The Guy-Friend’s Girlfriend: A Dilemma

OK. I think I’ve gone over almost every iteration of this problem: What to do if you hate your husband’s friends, what to do if you hate your friend’s husband (or boyfriend), what to do if you love your guy-friend’s girlfriend and then they break up, etc.

Except this one: What if you cannot stand your guy-friend’s girlfriend, but she wants to be friends with you?

Someone I know recently encountered this problem. Her husband’s BFF has started dating a girl that my pal doesn’t particularly like. They’ve gone on some couple dates, because that’s what you do when you’re married. But now the unpleasant girlfriend in question wants to start hanging out with my friend, solo. Just the two of them. And my friend, who shall remain nameless (but isn’t me, I swear), doesn’t know what to do.

Well, here’s what she did do: She accepted the invitation because she’s a nice person and how do you say “No thanks, I don’t want to hang out with you” anyway? It’s not easy.

Now my friend is understandably conflicted. This is not an independent friendship she wants to pursue. But it’s not like she can just quietly fade away, letting the next batch of phone calls and emails go unanswered. Besides the fact that perhaps it’s rude to passive-aggressively stop responding, this is someone my pal is going to continue to encounter. The men will be in each others’ lives forever.

I’ve been thinking about what I’d do in this situation, and I think I’d probably continue accepting the invitations when they are offered, but not extend any invites of my own. If it was my husband’s best friend, I know it would be important to him that I not screw up the relationship.

This brings up the bigger question of what to do when someone is pursuing a friendship and you are just not that into her. There have definitely been some potential BFFs—or should I say, people I thought were potential BFFs—who straight-up disappeared on me. And I was ok with that. We weren’t friends, so there was no big breakup speech necessary. I know some of you might think it was rude of them, but I preferred that to a big production email, or even a small one. I think hearing “I’m too busy for new friends” would have been tougher on the ego than radio silence.

As for the other way around, when people I’ve just met pursue a friendship I’m not interested in… Well, I usually just go with it. Women, I have found, are pretty good at recognizing when a friendship isn’t meant to be. Most of the time, if I’m not into it, neither is she.

Input, please? What should my pal do about the friend’s girlfriend she doesn’t want to befriend? And what do you do when you’re not into a new friendship? Not someone you’d need to break up with, just someone you’ve recently met?

11 Comments

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11 responses to “The Guy-Friend’s Girlfriend: A Dilemma

  1. Marsi

    This is a great topic and one I have been wondering about. This same thing just happened to me and I did what your friend did, but to be honest I didn’t want to have independent plans with this girl. I don’t even want to have plans when we get together with our husbands much less without them! I think you are right when you said I have to go along with it as this girl is going to be in my life for a very long time and I think having things be awkward for years to come is worse than going out with her occasionally. But if it gets to be more than the occasional get together over lunch, such as phone calls and emails, then what?!?

  2. I have encountered this many a time. In fact, I have a few of those now. I usually say yes to things but try to really space them out. So instead of doing something twice a week (as one girl was trying to make happen) I try for once a month. That way, we’re still getting together, I don’t feel like I’m being rude, and I don’t feel trapped.

    There was one girl that was dating one of my husband’s best friends. Oh my word, that girl was one of the most rude, obnoxious, spoiled people I’d ever met. She was determined we be friends. She was so hard to dodge. I said no as often as I thought was possible so she wouldn’t get mad or start yelling at our friend about me. The day he dumped her (which he’d been thinking about and talking to us about and we encouraged since she was so mean to him) we went over and brought him “break-up food” and a hug. Best day ever. I felt free.

  3. Why Not Be Honest, We Cannot Read Each Other Mind. If It’s Somebody You Don’t Want To Be Friend With, I Would Tell Them Over Lying And Hidding From Them. When You Are Not Feeling Somebody Sooner Or Later They Are Going To Know It. Me I’m Not A Phone Person Never Have Been And I Never Will Be, So I Always Let Peoples Know That Information About Me When I First Meet Them. I Always Feel Better About Myself That I Let Them Know To Expect No Phone Calls From Me. I Would Do Like Wise If I Don’t Want To Be Friends With Someone. Why Lie? Why Pretend Who Can Benefit From A Web Of Deception?? Always Let Truth Be Your Guide In “LIFE”.

  4. Suzannah

    I can get very stressed out by a new aquataince coming on too strong…I will feel real guilty about dodging them. So I will always worry that I am coming on too strong with a new friend, looking for signs ( that may not even be there) that she might be feeling smothered. I hate that insecure part of my personality.
    So normally if a new friend is persistent enough I will just get used them , particularly if I have to see them on a regular basis due to another obligation.

  5. Pam

    Personally, I would first try to figure out what it was about the person that I didn’t like — is it an issue of her being rude or disrespectful? Am I put off by something about her? Am I jealous of her? Does she insult me? Are we just at different points in our lives? What about her makes me UNCOMFORTABLE with her and is there something I could to to change that?
    I would accept the invitation, if only to see if she is different when the men are not around. I have found that sometimes having the men there creates a need for showing off or acting up that doesn’t happen when they are not there. But I would keep the encounters brief and spaced far apart.

  6. Leah

    I have this same problem, but instead of just one girl, it is a whole group of girls. My husband has a group of friends that have known each other forever and I am fine hanging out with everyone as a group. But their wives want to get together for girls nights and I have nothing in common with these women. I barely say anything and when I do they look at me like I have multiple heads or just don’t listen at all. Most of them are nice enough, but just because our husbands are friends doesn’t necessarily mean I want to be friends. If anyone out there has any polite way to tell someone that you think they are nice, but you don’t want to be friends (that would not cause lifelong awkwardness with their husbands or at group outings) I would greatly appreciate it!

  7. I know of situations like this where the 2 wives/girlfriends tried to dodge each OTHER, then eventually actually became friends and now independently hang out. Also… there are some gf’s/wives of my husband’s friends who I didn’t initially like, but they grew on me. Because, unless the person is absurd and irredeemable, there probably IS something to like (and you can always talk about the men – that makes for good conversation fodder). I’d suggest the friend try to include the girl in group things (like, where there are other people so she doesn’t have to hang with her solo) and also just spread these instances out (what’s a brunch every 6 months?)

  8. san

    I am in a situation where I am, or better WAS, pursuing a friendship and got NOTHING in return. We hung out once and I got the impression that we really connected, but after that whenever I would try to extend an invitation to go out for coffee or something, she would say “most definitely” and then never get back to me.

    I am at a point where I am just not trying anymore… although I am kind of confused because she keeps saying (online) how much she actually enjoys making new friends and how much she appreciates when other takes the initiative…

    Well, I guess she’s just not that much into ME….

  9. Erica

    The husband’s friend’s girlfriend may be pursuing this friendship in part to solidify her relationship – hoping her new boyfriend will see her fitting in with his crowd and like her better because of it. This is a bit insecure but pretty normal and harmless as long as she’s not seriously psycho. I think your friend can handle this by being super-nice to the girlfriend whenever they hang out as a foursome she she feels the relationship is being accepted, but being super-busy whenever just-girls time is proposed. As long as she’s always nice about it, she can play it off as legitimately time-crunched or at least flakey rather than actually avoiding contact.

  10. Shari

    It’s really okay to not like everyone! Our hectic schedules make it very hard for us to spend time with those we love to be with and can give us the perfect and honest excuse to just “say no” when the attraction is just not there. I have had a similar situation and am happy to report that over time my lack of interest either became apparent or mutual and we do not even make an attempt to get together on our own. We get together with our husbands and that’s plenty. One of the things that holds us together is that I really like her husband/my husband’s good friend. Honestly, if that weren’t the case, we probably would lost touch with both. In fact, he is such a great guy and someone my husband and I love to be with, that he makes up for her annoying nature! So, my advice: hang in there and see where their relationship goes before you feel as if you have to build one. If they stick together, stay busy and make dates only when it’s convenient for you. Find another friend who can join you and help make the outing fun or at least tolerable. You can make this a win-win friendship for all!
    Good luck.

  11. JB

    When my husband and I first were engaged, he had two different best friends (i.e. not in a group–two separate friendships). I didn’t really like either of their wives. I felt like they were both insecure and clingy, which really turns me off. We always did the couples dates, but I occasionally endured girls shopping trips or coffees. Two very different things happened, over time. One became my very best friend who I depend on more than almost anyone else. The other one still drives me crazy, but we still do the obligatory hang out about once a year (we don’t live in the same town anymore). I think your friend is making the right decision–be nice and friendly but not overly accessible. The thing I’ve found is that, over time, the guy married to the annoying girl is not as close to my husband as they were in college. And I think part of it has to do with the people they married–our lives are heading in different directions and it’s ok. We still love the other couple. We just don’t like to hang out all the time!

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