If You Can’t Be A Good Friend, I Definitely Don’t Want You As A Boyfriend

A lot of women I’ve met have dated guys who would legitimately make the worst possible friends in almost any circumstance. The guys were greedy, flaky, self-centered, and known for being users. After seeing the fallout from the breakups that inevitably ensued, I realized that I never want to date a guy who isn’t a good friend as well.

  1. A romantic relationship is a lot like a friendship, plus a little extra . Relationships take a wide array of different forms. You can be friends, lovers, spouses, FWBs, frenemies, and more. Obviously, some relationship forms are more involved and demanding than others. I view romantic relationships as friendships with extra responsibilities and privileges on top. If he can’t get the base part of a friendship right, I know I wouldn’t be happy in a relationship with him.
  2. If he can’t act like a friend, then the relationship you’ll have with him is going to feel cheap. I say this one from personal experience. Not having friendship in your romantic partnership is akin to having a car without a motor: it’s there, but it won’t do much. It’s not all about sex and romance, you know! A boyfriend needs to be a friend too. He needs to be your coach, your cheerleader, and your confidante. Otherwise, he’s just a guy you sleep with. Having woken up next to a guy who was my boyfriend but not my friend, I can honestly say it feels grimy to be with a guy who can’t be your friend like that.
  3. How he acts with other friends can tell you a lot about his character. I once dated a guy who would talk horribly about his guy friends when their backs were turned. Guess what happened when we started dating? He ended up speaking so badly of me that people actually confronted me over events that never happened. Looking back, I should have realized that there was something wrong with his character by the way he behaved with his friends. Lesson learned!
  4. The happiest spouses often claim that they married their best friend. Frankly, it’s hard not to want to have that kind of relationship in your life. If the day ever comes when I decide I want a long-term relationship again, I’m going to make sure that he’s the kind of guy I can call my BFF. Otherwise, I’ll know that our relationship isn’t going to stand the test of time.
  5. A guy who won’t be your friend if you won’t sleep with him doesn’t deserve to sleep with you. Nothing quite says “ulterior motives” and “looking to use you” like a guy who won’t stay friends with you if you aren’t sleeping with him. When a guy does this, he’s literally saying that he doesn’t like your personality enough to value your friendship; he just wants your body. I’ve had this happen quite a few times in my life, and it hurts. If a guy’s only nice to me if he’s getting laid, that’s straight-up painful, and I don’t date people who hurt me like that.
  6. How can you stay with a guy if you can’t even talk to him as a friend? Any guy I date would have to be cool with having that open line of communication and acceptance I expect from my friends. If he isn’t capable of doing that, then I know my relationship will likely fall apart the moment that we have an argument over something that just can’t be ignored.
  7. You can’t ignore how a potential boyfriend meshes with your friend group. I once had a boyfriend who inadvertently isolated me from my friends because he made a point to be unpleasant when around them. Eventually, it became hard for me to keep him and them in the same room. All I need to say is that it was such an awful relationship that I couldn’t even consider tolerating that behavior from anyone else I dated after that. Besides, having a guy who clashes with your friends group may make YOU look bad, too. Having been there, all I can say is “NEVER AGAIN!”
  8. Most friends share common interests. Friends always have at least one activity in common, and most good friends have even more than that. If a guy can’t be a good friend to you, there’s a good chance that the two of you have nothing in common. After a while, it’ll get boring and you’ll want someone more compatible with you.
  9. Good friends will always have your back, and good boyfriends should do the same. During your life, bad things will happen to you. If you’re lucky enough to have good friends, they’ll stick by your side and do what they can to make things bearable. If you’re in a relationship, it goes without saying that your boyfriend should do the same. Sadly, we live in an age where this doesn’t always happen. What I’ve noticed is that guys who aren’t there for their bros often won’t be there for you, either.
  10. People will often decide how to treat us by the behavior of our friends — and boyfriends. This is just a law of nature. If you hang out with scummy people, others will treat you like scum. If you accept scummy friends treating you badly, then you shouldn’t be surprised if you end up having a boyfriend who is equally terrible to you. Is this fair? No, but it’s human nature, and we can’t avoid it.
Ossiana Tepfenhart is a New Jersey based writer and editor with bylines in Mashed, Newsbreak, Good Men Project, YourTango, and many more. She’s also the author of a safe travel guide for LGBTQIA+ people available on Amazon.

She regularly writes on her popular Medium page and posts on TikTok and Instagram @ossianamakescontent.