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My best friend's boyfriend is super clingy


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Hey everyone. I'm in a situation that I'm not really sure how to navigate. My best friend has recently started dating this guy for about 6 months now. In the beginning of their relationship, he was distant and not really sure about his feelings, which upset me because it felt like he was leading her on, and now all of the sudden he's super in love, EXTREMELY clingy and gets upset/sad when she doesn't text or call him back right away. I think it's unfair that he went from barely calling at all to calling her 5 times in a row out of nowhere and blowing up her phone with texts. She's a people pleaser and she tries to do what she can to get through school (she's an astrophysics major, so the workload is insane), keep her boyfriend happy and stay in touch with friends. She tells me she gets annoyed at times and sometimes she feels like breaking it off, but he recently introduced her to his entire family and she feels trapped in because of that. I believe that she does love him and wants to be able to juggle everything, but I think this is SUPER unhealthy and I don't know how to help her. The dude bawls every time she leaves which is ridiculous. He knows that I don't like him and she's told me a few times that he's afraid of me, but she doesn't want me to say anything because she knows I'll verbally destroy him LMAO. She's strong and I know that she's barely staying afloat now, but I worry that down the line she could break down. We haven't talked a whole lot recently because she's been so occupied with everything, which I completely understand, and I just feel horrible for watching this happen. I'm not sure whether it is best to let her deal with her own business or do what I can to be there and support her. As a best friend, you always want what's best for them and for them to be happy, and I know she deserves a stable relationship where she has her own breathing room, so I really don't know what to do.

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Does she complain to you about him too much? Do not communicate with him. At All. If she starts complaining again just say "do whatever you think is best for you", then change the subject. Do you have a BF? Try to spend more time with other friends and stay out of her business.

he went from barely calling at all to calling her 5 times in a row out of nowhere and blowing up her phone with texts. She tells me she gets annoyed at times and sometimes she feels like breaking it off, but he recently introduced her to his entire family and she feels trapped in because of that.

 

He knows that I don't like him and she's told me a few times that he's afraid of me

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Yeah, she does complain about him pretty often which is why this was an issue.

Does she complain to you about him too much? Do not communicate with him. At All. If she starts complaining again just say "do whatever you think is best for you", then change the subject. Do you have a BF? Try to spend more time with other friends and stay out of her business.
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We haven't talked a whole lot recently because she's been so occupied with everything, which I completely understand, and I just feel horrible for watching this happen.

 

I'd encourage you to explore more of your own feelings and misgivings and your friendship as a whole. I think the underlying problem is that she doesn't seem to have as much time for you.

 

Learn to distance yourself a little. Just as he may come across as strange and overbearing, you don't want to mimic what he's doing either. If she's your best friend, treat her like one. Your best friend should be your equal. She doesn't need your intervention or your great wisdom and she may have her own. Don't let this period in your lives affect your friendship overall.

 

I don't believe he began calling her suddenly out of nowhere. There may have been a change in the relationship dynamics that you're not aware of. He may have found out information about her or they might have shared something together that is between them only. If she hasn't told you the details, she's being discreet and respecting her relationship. Be more respectful of their relationship.

 

Friendships do evolve and there will be periods where you don't appear to touch base as often. If you are feeling neglected and upset that your time spent together has taken a backseat, you're going to have to adult through that and manage your expectations as you both evolve and grow older. Definitely look into spending time with others, engaging in more hobbies, being around different people and socializing with others outside of this friendship. I think you're really unhappy with the way she's distracted right now. Work through that.

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There’s nothing you can really do, OP.

 

If you’re getting tired of hearing it, change the topic of conversation. If she persists and it grates on you, let her know you want to be patient and understanding but you can’t help her if she isn’t willing to help herself. You might need to be direct and tell her you don’t wish to discuss him and their problems anymore.

 

She’s evidently a smart girl. She knows this isn’t normal behavior for an adult, but she’s also choosing to stay. That’s something she needs to reconcile with herself.

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If she asks you for advice you can give it, but it's her life. Don't get entangled in it. Bottom line is she's not trapped, she can leave anytime she wants and it's her decision and responsibility to do what she wants.

 

Yes, this. More than once I lost a friendship because she used me as a sounding board for all that was wrong with her relationship and once she decided to stay with him I guess she didn't want to be reminded of all the bad stuff she had told me so we were officially on the outs.

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Even though this is your best friend, she needs to live her own life. As her friend, you need to have boundaries with her (and others) and respect their decisions even if both of you don't approve of the current situation and her boyfriend. You can't live her life for her and unfortunately, all choices are for her to make alone. Let her deal with her boyfriend which is between two people, not three.

 

Know where to draw the line with your friendship. You can still be her supportive best friend while knowing your place. Exercise discretion. She also needs to respect your standing as her best friend by not roping you into her problems. Don't get involved. Learn to step back and have her deal with her relationship with her boyfriend. Stay out of it.

 

Never allow other people's problems to become your problems. I've made this mistake. Never try to be in hero mode because another person's stress becomes your unnecessary stress and who needs it?

 

Regarding your best friend, this is a quote which applies to everyone: "You've made your bed and now you must lie in it." This means everyone is responsible for their own actions, choices and decisions in this life. If a person creates a crisis, they must face harsh consequences or take action to fix the problem on their own. Live and learn.

 

When conditions become intolerable for your best friend, she will eventually break it off with her boyfriend ON HER TIMELINE. She will determine when the time is right to part ways. Until then, stay out of the way and concentrate on your own happiness and life.

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Yeah I agree with you, I think I am subconsciously sad that she doesn't have as much time for me. We're really close and we told each other everything so to lose that suddenly hurts and I'm trying to navigate my feelings about that. I know the adult thing to do is suck it up and get over it like a lot of people here would say, but it's easier said than done. I think for now I'm just keep to myself and she can do what she wants because me talking about it to her will come off as needy and clingy and that's the last thing I want.

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Yeah I agree with you, I think I am subconsciously sad that she doesn't have as much time for me. We're really close and we told each other everything so to lose that suddenly hurts and I'm trying to navigate my feelings about that. I know the adult thing to do is suck it up and get over it like a lot of people here would say, but it's easier said than done. I think for now I'm just keep to myself and she can do what she wants because me talking about it to her will come off as needy and clingy and that's the last thing I want.

 

It's a sad fact of life when people are preoccupied with people in their lives whether it's their personal relationships, boyfriend / girlfriend, spouse, family priorities, job, commute, home life, etc. It runs the gamut.

 

I was once super close to my cousin as children and as young adults. Then she married a manipulative man, he's afflicted with serious autoimmune disorders, saddled her with two children, she's the sole breadwinner and she simply does not have brain space nor time for me anymore. She's overwhelmed with her own troubles. I understand and stay out of her way.

 

Put yourself in other people's shoes. If you were currently enduring their life, you wouldn't have brain space and time for friends either. You'd be too burned out.

 

Learn to be empathetic. You'll learn to mind your own business and concentrate on your own life. Become strong, tough and independent minded. It will be easier to become your own person.

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Yeah I agree with you, I think I am subconsciously sad that she doesn't have as much time for me. We're really close and we told each other everything so to lose that suddenly hurts and I'm trying to navigate my feelings about that. I know the adult thing to do is suck it up and get over it like a lot of people here would say, but it's easier said than done. I think for now I'm just keep to myself and she can do what she wants because me talking about it to her will come off as needy and clingy and that's the last thing I want.

 

Lots of things are easier said than done. I'm glad you are being honest that it's not that you're concerned he is a bad person you're concerned that he is takig your place in certain respects. I remember clearly in my 20s when one of my closest friends started dating her husband we made a plan for just the two of us to hang out and she then insisted on bringing him. Obviously I wasn't going to talk about personal stuff in front of him. That happened with more than one friend and I could not stand it (no I never did that to anyone else).

I don't relate to people who curtail their friendships to that extent just because they met someone. I do understand that the scheduling might be different -especially when kids come along - it certainly changed for me -but you can tell when the commitment to the friendship remains as opposed to the more dismissive "friends were for when I was single." She might have that attitude -has she done this before -disappeared just because she has a boyfriend?

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... she does complain about him pretty often which is why this was an issue.

 

This is not your issue, and it's the opposite of helpful to make it yours. I'd tell friend that if she wants to continue seeing someone like this, there's really nothing I can say because she's well aware of the disadvantages. So let's skip him and enjoy our time together. If she ever needs my help to ditch the guy, she's welcome to ask, but beyond that, I credit her for knowing what she wants.

 

Then I'd change the subject.

 

If a complaint comes up again, I'd just ask her what she wants to do about it. Any deviation from a straight answer would prompt me to interrupt and say, "You can let me know if there's anything I can do to help. Beyond that, let's enjoy our time together and talk about anything in the world but this guy"

 

Stop feeding the beast by turning someone's refusal to solve a problem into a puzzle for YOU. That's not helpful--it's just embeds her deeper into a fascination with the drama with your buy in. If you want to solve that, model the opposite.

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Yeah I agree with you, I think I am subconsciously sad that she doesn't have as much time for me. We're really close and we told each other everything so to lose that suddenly hurts and I'm trying to navigate my feelings about that. I know the adult thing to do is suck it up and get over it like a lot of people here would say, but it's easier said than done. I think for now I'm just keep to myself and she can do what she wants because me talking about it to her will come off as needy and clingy and that's the last thing I want.

 

It's ok. I felt the same thing when my best friend moved. There were as a period of 2-3 years where we didn't keep in touch as often (not even having the time to talk much). It wasn't until over 10 years later after a lot of things happened that we began to make plans and meet up in different places once or twice a year (either she would fly in and stay with us and we'd fly somewhere together or vice versa). Friendships can grow if we let them but don't be surprised if the years do slip by. It's good to keep on track with your own goals and practice loving and being you, doing your thing. I definitely missed her a lot in those first 10 years not seeing each other much. Eventually we also grew up and had our own lives. There were other people in our lives too.

 

This could be a gentle push in a direction that's more you-focused and a great opportunity for you to explore new things about yourself too. Don't be afraid. Some friendships do last a lifetime... some don't. You'll make new friends too.

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Lots of things are easier said than done. I'm glad you are being honest that it's not that you're concerned he is a bad person you're concerned that he is takig your place in certain respects. I remember clearly in my 20s when one of my closest friends started dating her husband we made a plan for just the two of us to hang out and she then insisted on bringing him. Obviously I wasn't going to talk about personal stuff in front of him. That happened with more than one friend and I could not stand it (no I never did that to anyone else).

I don't relate to people who curtail their friendships to that extent just because they met someone. I do understand that the scheduling might be different -especially when kids come along - it certainly changed for me -but you can tell when the commitment to the friendship remains as opposed to the more dismissive "friends were for when I was single." She might have that attitude -has she done this before -disappeared just because she has a boyfriend?

 

Well, with her other boyfriends she always told me that she would never "drop" or ditch me for them (and she didn't), and she did the same for her current boyfriend as well. We've always kept in touch pretty much every single day for the last 7-8 years. I know that sounds like a lot, considering other people say that a text every few days is constant contact. I know she won't drop our friendship or completely disappear because of this boyfriend but this is the first time she has been this distant so I'm kind of trying to get used to it. When I tried to jokingly bring it up a bit she got a bit hostile and upset so that showed me that I just need to let her do her thing and let her come back when she's ready, although it kind of sucks losing that routine we had and feeling like I could ramble over text/call anytime I needed to.

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Well, with her other boyfriends she always told me that she would never "drop" or ditch me for them (and she didn't), and she did the same for her current boyfriend as well. We've always kept in touch pretty much every single day for the last 7-8 years. I know that sounds like a lot, considering other people say that a text every few days is constant contact. I know she won't drop our friendship or completely disappear because of this boyfriend but this is the first time she has been this distant so I'm kind of trying to get used to it. When I tried to jokingly bring it up a bit she got a bit hostile and upset so that showed me that I just need to let her do her thing and let her come back when she's ready, although it kind of sucks losing that routine we had and feeling like I could ramble over text/call anytime I needed to.

 

I think she is reacting that way because my sense is you expressed your disapproval of her boyfriend's behavior so she wants to avoid your interference recurring.

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