Man's Girlfriend Wants Him To Cut Off A Friend Who Once Had A Crush On Him — She Thinks It's 'A Reasonable Boundary'

Is it a boundary issue or an example of controlling behavior?

three people sitting on a couch Mart Production / Pexels

A man entangled in a conflict with his girlfriend wrote to Reddit seeking guidance. He asked the subreddit r/AmITheA–hole if his reaction to a request from his girlfriend made him an a–hole, or if she was out of line.

The man’s girlfriend wants him to cut off a friend who had a crush on him in college.

The man seeking advice is 25; his girlfriend, Lizzie, is also 25. The man writes that the couple recently hung out with his college best friend, Jack, who’s 26. For context, the man mentioned that Jack is gay. They’ve been best friends since their first year of school, so around seven years, while he’s been dating Lizzie for nine months.


The three of them were drinking wine at Jack’s apartment when the topic of romantic flings from their university days arose. Lizzie asked Jack if he’d ever had a crush on the man. Jack responded by smiling and joking, “Well, who wouldn’t?”

The man stated that Lizzie “kept kind of pushing the issue, but in a pretty lighthearted way. I thought it was making Jack a little uncomfortable, but he ended up saying that he had had a crush when we first met, which I never knew.”

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Jack explained that before they got to know each other, he’d heard the man was bi, so he thought there could be a chance that they could get together. The man stated that “we got to know each other, he learned I was straight, and was happy he’d landed such a great friend instead.”

two men holding handsPhoto: Marcelo Chagas / Pexels

“I just made some comment that it was a shame I was straight because we’d have been a cute couple, he laughed and said we would, but he thought me and Lizzie made a cuter one, and the conversation moved on,” the man said.


According to his account, Lizzie didn’t seem upset at the time, “she just said something about it being sweet.”

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When he and Lizzie got home, she told him that she didn’t want him to be friends with Jack because he'd harbored a crush on him when they first met.

"She said she wasn’t comfortable with me being friends with someone who was interested in me, and that she thought it was a reasonable boundary to have," the man explained.

He reported feeling stunned, and told her that “just because he had a crush when we were 18 doesn’t mean he’s interested in me now, and that he’d never made any sort of move on me at all.” He stood up for their friendship, telling her that “he’s a really close friend and I wasn’t going to drop him when he hadn’t done anything wrong.”


Lizzie got angry and said that cutting Jack off “seemed [like] a basic ask in a relationship, to put your girlfriend first over friends who had crushes on you.”

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“The conversation just sort of went round in circles from there, going back and forth between her talking about her boundaries and me saying that she wasn’t making sense until she suggested a compromise where I was never alone with Jack but could still be friends,” he said.

But the man refused, saying that they didn’t need to be chaperoned. Lizzie went to bed “saying she was hurt I was choosing Jack over her.”


She left for work the next morning before he woke up, which is a common occurrence, but he explained they haven’t yet spoken.

“Lizzie has never done anything like this before and she’s never seemed the jealous type, so that’s got me thinking maybe I’m the unreasonable one,” the man stated.

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man sitting next to woman Photo : Marlene Leppanen / Pexels 


He noted that he has “a pretty bad history with being delivered ultimatums,” explaining that he’d been in a previous “toxic” relationship with someone who regularly gave him ultimatums. He said that Lizzie is aware of that relationship, and said that “Jack was actually really important in helping me get out of and over that relationship.”

He wondered if he could trust his own judgment in this situation, “as I’m kind of predisposed to mistrust anyone telling me I have to cut people off for them.” He said, “I know I probably could have communicated better but I feel really blindsided by this, and I can’t imagine hurting Jack by saying we can’t hang out anymore.”

He also noted that he loves Lizzie, and doesn’t want to cause her harm, either. He stated, “our relationship has been great so far and this is the first serious issue we’ve encountered.”

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The people who responded to the man’s predicament wholeheartedly believed that he’s not the a–hole in this situation.

He also wrote that Lizzie’s behavior was a major red flag

One person noted, “Everyone here is an adult, so you should all be able to make adult decisions.” 

Another person even laid out a script for a possible conversation to have with Lizzie, suggesting that he tell her, “I can understand a bit of jealousy. However, Jack is a very good friend to me — and you demanding that I isolate myself from him or not be alone with him is controlling. I am not choosing him over you — you are my girlfriend and he is my best friend. There is no competition. If you cannot come to terms with this, then this won’t work out.”

Others picked up on the way “she’s weaponizing words like ‘boundaries’ to attempt to rationalize her controlling behavior.”


As someone else saw it, “She went fishing for information under the guise of it being friendly conversation so she could use that information to isolate you from your friend.”

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One person maintained that Lizzie’s response was not only controlling, it was also homophobic.

“I think [this] has more to do with homophobia than anything else,” they stated. Her request “makes me feel as though Lizzie might think that gay men just try and 'flip' straight men for fun, that they can't be trusted and they're only there for sex.” 


Another person echoed that belief, stating, “I was thinking there is definitely a homophobia element to all of this! It smacks of the ‘gay men secretly want straight men’ nonsense that some people believe.”

There seems to be consistent debate around whether men and women can be friends, a debate that views the issue through an admittedly heteronormative lens. The reality of this man’s situation appears to have less to do with what constitutes an appropriate boundary, and more to do with his girlfriend’s attempt to isolate him from a close friend. 

Strong relationships are built on trust and balance. It's incredibly important to maintain friendships, even when you’re romantically involved with someone — the two don’t cancel each other out. While the man never returned to the thread to offer an update, one hopes he trusted his instincts and prioritized the friend who’d been there for him for the last seven years. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers relationship issues, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.