Thursday, March 15, 2012

platonic friends & the BLOW OFF

I still stay in touch with one of my old college hook ups and a few months ago, he sent me a Facebook message about the current state of affairs between him and his girlfriend:

This will make you laugh... we had a little fight about me hanging out with an old female friend from michigan and after the fight she made a list of all the females I know who I am good friends with. She came up with 25. I told her that number was waaaaaay too low
Anyway, she's making me narrow it down to ten or so who i get to stay friends with/visit when they come to town etc. Initially i thought she was crazy, but now i think its reasonable and i've agreed to it. But it has led to me now having to decide who makes the list. I feel like schindler.

He wanted to know what I thought about his girlfriend's request. And I'm sure she would have loved him seeking the opinion of a former fling. Anyway, this was my response:

Glad to hear things with the lady are going well. I can totally see how she would get annoyed with all the female friends you have...and you have a tendency to be mildly flirtatious...BUT the list thing is a little on the bat shit crazy side to be honest. I feel like you should still be able to be friends with who you want to be friends with, but what she really wants is to feel like you're not secretly wanting to have sex with all these girls. And there's gotta be a way you can reassure her of that without cutting people out of your life completely.

I can't decide if my advice was adequate. I mean, it would make me a little nuts if my significant other had 25+ female friends. But I'm not sure I'd go as far as forcing him to make a list. And then, how does one enforce the list? Does she carry it in her wallet and cross check it with his email inbox and text messages? Also, in the larger scheme of things, does it just mean she doesn't trust him? (honestly, from what I know about him, I'm not sure she should...but that's another post.) I do think it's possible to trust someone, but still feel ill at ease or jealous about them hanging out with a bunch of chicks.

We've touched on this topic before, but it's one I'm on the fence about. All of my male friends are either gay or in relationships. In the last year, I struck up a friendship with a fellow writer (who's married) but any time I hang out with him, I can tell the H bomb is a little jealous. It's kind of become a running joke, but if the roles were reversed, I would not like the idea of him making some new executive girl friend. The ladies he was friends with before he met me are one thing--- but does he really need to forge new friendships with women? Uh, no. That's why he has me.

Where do you guys stand on the whole "Schindler's Platonic Friend List"? Is it a reasonable or ridiculous request? Comment below.


  1. I think you hit the nail on the head with your parenthesized comment. This situation screams "trust issues!" Occasionally, people ARE batshit crazy and unreasonably jealous in romantic relationships, but more commonly people come to look batshit crazy jealous because their partner is secretive, exclusionary and untrustworthy and these qualities encourage jealousy and insecurity. Without really knowing anything, I predict that this relationship is doomed. A lasting working partnership has to allow each partner to be themselves (choose their own friends, have reasonable privacy) and must have trust. Yes, compromise is a part of it too, but a list of who he can be friends with made by her? Um, no. Doomed.

  2. I had a boyfriend, once. He too, seemed to have a lot of female friends. I think it would have bothered me less if they hadn't been girls that we (he, I, everyone else) knew had feelings for him.

    I never asked him not to hang out with these girls, but I would have appreciated a different approach to his interaction with them. It didn't make me feel great when he'd drop me off for curfew, and then go hang out with another girl. Yet, if it had been a male friend, it wouldn't have bothered me at all.

    I think it's a matter of all parties respecting each other. I recently got cut off from a Gchat buddy because our talking every day upset his girlfriend. We stopped talking immediately, no questions asked. It's not that he and I aren't friends anymore, we're just conducting our relationship differently.

    Am I sounding too much like a pushover?

  3. I can definitely see where she's coming from. It's clear this guy has a LOT of female friends and to her it's an odd pattern. Making a list might be TOO much.

    I'm so torn.

    My college boyfriend and I are still in touch but I'm used to him disappearing (in a sense) when he's with a new girlfriend. We sometimes facebook but I understand that he doesn't want to make his new gf uncomfortable that he's close with an ex.

    When my guy friends get a new girlfriend, if I like her, I find some subtle way to make sure she knows that I am NOT a threat.

    Sometimes the girl-friend has to make the situation cool, not the guy in the relationships.

  4. As the wife of someone who is still friends with most of his exes (sp?), I know what it is like to have to deal with women folk lurking about but I also have to say that it is all in how both parties deal with it. I think I would have lost a lot of respect for myself if I had forced him to make a list. Clearly it would have meant I was insecure with my place in his life and then I would have had to wonder what it was that was making me insecure. His behavior or my own? If the guy is just outright flirty or, as anonymous said, secretive, then he is making the girl nuts and it is time for her to move on. If he isn't doing anything but keeping friends and she can't handle it, it is time for her to move on. I dealt with the issue by realizing that my husband loves me and married me and not anyone of the others so I don't feel like I have anything to worry about. Besides, with my OCD,I have enough lists to contend with. Ultimately this girl and this guy aren't right for eachother at this point in time. Perhaps the breakup will be fodder for another blow off...

  5. I agree with all these comments! Last I heard from him, he said that he was thinking about proposing, I'll keep everyone updated on whether they actually tie the knot...