I'm Jealous - She's Hanging Out with Other Guys

Visitor's Question from a 21-30 year old Male
My girlfriend and I have been involved for around a year now. A brief history, I used to be a VERY jealous type and when we first started dating, this was brought to my attention, because she is very much a "people person". I guess I never realized how jealous I was until we started dating, because no one I had dated before was like her. It also doesn't help that we live about 3 hours away from each other. Here is my concern...She has met a few guys online over the past months and in a couple of cases has gone out to hang out with them. She met them through forums for a common interest hobby that they all have, which I actually have the same interest myself. Well, my issue is that I seem to get upset at the fact that she goes to hang out with these guys when I'm not visiting her for a weekend, or she isn't visiting me for a weekend. It's not like she hangs out with them every chance she gets, but the thing is, she doesn't hang out with a group of people. She goes to hang out with them one on one.

Personally, I've never thought it respectful to one's relationship to do such a thing. I've always felt that if I'm in a relationship with someone, I would not put them or myself in that kind of situation. I just don't think it's right to hang out one on one with someone of the opposite sex when you are involved in a relationship with someone. Now hanging out with a group of people, I don't have a problem with, but it's just the one on one thing that bothers me. I told her that it honestly feels like she's going out on a date with someone. She reassured me, "It's not a date, we're just hanging out, going to the bar for a drink, shoot some pool, etc." I have trust that my girlfriend will not cheat on me or do anything to hurt me, but I just wonder what these guys she's meeting up with are thinking.

The biggest part about it that really gets to me, is that she does not like to tell people she has a boyfriend unless they specifically ask. She's told me, that she doesn't feel like she needs to announce the fact that she's dating someone, because when a guy finds out a girl is dating someone, they treat them differently. And she doesn't want to be treated differently just because she's dating someone. Even if someone asks her if she can go do something on a weekend she's coming to visit me, she'll just say she's busy, not that she's coming to visit me. She gave me the example that she let someone that was wanting to hang out with her know she had a boyfriend, and they said, "Oh...I guess I won't be hanging out with you then, huh?" Then she reiterated the fact that she doesn't want people to treat her differently because she has a boyfriend. I can understand not wanting to be treated differently, but I told her, if they don't want to hang out with you because you are dating someone, then what are their true intentions? If all they wanted to do was hang out and have a good time, then what does it matter that you are dating someone or not? I would think if anything that the way someone treats you because they find out your dating someone would be more respectful towards your relationship and you. We have talked about this and she is working on it, but I honestly feel like that if I hadn't said anything about it, she would never mention me to people because she doesn't want to be treated differently. I've always loved letting people know I was involved with someone, because I'm proud that that person is part of my life. Then again, we are two different people. I asked her if she would be upset if I went to hang out with a girl one on one and she said she wouldn't be upset. I find it hard to believe that it wouldn't upset her the slightest bit. Even if it wouldn't upset her, I still wouldn't do it, just because I don't feel it's right or respectful to our relationship.

So those are my concerns...Is it right of her to hang out with guys one on one? One part of me understands hanging out with people, because we don't get to see each other all the time, and she needs to go out and do stuff. But one on one with guys she's not really met or knows? When I said something about her not knowing them, she said you have to hang out with people to get to know them. And of course I brought up the one on one bit again, and it's like running in circles. I think it wouldn't bother me as much if these guys knew that she was dating someone...and I don't know why. Is it right of me to be upset that she doesn't like people knowing she's involved in a relationship? I don't want to be jealous, and I don't want to get upset if she goes and hangs out with a guy. I honestly don't think it's respectful to a relationship to hang out with someone of the opposite sex one on one though...please tell me it's ok to do that. I just don't want to be upset at her, and I don't want to be jealous. I love her and I know she loves me. And I trust her...or do my feelings say otherwise? Please help!

RomanceClass.com Advice
On one hand, it is most DEFINITELY proper for a guy to have female friends, and for a female to have guy friends. To say that she can only ever see people of the same sex is silly. She is an individual, not your slave. She should be able to have friends of any shape and size she wants, and to see and enjoy those friends. All relationships are founded on trust.

That all being said, it is completely ridiculous for her to then lie about the relationship because she doesn't want to be "treated differently". In essence she is saying she wants to be treated as if she is SINGLE - which is wrong because she is not single! You are exactly right here. If a guy DOES treat her differently, it's because he doesn't see her as a friend - he sees her as a potential target. If she did NOT see a difference, then it would prove that the friendship was a valid one. But if she DOES see a difference, it means their aim is not friendship. And she is therefore taking advantage of them by pretending to be available.

All friendships - and all relationships - are founded on honesty. If she is deliberately lying to / deceiving her friends, that is really not a good sign. It's time for her to grow up here, and learn to be honest, even if it means she isn't flirted with with every guy she comes across. I can't even dream going around to other guys and lying to them, saying I'm available, when I am not. That is completely dishonest - to them and to my boyfriend.

-- from Lisa
One of Your Friendly Advisors at RomanceClass.com

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