The big billion question that has loomed over everyone’s heads for many centuries — can men and women really be friends? Some may say never in donkey’s years, whereas others may have a more positive approach to this dynamic. Regardless of your personal perspective, it’s crucial to establish boyfriend-female friend boundaries in order to prevent any mishaps from happening down the lane.

Not that you don’t trust your boyfriend or that your boyfriend is a sleaze. It’s just that you are just protecting yourself, your sanity, and your relationship from being poisoned by a third person.

Moreover, evolutionary psychologists in a study argue that men and women may have inherent differences in their approach to friendships due to their reproductive strategies.

According to this perspective, men may prioritize mating opportunities in their social interactions, while women may focus on seeking emotional support and protection. So, if your boyfriend has a close female friend, make sure they have drawn solid boundaries in their friendship.

8 Signs Your Boyfriend Has Unhealthy Boundaries With His Female Friends

The need for male-female friendship boundaries is often overlooked at the start of a new relationship.His friends are your friends and things are pretty cool. But if your boyfriend has a girl best friend, you may be bothered by their closeness.

Especially if she has not come to terms with the fact that you are her best friend’s girlfriend now, and behaves needy, creating situations where he has to choose one between you two. Such situations call for a clear intervention,

Or if your boyfriend has too many female friends, it’s crucial you notice his behavior around them. Is their too much loose talk? Is there something going on behind that subtle flirting? Do they share a history? Do you spot some mixed signals? Observing your boyfriend and his close female friends will help you determine whether there is a third wheel in your relationship or not.

In some cases, there may be nothing to worry about. And we really hope you do not have to deal with a situation where you are caught off guard being the third wheel yourself.

However, there are instances when the line gets played here and there. That’s why you need to be armed with all the signs of male female friendships that aren’t as innocent as they look like:  

  1. Excessive one-on-one time: If your boyfriend spends an excessive amount of time alone with his close female friends, it’s a clear sign of blurred boundaries or boundaries that were never formed in the first place
  2. Keeping secrets from you: Another obvious sign that he is getting too close to a female friend is if he has secret conversations and inside jokes with her
  3. Inappropriate or flirtatious behavior: If you observe your boyfriend engaging in flirtatious or overly intimate behaviors like sitting next to each other and pretending like they are in a romantic relationship, it’s an obvious sign of unhealthy boundaries
  4. Disregard for your feelings: Your feelings should be his top most priority. If your boyfriend dismisses your concerns about his interactions with his female friends or becomes defensive when you try to discuss the issue, it indicates a lack of respect for your emotions and boundaries
  5. He is emotionally intimate with his female friends: It’s a matter of concern when he chooses to open up to his female friends and shares deeply personal or intimate details with them
  6. He ditches plans with you: Your boyfriend doesn’t have to make you his entire world. He can hang out with whoever he wants. But that doesn’t mean he will deliberately cancel or change plans with you to meet his female friends
  7. He compares you to them: Comparison isn’t good in any form. If your boyfriend frequently compares your behavior, looks, dressing sense, or personality to his female friends, it clearly shows he doesn’t respect you
  8. Ignoring your boundaries: If you have set boundaries about his interactions with female friends, and he consistently ignores or disrespects them, it’s a sign of problematic behavior 

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Boundaries should not be about controlling each other’s friendships, but about promoting a healthy and secure relationship. There are many examples of close opposite gender friendships. If both of you are on the same page, then read along and find out some of the important boundaries that must be followed in every healthy relationship. 

16 Boundaries My Boyfriend Should Have With His Female Friends 

Your boyfriend should set some clear boundaries with his female friends. Male-female friendship boundaries are crucial for maintaining a healthy and respectful romantic relationship. Here are some boundaries that your boyfriend should consider having with his female friends: 

1. He shouldn’t keep any secrets from you

This should be everyone’s motto in a serious relationship — No secret-keeping as secrets can indeed have a destructive impact on a relationship.

Research has shown that keeping secrets from a partner can lead to various negative consequences and undermine the trust and intimacy within the relationship.

Essentially, when your boyfriend doesn’t introduce you to his female friends, hides their conversations, and keeps secrets from you, then you need to state your demands more clearly about not hiding things from you anymore

2. He should be transparent about his whereabouts

This is one of the boundaries for boyfriends with female best friends you need to establish in your relationship. He just can’t hang out with them without telling you. That’s a big no-no!

You have to know where he is and what he is doing at all times when he is around a bunch of girls or even if it’s just one female best friend.

That’s called giving your new partner the respect they deserve. Here are some of the ways he can be transparent with you without causing any misunderstandings and trust issues:

  • “I had free time so I met Angelina at her new home. I am helping her set up the place”
  • “Just had dinner with Amelia. On my way to drop her home”
  • “I picked her up from work and we went to In-N-Out for some burgers”

3. He should involve you in their plans 

A good boyfriend will always make his partner feel like she is a part of his life. He will involve her in every decision he makes.

Therefore, this boyfriend-female friend boundary cannot be skipped. The way you tell him all the plans you make with your guy friends, even he needs to involve you in all his plans.

If they are planning for a meet up, he should outright ask you first if it’s okay to hang out with them. Of course, he doesn’t need your permission. He can do whatever he wants. But when you are in a monogamous relationship, your partner needs to feel like they belong with you and not like an outsider. 

4. He needs to keep his priorities straight 

It’s you before them. That’s it. As simple as that. You are the only woman who can be placed at the same position as his family members. Break it off right away if it feels like your boyfriend’s female friends matter to him more than you do.

If he prioritizes their opinions, perspectives, and judgments more than yours, it’s obvious that he doesn’t respect you. It is also one subtle sign that your boyfriend likes his female friend more than you.

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5. No inside jokes to make you feel left out

“Oh remember that time when Joanna did that stupid thing? That was hilarious!” NOPE. This is one of the clear boundaries you need to set with your partner. There can be no private conversations with this girl now that he is in a relationship with you.

Your boyfriend’s friends may have countless inside jokes between them but that doesn’t mean they will talk about it in your presence just to make you feel like you don’t belong there. That’s rude. 

It is your boyfriend’s responsibility to make you feel comfortable and involved when you are with his female friends. You might as well question his intentions if all he does is make you feel like you are not one of them.

6. He can’t go on trips with them without you

He must have gone on trips with his close female friends before being in a relationship with you. But now things have changed. He is in a serious relationship and it’s unwise to go on a trip with them and leave you alone to your vivid imagination and an overthinking brain.

This can give rise to a lot of trust issues, conflicts, and toxicity in your relationship.

In fact, studies have found that trust issues can lead to a lot of conflicts, emotional instability, and give off an impression that either of the parties wants to end the relationship.

If you want to have a future with them, settle this with your partner as soon as you start dating them. No trips with friends from their opposite sex alone. 

7. No inappropriate touching and kissing 

It’s best if male-female friendships don’t involve any touching, kissing, or inappropriate hugging. Physical affection is best avoided when it comes to friendships between opposite genders.

While the world may be in awe of romantic friendships, unless you are sure you can handle it, these can incite feelings of jealousy and insecurity. This is one of the things that can get you worried.

Hence, this physical boundary must be drawn between him and his female friends. Guys who have a lot of female friends should know this by now that physical boundaries matter the most if they don’t want to move beyond friendship. 

8. They can’t talk about you behind your back

Nobody has the right to discuss your relationship besides you and your boyfriend. No female friendships or family members can enter this sacred bond.

It falls on your partner to ensure that they don’t engage in any kind of gossiping or backbiting about you when you are not around. Your partner should discuss all his concerns regarding your relationship with you, and not try to seek relationship advice from his female friend(s).

If your boyfriend’s female friend doesn’t respect critical boundaries like this one, you need to talk to him about it and save your relationship from their toxicity. 

9. No gaslighting you for his female friends

There is nothing worse than being gaslighted in any kind of relationship. Beware of gaslighting phrases that he will use in order to protect his friendship with his girls. Some of the sentences he should never use include:

  • “God! Why do you always have to overreact? She is just a friend”
  • “It makes me so uncomfortable when you suspect me of cheating on you with my best friend. You are delusional!”
  • “Do you realiz how irrational you sound? Stop it with the speculations. You seriously need to get yourself checked”
  • “Why do you have so many problems with Natasha? I am sure it stems from your lack of self-esteem” 
  • “We are just two good friends hanging out at each other place every few days. What’s the problem with that? Don’t you trust me?

Is it a red flag if a guy has a lot of female friends? Probably no. But these phrases sure are.

These are familiar behaviors and phrases I’ve heard in my past relationship. You must talk to your boyfriend and let him know that these hyperbolic gaslighting statements will only damage your relationship. 

10. He needs to balance it out on social media

If he posts a picture of himself with friends from the opposite gender, he needs to post a picture of you too. He can also post pictures with his male friends.

But he just can’t keep you a secret while he openly displays his platonic love for other women and men. There should be no confusion as to who the girlfriend is. Period.

If his pictures with his close girl friend gathers a lot of comments like “You two look cute together!” or “I didn’t know you two were dating!” or “Cute couple”, it is a sign you should be setting clear boundaries. You need to make a big deal about this and ensure he balances it out on social media. 

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11. His friends can’t tag along on your date nights 

His female friends accompanying you on a date night? That’s unacceptable. Date nights are for just two partners who love spending time with each other. The sacred couple time should be kept as it is.

The way your guy friends don’t intrude on your date nights, his friends should know their limits as well. You should never compromise on this and make it clear that none of his friends, regardless of their gender, are welcome on your dates, trips, and quality time at home. 

Physical boundaries for boyfriends friends

12. He can’t practice your relationship rituals with female friends 

He can give his friends whatever gifts he wants. They can go out for dinner. Maybe chat over a few drinks. However, he can’t celebrate things like “Our first meeting” or “Our friendship anniversary”.

These are relationship milestones that should be celebrated with the person you dearly love and can’t live without.

Let’s keep it at that. Also, he can’t follow your relationship traditions like going to your favorite restaurants with them or gifting them the things you like. All these scream weak boundaries. 

13. He should respect your feelings and concerns

If you have explicitly said that hanging out with them late at night bothers you and that you feel threatened by their closeness, then he should respect your feelings and meet them during the day.

Nothing else matters more than respect, trust, compromise, forgiveness, and communication in a committed relationship. These are what soul ties are made of. 

14. He should limit his emotional intimacy 

He can tell you how sad he is. He can confess his insecurities, vulnerabilities, fears, phobias, and even his wicked fantasies with you. You are the only woman who should be aware of what’s going on inside his head and heart.

Another person trying to get into this dynamic is just going to wreak havoc in your relationship. If this behavior makes you sick, it’s best to clearly set boundaries on these things, especially if your boyfriend has a new female friend or has many existing ones. 

15. His female friends have to respect you

They can’t make you the butt of all their jokes. They shouldn’t be given the authority to:

  • Put you down
  • Be mean to you
  • Heckle you 
  • Patronize you patronize you
  • Compare you with your boyfriend’s ex lovers
  • Be condescending toward you 

And to ensure this, your boyfriend needs to take the lead role. He can never talk bad about you with them, share the secrets you share as a couple, or do anything that threatens the bond you two share.

16. He should not support them by going against you 

Let’s say you and one of his female friends are having an argument. But if your boyfriend defends his female friends, then walk away from that situation right away. He should have your back. Always and forever.

A good boyfriend will never go against you. If you are wrong, then he will correct you when the two of you are alone but never in public. 

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How To Help Your Boyfriend Establish Boundaries With His Female Friends

Helping your boyfriend establish boundaries with his female friends requires open communication, understanding, and support. Here are some steps you can take to assist him in setting healthy boundaries:

  • Express your feelings: Start by sharing your thoughts and feelings with your boyfriend in a calm and non-accusatory manner. Explain why you are wired and feel that certain boundaries are necessary for the sustenance of your relationship 
  • Use “I” statements: When discussing boundaries, use “I” statements to avoid sounding accusatory. For example, say, “I feel uncomfortable when…” instead of “You always…”
  • Be specific: Clearly articulate the boundaries you would like to see in place. Provide concrete examples to help your boyfriend understand what you’re comfortable with. Tell him if you have any other boundaries you want to set with his other friends as well 
  • Ask about his perspective: Encourage your boyfriend to share his thoughts and feelings on the matter. Listen actively and try to understand his perspective as well
  • Respect his autonomy: Ultimately, your boyfriend has the right to decide how he wants to manage his friendships. Offer your input and concerns, but allow him to make his own decisions

Infographic On Must Have Boyfriend Female Friends Boundaries

Infographic On Must Have Boyfriend Female Friends Boundaries
What are the boundaries your boyfriend’s female friends should have?

Key Takeaways

  • If your boyfriend has had any romantic history with his female friends, he should be honest about it and everything else that happens between them
  • Some of the ways you can set boundaries include avoiding emotional intimacy with his friends, making the relationship his first priority, and letting you know about all his interactions with them 
  • Offer your support as he navigates the process of setting boundaries. Acknowledge that it might be challenging, especially if he’s been close to his female friends for a long time

Once you set these boundaries, you will know how to trust your boyfriend with female friends. And if you are still struggling with this issue, you can seek professional help. Finally, to avoid any perception of double standards and hypocrisy, discuss and agree on boundaries the same way with your guy friends.