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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Girlfriend Has an Issue with My Female Friend

Dear Stavroula,

I am 25 years old and a year ago I started a relationship with a woman. Our relationship is developing beautifully and I feel very attached to my girlfriend. The only problem I have with her is that she whines every time I go out with my co-worker, with whom I have been friends from our school days. I tried to introduce them to each other, but my co-worker told me that she prefers to meet with me alone since we don’t get together often, given that we do not live in the same area. My girlfriend has taken this the wrong way and every time I go out with my friend, we argue badly. I try to explain to her that nothing is going on, but she keeps asking me why she can't come with us (they have only met once) and then everything goes wrong for days. My question is this: Why – since I show her how much I love her and how important she is to me – can’t she accept that this creates scenes that wear me out? What can I do to stop these stupid quarrels?

Angelos

Dear Angelos,

A friendship between people of different sexes is a beautiful and special relationship. Although it can happen, in a true friendship of this kind, erotic desire rarely develops. However, the friendly relationship between a man and a woman often contains elements of flirting. Compliments about appearance, love advice, and physical and physical affection are not lacking in such relationships and this is perhaps what often makes them very charming.

The problem begins when this low-key ‘eroticism’, even if it is simply implied, is picked up by the partner or partners of the two lovers. For some it is acceptable and understandable. For others, however, this causes problematic feelings, such as jealousy or embarrassment.

Something similar could have happened in your case, which makes it difficult for your girlfriend. If she felt weird the first time you were all together, it may not be easy for her to handle. Also, you should keep in mind that it is not clear to everyone that there can be a merely friendly relationship between the sexes if they did not happen to have similar experiences.

It would also be good to ask yourself why your close friend does not want to spend any time with your girlfriend. Have you discussed it with her? What is behind this requirement? Is there a case to be made that she does not want to be your best friend only, but nurtures erotic feelings for you? Otherwise why would she not want to love the important person in your life?

Sometimes in very close friendships there can be elements of control that may not be conscious but may manifest in some behaviors that are not always easy to detect. These may be revealed in posture, communication, etc. If, for example, your friend monopolized your attention when the three of you were together, your girlfriend may have felt bad.

In addition, does this attitude and the demand of your friend suggest a disposition of potential rejection, or a degradation of your relationship? And why not agree that the two of you meet first and talk, and then have your girlfriend join you later so they can get to know each other better?

It is also very important to think about what your role is in all this. We know your girlfriend makes demands and your friend complains about these meetings. What do you want? Do you agree that your friend should not participate in your meetings? If so, for what reasons? How would you feel if she were in a similar relationship and asked you to stay away? Does the weariness you feel because of this situation have to do with other problems in the relationship, to which you are not ascribing the required importance?

Finally, what always helps is a conversation with honesty and love, which you may need to have with both of the women in your life. Hidden aspects sides may be illuminated so that current misunderstandings can be clarified.

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Dear Stavroula, I am married to a wonderful man, who was born in the United States to Greek parents.

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