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I feel like the third wheel around my boyfriend and my friend.

Tagged as: Dating, Friends, Gay relationships, Three is a crowd, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (8 January 2018) 7 Answers - (Newest, 10 January 2018)
A male United Kingdom age 26-29, anonymous writes:

Hey all, I'm just looking for some advice on how to get a grip of my jealously and paranoia.

My boyfriend and I have been official for two months now, when we started to date each other over the summer and at the beginning of our relationship we chose to keep it quiet until we knew it would work between us, before celebrating our news with others. Around a month ago a friend of mine met my boyfriend, my friend told me that he liked him and that he'd like to ask him on a date. I told him that we were actually an item, and apologised for any embarrassment but he took it well.

Recently my friend has been helping my boyfriend with a project, and today after spending the day together they went out for dinner. My friend invited me, however it felt strange as if I was only invited out of principal. When I said possibly, he said that it was okay and I should be getting on with work anyway. This felt strange because usually, if I decline something or say I'm uncertain, my friend will gently push and encourage me to come but rather this time, it felt like he was discouraging me. I feel he wanted to go out for dinner with just my boyfriend so it was only the two of them. My friend keeps joking they're having an affair, and whilst initially I joked back, the joke is old and overplayed now to the point it's bothering me. They also message everyday as far as I'm aware, and I've started to become uncomfortable by this. I know I'm probably just being paranoid, but it feels weird that my best friend and my boyfriend are becoming increasingly close and now spending time together in person without me more often than not. The project was only a one day thing. I feel like the third wheel with them, and I've said this to them both and neither responded to my comment. I'm starting to get into my head and I feel worried about my friends motives as I know he fetishises my boyfriend. I do have trust issues I am working through from past bad relationships where I've been cheated on, but I'll admit it is hard to not worry about these things, especially as we're still early into the relationship and still building trust with each other. I feel guilty because I was cold towards both of them tonight because they were together, but it didn't seem to bother either of them enough to chase me up and ask me if I was okay. They both knew I'd had a hard day but it felt like they were too busy to even ask me how I was feeling later on. Any advice on how to handle and bring this up? Am I being paranoid?

View related questions: affair, am I being paranoid, best friend, jealous

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A female reader, aunt honesty Ireland + , writes (10 January 2018):

aunt honesty agony auntFrom reading this I honestly don't think you are being paranoid, I think they are both over stepping the mark and that they are not taking your feelings on board at all. It seems the two off them are to blame here. I know if it was my boyfriend and he saw that something was effecting me I would like to think he would talk to me about it and not brush it off and not even check that I am okay. Talk to them both individually and tell them how you feel. If they still ignore your feelings then maybe they are not the right people for you in your life.

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A female reader, xsugarx Cyprus +, writes (10 January 2018):

Your not being paranoid. You should explain to him that he’s pushing you out and your feeling excluded. Etc if he tells u oh shut up or starts getting angry then he’s hiding something. But if he understands your feelings and backs off from your friend then actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately for me he got angry and I found out the friend was just not a friend. We have our gut for a reason just listen to his.

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 January 2018):


"their intentions are suspect and not necessarily friendly."

"He's a grown-man, and can do whatever he pleases; but don't do anything he doesn't want you to do."

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A male reader, WiseOwlE United States + , writes (8 January 2018):

I'm gay also. So I can relate to how you feel. Your relationship is very new, and there will naturally be jealousy and paranoia when it comes to your friends meeting your new boyfriend. There was a warning that your friend gave, letting you know that he is attracted to your boyfriend. That has now gotten fixed in the back of your mind, and you can't get passed it. He was subtly warning you that he's your competition.

Gay-male relationships are very fragile. Men in-general handle relationships differently from how women handle and conduct relationships, sexually and emotionally.

The first few months of new gay-male relationship are very shaky and you have to be vigilant of your closest friends. They will be jealous, they will prick at your sensitivities, and they will also subtly attempt to undermine your relationship. They are motivated by opportunism, a little jealousy that you've found someone; and they may be a little threatened someone has come along that will dominate most of your time and attention.

Sometimes even best friends may consciously, or subconsciously, attempt to sabotage your romantic-relationships. Not always in contempt. They knew you first, and you were/are always easily accessible. You can't let your paranoia or suspicion get the better of you. Keep your emotions under control. Don't make a green-eyed fool of yourself; even if your suspicions are on the money. Your boyfriend has something to lose in the deal here too!

You didn't handle things well by directly confronting your boyfriend and friend together; and showing your jealousy out in the open. Now your feelings can be simply dismissed as insecurity and jealousy. At least 60% of that perception may be true. The other 40% might be totally justified; but if you let them know your suspicions too soon, they'll just be more careful not to let anything slip. If they are in-fact, up to no-good! You have to practice managing jealousy and insecurity. They kill most of our gay-relationships early on!

You were foolish to allow your boyfriend and a friend be alone together in the first place! Your friend wanted that opportunity; because the odds are in his favor to sabotage the relationship more easily in the earliest stage of your connection. Trust has not been completely established, the bond has not completely set, and you're still getting to know each other as a couple. So the earlier the friend strikes; the better his chances to seduce your boyfriend. Keeping them apart closes the window of opportunity.

All the same, you simply can't let yourself get crazy about this; because this is also a test of what your boyfriend is really all about. How he really feels about you. He has to past the test of trust and faithfulness. Set his own boundaries in protection of your relationship and demonstrate his trustworthiness.

If your friend is able to easily drive a wedge between you; neither were trustworthy to begin with. Your friend also has the upper-hand by knowing your trust-issues. He can play them against you. So you have to show some maturity and fake restraint. No matter how hard it is.

Your boyfriend also needs to know your boundaries. Remember, he might be a little jealous of your friendship as well. He may want to keep an eye on you two; and figure-out and investigate what kind of history you have between you. Get the inside-skinny on you and your history. Don't hesitate to warm-up to his friends. Insist on being introduced. Keep things balanced and on even-footing. Don't make it obvious! You're gay! Use your natural-charm and power of persuasion! I said persuasion, not "manipulation." That will backfire!

New boyfriends typically like to know from a trusted closely-connected associate; who you are, and what type of relationship you and your friend(s) have. We men are naturally territorial. Many gay men make friends of their exes and past hookups. I don't tolerate those situations. That's just me!

The whole dynamic of gay-relationships is precarious, to say the least!

For the time-being, include yourself in any and all outings; because you and your boyfriend are still in the process of solidifying your relationship. The adhesive is still wet and drying. Friends have to step aside, and give you the time and space to do that.

If they're up in your grill the whole time; they're intentions are suspect and not necessarily friendly. They're sniffing around for a weak-spot, or easy opportunity. You still have to keep your cards close to your chest. Don't scare your boyfriend by acting possessive or clingy. You can sabotage your own relationship with no help at all!

If your friend doesn't keep you around or introduce all his tricks when he's dating; then you just remind Mr. Girlfriend of just that!

When you and your boyfriend are alone. Explain to him that you feel your new-relationship is too young to let your friends be alone with him. You were exercising your trust-muscles when you stood aside the first time. You must firmly inform him that you are uncomfortable for him to be taking numbers from your friends; before he and you are fully-established as a couple. He's a grown-man, and do what he pleases; but don't do anything he doesn't want you to do. Choose all your words carefully. Tactfully convey that you want his love and respect; and his willingness to understand your feelings. As you will do everything humanly-possible to earn and maintain his trust. You want no less from him. You may quote me!

Now about, girlfriend?!!

When you're both alone, sit your sneaky "girlfriend" down for a heart-to-heart. Let him know you're aware he's attracted to your boyfriend. Continuance of your friendship depends on your trust of his actions and motives. You can tell him straight-out, you're keeping an eye on him; and your friendship is shaky as long as he's showing too much interest in your new boyfriend. Set your parameters NOW!

You must present your case to each of them separately. You restrain your emotions, and stay cool as a cucumber. You treat them both as you normally would. Do not invite your friend out on dates or clubbing with you. You do not set the tone and atmosphere to let your friend get a taste of what it's like on romantic outings with your man. S/he probably knows, but erase her memory. That dinner was totally inappropriate without you there; and tell your boyfriend I said so!

Be mature and relaxed. Do not let suspicion or jealousy override your common-sense and make you daft. Treat your boyfriend with kindness and respect. Accept no less in return. Keep your boyfriend and friends separate for the time being. Show-up at events as a couple, and leave as a couple. No man left behind, and no one gets to take him out alone.

Let me know if this helps!

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2018):

Ashleighkaylin here, not sure why I can't sign in. That explain a lot :-) My phone screen is cracked so I didn't see your gender or else it went over my head somehow. Sorry!

Still, go with your gut, and still talk to your boyfriend about being the third wheel. Knowing you're all male and preferences makes me even more nervous that your friend is not really being a friend.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (8 January 2018):

(Poster response)

Hi, thank you for your response. I should probably add that I am a gay man, and my boyfriend also identifies as gay, as does my best friend - we're all gay, and all men, so here is why I'm more paranoid, especially knowing my friend IS attracted to my boyfriend and my boyfriend knows that he is.

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A female reader, ashleighkaylin United States +, writes (8 January 2018):

ashleighkaylin agony auntNo! I don't think you're being paranoid! Imagine if your friend were a girl, how would you feel? Probably the same, if not more worried. Is your boyfriend bisexual? Is there a danger of him being attracted to your friend? If not, he probably sees your friend as a buddy and is enjoying the attention and the "bro time". But your friend sounds like he's trying to boot you out so HE can move in! That's not a friend! Tell your boyfriend seriously (have a talk) "Anthony, I'm really worried about how much time you and Jacob spend alone. Jacob has told me he likes you and I truly feel like the third wheel. I know I've joked about it, but it's not funny anymore. I feel like I'm being squeezed out." He'll probably deny it and try to make you feel paranoid. Who would admit to an affair, let alone a gay one? Are you from an area or family that is really against that? Is it possible your boyfriend is closeted bisexual and using you as a cover? Go with your gut.

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