What To Do If Your Partner Gets Jealous Of Your Guy Friends, According To Experts
I've always had a lot of guy friends. To be honest, my friend group is pretty much all across the gender spectrum, but it’s the fact that some of my closest friends are cis men, that has occasionally created some friction early on in my romantic relationships. When a new partner would see the large role these other fellas played in my life, they could feel a little intimidated or suspicious, so over the years I got pretty good at smoothing over situations where your partner gets jealous of your guy friends. I've almost always had success, and, when I didn't, it was with people who had deeper jealous problems.
Just because a new partner is feeling some type of way about your male friend group doesn't automatically mean they have jealousy issues, and it’s usually something you can work through with some good communication skills and empathy. Having a game plan to head off their feelings is often enough to resolve the situation, so you don’t end up in a scenario where your bae is asking you to pick between them and your boy BFF. So, I reached out to NYC relationship expert Susan Winter for her take on how to tackle this tricky topic like a pro.
1. Reassure Your Partner That You Are Just Friends
The first step, according to Winter, is to make your partner feel comfortable with your male friends by clearly explaining the dynamic of your friendship, as well as what your priorities are. “It's important that your partner knows your friend is just a friend,” Winter tells Elite Daily. “If your friend's affection for you is in right order, all should be well in time.”
2. Formally Introduce Them
If you sense there may be tension between your partner and your friend, you might be tempted to keep them apart, but that tactic may actually make the situation worse. By keeping them separate, you could reinforce the idea that there is something to hide. Instead, Winter says to formally introduce the two of them in a safe environment. “Explain in advance why your friend is important to you, and why you value him,” she suggests. "Arrange a get-together that considers your partner's comfort and would put both men at ease.”
3. Pre-game With Your Friend So They Make A Good Impression
Of course, it never hurts to do a little pre-gaming with your friend to help ensure the meeting goes well. “Initial meetings do best if your friend has some background on your partner, and what makes them tick,” says Winter. This works because it “arms your friend to approach your mate from the right perspective, and have a better shot at comfortable communication.” Connecting right away, as well as getting to see how you interact with your friend, should go a long way toward assuaging any jealousy they are feeling.
4. Behave How You’d Want Your Partner To Behave If The Roles Were Reversed
The last, but probably most important thing, is to turn the lens on yourself. Are you doing anything that could reasonably be making your partner jealous? Winter says the key here is to ask yourself how would you feel if the situation were reversed.
“Imagine yourself in the same situation as your partner," she says. "And imagine their friend is the female equivalent of your male friend; just as interesting, attractive, and connected to them as your friend is to you. How comfortable would you feel with this friendship?” From there, Winter says you will have a much clearer idea of what, if any, aspects of your behavior toward and around your friend needs to change to be respectful of your partner.
It’s important to note one last thing: All this advice applies to a partner who is situationally jealous and not innately so. If you are dealing with someone who is just jealous in general, that’s actually a red flag that you may want to pay close attention to. “Overt jealousy without a sound basis is a clear red flag that you're with an insecure and reactive person,” says Winter. “Anyone, anywhere too close to you is seen as a threat. Being with this kind of personality type means a lifetime of limiting your social circle to suit their comfort.” It’s one thing to soothe your partner’s specific worries, it’s another thing entirely to have to constantly navigate baseless bouts of jealousy that could potentially isolate you from your friends and family. If that starts to happen, then you've tipped over into toxic relationship territory.
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