You won't get through too many long-term relationships in your life without eventually having to deal with your guy's BFFs. That is unless he's got some kind of Norman Bates complex and his best friend is his mother or a stuffed Schnauzer, but even that has its own special set of problems.
If you're lucky your boyfriend's best pal will be polite, he'll help you carry groceries and tell you you're totally rocking that red lipstick in a non-creepy way. The biggest threat he'll pose is DVR'ing over your OWN Super Soul Sunday shows with pre-season football. Unfortunately, there's a good chance he'll stand to be that completely annoying lame who drinks all of your Simply Lemonade and has to remind you he's bringing Leslie to the BBQ this time, not Ashley.
When my husband and I first started dating, he was as guilty of being as big of a jerk as the rest of his crew. But I was twenty-something at the time and thought that arrogant immaturity = bite your lip kind of sexy. One of the first conversations I ever had with one of his BFFs (we'll call him “Anthony") began with him telling me, “College is a complete waste of time. I make more in a day than what you make in an hour," he informed me referring to his job as a backhoe operator. He then proceeded to toss a wad of hundred dollar bills on the table as he smiled smugly. I suppose that was meant to impress me and make me regret my $20,000 in student loan debt all at the same time. I should've known then that the dude had crazy insecurities. It was the beginning of a long "Gina and Cole" type of relationship complete with annoyance and disgust.
As the relationship between my boyfriend at the time and I progressed it became even more confusing to me how my guy could stand being around this jerk for more than two seconds. At his best, Anthony was mildly funny, but it was usually at someone else's expense. He was the type of guy who would purposely gas it through puddles to shower pedestrians for a cheap laugh. He always had to be the loudest person in the room and have the last word. And if anyone showed up in a nicer car or with a prettier date he would desperately find a way to discredit them. He was obnoxious, loud and seemed to get a kick out of making everyone feel uncomfortable.
Eventually it got to a point where Anthony started dating one of my family members. Of course this started a twisted “competition of the couples" where he always had to get the flashiest most expensive Valentine's Day gift and urge said family member to call me to compare gifts. If we were hanging out at the house and I gave my boyfriend a quick peck on the cheek, they had to commence in a full make out session.
It was pathetic and something I'd expect out of my junior high crew, not people who paid taxes and shopped for car insurance.
Thankfully I didn't have to deal with Anthony on a regular basis at this time, and when I did it never occurred to me to tell my boyfriend how much I hated the guy. He had an intense loyalty to his childhood crew and I didn't want to be the nagging, needy girlfriend who pouted every time the guys were around.
As I watched an episode of BET's The Game a few months ago, I was reminded of this situation. Brandy's character Chardonnay starts dating the team owner's son Roger Jr., and before they can update their relationship status she's inviting him into every discussion and decision she makes in her life, even those regarding her friends. I found myself thinking, "This girls is a fool. Just because she's in love with this clown doesn't mean all her friends have to be."
But it occurred to me that just like family, you don't get to choose your partner's friends. As much as I may not have been able to stand Anthony he was in my guy's life way before me. I never thought it was fair to ask my boyfriend to ditch the dude who he had literally grown up with. Anthony had never really disrespected me, I just hated his personality and at the end of the day I never suspected he meant me or my boyfriend any harm beyond his own insecurities.
Here's what you have to keep in mind in those moments where you're frantically searching for Oprah's sit down with Deepak Chopra on the DVR and about to flip out: If your guy has had the same set of friends since childhood, there's something to be said about his loyalty and that's a good thing. As long as you aren't being disrespected and he defends you when things threaten to get out of hand, you've got a keeper that is probably worth dealing with a little bit of doucheness from time to time.
[Tweet "Making your man choose will only lead to your feelings being hurt and him building resentment."]
And just like any relationship, if a friend is harboring ill intentions, time will reveal them without you playing pal patrol every five seconds. The truth is I have my own friends that my husband isn't head over hills for. I can't tell you how many times he's been like, "Oh you're hanging out with Ratchet So And So this weekend" with his eyes rolled up in his head. But a part of any good relationship is respecting those whom your partner chooses to surround themselves with; you never know who had his/her back before you were even in their lives.
My husband stopped dealing with Anthony after a while. He noticed things getting weirder as our relationship grew and Anthony got more competitive for that “best couple" crown. After things fell apart between him and my family member, his life seemed to spiral out of control. Last I heard he lost his job and developed a dependence on painkillers. I kind of feel sorry for the guy and ask about him from time to time.
We all have our share of flaws, but you're not obligated to deal with those of your boyfriend's BFF. Friendship isn't always about what your friends can do for you, but rather the important part you play in their life and I'd like to think because of my guy, Anthony was in some ways a better person. I really hope he gets himself together, although I am happy to have my Simply Lemonade back.
Have you ever had to deal with your man's trifling friends?