically and socially unhealthy. They’re bad for aging, bad for spawning, and bad for people with any kind of health issues.
Even children, which of course I dislike intensely, are better than two people living in isolation.
Modern marriage is often just a chair with two legs! Fight for as many people in your extended family as possible. It’ll mean a lot more as you get older.
Hmm, speaking of gender… Ideas about men and women are so beat into us from so early. We digest them and then we begin endlessly sorting and treating people accordingly. Try a thought experiment, and in your mind, put a man’s face on your girlfriend. Go all Face/Off. (Sure, yes, it’s fine if you decide your girlfriend looks like a younger Nic Cage.) How would you talk to your girlfriend as a boyfriend? Would you be more direct, less conciliatory, less forgiving? Or would you be the opposite? Try leaning into that. Try something new in how you communicate.
I’m ignoring the whole part of your letter where your friends apparently talk about how much hotter your girlfriend is than your friend and are weirded out that your girlfriend is hot but somehow also insecure, LOL, because it’s a weekend and I’m going to yoga now.
The Concessionist is an adult human in New York City who is somewhat worn down and willing to make a good number of sacrifices for a peaceful life. Is it decision fatigue? Or just ennui? That’s probably a question for a psychiatrist. Anything else, ask me. I agree to keep your identity between us.