Heartbeat

It’s a common complaint for straight and bi women: the dreaded girl best friend. The female friend who is super close with your boyfriend. The one who was there before you, and, as your insecurities keep telling you, will be there after you. The one your boyfriend confides in when your relationship is having problems. Your competition for his attention.

So, is the girl best friend a red flag in relationships? From my personal experience, absolutely not. In fact, your significant other having a girl best friend is a green flag. I will never date anyone who doesn’t have a girl best friend, and that is because I need to be certain that my date does not view women as solely sexual objects.

My ex once got upset after a guy snapped me, saying, “Guys only Snapchat girls for one reason.” He told me this after I explained to him that that friendship was purely platonic. In that one sentence, he told me exactly how he viewed women: other men would never want to be “just friends” with women, because that is how he viewed relationships between women and himself. He saw them solely as sexual and romantic partners. If your partner does not have the ability to be friends with a woman without viewing it as a potential sexual relationship, they have no respect for women, and they will eventually disrespect you.

Before you jump into a new relationship, I recommend being aware of the way that your partner views women. If they have relationships with women that are platonic and based on intellectual connection and respectful communication, then they will show you the same level of respect and treat you as a person rather than an object.

However, these friendships don’t discredit your jealousy toward the girl best friend. Your partner is still responsible for making sure you feel secure in your relationship. The apprehension toward the girl best friend is not uncalled for, as oftentimes, the only dynamic shown between men and women in the media is sexual. Hollywood rarely allows a platonic friendship between men and women, and Hollywood loves a good scandal in which the “other woman” is blamed for the end of a relationship. Looking past societal stereotypes and our own apprehensions can be hard, but I encourage women to realize that their partner’s ability to have female friendships can be a very good thing. It shows you how he will treat women when there is no sexual gain.

Knowing that your partner sees women as people rather than potential sexual partners is a necessity for a loving and trusting relationship. If your partner has a girl best friend, rather than seeing her as a threat, consider it a green flag.


everet3@stolaf.edu