When Harry Met Sally

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Dear Dharma,

All my life I’ve had close male and female friends. It’s never caused any problems and I’ve never thought of it as strange until recently. I started seeing a guy a couple of months ago and he’s really not ok with me having close guy friends. He says they’re obviously all trying to sleep with me and if I keep hanging out with them as much as I do I’ll end up cheating with one or several of them.

This seems crazy to me. I was single for a while before we started dating and I never had the urge to sleep with any of my guy friends. Why would I do so now? I keep telling my boyfriend that I’ve known my friends for a long time and if I had ever wanted to be with any of them I would.

He doesn’t seem to want to listen and this is a growing point of tension between us. In all other respects, I feel like we’re a really good match and I do want to see where things go with him. However, my friends are non-negotiable. Should I tell him he either has to get over it or we’re over?

Sally Albright

Dear Sally,

It sounds as if your new beau has watched When Harry Met Sally a few too many times.  Except… is there such a thing when it comes to that movie?

For the poor souls who’ve not seen this cinematic masterpiece, or perhaps need a refresher, there’s a scene early on where Harry explains why men and women can’t be friends – because the sex  part always gets in the way.  Sally challenges back that there is no sex with her men friends, Harry says there is and Sally says “you’re saying I’m having sex with these men without my knowledge?”  Well, no, but they all want to.  Love it.

Your boyfriend’s charge is even more archaic and double edged than Harry’s.  Not only are all your guy friends trying to get you into bed, but inevitably you are going to sleep with one and all.  Obviously, right?

Phhht, come on.  Let’s just say he’s right, that they do all want to sleep with you… so what?  Does that mean you’re morally obligated to comply?

This sounds like a trust issue that your boyfriend has, so instead of issuing an ultimatum – telling someone to get over it seldom lands well – I think you need to dig in a bit deeper to see if there are some solutions that work for both of you.

Is there something in his past that has formed his view on this topic?  If he’s had a bad experience, it might make sense that he is leery, so doing what you can to understand this could be helpful.

Has your boyfriend met all of your friends?  If not, I think this would help immensely.  Once he gets to know them, it will eliminate the unknown and go a long way in removing whatever threat he is feeling.  Things would be even better if he became friends with them too, non?

You’ve established that your friends are non-negotiable – as it should be – so if after you’ve tried everything there is to try, and your boyfriend still can’t come to terms with it, I think you have already figured out what your choices are.

Now I know what I’m doing tonight – Harry, Sally, I’ll meet you in the living room in 5!

Dharma

2 Comments

  • Suzy says:

    I have lots of guy friends too, and it’s never been an issue in any of my relationships! I think your guy might just be insecure. But I agree with Dharma, getting your guy to meet your guy friends helps a lot!

  • Wendy says:

    I agree!. He is insecure.. You need to reassure him and make him feel secure in the relationship..

Do you agree with Dharma, or think she missed the mark on this one? Leave a Comment

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