I am in a long term relationship with my boyfriend. His best friend stays in the same apartment as us, and there are very little boundaries set between our relationship and their friendship. On the odd day the friend will use our bathroom, in our room, come into our room to look for socks, etc. When he is off work when we are off work, he is always hanging out with us. My boyfriend and his best friend send each other text messages that say ‘I love you’, and often have xxx at the end. I think I have been missing something here perhaps. Could they truely just be close to one another or is there more here than meets the eye?
My boyfriend is talking marriage and kids, yet the decision on where we move to and the where we live needs to involve the best friend. He does everything for his best friend – cooks, does his laundry, drops him at work, pics him up, even buys his toiletries, never the less the fact that he supports his best friend financially.
I feel we could have moved so much further in our relationship if it wasn’t for him having to pay the way for him best friend and his best friend having zero independence.
What to do? Do i step out of this relationship as it is a little unnatural, or is there a way to make him see that this is unnatural, as he is totally oblivious to the fact, even though I’ve tried to point it out to him.
A: It looks to me like your boyfriend’s relationship with his best friend is at least on the same level of importance, and maybe more so, than his relationship with you. I can think of at least a few possible explanations but would need to talk with him (if he even would) to really understand. Of course, it is possible that the two are lovers. It’s also possible that your boyfriend can’t manage the intensity of a single committed relationship with one person so dilutes it by being in relationships with two. I suppose it’s also possible that the “best friend” has something on your boyfriend and has blackmailed him into this arrangement. That one seems unlikely given the way they end their messages with xxx and “I love yous”. Whatever the reason – Your boyfriend is showing you by his behavior that he’s a two-fer. If you are willing to accept the terms, he is willing to talk about marriage and kids. If you put your foot down and try to set clearer boundaries, I think your boyfriend will find a way to say goodbye to you. (I could be wrong. You will only find out if you take the risk and ask.)
You probably have a hard decision to make: Do you agree to buy into a life of sharing your partner and where your feelings aren’t taken into account? Or do you make the tough decision to part company and go through the time and effort it takes to find someone who can be committed to you alone? Look ahead to the next 40 years and see which feels better. Only you can decide.
I wish you well.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 5 Jun 2007
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2007). My boyfriend and his best friend are just way too close. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 11, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/06/05/my-boyfriend-and-his-best-friend-are-just-way-too-close/