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When it comes to friends of the opposite sex, how much can a woman trust the relationship between her boyfriend and his female best friend? 

Malia T. Brown
May, 27, 2016

I have a question for you: What are some things that you will and will not tolerate from “bae” in your relationship?  

A few months ago, I had a group discussion with some of the girls in my natural hair organization about self-love, stigmas surrounding women of color, and our experiences in the dating scene. We talked about everything from settling for the wrong guys in college, to the character traits that we looked for in our partners. But, the one question that got everyone riled up and on the edge of their seats was whether or not it was cool for their boyfriends to have girls as best friends or even just as friends in general.

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So, it got me thinking: Is it really okay, or should there be boundaries set in place when it comes to your man’s friendship with other women? Honestly, I would say that it all depends, and here’s why:

There are two types of friends that you may want to have on your radar in your relationship.

The “Childhood Best Friend”  

“I personally would be comfortable with my boyfriend having a girl best friend, as long as she knows her boundaries to what I am comfortable with.” —Rachel Sargent, UNC 

AKA the girl he knew before meeting you. This is the friend that probably knows just as much as you do about your man, and in some cases she may even know a little more. These types of friendships are a little hard to rule out because there is history between the two, and if he just met you, he will more than likely choose to save his friendship with her rather than his relationship with you. So, it could turn out to be a win-lose situation for you as his girlfriend. But, one thing to keep in mind in these types of friendships is that your man and his BFF should be respectful of the relationship between you and him, so that you don’t feel uncomfortable.

The “Pop-Up Best Friend” 

“Some girls like a man as soon as they find out he’s in a relationship. It’s like a chase or a hunt that they’re attracted to, so they go after him starting as “friends.” —Princess Streeter, UNC

AKA the girl that magically appears out of thin air. This is the friend that probably knows little to nothing about your man, but coincidentally wanted to spark up a friendship with him once she found out that he was in a relationship. These are tricky situations, and ones that I personally don’t tolerate because in most instances I’ve found that the girl's intentions were not coming from a good place. And, if you’re not careful it could potentially cause problems in your relationship.  

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I would like to put to rest a huge misconception that if you are concerned about this issue in your relationship, then that means that you are jealous or don’t trust your man, and in most cases that is far from the truth. This is a topic that you should consider because perception is key in relationships, and it is very important that both you and your man have respect for the relationship when it comes to having friends of the opposite sex.

I want to hear from you! What are your thoughts, or experiences that you’ve had regarding this topic?

 

Malia T. Brown is an ESSENCE College Ambassador, writer and on-air personality. She attends the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and majors in Political Science and Journalism. She reports on beauty, pop culture, and lifestyle news.