Is It Ok for Your Girlfriend to Have Guy Friends?

woman have guy friends lg

A lot of women have mostly female friendships. But every now and then we meet (or maybe even marry) a woman who mostly has guy friends. And whether single or not, I’m talking about straight guys. So is it ok for your girlfriend to have guy friends?

As a general rule, a woman who mostly has friends who are straight men has low self-esteem and is seeking attention and validation from men who likely find her attractive. But it is not OK for a man to tell his wife or girlfriend who she can or can’t be friends with.

Now having said that many women like attention and validation, that does not mean they would act on the possible advances from these guy friends, but it can cross boundaries and is seen as inappropriate by many.

But it’s not quite that simple.

And many women do have guy friends and never sleep with them or cross a boundary. And as the guy, it’s not OK to be a needy, insecure, jackass.

So how do you trust her in the face of what could be a red flag? What is fair to ask of her and what is just needy, insecure behavior on your part that could potentially end your relationship?

Let’s explore this complicated issue.

You CAN save your relationship— even after the trust has been broken or you feel insecure.

I’ve been in your shoes. You want to stop hurting. And you desperately want to restore trust, mutual acceptance, and respect to your relationship; whether your girl is actually crossing a line or if you’re just feeling insecure that she might.

Luckily, all hope is NOT lost, and there is something you can do, even if your girl seems reluctant or unsure.

The website Regain by BetterHelp offers licensed therapists who specialize in couples counseling and will work directly with you and your spouse online; anytime and from anywhere.

This quote from Brenda R. perfectly sums up the quality work Regain does:

“I was apprehensive about having a male couple’s counselor at first, but he has been amazing. We were close to ending our relationship but over time we’ve worked on our foundation and also expanding our communication. We would not be together if it weren’t for the direction from Tom (and the work we’ve done as well).”

Serious about saving or improving your relationship?

CLICK HERE to answer a short quiz and see if Regain is right for you.

Is it okay for my girl to have male friends?

The short answer is yes. It is OK for a girl to have guy friends or a guy to have girl friends.

And for the purposes of this article, I’m focusing on straight men and women. But even in gay or lesbian relationships, the principles behind what I’m saying still apply.

At the end of the day, what is important is not the friends, it’s the trust.

If you trust your girlfriend (or wife), then who she hangs out with will be of little consequence. If you don’t trust her, you have bigger issues than your girlfriend’s male friends. And no matter where she goes or who she’s with, you will always feel that nagging insecure anxiety tugging at you until you address the trust issue.

So absolutely do not tell her she can’t have guy friends; that’s controlling, unattractive behavior and will get you dumped by any woman with a decent amount of self-esteem.

It is OK to ask questions and share your feelings.

But if you think the issue is as much your own insecurities as it is her behavior, it’s worth exploring the root of your insecurities first. Maybe a previous relationship cheated on you and now you’re naturally insecure and mistrusting.

If that’s the case, that’s your issue and not your girl’s and she shouldn’t be punished for it.

Is it OK for my girl to have a male best friend?

Lots of women have a best friend who is not their romantic partner. And theoretically, whether that person is a male or female shouldn’t really matter.

Trust is ultimately what matters.

If you have trust with your girl then it’s totally fine for her to have a male best friend (under the right circumstances which we’ll get into). And if the trust isn’t there or has been broken, then you have to fix that before you worry about anything else.

Ultimately, if you have trust issues, that will show up in a lot of ways in your relationship. And as noted author, Edith Hamilton says, “love cannot exist where there is no trust”.

So you have to decide if your girl and her best friend of the opposite gender are good, trustworthy people.

If they are, then the issue is rooted in your own insecurity and you need to deal with that before it destroys your relationship. And even if this relationship ends, if you are insecure, that will plague any future relationships to come.

Should I worry about my girlfriend’s guy friend?

Worry about your girlfriend or wife’s cross-sex friendships if 2 or more of these signs are present:

  • Their text messages go late at night (after she stops texting other friends)
  • She hides her phone or always keeps the screen down
  • You are never invited to hang out with them
  • When they hang out it’s usually late at night and alcohol is involved
  • She gets more dressed up for him than when she hangs out with other friends (or you)

Now if you’ve met the guy, are occasionally invited out to join them, and especially if he’s also in a relationship that seems healthy, it’s probably no big deal. And even more so if most of their meet-ups are in group settings.

But let’s be honest.

Most single straight guys who hang out with married women or taken women want to sleep with them; even just as a casual hookup FWB type situation.

I say that as a straight guy who had a female friend that I was romantically interested in. In my situation (over 20 years ago), I didn’t act on my feelings of sexual attraction. But I did think about it a lot.

She was taken and so was I.

But we hung out a lot. Now to be fair, her boyfriend and my girlfriend were sometimes with us. And as I mentioned, we never crossed a line. But if the right circumstances had come up or the right amount of alcohol, who knows?

These days, I personally think it’s better to not put myself in a potentially compromising situation. So I tend to avoid friends of the opposite sex. I do have friends that are female. But it’s rare for me to ever hang out with them at night just the two of us.

Is it OK to be jealous of a girlfriend’s male friends?

Jealousy is an ugly quality.

And if your wife or girlfriend hasn’t done anything to breach your trust, it’s really not fair to put your insecurities on her. That doesn’t mean you can just flip a switch and no longer feel that way; it will take effort.

Personally, I like talking to a therapist about things like that.

That way I can always be improving and getting better. And it also means less danger to a romantic relationship if you’re always striving to not let your past issues affect your present situation.

If you think you could benefit from therapy too, I highly recommend using Regain by the people at BetterHelp. Online therapists are waiting that are highly qualified and can meet with you virtually when and where you want, with complete discretion.

So while it might be natural for you to feel jealous feelings if your girl has a lot of guy friends, it’s important to look at the facts. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Has she ever done anything to break trust?
  2. Do these guys seem like decent people?
  3. Have you met them and occasionally hung out with them?
  4. Is she clear with you about where she’s going and when she’ll be home?
  5. Has she ever put these guys ahead of you?

Unless the answers produce red flags, we’re mostly talking about insecurity in you more than we are her doing something inappropriate.

In that case, you risk your relationship by pressing the issue.

That doesn’t mean you can’t talk about your feelings. But women like strong, confident guys. That’s why women are more attracted to guys who ignore them or don’t chase after them.

If you come across as needy and insecure, especially with any frequency, you actually risk pushing her away. And these guys could soon move from platonic friends to back-up plans.

And if the answers to those questions did produce red flags, she may be a low-quality woman who lacks integrity.

And as the saying goes, “you can’t turn a hoe into a housewife”. And you have to decide if you want to stick around and see what happens or leave now and find a higher-caliber woman. But if opt to stay, expect relationship problems to continue and likely grow.

How do I stop being insecure about my girlfriend’s guy friends?

Stop being insecure about your wife or girlfriend’s guy friends by taking the following steps:

  1. Making sure you have met all of them
  2. Making sure they are clear on your relationship (it’s huge red flag if she hasn’t told them about you)
  3. Making sure your girl occasionally invites you to join them
  4. Identifying whether you are naturally insecure or whether she’s not trustworthy
  5. Make sure they hang out in a public place (at his house is a red flag if it’s just the two of them)

If she’s not trustworthy and has proven that, then you’re kidding yourself if you think she’ll ever be more than a friends-with-benefits situation.

But if it’s mostly you being an insecure needy guy you need to take steps to work on that and not make your problem her problem.

How do you know if your girlfriend likes another guy?

A girlfriend who develops a romantic interest in another guy will likely display 2 or more of the following signs:

  • She will text him late at night after she’s ceased texting other friends
  • She has changed her phone’s password
  • She keeps her phone screen down most of the time
  • She suddenly starts mentioning him a lot less than she used to (but you know they still hang out)
  • She suddenly starts talking about him a lot more than she used to (she might think that talking about him will hide what’s going on)

And this is the danger anytime a man and a woman who are in relationships with other people hang out.

While I am not going to say it’s never appropriate, there is ALWAYS a risk of one or both of them developing feelings. And even if neither ever acts on those feelings, it can cloud judgment and lead to less overt but equally inappropriate behavior.

And even a purely emotional affair is still an affair.

How do you know if your girl is a woman of good character?

A high-caliber woman won’t be a slave to your insecurities. But she will be aware and sensitive to how her actions affect the man she’s in a committed relationship with.

In other words, she will care if her actions are causing you stress even if the underlying problem is your insecurity more than it is her having a deep friendship with 1 or more guys.

Ask yourself if she is the type of woman who:

  • Overcommunicates her whereabouts when she’s out with friends
  • Doesn’t make you feel like a 3rd wheel when you’re with her and her guy friends?
  • Isn’t secretive about her phone
  • Isn’t texting guy friends after 9 or 10 at night
  • Isn’t getting more dressed up for her male friends than she does for you or for female friends
  • Has a circle of friends who also seem like high-integrity people

If those things are in place and there are no signs of her feelings for you changing, then you have a high-integrity woman and should have nothing to worry about.

If I think back to my recent divorce and my ex-wife, I can see in retrospect that most of the signs I listed above weren’t there. I’m not saying she ever cheated on me (but it is definitely possible). But I do see where her integrity was questionable.

And the guy she’s with now was her best friend for upwards of 7 years.

And while I don’t have any hard evidence they were together during most of my marriage, for sure they did get together romantically within a week of the last time she and I did and that was before we were divorced.

And many (definitely not all though) of her friends were people of low integrity who had addiction issues and/or cheated on their spouses. To be fair though, I cheated on her once during our marriage too back in 2013. So I’m not trying to paint myself as a saint.

But in my case, I took (and continue) to take steps to own my behavior and constantly work on self-improvement. For me, a growth-mindset is critical and a fixed-mindset is going nowhere.

Do good relationships allow good friends of the opposite sex?

To be sure, many relationships and marriages, especially ones rooted in the Christian faith, do have boundaries that both people agree to that limit or exclude same-sex friendships.

They recognize that men and women, even people of faith, are fallible.

And they see that the best way to limit the possibility of cheating or emotional affairs is to avoid either one of them hanging out with friends of the opposite sex.

That by no means means that there aren’t plenty of healthy relationships where that is not the case and cheating never takes place. But it does mean that they place a higher value on the primary relationship and take steps to protect it from potentially damaging outside influences.

Of course, another way to avoid these pitfalls is to have a more “transactional” relationship.

No, I’m not talking about a hooker. But I am talking about sugar relationships. Typically these are when older, more successful guys, have girlfriends who are younger and looking to be supported and mentored. And that can definitely include the man dictating what he’s comfortable with her doing.

Curious about how that works and whether it would be right for you?

Click here to read my complete guide to sugar relationships. I get into how they work, how it differs from hiring an escort, and how long they typically last. I even cover how often they transition into a “real” relationship.

Final thoughts

In this article, we looked at the touchy subject of what it means when your girl (wife or girlfriend) hangs out with mostly straight guys.

We examined why she might do that, what it means, if you should be concerned, and what some of the huge red flags are that it’s moving beyond friendship and into something inappropriate.

Ultimately at the end of the day, it comes down to trust.

But you, as the guy, will never have 100% trust if your girl is spending a lot of time with guys who likely want to sleep with her. And if she values you and the relationship, and is a woman of integrity, while she won’t agree to being controlled, she will be willing to compromise for the sake of your relationship.

You can have a happy marriage or relationship even if your girlfriend’s guy friends make you a little uncomfortable. It just takes good communication, trust, integrity, and the benefit of the doubt.

Now what if you were so needy she’s already broken up with you?

Can you get her back? Click here to read my ultimate guide on how to know if she’ll come back. I cover how long it typically takes on average, and the specific steps for you to take to maximize the chances of that happening.

You CAN save your relationship— even after the trust has been broken or you feel insecure.

I’ve been in your shoes. You want to stop hurting. And you desperately want to restore trust, mutual acceptance, and respect to your relationship; whether your girl is actually crossing a line or if you’re just feeling insecure that she might.

Luckily, all hope is NOT lost, and there is something you can do, even if your girl seems reluctant or unsure.

The website Regain by BetterHelp offers licensed therapists who specialize in couples counseling and will work directly with you and your spouse online; anytime and from anywhere.

This quote from Brenda R. perfectly sums up the quality work Regain does:

“I was apprehensive about having a male couple’s counselor at first, but he has been amazing. We were close to ending our relationship but over time we’ve worked on our foundation and also expanding our communication. We would not be together if it weren’t for the direction from Tom (and the work we’ve done as well).”

Serious about saving or improving your relationship?

CLICK HERE to answer a short quiz and see if Regain is right for you.

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I am a father and blogger and recently divorced. I love spending time with my 3 daughters and am still learning how to navigate life as a single dad and ex-husband; a life I didn't choose but have accepted.

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