Things are going great with your new girlfriend — so great that she wants you to meet her best friend. You know this is a big deal, and you’re ready to impress. Until she drops the casual bombshell: “I know you and John will get along.” John?
Yep, her best friend is a guy. A straight guy. A guy who’s probably in love with your girlfriend. Even if he’s not, he’s The Man In Her Life: someone who knows more about her than you do. What if he hates you and tries to sabotage your relationship? Suddenly, all your worst instincts kick in and you feel caveman levels of jealousy. How can you handle this? You don’t want to lie to your girlfriend by acting nonchalant, but you don’t want to alienate her, either. Never fear, we got this.
First Off, Relax
Yeah, we’ve all watched a billion movies where the punchline is that the best friend from high school was secretly in love with her all along, and he interrupts her wedding to tell her so and they live happily ever after. Here’s the good news: those are made up by bored screenwriters. Just because Hollywood is out of ideas doesn’t mean that your love life is under threat.
Remember, you’re the boyfriend. There’s a reason he isn’t. Even if her best friend looks like a Chris Hemsworth knockoff, she’s placed him squarely in mental Best Friend/Brother category. There is nothing sexy about that category: it’s the kind of dynamic where you pick spinach out of each other’s teeth without embarrassment. Repeat to yourself: if they wanted to date each other, they would be dating each other! The chance this guy is running a long con on your girlfriend is infinitesimally small, so take a moment to reassure yourself if necessary.
Insecurity Is Never Attractive
It’s completely normal to have questions about their friendship. Here’s an example of a chill way to ask a question:
You: Oh, your best friend’s a guy? That’s cool. How long have you known each other?
Here’s an example of a BAD way to react:
You: Oh, your best friend is a guy? That’s kind of weird, don’t you think? Have you guys ever hooked up? Never? Not even one drunken night in college? Uh, so what’s he like? Do you think he’s attractive?
If you ask her questions like that, it tells her that you’re incredibly insecure about your relationship. (And also, that you can’t handle her having other guys in her life, which is a red flag.) After all, it’s 2017 — it’s not illegal for men and women to be friends!
We get it: you want to know everything about their dynamic. But don’t bombard her with these questions off the bat. There’s plenty of time to find out — in a casual manner — about their history. She’ll probably volunteer the information herself! The absolute worst thing to do is to put her on the defensive.
Meet Him As Soon As You Can — And Play Nice
The sooner you two meet, the better. The real-life version of the Best Friend is never as intimidating as the version in your head. (The one who, to quote 500 Days of Summer, “has Brad Pitt’s face and Jesus’ abs.”) No, you need to hang out in the flesh and note that he has a really bad nose-picking habit (or maybe terrible taste in shoes), so that you realize he’s not a sex god about to steal your girlfriend.