When you start dating someone, I suppose it’s probably a good idea to make sure they’re not married (that’s what I’ve learned from movies, at least). I was in high school and so was Brandon when we started dating, so I assumed he wasn’t. Pretty safe assumption, you’d think.
The thing is, he never told me he was basically married…to his best friend. And that is how I became the other woman.
You don’t get how serious I am unless you’ve met the two of them. They refer to their relationship as a “bro-marriage” (They both claim to be the husband, but call each other the wife) and they’re not really kidding. Both of them know absolutely everything about the other, and they’ve been together longer than most romantic couples I know.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Cheaters, you can probably imagine how the first few months of our relationship played out.
It was like the confrontation part of every episode, minus the profanity and the physical violence. I was the trashy “other woman” and Brandon’s best friend was the woman scorned, calling me every name in the book, while Brandon was the guy in the middle yelling “But baby, I still love you!”
…Okay…I’m being dramatic. But it was really hard for Brandon’s best friend to adjust to the idea that I wasn’t going anywhere.
Brandon calls it “that period in time when we (me and the BFF) didn’t like each other” but I think more accurately it was “that period in time when I desperately tried to get him to like me and he was determined to still not like me because I was stealing his bro-wife/bro-husband” (I still don’t get how that works).
I didn’t think his best friend/bro-partner would ever be convinced that I wasn’t so bad, but over time we learned to get along, and eventually *gasp* actually like each other, or rather, he learned to like me. Now we are like one big dysfunctional love triangle, like if Bill and Hillary moved Monica into the White House and gave her a nice guest room. We’re living the dream, really.
Getting along with the best friend/bromestic partner is a crucial part of any relationship, and through my experience I learned a few things about how to balance getting time with your boyfriend while still allowing him to spend time with his friends…and making sure his friends actually like you, which is important if you plan on sticking around for awhile.
1. Never, ever try to separate him from his best friend.
You knew going into this that he and his best friend were a package deal. If you have a genuine problem with his bff, approach him about it, but don’t make him pick between the two of you, because he probably won’t pick you. The old adage “bros before hoes” applies.
2. Encourage bro time.
As much as your boyfriend loves spending time with you, he also likes his bro time, too. It’s important for him to feel like he can take that time to unwind and enjoy his friends. During that whole “we didn’t like each other” period, I was very aware of how much time Brandon was spending with me as opposed to his best friend, and I tried to encourage him to take time with his friends. It helped show both him and his best friend that I understood that their time together was important.
3. Be willing to be a bro sometimes.
If you’re planning on being a part of your significant other’s life, that life involves his bros. Sometimes the best way to earn his friends’ respect is to become a bro, just for a day. Hang out with them while they’re watching the game or join them for golf or whatever they do. A natural part of deepening your relationship with someone is to eventually be able to merge your social lives. You should be comfortable around his friends, and step one of that is making the effort to get to know them in their natural habitat.
Have you ever had trouble with the best friend?