subject line: dear new girlfriend of my best friend (who is a guy)


reston, virginia

As I’m sure you know by now, he is amazing. He’s one of most genuine, insightful, resilient, generous, creative and compassionate people I’ve ever met. He sees the best in people – even if they don’t see it in themselves. He wears his heart on his sleeve, and will go absolutely out of his way to help somebody in need.

Because he is the best, he deserves the best. He deserves to have people in his life who are going to encourage, challenge and inspire him. People who appreciate his giving spirit, and never take advantage of his generosity. People who listen to him and are willing to be fully present, enjoying the opportunity to just spend time and with him, without needing to be “entertained”.

When he chooses to let somebody into his life, it’s because he sees those qualities in that person. He believes that he sees those things in you - please prove him right.

As for me, I’m not your competition. Honest. I’m not going to steal him away. Most people believe the whole “When Harry Met Sally” idea that guys and girls can’t be “just friends”, so they’ll try to convince you that I’m secretly in love with him and am just waiting for my opportunity to pounce. If that was the case, we’d all be stuck in a ridiculous love triangle with every corner dripping of drama and clichés, and who needs that? The only triangles I want in my life are those with pepperoni and cheese.

When he showed me your Facebook profile (oh, by the way, he showed me your Facebook profile...) I crossed my fingers before I looking at it, hoping I wouldn’t see any red flags because he’s absolutely head over heels for you. To my relief, you seem relatively nice, sane, and thankfully steer away from the annoying attention-seeking statuses (you know, the whole “I can’t even handle it right now. Don’t ask” ridiculousness) so I didn’t have to lie when I told him that you seemed great. Boy, you should have seen that goofy grin when he said, “I think so, too!” It’s the kind of smile I’ve never put on his face, and you do it just by having a relatively normal Facebook page. How on earth could I compete with that? And why would I even want to? I want him to be happy, and you make him happy, so where’s the conflict of interest in that?

Please be true to who you are. Don’t waste time trying to be someone or something that you aren’t at your core. From one girl to another – game recognizes game. I’ll be the first to see through you if you have been anything less than authentic, and you better bet that I’ll be warning him.

Be an equal partner. He will devote time, energy, thought and resources into the people he cares about the most. Please appreciate that, and be intentional about contributing however you can. Help clean up after a meal, offer to help cover groceries if you’re cooking together, help wrangle the cats (maybe wear long sleeves for that one....), surprise him at work with coffee if it’s been a rough day (I know he doesn’t drink it much any more, but when he does – you can’t go wrong with an iced caramel macchiato with ridiculous amounts of caramel and maybe even some extra shots of espresso).

And when it comes to the connection that he and I have, don’t worry about us spending time alone with each other. He and I have known each other nearly two decades, and not once have we been tempted to jump each other’s bones. So why should it happen now that you’re in the picture? In fact, us spending time together without you can work in your favor. When you get mad at him when he keeps wearing that shirt from his ex, guess whose job it will be to explain why? I’ve got your back on this one.
I’ll get your back on a lot of things if you’ll let me. I’ll help him plan surprises, or the perfect date, or how to say he’s sorry. I’ll help him pick out gifts and avoid getting that horrendous perfume that will make you smell like the inside of a strip club.

Trust me, I’ve been his accomplice in everything...from speeding to make it home by curfew to preparing for his first ever job interview, from being the Best (Wo)Man at his wedding to picking up the pieces after she cheated and walked out. Why wouldn’t I back him up in something as important as his new relationship with you?

Please be honest with him. Have the boldness and courage to tell the truth – no matter what – even if it means initiating or engaging in a tough conversation. The truth, no matter how much it stings, is still better than being manipulated, disillusioned or blindsided.

Now, you also need to know that if you break up, I will hate you for hurting my boy. No question. I’m the one who’ll have to pick up the pieces and watch him jigsaw puzzle his way back to a whole heart. I’ll have to listen to him get weepy over onions on his burger when he remembers how you used to pick them out of yours. When he tries to send you one of those pathetic “I hate you...I miss you” texts late at night, I’m the one who’ll have to grab that phone out of his hands. So yeah, I’ll hate you. But I’ll hate you less if you’re honest with him. If you cheat on him or lie to him, I’ll shank you.

For now, though, here I am, waving my white flag. Be my ally. Woman to woman, let’s erase the idea that there needs to be competition between us. Let’s see this as an exciting avenue for letting a new friend into the fold.

He loves you. He loves me. Now, I want us to love each other.

Don’t be (too) scared of me. Can we be friends?

Your boyfriend’s (female) best friend