MANSWERS: My boyfriend’s flaky friend is trying to drive a wedge between us!

MANSWERS: My boyfriend’s flaky friend is trying to drive a wedge between us!

boyfriend's flaky mateMy boyfriend and I have been dating for 1.5 years. We live together and we have a dog and many plans for the future. Everything has been going spectacularly with the exception of the reappearance of a ‘friend’ my boyfriend lost touch with a few years ago. I’ve only met ‘Tom’ a few times, but he’s 36, a trainer, a daily drug user and until recently, was dating two women simultaneously for ten years (and cheating on them frequently). They both, finally, left him recently and Tom is now pursuing two sisters from a wealthy family. My boyfriend briefly dated one of the sisters (Sister B). Tom is now going steady with the other one – Sister A. For some reason, Tom keeps putting Sister A on the phone to talk to my boyfriend. The most recent conversation (I was sitting there listening) she asked my boyfriend if he would miss her since she’ll be leaving on a six-week trip. Tom was laughing in the background. My boyfriend didn’t respond and asked Sister A to put Tom back on the phone but she continually refused. She knows my boyfriend has a history with her sister but it was over four years ago, and I don’t understand why she wants to talk to my boyfriend. He doesn’t know her and has only met her once (I was there as well). I feel Tom is dishonest, untrustworthy and using my boyfriend financially (my boy has a stable job and is quite generous with his friends). My boyfriend doesn’t believe me when I tell him Tom is trying to break us up. I also don’t understand why Tom wants us to not be together, I’ve been nothing but nice to him for the past times that I’ve met him. Please help! A Manswer would be great as well. Vita Doll

Tom does sound like an immature little shit-stirrer, no question. And I get it. There you are, domestic-blissing with your guy, only to have his druggy, dodgy, opportunistic mate pop up. But here’s where it gets sticky, Vita. He’s your boyfriend’s long-lost pal, they’ve got a history, and although you might not think much of him, your guy clearly values the friendship. He’s entitled to be friends with whoever he wants – as are you. Sure, it bites when our partner’s friends blank us, make no effort, or are simply bad influences, but very few guys will ditch a friend – even an idiotic one – because their partner wants them to. Make it known you want him to, or that you think he’s being taken for a ride financially, or that his friend is trying to break you up, and I’ll bet every last cent of Tom’s monthly drug budget that your boy will dig his heels in and come to Tom’s defense. Which of course he’s doing, right?
What you can do, hard as this might be, is to take a step back. Be civil to Tom in person, but resist the urge to comment on his antics. Leave the room when he phones. Make it clear by your actions that you’re a strong chick who won’t be disrespected or rattled by Tom’s silly bugger behaviour. Don’t feel you have to hang out with him if you don’t want to, or entertain him in your home. Instead, be cool, be fun, establish some boundaries and show your boyfriend that you’re secure in the relationship, regardless of whether his mate is making waves behind your back. Who knows? Their rekindled bromance may burn out just like it did before – because really, it sounds like Tom and your boyfriend just don’t have a heck of a lot in common anymore. Your guy’s loved up, shacked up – and Tom? Well, he’s still on the man child merry-go-round.
Love, reality chick

Manswers Man BB says… For a bloke there is no worse place to be than being forced to choose between his girl and a mate. On one hand he clearly has something special with you but the ‘reappearance’ of a certain old friend may also bring back fond memories of a previous time. Tom certainly sounds like a stirrer of the brown, smelly type but is he actually trying to break you guys up or just unsettle things to see how you and your boyfriend react? Don’t forget, the more time your boyfriend spends with you the less time and attention his mates are going to get, and some mates don’t like that. I think you need to stop trying to make Tom like you and just focus on you and your boyfriend. If you guys are really meant to be together he will make the right choice.

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Freelance journo, blogger, self-appointed advice-giver and co-author of Get Lucky. If you've got a dating or relationship issue, feel free to ask a question. (PS. You can also find me at The Mama Files and Letter To My Ex).


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