About 7 months ago, I broke up with the love of my life over some very strong ideological differences concerning marriage and children. Last summer, I had a brief but intense long-distance relationship with another person with whom I broke up because she wasn’t ready for a committment. I’ve recently met someone with whom I share most of my very important convictions. She and I clicked from the moment we met and have spent a lot of time together. She is very social and has many male friends, some of whom, she has admitted, have or have had some interest in dating her. She has been very honest and open about her male friends and has been very good about including me in any plans that she makes with them. However, I am very uncomfortable about this and feel threatened. I feel as though I may lose her to them. The other day we went out with a relatively new male friend of hers who, I believe, was making it very clear that he is interested in being more than friends. When I asked her about this, she said that she had not noticed this, and that I should just trust her. Am I crazy? Why am I feeling this way and what can/should I do about these feelings? I realize that these feelings are not healthful, but I can’t seem to shake them and I don’t want to lose this wonderful woman.
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Your feelings are not uncommon in this type of a situation. You are feeling threatened by the possibility of your girlfriend becoming interested in any of her male friends. However, you must realize that she has chosen you to “be more than friends with.” Since this woman is very social, you will need to make sure that you do not attempt to hold her back from doing things with other people, but at the same time, you may want to initiate doing some things on your own with her. These times alone will encourage you both to continue to get to know each other, as well as strengthen the bond that you have with each other, which could give you the confidence you need to relinquish your jealous feelings about her friends of the opposite sex. My biggest concern in regards to your situation is that your girlfriend is not making it perfectly clear to her male friends that she is dating you. If this is the case, you may need to subtly find out why she hasn’t done so. Is she seeking the attention from them? Does knowing that these men are interested in her make her feel more popular? Or, is she attempting to make you jealous in hopes that you will like her more? Take it slowly and don’t pressure your girlfriend into making choices she’s not prepared for, such as asking her not to see these men anymore. And, remember that if you can learn to not feel so threatened by your girlfriend’s male friends, you might actually find the opportunity to become good friends with them as well. Best of luck to you, – Anne