Q: Hey Meredith,
I'm 24 and have been dating a wonderful girl for almost 8 months. We have a great relationship and recently moved in together. My problem isn't with her, but rather with her best friend!
The friend is one of those people who won't allow others around them to be happy if they aren't. My girlfriend has told me that the friend has never liked any of her ex-boyfriends. The friend and I have always gotten along until recently, when my relationship with my girlfriend became more serious and we moved in together. Since then the friend has instigated fights with me by saying passive aggressive things and even tried to drag my girlfriend into it. To give you a little background, the friend and my girlfriend lived together for the past year until we moved in together so we've all had a lot of exposure to each other. My girlfriend is starting to get fed up with the shenanigans that this girl keeps pulling, but she's afraid to lose her best friend since they've been besties for 11 years.
I keep trying to tell her that if this girl were really her friend she would want her to be happy, but my girlfriend is afraid of losing her even when she's starting all this drama. I'm not one to give ultimatums, but I'm really at a loss for what I should!
I need help!
And for the record, I strongly believe the problem isn't that the girlfriend's best friend is romantically interested in me. I knew her before I started dating my girlfriend.
– Fed up with the Bestie, Mass.
A: You must remain kind, FUWTB. And please, stop telling your girlfriend that her bestie isn't really her friend. That's just not true.
This is going to be a rough transition for your girlfriend and her friend, and you just have to let them get through it. They're in their mid-20s and coping with so much change. I'm not excusing the bestie's bad behavior but I'm not shocked by it. She's acting out because she's scared. You have to combat her bad attitude by smiling and making her feel welcome in your home.
My guess is that the bestie is lonely, jealous, threatened, and perhaps a little bit annoyed that your relationship progressed so quickly. You mentioned that you moved in with your girlfriend after eight months of dating. Did your girlfriend break a lease with bestie by choosing to live with you? Was this an inconvenience? Did bestie expect to live with your girlfriend for another year?
Their friendship is going to evolve into something less intense because it just can't remain this way forever. Bestie will eventually focus more on her own life, and she and your girlfriend will become less tethered, for better and worse.
In the meantime, your best bet (when you really start to lose it) is to excuse yourself from the room and let your girlfriend and her bestie have some space. Don't participate in fights. Don't play games.
This woman has been around for 11 years and you're only eight months into this relationship. Don't encourage your girlfriend to drop her friend. Just stay calm and set an example.
Readers? What's happening here? Am I right about him just staying quiet? Is he allowed to protect himself? Is this about the eight months thing? Or about being 24? Will this get better? When can he speak up? Discuss.
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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.