Everyone remembers that famous scene from the classic ‘80s romcom “When Harry Met Sally” when Harry explains to Sally on one of their first meetings that, “You realize of course that we could never be friends.”
“Why not?” Sally asks.
“What I’m saying is—and this is not a come on in any way, shape, or form—men and women can’t be friends because the sex part always gets in the way,” Harry replies.
When your significant other has a friend of the opposite sex—a friend from back home who used to take baths with him when they were little, or maybe a friendship that sprung from a few dates gone bad in college—it has a way of getting under your skin. Even if you genuinely like and care about this friend of your partner’s, sometimes you may get this sinking feeling that all they are waiting for is just one heated argument between you and him so that they can make their long-awaited move.
This may or may not be true (it’s usually just all in your head), but all of these jealous thoughts popping up in your head are slowly chipping away at the trust and bond that you have with your significant other. If you are reading this article and one name in particular is flashing in your head, here are some ways to deal with them, and how to approach this tricky subject with your partner.
Evaluate Whether or Not You Have Reason to Be Concerned
Everyone has the potential to get jealous, and some more than others. Maybe you’ve been cheated on before, or maybe your mom cheated on your dad. Whatever the reason, you can’t help the way you feel. However, not all feelings are justified.
Think about it clearly for a second. Has your partner ever given you a reason to think that there is something going on between them and their old friend? Sure, there may have been a minute or two in college that he or she considered dating this person, but now you’re in the picture. There’s a reason why you are the one they chose.
Has she ever lied about hanging out with him? Does she freak out when you look at her phone when she’s texting him? Do they have a lot of inside jokes that he doesn’t share with you? If you are shaking your head no to all of those questions, then you probably don’t have anything to worry about.
Try to Get to Know the Friend Better
Maybe part of why you get so jealous of your partner’s friend of the opposite sex is because you don’t know them at all. If they’re a part of an old friend crew from high school or college and they go out on occasion, try hanging out with them every once in awhile. You’ll be amazed at how a little bit of time getting to know someone can ease your jealousy.
If you’re really curious to get to know this person in your partner’s life, invite him or her out for dinner or drinks one night. If your partner wants to keep this person in their life as a friend then they’ll most likely be supportive of you trying to get to know them.
Be Open and Honest With Your Significant Other
However you handle your jealousy, the best policy is to be open and honest with your partner. If you are feeling jealous (even if it’s a tad bit irrational), then let them know about it. Most likely your partner will comfort you and tell you that there’s nothing to worry about. If you’ve brought up the subject quite a few times, then don’t be surprised if there’s slight agitation on the other end.
Always approach the conversation in a calm, rational, grown-up way, and not just as a knee jerk reaction, then you will probably get a positive response. Be completely honest. If it makes you uncomfortable that the two of them hang out alone, then tell your partner! They can’t read your mind. Remember that you have a voice and an opinion, and that if you are uncomfortable with something, it’s best to let them know.
If You Really Think There’s Something Going On, Say Something
If you are entirely convinced that this person has a romantic interest in your partner, and you have definitive proof, then you should gently approach the subject. There’s no reason why you should have to just accept the fact that this other person has an interest in seeing your relationship fail and then continue to hang out with your partner.
Talk to your SO about what the two of you are going to do together to fix the situation. If your partner isn’t 100% willing to do whatever it takes to make you feel better about the problem, then you might want to consider seeking out professional counseling to assist in dealing with this complex situation.