Let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Wanda and I’m a writer. I am twenty-nine years old and as of this coming August 11, I have been married for five years. I am writing this article as a married woman who has been cheated on. I’m also writing this article as a woman whose friends are, almost exclusively, men. Some of my closest friends are ex-boyfriends. My husband is cool with that because he trusts me. I have, however, encountered the odd jealous girlfriend or two that isn’t okay with me spending time with their significant other.
Everyone needs friends and your man is no different. In all of the jealous girlfriend experiences I’ve had, one thing is true of every experience – there was absolutely nothing for the girlfriend to be jealous of and I was around long after the jealous girl was gone. Friends are a forever kind of deal and if you want to be able to say the same about your relationship with your man (or your woman), you need to reign in that unnecessary jealous.
Before we get started, let’s be clear about something. I know getting cheated on absolutely sucks. With that said, you can’t let the fear of being cheated on drive you crazy. You and your man will both suffer for it. Sometimes that friend your man is spending time with is more than a friend, but don’t just to conclusions. There are a few signs you should watch out for and that’s what this article is about. If you’re going over the list and saying “my man does that” to everything, it warrants a little conversation but it does not mean your man is cheating. Don’t go all accusatory on his ass. Not all men are the same. Talk. Voice your concerns and have a little trust. If you don’t feel he deserves your trust, your relationship is already doomed. Okay – let’s talk warning signs.
10: He takes her calls regardless of the time, place or circumstances.
It’s late at night. You and your man have settled into the bedroom for a little romantic time. Things are getting steamy. His phone rings. He checks the called ID and it’s her. Does he answer? If he does, you may have something to worry about. If he answers regardless of who it is, your man is inconsiderate and that might warrant a little discussion, but he probably isn’t cheating. Exceptions: doctors, police officers, firemen or other professionals that may need to be reached urgently at any time of the day or night.
09: They have a special song.
For this one to really count, you need to know your guy. If he’s really into music he might just have a special song with his friends anyway. For example, Don’t Call Me Baby by Madison Avenue is a special song for my friend Rosa and I, but there’s nothing romantic there. Listen to the tone of the song. If it’s fun and lighthearted you probably have nothing to worry about. If it’s something more romantic, you probably have a little something to be worried about. Ask about the story behind it. It could very well be nothing and asking is the best way to find out.
08: He likes everything she likes.
It’s cool to have things in common, but if your guy has always hated pool and suddenly gets interested in it around the same time she has, you could have something to worry about. The same goes for music. If she’s into music and he likes everything she recommends either she has amazing taste or he has a thing for her. That doesn’t mean he’s cheating but it’s a pretty strong indication that there are feelings there – even if those feelings are unrequited.
07: He defends her passionately even when she’s wrong.
Some people just have to root for the underdog – even if that underdog has peed on the rug despite knowing better. I am one of those people. It’s a habit, I suppose. If your guy is like that, chances are he’s going to stand up for any friend in any situation. If he isn’t that kind of guy though and he’s always going out of his way to stick up for the girl, you should be worried. That shows passion and you need to ask yourself why that passion is reserved for one friend in particularly – especially if he rarely takes your side.
06: He does things with her he would never do with you.
This one is tricky because it takes an honest look at yourself. If your man drinks with his friend but won’t drink with you, you might want to be concerned but you also need to ask yourself if there’s another reason for that. Not everyone is a fun drunk. There’s nothing wrong with that. There is no reason your guy can’t have fun with his friends in ways he can’t have fun with you as long as you still find your own ways to have fun. The same goes for taking his friend to concerts or movies. If you aren’t in to music and she is, it only makes sense that he would take her. If you do like music and he still chooses to take her, you should definitely be worried.
05: He buys her gifts for no reason.
Some people just like giving gifts. Remember that. If your guy sees something he thinks his friend would love and he picks it up for her, don’t worry about it too much unless you’re certain he wouldn’t do the same for any of his other friends. If you have never in the history of your relationship with the man seen him buy a gift outside of birthday or Christmas gifts and suddenly he buys something for his friend, you should be concerned. Keep it in context though. If it’s just a little trinket, don’t worry about it. If it’s something she needs, it’s probably cool. If it’s something more elaborate or more thoughtful, it’s worth talking about.
04: He is overly affectionate with her or seems uncomfortable when the three of you are together.
Body language is important. It’s not difficult to tell the difference between a playful kiss on the cheek and something more meaningful. Even though your guy may be more affectionate with the girl than his other friends, there still may be nothing to worry about. Watch how they act around each other. As a general rule of thumb, you should only really be worried if your guy is more affectionate with his friend than he is with you.
As for being uncomfortable, you have to be aware of the kind of vibe you are giving off. If you seem jealous or paranoid that something is going on between your guy and his friend, that will make him act differently when the three of you are in the same room. He will be uncomfortable. If you’re relaxed and having fun and he’s still uncomfortable, you should definitely have a talk – even if it’s just to let him know you trust him and are cool with him having a female friend. Guys are weird sometimes. They might just be scared that you’re upset, especially if your guy has had a jealous girlfriend in the past. Conversation is a great way to clear the air.
03: He doesn’t want you to meet her.
This is a big one, ladies. If your guy doesn’t want you to meet his friend, you definitely have something to worry about. If you are acting jealous, insecure or threatened by her, he might be trying to keep you away for that reason. If you just want to meet her because she’s important to him and so is he and you check the attitude, there is no reason your guy shouldn’t want you and his friend to have some face time. He might not be cheating, but there’s definitely something you need to be worried about there. This is also true if he doesn’t want you to meet any of his friends. If you’re in a serious relationship, you should know who he spends his time with just like he should know who you spend your time with. It goes both ways.
02: He talks about her more than any of his other friends.
Every story is about her. Every joke is a joke he heard from her. If you listened to him talk, you’d think he only has one friend. If your guy hangs out with a group of people but you only ever hear her name, you have got trouble. There are precious few circumstances where this doesn’t point to a problem. Those circumstances are:
- Other than you, she is his only friend.
- His other friends live out of town, so she’s the only friend he has that he sees on a regular basis.
- She has been a friend for a long time.
- They work together and she is the only person he works with.
If none of the above circumstances fit your situation, you need to have a talk with your guy. The heart wants what the heart wants, or so says the old saying. If your guy can’t stop gushing about his ‘friend’, there’s a pretty good chance his heart wants her.
01: He spends the night at her place without you.
If your guy is in a serious relationship with you, he is too old for sleepovers. It’s as simple as that. Even if he is too drunk to drive, he should be sober enough to call a cab. If he isn’t – well, you don’t have anything to worry about. If he’s too drunk to dial a phone you don’t have to worry about any funny business to take care of. If your guy is especially close to his friend and she’s been in his life for a long time, you might be able to make an exception for this one. Another possible exception is if his friend lives out of town and he is planning to visit her. If you can, try to go with him. You’ll get to spend quality time with someone that’s important to him and put your mind at ease – you might even make a new friend out of the deal.
Childhood friends who have never dated likely have more of a brother/sister relationship than anything else and this sort of circumstance trumps everything on this list. Don’t be threatened by someone who has been an important part of his life for longer than you have. If you’re worried, remember – if they’ve been friends since they were kids and nothing has happened by the time you meet him, chances are pretty good nothing ever will. Try to mess with this kind of bond and you’ll be the one headed for the door.
Do you have any relationship questions you need to have answered? Is your man driving you up the wall and you don’t know what to do? I’m compiling questions for a very exciting “Ask Wanda” column right here on this very site and I’d love for you all to participate. Send your questions to me with ‘advice please’ in the subject line or submit your question via Twitter and I’ll do my best to help you out.