How do I deal with my Boyfriend’s clingy best friend?

Throwaway_laca asks: 

I come to you today, because I’m very confused. I’ve been dating a great guy for a year now. We are both finishing up college, we have great social lives, and little financial burden. My boyfriend has a best friend that dates back to kindergarten; let’s call him John. John is one of the greatest guys I’ve met, he’s definitely the funniest, extremely smart, popular, handsome, athletic, you name it. So my boyfriend has an awesome best friend…that’s good right? Wrong!

They are virtually inseparable. When we go out to parties they usually hang out with each other in their groups, etc. I understand, he wants to hang out with his friend, but I want to hang out with my boyfriend! So I start bringing my friends around, hoping John likes one, and dates her so we can all hang out.

I bring friend after friend his way, they think he’s amazing, but he doesn’t really show them any more attention than just being a friend. Mostly he ignores them. This pissed me off! Finally as a last-ditch effort I go for a big play. We went to Panama City Beach for spring break. I have a friend who already graduated and lives in Florida. She is the most beautiful person, inside and out. She is swarmed by men everywhere she goes, she’s attracted celebrities, etc. I decide to bring her along and see if she can crack John. To no avail, she wasn’t able to. She actually fell for him in the process, and threw herself at him, but he turned her down. He doesn’t show any girls attention, and I don’t know what to do.

So what’s up with this guy? What’s most likely going on with him? I know you’re probably thinking he’s gay, but that’s just not the case. I have a few gay friends, this guy just couldn’t be. I just don’t know what he’s looking for.

 Okay, so there seem to be a few things to address from your question:

1. What’s John’s deal in relation to the attention he shows your boyfriend

2. Why doesn’t John show interest in speaking to anyone besides your boyfriend

3. How do you deal with your boyfriend giving his best-friend so much attention when you hang out

 What’s John’s deal exactly? When faced with a multitude of options and what if scenarios, I tend to go with the simplest answer. In this case, let’s go with the simplest answer for John’s behavior: He simply enjoys spending time with his friend, more so than strangers. So much so that he’d rather talk to him in a social setting than not. If they’re such good friends, it might come down to being so familiar with your boyfriend that he thinks anyone else besides him just isn’t as interesting as your boyfriend.

If you operate on that assumption, everything else makes a little more sense. As a single guy, I absolutely wanted to meet single women when I was out at bars. But, if I had to choose between a good conversation with a stranger versus a great conversation with friends, I’d probably go for the great conversation with friends. It does sound to me like John is on the extreme end of the thing, but on the other hand it’s possible that you overestimated how interesting your friend would be to him. Don’t get caught up in the why of it because the possibilities are numerous: it’s possible he is gay of course (not all gay people act the same btw), it’s possible he’s not interested in dating anyone, it’s possible that he has a secret partner, or that he’s has his heart broken is reluctant to pursue any romantic partners, or a million other “what ifs“. If he’s polite and friendly when you introduce him to people, that might be the best you’re going to get from his end.

Now, for how you deal with the issue at hand, the best way to tackle the issue of your boyfriend’s attention being occupied by his bestfriend. You need to start by talking to your boyfriend about it. A lot of your question seems to be focused on John, and less on your boyfriend, so you need to shift the way you’re tackling the problem. If the issue is the amount of attention your boyfriend’s bestfriend pays him, you need to talk to your boyfriend, not his friend. Trying to solve the problem indirectly isn’t going to help, so avoid trying to set up John with any of your friends as this will only lead to more frustration and confusion. Instead, talk to your boyfriend very frankly. Just let him know that it’s great that he has this awesome friendship, but you sometimes feel left out, or feel like he doesn’t pay you enough attention in large social settings. Alternatively, you can figure out a ratio that works well for you. Maybe you have a ratio where for every night that your boyfriend and John are bro-ing out together, your boyfriend has to spend at least one night hanging out with just you two together. Whatever you decide, just have a rational discussion about it. Make sure the tone doesn’t imply that your boyfriend has to choose, just get better at balancing.

Having this talk might actually lead to your boyfriend telling his bestfriend to get a little more social.

Good Luck Out There.

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