Guys have a major loyalty code when it comes to being with girls who have dated or hooked up with their friends.
I’ve had my horrible moments as a friend, like one night in college with my friend Jay. We were sitting in a diner at the end of the night when a gorgeous girl from Rhode Island (that’s the only thing I remember about her) straight up sat down at our table and told Jay:
You are beautiful, you have to come home with me...now.
But I told him he couldn’t leave me. Perhaps it was because I was visiting him at his campus and I didn’t want to wander around alone. Who knows the reason, but he yielded to me and told her he had a visitor and couldn’t leave me alone.
The next morning I woke up with morning wood (that strange phenomenon where guys wake up with erections), and I thought to myself:
Damn, it would have been nice to hook up last night.
Then it dawned on me how I had ruined Jay’s amazing opportunity. I apologized to him and told him he totally could have gone off with that girl. He just shook his head and said:
I wish you could have told me that last night.
In retrospect most of our guy friends actually blame Jay for his decision to listen to me, despite my behavior that my they classified as “girly”. In any event, Jay showed major loyalty that night over the chance to get lucky.
Recently, I was really into this girl who lives in Hoboken, NJ. Hoboken is a short train ride to NYC, but it’s still a major pain in the ass to get to for Manhattanites. Remember, though, when you’re into someone you’ll go out of your way. But on one occasion when I asked this girl to meet us the upcoming weekend, she said:
Bring Justin. He’s really cute.
My heart sank. She was into my best friend/roommate. Everything blew up in my face.
But Justin knew I liked her. He never flinched, even though she was really cute. He would say:
That girl is horrible. I don’t see what you see in her.
He never asked me to bring her out, never acted like he was into her. He never sat me down and said:
How would you feel if I hooked up with her?
And, the one time they got left behind at our apartment during a party, I got a text:
How could you leave me with her? Help!
To Justin, an opportunity with a girl that his best friend was into just wasn’t an option.
Even crazier—I was out with Justin one night when we ran into a girl that our other roommate/friend (he wasn’t with us) had been seeing. The girl came up to me, and whispered the most frightening, body-contorting things she wanted me to do to her in my ear. In just a few moments, she had reduced me to a Catholic school girl with her desires. My fear of her porn-style wishes aside, I knew I couldn’t do it because of her history with my friend. Not an option.
My younger sister’s serious boyfriend in college came out of stealing him from one of her best friends. While he was dating her friend, she hooked up with him. He eventually broke up with my sister’s friend and started dating my sister and it grew into a long-term relationship. There were major problems between my sister and her friend after that. Eventually they worked things out and they are friends again. My sister has since broken up with that guy.
This might be the crux of the friendship versus romantic relationship thing: your friends are the ones that will be around forever, and boyfriends/girlfriends will come and go. As soon as we get fixated on one person and believe they are the one, then we start getting into trouble: we don’t care what consequences there are.
Guys tend to have a lots-of-fish-in-the-sea attitude. They also are the ones who have to do the pursuing most of the time, so there’s an in-the-trenches camaraderie where they all kind of pull for on another to succeed with girls.
What is the female dynamic with compromising friendships through dating? In your friendship duties, are you more prone to keep a girl from going off with a guy than encouraging her? Have you ever considered dating a guy who has a history with a friend of yours? Do you agree that if you avoid thinking of someone as the one, it keeps you out of trouble?