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How to Manage Boundaries with My Boyfriend’s Female Friends?

Let’s face it, it’s less than ideal when your boyfriend happens to have a female best friend. Feelings of insecurity, uncertainty, and jealousy may seep into your relationship as a result, but are these feelings necessary? 

Based on research, there are mixed opinions on whether or not platonic relationships can exist between members of the opposite sex. Some experts believe that it is indeed possible, especially in situations where a man and woman have been friends for decades. 

On the other hand, other experts are of the opinion that platonic relationships aren’t entirely possible and that at some point in the relationship, there will be a sexual consideration, even if it’s not acted on. 

Mixed expert opinions don’t make a situation where one’s boyfriend is best friends with a female any easier! That being said, there are ways your boyfriend can set healthy boundaries between himself and his female best friend that might make you feel more comfortable and confident in your relationship. 

There are also certain scenarios where it’s okay, and not okay, for your boyfriend to be best friends with a female. In this article, we will explore the above…  

Table of Contents

Why or When Is It Okay for a Man in a Relationship to Have Female Friends?

1. He’s been friends with her for ages

If they’ve been good friends for decades, or she was around for ages before you came along, it’s probably safe to say that they’re truly just friends and that she’s not going anywhere either. In my opinion, expecting two friends to distance themselves from each other in this scenario is unfair, unless there’s genuine cause for concern. 

2. Their sexual history

The sexual history between your boyfriend and his best female friend could cause some interesting dynamics in their relationship. This one is for you to decide on. My suggestion is to have an open and honest conversation with your boyfriend about it and to also trust what you feel in your gut

There are a few ways this scenario could play out:

  1. If your boyfriend has a close female friend, they’ve been friends for a decent amount of time, and there’s no sexual history between the two of them, I would be inclined to say that it’s okay for them to remain friends. 
  2. If there is a sexual past between the two of them and you sense there might still be some spark left, I would say it’s dangerous allowing the two of them to get too close. 
  3. That being said, there are cases where a man and woman have a sexual history together and after that, all spark was killed, and now they’re completely platonic.

3. They include you in activities

Group of friends smiling taking a photo

If your boyfriend and his best female friend make an effort to include you in some of their activities, it probably means you have nothing to worry about. 

Moreso, it means she’s aware of who you are and what your and your boyfriend’s relationship status is. Going out of her way to make an effort with you shows she respects you and your position in the relationship. 

4. She respects your relationship boundaries 

If your boyfriend’s female friend respects your relationship boundaries, you shouldn’t mind them remaining friends. Some of the boundaries that should be respected include: 

  • Your and your boyfriend’s one on one time
  • Late night / drunk calling too often 
  • Too much ongoing texting 
  • Flirting 
  • Social media boundaries 

5. Your gut says so 

Relying on your gut when you need answers in challenging scenarios can often be a great way to get some guidance, direction, and clarity. If your gut says there’s something off about your boyfriend’s female friend and his relationship, you might have some cause for concern. 

If you feel, in your gut, that their relationship is truly platonic, trust that and let them continue their friendship as is. 

12 Tips on Setting Boundaries with Your Boyfriend and His Female Friends

1. He needs to be honest and transparent about his female friends

Being in a relationship shouldn’t mean you need to get rid of your friends, regardless of whether they’re male or female. 

However, a healthy relationship does require honesty and transparency. Your boyfriend should be open and honest with you about who his female friends are, what their history is, how they met, and when they’re seeing them. 

If your boyfriend hides information like this from you it’ll only lead to trust issues and greater relationship problems down the line for the two of you. 

2. He should include you in plans with his female friends from time to time

Friends hanging out outside

In my opinion, if it feels like your boyfriend is trying to hide you from his female friends, there’s reason for you to be concerned! He needs to include you in plans with his friends from time to time if he wants you to feel confident in your relationship, where things are headed, and understand how his friends fit into his life. 

If your boyfriend doesn’t include you in plans with his female friends, it’s an issue worth raising with him and asking him to compromise on. 

3. They should know who you are and what your relationship status is

An easy way to gauge whether or not your boyfriend’s female friend is just a friend or perhaps something a little more is by determining what she knows about you and what she knows about you and your boyfriend’s relationship status. 

Pay attention to what your boyfriend introduces you as, whether or not he’s affectionate when she’s around, the way he talks to you, and his level of respect when she’s around. 

If your boyfriend suddenly seems to change his tone when his best female friend is around, it’s a red flag that something might be up between the two of them. Perhaps, he has a crush on her, perhaps he’s keeping her as an option, perhaps it’s something more, or perhaps it’s nothing at all. 

The only way to get to the bottom of what’s going on is to let him know what you’ve observed and how it makes you feel and then see if he does anything about it moving forward. 

4. Time with his girlfriends shouldn’t take preference over date nights

If you find your boyfriend often chooses to spend time with his best female friend as opposed to going on date nights with you, it’s time to set some boundaries. 

If this sort of behavior continues even after you’ve set boundaries or asked him to compromise, it’s a telltale sign that something is off. In this scenario, he’s either not that into you or he has a crush on his best female friend, therefore opting to spend time with her instead of you. 

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5. Social media boundaries

Social media boundaries need to be put in place and respected. If your boyfriend is posting pictures with him and his bestie but none with you, if he spends time liking and commenting things on her images that make you feel uncomfortable, or if he’s spending most of his time in her DM, it’s time you raise these issues with him. 

Not only can these issues affect your relationship, but they are also likely to affect your mental and emotional well-being too. 

‘Pocketing’ is a term used in modern dating that refers to a situation, or series of situations, where one partner hides the other from their friends, family, and outside world. This is an extremely toxic practice in any relationship and can lead to feelings of inferiority, anxiety, and depression. 

So, if it feels as though your boyfriend is purposefully hiding you on social media, it’s a massive red flag. 

6. He should limit how much he confides in his female friends about the relationship 

Your boyfriend should have enough respect for you and the relationship to limit the amount he confides in his best female friend. Sure, everyone needs a friend they can talk to and confide in from time to time. That’s absolutely normal. 

However, if he’s running to his best girlfriend every time there’s a slight bump in the relationship it’s likely to cause friction between you and him and you and her. If this is a common occurrence in your relationship, raise the issue with him and find a healthy compromise. At the end of the day, you should be his number one priority. 

7. Physical affection should be limited 

Physical affection should be strictly for your relationship only, this includes everything from hand-holding to slow dancing, cuddling, and kissing. Once physical boundaries have been crossed there’s sure to be a breach of trust between you and your boyfriend, which is very difficult to come back from. 

8. Couple rituals should be kept strictly for the two of you

Things like one on one dates, anniversary celebrations, intimate physical contact, nicknames, or any other things you do together as a couple shouldn’t be replicated between him and his best female friend. 

Couple rituals should be an exciting and intimate way for two individuals in love to bond and grow and should be respected as that. 

9. His female friend shouldn’t be a third wheel on your dates or outings

Couple and a friend having coffee

In my opinion, if she’s a third-wheel on the odd occasion, it’s okay. However, if she starts coming with you and your boyfriend on all of your outings, you need to set some clear boundaries.

If this sort of behavior becomes the norm, it’ll be very difficult for you and your boyfriend to grow a deeper bond, have any private conversations, or develop any sort of intimacy.  

10. They should limit their conversations

There needs to be some basic respect in the relationship between your boyfriend and his best female friend and one of those elements includes limiting their talk time and topics of conversation. 

If they engage in secret conversations, speak non-stop or late at night, or talk about topics that should be reserved for your relationship, i.e. sexual topics, a few rules should be put in place.  

11. They shouldn’t go on trips together

In my opinion, if your boyfriend is in a relationship with you, you’re the only woman he should be going on trips or vacations with. If he goes on a trip with his best female friend, there’s a high possibility of the two of them hooking up, growing closer, and/or falling for each other. 

If he’s going to be traveling anywhere with other females and the trip is not work-related, you should be asked to come along, too. If he doesn’t invite you on the trip it should raise some valid questions.  

12. She needs to respect your private time as a couple

Your boyfriend’s female friends should respect your private time as a couple. It’s very important that as a couple you get quality, one on one time together, without distractions or other people interfering. If this isn’t something you feel his best female friends respect, your boyfriend will need to set some clear boundaries

Signs Your Boyfriend Is Too Close to His Female Friends

There are some red flags to look out for that signal your boyfriend is too close to his female friend, these include: 

1. Her not liking you for no specific reason 

If your boyfriend’s female friend doesn’t like you for no specific reason, the reason may in fact be that she’s in love with your man. She may even feel threatened by your presence. 

My suggestion would be to try and make an effort with her and see if she warms up over time, if not it might be time for your boyfriend to draw the line with her behavior or lose the friendship. In a committed relationship, your partner should always put you and your feelings first. 

2. She flirts with him 

If your boyfriend’s friend openly flirts with him, it’s a clear sign that they may have more than platonic feelings for each other. 

Talk to your boyfriend about this behavior sooner rather than later or else it may cause unnecessary drama between the three of you that could otherwise have been handled more maturely. If your boyfriend isn’t prepared to put up a huge boundary in this regard, it might be a deal breaker for your relationship. 

3. He isn’t impressed when she’s dating other people 

If your boyfriend seems less than impressed when his female best friend is dating or seeing someone else it might be due to the fact that he has a crush on her. There might be subtle signs that he doesn’t approve of the men she sees for example, he may not want to meet the men she’s dating or he might criticize these men for no good reason.  

4. They are closer than him and you are 

If your boyfriend and his best female friend are closer than you and your boyfriend are, it might make you feel like the odd one out. Bear in mind, however, that they might have been friends for many years before you came, which could be the reason for their very close bond. 

However, if they've only recently become acquainted and are closer than what makes you comfortable, you might want to keep an eye on their behavior. 

5. You feel left out in their company

Another telltale sign that your boyfriend is too close to his female best friend is when you feel left out in their company. As his girlfriend, you should always be made to feel loved, supported, and comforted. If you feel left out time and time again when you’re with the two of them, it’s worth having a serious discussion about.  


How can I be more accepting of my boyfriend’s female friends?

One of the ways you can become more accepting of your boyfriend and his best female friend is by spending more time around her and by getting to know her better. 

For all you know, the two of you might just become best friends. Getting to know her better will also give you a better indication/understanding as to why your boyfriend is such great friends with her. Moreso, you’ll be able to see them interacting with one another which might make you feel more comfortable about the dynamics of their friendship.   

How do I tell my boyfriend that I don’t approve of his relationship with his female friend?

If you have a valid reason for not approving of your boyfriend’s relationship with his best female friend the best thing to do is to sit him down and communicate openly with him. Let him know what you feel and why you feel the way you do. Give him an opportunity to explain his view on the situation too and listen intently. Once both of you have expressed your concerns try and find a compromise and a happy way forward where both parties feel seen and respected. 

Is it a red flag if a guy has a lot of female friends? 

Having a lot of friends of the opposite gender isn’t a red flag in and of itself. Perhaps your boyfriend simply gets along better with women than he does with men. However, your boyfriend’s behavior when he’s around his female friends might be a red flag. If he openly flirts with his female friends, excludes you, or disrespects you when he’s with his girlfriends, it’s a red flag!

Should I be jealous of my boyfriend’s female friends?

Again, this is something that depends on your boyfriend’s behavior. If your boyfriend gives you reason to be jealous then your emotions are justified. However, if your boyfriend has always behaved respectfully and has never given you a reason to be jealous then you should feel confident in yourself and your relationship and shouldn’t have reason to be jealous. 


I hope the above article has given you a great deal of clarity regarding boundaries that should be set and upheld between your boyfriend and his girl best friend. If you feel uncomfortable about his relationship with his female best friend then having an open line of good communication will help both of you establish a healthy way forward. 

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