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DrasticDreamer's avatar

How to address concerns about my best friend's boyfriend possibly hitting on me?

Asked by DrasticDreamer (23976points) December 21st, 2010

The last couple of weeks, my best friend’s boyfriend has said and done things which are out of the ordinary in context to our relationship – but nothing overtly inappropriate. As a matter of fact, one of them may be seen as a compliment, and the other a simple friendly gesture.

However, in the past he hasn’t said or done anything similar to either of the things he said/did within the last two weeks. On top of that, he’s been opening up to me about the issues he’s having in his relationship with my best friend. My best friend has also been telling me about issues in their relationship; specifically, certain things he’s said to her, which make me wonder if there is more to what he said and did.

My dilemma is this: Because I’m unsure about what exactly he’s doing and if there really was nothing to these things, do I talk to my best friend about it? I’ve been friends with her for just over 15 years now, they have a baby together, and they’re having issues lately. I don’t want to make a mountain out of a molehill.

If it helps at all, about 3 or 4 years ago, my best friend approached me and asked if I would have a threesome with her and him. It was originally his idea. Edit: The threesome never happened.

Because of all the factors – I don’t know what to do and I’m confused about his behavior in general. I don’t tend to ask these questions as I know a lot of people don’t like answering them. But I think I genuinely need outside perspective for this one, and whatever help I get will be very appreciated.

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40 Answers

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I wouldn’t say a thing to her.I would get him alone and tell him to knock it off.
When he protests,just tell him you are just making sure;)
I hate that BS

tinyfaery's avatar

It’s hard to say if he’s hitting on you without knowing what has occurred? Could you possibly be interpreting it wrong?

crazyivan's avatar

Years ago my wife’s best friend was hitting on me incessantly. I didn’t say anything to either my wife or her friend. I just avoided being alone with her and made it painfully clear that I wasn’t interested. Years later I told my wife about it and she was disappointed that I hadn’t told her earlier. I think she figured that if that was the depth of her friendship she would want to know.

Now, obviously you have a slightly different problem, but I think the outcome is largely the same. If you say nothing you won’t be responsible for messing up the relationship, but wouldn’t you want your friend to tell you about it? Doesn’t she deserve to know what you know about what kind of guy he is?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Can’t improve on lucille’s answer.
Note:We should have a ditto button.

Eggie's avatar

You should avoid him as much as possible. If he gives you a compliment don’t smile at him, don’t end up with him alone anywhere. Avoid him at all costs. To me he is hitting on you and you should be careful.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@psychocandy and @crazyivan That’s just it – I’m really not sure at this point in time. If it was blatantly obvious, I would tell my best friend in a heartbeat, no questions asked. But right now, I kind of feel as if it could lean either way. I will add, though, that I’m absolutely noticing a difference in his behavior toward me.

One of the things was him saying “You coming over early to help would be awesome, especially because you’re not bad to look at”. (This was in regard to a Christmas party they had.) Then, at the party, he took his index finger and kind of did three little rubs by the crease where arm meets elbow, while he was smiling. The thing is, he rubbed my arm right in front of my best friend, but I don’t think she saw it – and it left me wondering if he did it like that to get a thrill or something?

They were both small things, one could be a compliment, the other could be a friendly gesture. I SUCK at telling when guys are flirting with me in general, thus the confusion.

Kardamom's avatar

Because of the part where you mentioned that this boyfriend had already asked for a threesome (involving you), it sounds pretty clear that he is hitting on you.

I would talk to your GF and let her know that he has been making some suggestive comments/actions (and tell her specifically what he said or did that makes you think this). Then remind her that you aren’t interested in him (or a threesome) and that you realize that they’ve been having problems. Tell her, that because she’s the one who is your friend, you feel like she needs to know what is going on and that you still want to help her, but let her know that her boyfriend has been talking to you (about their problems and being suggestive with you) and that you don’t feel comfortable with any of this. If YOU believe that her boyfriend is likely to (or has cheated on her with others) let her know what you think.

I’m just curious as to whether your GF was ok with her boyfriend’s idea of having a 3-some with you (or anyone else)? Most women would be extremely pissed off if their boyfriend suggested something like that. It says that HE isn’t interested in an exclusive, monogamous relationship. Does your GF want/expect a monogamous relationship?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@DrasticDreamer You could always preface it with I’m sure I’m misunderstanding you but…..

kenmc's avatar

My advice would be to hold your tongue and wait for him to become a litttle more blatent about making a move on you. If he gets more agressive, rat his ass out. If not, then he probably didn’t mean anything by it.

JLeslie's avatar

@DrasticDreamer If it feels weird it is. I think he is testing you. Probably best to ice up a little, no giggling when he does something that can be taken as innapropriate. Try not to sit near him, things like that, but you can still be with them I think, you just need to draw a line so to speak, be it invisible. Ifhe does not get the hint, or becomes even more forward, you will need to be direct with him, and tell him you feel uncomfortable and find it innapropriate. I would not tell her.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Kardamom Well, my best friend is the one who asked me if I’d be willing to have one with them – but the thing is, I always wondered if it was simply to make him happy. She did admit that I was the only girl she ever would have asked/been okay with, so I just don’t know. I’ve always thought she might be bi, so at the time, I think part of her may have been okay with it – partly because of how long we’ve been friends.

Now though, because they have a baby together, I know she wants to marry him and have a monogamous relationship.

Cruiser's avatar

If you don’t tell him to knock it off….be prepared for more and more. Unless of course you are interested then prepare for the shit that that will bring up down the road.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@Cruiser Hell no. I would never, under any circumstance, do that to my best friend.

Kardamom's avatar

@DrasticDreamer If you’re pretty sure she wants a monogamous relationship with this guy, then you should definitley have a talk with her and let her know what’s been going on. From what you’ve described, the incidents with the boyfriend, I would definitely say he is flirting with you. Yuck!

You should sit down with your GF and let her know that what her BF has been doing hasn’t been exactly blatant, but it has made you feel uncomfortable. Tell her exactly what he’s said and done. Also, the fact that he was interested in a 3-some awhile back makes you suspect that he is still interested in something like that (whether it’s with you or another person). Then suggest that your GF have a frank discussion with her BF to find out if he’s interested in getting married and having a monogamous relationship (I suspect he isn’t). And you should also suggest to your GF that the “couple” seek some couples counseling immediately, before they go any further with this relationship. Their relationship sounds like a sinking ship to me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was not ready to settledown at that age, and most likely the baby made your friend mature and their relationship is suffering from that. I think your friend expects the boyfriend is looking around at least a little already. I don’t know you guys well enough to say talk with her. That will have to be your call.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Between the two of them, whether knowingly or not, they are setting you up to be a ‘third party’ to the relationship between them. And I don’t mean ‘part of a threesome’.

A third party is one who is not part of the relationship but has information about either of the parties and relates that to one or the other or both.

That’s not to say that you should stop her (or him) when they speak to you about their partner, but you have to decide before you even hear one of them out that you’re going to treat both sides confidentially. That means that you can’t tell him what she says, does or feels about him, and you can’t take the same information back to her regarding him.

You could act as a counselor, for example, as long as both parties know that you are hearing each side and keeping your own counsel except when you speak to both of them together. But it will be difficult for you to hear each ‘side’ of an argument, discussion, tirade, complaint, whatever and attempt to be ‘neutral’ when she has been your friend for so long.

For that reason it might be best (for their relationship, and for your friendship with each of them) if you tell him that you can’t hear his stories, complaints, or whatever, because of your known bias. (And not because you know that he wanted you in a threesome, but that would be in the back of my mind, I guess.)

flutherother's avatar

It is up to you how you respond and there are really only two ways, to accept his advances or not but either way it is best if you make it clear to him which it is.
PS I get the feeling he put your girlfriend up to asking the question about the threesome. The bottom line is I think your friend has problems rather than you.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Okay, so the general consensus is that he’s probably been flirting with me? That’s all I need to know before I make a decision.

So… I think, for now, I will tell him to stop if he continues since it makes me uncomfortable. If he doesn’t stop, I will absolutely talk with my best friend. I hate being in this kind of situation. I also don’t understand how he thinks I’ll keep quiet about this, since he knows what kind of relationship I have with my best friend.

@Adirondackwannabe The weird thing is, he’s really happy to be a father. That much, I genuinely believe.

Thank you, everyone, for the advice.

bolwerk's avatar

If you’re not sure, wait until you are sure to say something. From the sound of it, he’s deliberately using social cues to signal his interest (which can be pretty well confirmed anyway by the fact that he wanted the threesome). You can probably safely ignore those cues, and hope he’ll accept that as a cue to stop. Of course, he likely will ignore that you’re not interested, but presumably he’ll escalate this to the point where you can be pretty sure – perhaps he’ll come right out and say it. At that point, it’s time to put your foot down, and make sure there are clear boundaries. In the mean time, it’s probably best you not be in situations where he makes you uncomfortable (e.g., the shower).

JLeslie's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Do you know his family at all? I ask because my ex was from a family that cheated constantly. The men all had wives and all had girlfriends. It was a way of life, not a comment on how much they loved their wives or their children. They would push the envelope and see where it got them. I won’t go into long stories of the craziness that went on, and how stunned I was at what women are willing to do. All I am saying is this might kind of be his MO. Has your girlfriend ever been worried he was lying or cheating?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@JLeslie I know his family a little bit. His dad ended up leaving his mom for another woman, which gave him a lot of issues growing up, in multiple ways. Aside from this, I’ve personally never seen or heard anything from him, or my best friend, that would indicate he would ever cheat. I asked her outright the other day, when she was talking to me about some of their issues, whether or not she thinks he would cheat, and she said she didn’t think so. She thinks he would probably break up with her if it ever got that bad.

But because of the whole threesome thing, I’m wondering if he has somehow validated that this kind of behavior is okay toward me and me alone.

Pandora's avatar

I’ve learned from experience never to tell your friend. Even if it looks like they are going to break up.
I had a best friend once. She even conveyed that she didn’t feel the same way about him (engaged) as he felt for her but guilt kept her in the relationship.
He hit on me several times and even asked me to have sex with him. He was serious. She didn’t put out and he figured I was the type that would. (Wrong!) He even begged me not to tell her because he said it was a moment of weakness and he couldn’t help but be attracted to me since we had become close friends as well.
I let it go and figured if I told her, he may tell her it was my idea.
Anyhow, so I found out he was seeing someone else and I told her that since it was only guilt that was keeping them together.
She dropped him. Then dropped me without explaination and then got together with him again.
I figured he confessed what happened but twisted it around to make me look guilty.
They stayed together for a year and then broke up and they each married someone else. Our friendship never recovered.
At the time I didn’t want to know what really happened being I felt betrayed by her.
She knew me longer and knew I wouldn’t betray her like that. Or should’ve known, plus I was already in love with my (now husband) and going to be married.
I sometimes wondered if she learned that he also was in love with me as well. He came the night before my wedding to beg me not to marry because he was in love with me.
Funny thing is I didn’t like him at first. I thought he wasn’t good enough to be with her. But I made the effort to become his friend as well so she and I wouldn’t be pulled apart by her relationship. Originally he didn’t like me much either. He was very possessive and jealous of all of her friendships.
Bottom line. Is your friend is going to believe what she wants to believe. Just do what everyone else suggest. Stay away from him and make it clear that you are not interested.

marinelife's avatar

Don’t say anything to your best friend until and unless he does something overt.

Even then, you had better think it through carefully before saying anything to her. She could take his side and turn on you.

If he does come on to you, tell him no in no uncertain terms.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Don’t say anything. You will most likely lose the friendship.
It’ll blow over eventually. If he ever DOES become overt, slap him upside the head.

wundayatta's avatar

You could tell your friend that you can’t be friends with her any more. If she asks why, you could say that you’re uncomfortable with her bf. If she pushes further, you could say that that request for a threesome made you just too uncomfortable. Or just that you are getting a weird vibe from her bf.

Of course you don’t want to get rid of her. You just also don’t want to tell tell her and have her believe his side.

Or, when she asks you why, you can tell her to “ask him.” It’s not your job to tell. You just want to get out from between them. He’s been confiding in you and you just feel really uncomfortable. He should be telling your friend the things he’s been telling you. So you just want to step away until they sort their issues out.

Risky moves, but they might work better than just telling her straight out.

BarnacleBill's avatar

You could tell them together that they are both talking to you about their relationship, and that you don’t have the bandwidth to act as a therapist for them. They need to talk to each other, or a counselor. Then leave.

Haleth's avatar

You could tell your friend exactly what happened, just the bare facts. And that you can’t be sure what his behavior means except that it’s definitely a change. This keeps her in the loop and lets her draw her own conclusion. That way you’re not keeping anything from her or breaking up her relationship, you’re just telling the truth.

I think he’s hitting on you, though. When I read “complement” and “friendly gesture” in your first post, I thought of things that were a lot more neutral. Like a complement about your personality or doing something thoughtful for you. To me, the things he did say “I think you’re hot” and “I want to touch you.”

Kardamom's avatar

I think you should definitely tell your friend what is going on. If it was YOU, wouldn’t you want to be told? Just be very gentle when you tell her and let her know that you are not exactly sure what is going on, but her boyfriend has done several things (describe exactly what was said and done) that made you feel uncomfortable, especially in light of the fact that he already expressed an interest in a 3-some with you (which you declined, and tell her why you declined).

It’s possible that she may be angry and not “agree” with you, but at least you will have tried and she can’t come back later and accuse you of “keeping the truth” from her after she finds out what a douche bag this guy is. He may in fact love his child, but that doesn’t stop him from being a douche bag towards his girlfriend. 2 separate issues.

Judi's avatar

Haven’t read any answers yet, but next time he wants to discuss his relationship issues, make it clear to him that talking to you is the same as talking to your friend. You are not the person he should ask to keep a confidence because your loyalty is to your friend.

mrrich724's avatar

In my previous experience (as a witness) girl A (you) told girl B (“friend”) about something that happened. But it was alot more blatant. . .

At the end of the day, girl B refused to acknowledge it b/c of commitments she had with the man or maybe just plain denial, and all that came of it was girl A having caused an awkward situation for herself to be in whenever she looked at the guy/ hung out with the girl B.

If he’s having issues, and he truly is looking to other girls for “things” other than genuine help, you probably aren’t the only one on the receiving end, and it will end up coming out in the wash sooner or later.

Good luck.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I just wanted to echo some of what’s been said – the two gestures you describe…I’d interpret them as inappropriate as well – they’re not compliments, they’re ambivalent on purpose, it’s manipulative and you should let him know you’re not comfortable with it.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Okay, everyone. I decided to tell her – without any kind of drama. I didn’t make it seem better or worse than what it was, I just gave her the facts. The arm thing she said was probably nothing, because apparently he gets more touchy (even with his guy friends) when he drinks (and he had been drinking at the party). So for that, I’ll take her word for it. I told her exactly what his comment was, when it happened, etc. That, she did think was inappropriate.

When I told her everything, I started with “It may be nothing, it could have been a joke, but I wanted to come to you simply because I wasn’t sure”. She agreed that it might be nothing – or might not be – so she’s going to talk to him about it in a couple of days. I made it clear that I don’t want it to seem as if I’m accusing him of anything, because I really don’t, so she said she’ll start the conversation with him the same way I did with her: “Sara felt a little uncomfortable because…. And she wasn’t sure whether or not it was a joke…”.

I have no fears that this will break up our friendship, because we’ve been friends for way too long, and we’ve been through way too much together. We have an extremely close relationship with each other, so I’m not worried. Ultimately I decided to say something because we’ve never kept anything from each other, and generally what one of us would want in a situation, the other would too. So I thought about it, knew that I would want to know if the roles were reversed, and went with it.

As for the things he did and said… Yeah. I thought they were inappropriate, which is why I asked this question, but I’m just really bad at telling sometimes. I’m beginning to think that he did somehow validate what he said and did, simply because the desire for a threesome was expressed three or four years ago and that feeling never went away. :-/

They have a lot they need to work on, but I’m hoping for the best. To my knowledge, he’s never cheated on any of his past girlfriends. I just think he thought, because of the threesome thing, that this behavior was okay toward me. There was a point where, a little before my best friend approached me about it, that they had a threesome with his best friend… So maybe also because of that, he’s thinking “fair is fair”... Or something. I’m not sure.

Anyway, I really do appreciate all of the advice given to me. It was pretty helpful. Thank you.

Kardamom's avatar

@DrasticDreamer I’m so glad you told her. And I’m also glad that she took the news without getting mad at you (which some girls will unfortunately do to their GF’s to defend their shitty BF’s). She sounds like a good friend. The guy still sounds like he might be kind of a creep. Hopefully it will work out for everybody, but you did the right thing. Let us know how HE ends up responding after his GF asks him about it.

crazyivan's avatar

@DrasticDreamer Isn’t it funny how just being truthful almost always works out best?

JLeslie's avatar

I would be interested to know how this really works out. I would guess that when your friend confronts him he is going to get defensive and deny, or say @drasticdreamer is being ridiculous or trying to start trouble. I hope I am wrong. I completely believe her girlfriend is no angry with @DrasticDreamer I never thought she would be angry with the messenger so to speak, but I would have thought the boyfriend is not going to handle it well. I hope I am wrong.

Kardamom's avatar

@JLeslie I was thinking the same thing. That the boyfriend will try to make @DrasticDreamer sound like she made it all up. Sounds like the girlfriend is a good enough and strong enough friend not to believe it though.

JLeslie's avatar

@Kardamom The girlfriend will believe @DrasticDreamer I think, but it will be all twisted in knots in her mind (the girlfriend). She is not going to leave her boyfriend for it. I realize that is not what @DrasticDreamer is looking for. But, what I mean is if this guy does have a wondering eye, this will become part of one of many arguments of him trying to convince her he was doing nothing wrong and everyone else is imagining things; if not, then it will fade away. I hope the latter is the case. If he does not protest too much, then I think it all becomes nothing. If he gets really pissed off, trips over is words, and answers questions not asked, bad sign.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Glad glad it worked out for you!

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