Are you a single woman trying and perennially failing to find your soul mate? Maybe you’re too busy. Maybe you live in a town totally devoid of hot dudes. Or maybe your last boyfriend rendered your broken heart incapable of love. Whatever the case, you’re just glad that you have at least one guy you can rely on: your trusty male BFF. He’s reliable, he’s honest, he’s simple, and best of all, he has no ulterior motives. Right?
Well, sure. Most of the time. But on rare occasions, the relationship you have with your guy best friend might just sabotage your love life. That doesn’t mean that you need to dump him to bag a man, though. It just means that in order to make yourself more available for romance, you need to set some boundaries.
Click through to see the ways that your male best friend can keep you from finding love.
1. He scares other guys away
Guys who are interested in dating you might see your best guy friend as a threat, which is normal, but especially aggravating if your male BFF deliberately disrespects them. Guys don’t want to date a girl who comes with a bodyguard. If your guy friend is being a little too intimidating – sizing the other guy up and down, mocking him, or constantly out-drinking him – then you can tell him to relax a little. You’re a big girl, you can take care of yourself.
2. He flirts with you in front of other guys
Some flirting is inevitable in cross-sex friendships. Even if you two have no feelings for each other, your natural chemistry might give other guys the wrong impression. Be conscious of teasing and making too much physical contact with your BFF in front of the guy you’re dating, lest he believe that your heart’s already occupied with someone else.
3. Everyone already thinks you’re a couple
The only thing guys want less than a girl with a bodyguard is a girl who comes as a package deal with her (straight) male BFF. Be mindful of other friends who can’t keep themselves from telling everyone how much they wish you and your male BFF would see the light and get together. If the guy you’re dating feels wary about it, reassure him that nothing’s going on, and then take the appropriate steps to create distance between you and your guy friend. Like we said, you don’t need to dump him, but just know that when it comes to relationships, you can’t have your cake and eat it too.
4. He demands too much of your time
Your guy friend is way too possessive. You hang out one-on-one several times a week, you G-chat late into the night, and you neglect dating (or the guy you are dating) to console him over the phone about all his problems. At this rate, he’s practically your boyfriend already. Which brings us to our next point…
5. You’re his stand-in girlfriend
You’re not only his best girl friend, you’re his best girlfriend, minus the physical benefits. He chats with you nine hours a day. Your one-on-one movie nights are basically date nights. And you’re the first person he SMSes in the morning, and the last person he says goodnight to before going to bed. If this sounds familiar, you might want to reevaluate your friendship to see if there’s something more to it – or to see if he just wants all the emotional benefits from you, without the commitment that comes with an actual girlfriend.
6. He’s your stand-in boyfriend
On the other hand, you might be at fault in turning him into a surrogate boyfriend. You’ve shared so much of yourself with him, and are so attached to each other, that your heart’s not open to a romantic relationship. Your best guy friend already knows everything about you, from how you take your coffee, to what keeps you up at night. You’ve met his mother, you know the names of all his dogs, and he’s even had reunion dinners with your family during Chinese New Year. When you’re already this emotionally intimate with each other, it’s hard to really fall in love with someone else without going through a painful “emotional breakup” with your guy best friend.
7. His standards for who you date are way too high
Guy friends are kind of like dads. They love you so much, that no one will ever be good enough for you. Every time you introduce him to a new guy, he has something to nitpick. Of course, he could have legitimate concerns, such as your new guy’s alcoholism or lack of purpose in life. But if it’s something small like, “that guy mixed about Star Wars with Star Trek”, then maybe you’ll want to take his opinion with a grain of salt.
8. He makes you believe the worst about other men
Your guy best friend is a pro at confirming your beliefs about the evils of other men. Sure, he’s a guy, so he knows what he’s talking about, but his tendency to bash his own type is making you cynical. According to your guy BFF, they’re all huge jerks who are only after one thing. If this is the case, and you’re starting to believe him, well, maybe he secretly believes that he’s the only one who can really make you happy. Decide for yourself if that is true.
9. Other guys bring out his jealous streak
If you’ve ever had a male friend like this, well, you’re not alone. For 364 days a year, the two of you are perfectly platonic. Then one afternoon, you meet someone new and suddenly, his long-repressed “feelings” awaken. Seeing you with someone else makes him realise that he’s wanted you all along – and that no guy can replace him in your life. He confesses his love to you, only for it to fade once you start losing interest in the other guy. Friendships like this one are not only complicated, but they’re toxic. Chances are, your guy friend’s feelings stem from jealousy and possessiveness rather than from actual attraction. Once you “abandon” him for a (potential) boyfriend, he turns you into the un-gettable get. And of course, once you’re available, he gets bored. While most friendships are worth fighting for, parasitic ones like this should be cut out immediately.
10. You’re attracted to your male BFF but he doesn’t reciprocate your feelings
At long last, we arrive at the easiest way a cross-sex relationship can ruin your chances with other guys. You love your male BFF, but sadly, your feelings are unrequited. Despite how painful that feels, you’d rather have him in your life than not at all. You figure that given some time, he’ll either reciprocate your attraction, or you’ll find someone else and get over him. In the worst case scenario, he’ll find someone first and you’ll be left alone. To avoid such a horrible outcome, while improving your chances of happiness elsewhere, you should create an emotional distance between you and your male friend. Stop talking to him so much. Hang out only in groups. Give yourself space to get over him.