It’s one thing for your boyfriend to be close to his female friend, and another if he’s too close to her. But it’s hard to define what exactly “too close” is, right? We all have different degrees of acceptance to different things.
To help you discern if there’s something about his relationship with her you should be concerned about, though, here are seven tell-tale signs that people generally agree with.
1. He spends more time with her than with you
It’s always nice to have a break from your partner and to spend time elsewhere — it makes you appreciate and miss each other more. That being said, if your beau is finding reasons to always be with one particular female over you, there could be a deeper reason behind “just hanging out”.
2. She makes contact out of hours, including weekends
If she is a work colleague but she is always communicating with him beyond office hours and bleeding into weekends, and their conversations are not necessarily work-related, this is a red flag. It could mean they have developed a close relationship, and that she is finding reasons to keep his attention on her, past the office.
3. He responds enthusiastically
Moving forward from above, if the communication is non-stop and he is constantly replying her with jokes, emoticons and follow-up questions, you’d know that he is as invested in the relationship as she is. It’s clear they enjoy their interaction, and do not want it to stop, even when they don’t see each other. Danger.
4. She appears all over his social media and vice versa
Scroll through your beau’s social media feed — is her name everywhere? Does she like every post? Does she comment frequently? Worse, are her photos frequently up there? If your partner has a particular female friend who likes to leave her mark everywhere, have a think — is there a motive behind it? And does he reciprocate the attention? Often, girls who like guys try to get their attention on social media because it’s indirect flirting and can be passed off as ‘banter’.
5. His behaviour towards you has started to change since she came along
This is a huge telltale sign that shows there’s more to the friendship than meets the eye. If it’s just platonic, there should be no impact on your eros relationship. If however, his attention is diverted onto another woman sexually, it will undoubtedly impact how he reacts and behaves towards you at home. Is he colder or less responsive? Does he spend most of his time on the phone?
6. He started to pay more attention to his looks
Being in a long term relationship means it’s natural to reach a level of comfort where you tend to pay less heed to how you look to each other. Hanging at home means a worn t-shirt-and-shorts ensemble will do, not to mention a no makeup face. Pigging out on desserts while watching a film, instead of dressing to the nines at a fine-dining resto? Of course. But have you noticed him grooming himself a lot more? Is he suddenly into getting fit, or buying new scents and new outfits? That might mean he is hoping to look good for someone else.
7. He talks about her — a lot
These days, it seems he can’t stop regaling you with stories on what she thinks, what she said, and what she did. Need we say more?
It’s time to get serious and speak to your man. If you think he or she are crossing a line, sound it out with your partner and let him know your discomfort — before it’s too late.
Text: Nicola Watson