Once you start dating someone, you’ll soon come to realize that it’s not exactly easy to maintain your other friendships, especially those with other guys. No matter who your new boyfriend is, he’s probably going to be at least a little concerned knowing you constantly hang out around other men. To curb possible jealousy, suspicion or tension, here are a few tips for keeping your guy friends close, but your boyfriend closer.
Establish trust early on.
From the first day you meet or hook up, you don’t want to start off on the wrong foot. No guy really wants his girlfriend hanging out with a bunch of other dudes, so it’s up to you to show you’re trustworthy from the very beginning. Don’t give him a reason to doubt what you say or do.
Be open about where you’re going and what you’re doing
You don’t have to give him every detail about what you do with your friends, but don’t seem like you’re hiding things because that could just make him suspicious. If you regularly hang out at a guy friend’s place with several other friends watching movies, be honest about it. Don’t just say “I’m going to Danny’s place. See ya!” In other words, don’t let his mind wander.
Introduce them to each other.
This one works wonders if all your guy friends are completely unattractive and out of your league (am I being mean, or just plain honest?). If your boyfriend meets them, he’ll realize there’s nothing to worry about. But even if they’re not that bad, it’s still a good idea for you to introduce them anyway, just so that your boyfriend can see they’re harmless.
Include him when you hang out.
Nothing shows you care more about someone than inviting them to hang out with you (well, maybe a few other things). Let your boyfriend know he’s always welcome to accompany you. Just make sure you’re now close enough that your friends can’t possibly embarrass you or wreck your relationship. We all know the kind of stuff our guy friends are capable of.
Be ready to change certain behaviors.
Now that you have a boyfriend, your guy friends have to also understand that things between you might have to change. Maybe they shouldn’t be sitting as close to you on the couch anymore, or giving you a piggyback ride (hey, I don’t know how close you are to your guy friends). Whatever it is you do that could possibly weird your boyfriend out, you might want to stop, just for his sake. Unless, of course, you tell him and he’s completely fine with it for some reason.
Let him know about past histories.
If you happen to have any history with a guy friend you still see and hang out with on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to tell your boyfriend about it early on in the relationship. This is something you don’t want him to find out about after months of dating, because it could ruin your relationship and break all trust.
Be open to making compromises, but only those that are reasonable.
Most relationships come with compromises. You’re not going to have all the freedoms you used to have, but don’t let your boyfriend call all the shots either. It’s unfair to you if he demands you never see your friends again, so have a talk and figure out what he’s comfortable with and what really bothers him, and go from there. If he ends up making you choose between him and your guy friends, he’s probably not as great a guy as you thought.
Return the favor.
If he’s fine with you hanging out with guys, you need to also be okay with him hanging out with other girls. Maybe he has a lot of women friends. Treat him like you’d want to be treated. The trust has to be mutual for it to work, so make sure you’re open with him being around other women. If the thought of that makes you foam at the mouth, you’re going to have a tough time convincing him that you can be trusted while he can’t.
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