Q: I've been seeing this great guy for about 8 months now. Things are great ... until he starts talking about his past. He is a very good looking man with a great career, personality, family, and friends. I get insecure from time to time.
A while ago he told me about one of his best friends, who happens to be a female. As time went by, I have found out more and more about her. They had a past together (which he claims was one night and nothing more), then he then moved in with her and her friends because they needed a roommate. They still talk and hang out. He has invited me to meet her but I always have had something come up for work or with family. He claims he has stopped hanging out with her now because he spends so much time with me. I have never gone through his phone, but he did have his speed dial up once and there she was, along with his recent calls. We spoke about it plenty of times.
He tells me I have nothing to worry about. I hate to keep bringing it up but it does bother me. My gut is telling me the feelings are still there and he would turn to her if he had a chance again. I don't want to think this way but I have never dealt with a female "best friend." I have close male friends but never thought about keeping them that close to me. I did tell him I have respect for his friends and that she was there before me so I don't want to get in between anything. I am not sure what to say or do anymore; as soon as I drop it, there she is appearing in our lives again.
– Needing Help, Boston
A: Platonic female friends are fine, especially the ones who have been around for a long time. In this case, the female friend isn't 100 percent platonic -- she and your boyfriend shared a romantic night -- so I get why you feel weird about her. But that night was a long time ago, right? And they didn't wind up dating each other back then.
Based on what you've told us, she's no more of a threat to your relationship than the zillions of other women who come in contact with your boyfriend on a daily basis. In fact, she's less of a threat than the unknowns. Your boyfriend and his female friend have spent hours and hours together, hooked up, lived together, and now they're just pals. They've had every opportunity to be a couple and it didn't happen.
My advice is to meet her. Soon. You're making her a bigger deal than she is, and meeting her will put her in perspective. I also want you to consider how much of her intrusiveness is in your head. When you say that she's "appearing in our lives again," do you mean that she's trying to break up your relationship? Or do you mean that she's just hanging out with your boyfriend and their mutual friends? If the answer is B, it's fine. He's gone out of his way to include you in plans. Nothing about this situation seems fishy to me.
See what she's all about and consider that she might be the person who helped your boyfriend become the great guy you're afraid to lose. Keep an open mind and don't vilify anyone until you know they deserve it.
Readers? Is this female friend a threat based on the one romantic night? Can you put the letter writer at ease about platonic female friends? Should the LW's boyfriend not have told her about his past with this woman? Discuss. And enjoy the song of the day.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.