He leans on them emotionally and (when he’s single) physically… And just because he isn’t actually having sex with them currently, I still feel like they might as well be because the intention/desire is still there, like they’re just taking a break for a while and I’m part of the intermission.
So what is the difference between a relationship with a friend and your relationship with a boyfriend/girlfriend (aside from sex) that lets a boyfriend/girlfriend know that they have nothing to worry about?
How do you explain it to them or make sure they feel secure?
Opinionated, in which readers have questions about the pesky day-to-day choices we all face, and I give advice about how to make ones that (hopefully) best reflect our shared commitment to feminist values—as well as advice on what to do when they don’t.
I feel that sex is only valuable to me when I’m sharing it with someone I love and trust completely and I can’t enjoy it when I don’t feel that my heart is safe.
Well, let me start by saying to anyone, including your boyfriend, that when your partner is even a little insecure about you being friends with people with whom you used to bump uglies, the appropriate thing to do even when specifically asked whether you would ever trip the light fantastic with them again if not in a relationship is to say, “No.” It’s never going to help, it’s always going to cause problems and whose genitals with which you might or might not engage at some hypothetical later point were your current relationship to be over will be, at that point, none of your hypothetical-ex’s business (unless it’s a family member or maybe a good friend of their’s) so it’s sort of not their business now. But the fact of the matter is that you don’t respect what he’s done, you don’t accept his point of view about what sex and intimacy mean to him in various circumstances and you don’t trust either him nor his friends-who-he-used-to-bone.
If you were writing me about your boyfriend not trusting you because of your sexual history and attempting to isolate you from close friends to make him feel more secure about your relationship, there wouldn’t be much of a question about what you should do.You need to stop pressuring him to create enough distance with his friends for your peace of mind (is there enough distance for that?), because he’s said he’s not willing to and because it’s hurting your relationship.And you need to consider that his friends are his friends for reasons that they might be (or might have been) yours, too, if you let your defenses down and thought about them as individuals rather than women-your-boyfriend-used-to-bang.And then you need to look deep within yourself and separate out that piece of all of this which is the socialized understanding that women are in competition with one another for the supposedly scarce resource of men.You don’t even actually know if they’d ever bone him again, if they’ll still be single (or single again) at some future point after which you two might have broken up, or what they think of you (other than, I assume, that you aren’t very friendly, unless you’re an Oscar-award winning actress).