“Ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi sirf dost nahi ho sakte!”
-Mohnish Behl, Maine Pyaar Kiya circa 1989
One of Bollywood's “iconic” (read cringiest) dialogues. Also, a complete myth.
Though Bhagyashree and Salman Khan do end up together in the movie (not at all feeling sorry for you, Mr Behl), it hardly ever ends like that in real life.
© Rajshri Productions
Movies have been trying to propagate the notion since time immemorial: a lady and a gentleman can never be friends without the presence of romance. “Just friends” need to end up as lovers.
You can't help but inwardly cringe at the sexism and the idiocy it exudes. (That doesn't keep Bollywood/Hollywood from churning out movie after movie with the same theme.)
In today's day, a girl and a guy can most certainly be the best of friends, without a romantic interest.
Why just today? It has always been this way!
Haven't you heard tales about the beautiful friendship between Lord Krishna and Draupadi? The original epitome of friendship, where gender doesn't matter: “Sakha and Sakhi”!
Harry and Hermione: An iconic friendship.
Aren't we all guilty of shedding a few tears over the love that Harry and Hermione have for each other?
© Heyday Films/Warner Bros. Pictures
Look at Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman. Even death has lessened Emma's love for her dear friend.
Or Taylor Swift and Ryan Reynolds. Alia Bhatt and Ranveer Singh.
Whoever told you that a guy and a girl can never be true friends needs to crawl out of the rock they have been living under.
Being a guy, I can vouch that having a female best friend is one of the best things in life; they inspire you to let go of your rigidity and introduce you to new ideas. She is always there for relationship and fashion advice. She makes you a better man.
© Aamir Khan Productions
Just like you have a best friend of the fairer ***, chances are your girlfriend might have a guy best friend.
Yes. That dreaded guy who seems to be your nemesis. The guy who seems to hang out with your girlfriend quite often and is her partner-in-crime in a lot of adventures.
The other man. The Aman to your Rohit, the Jai Singh Rathore to your Sushant Modi, the Superman to your Batman. I can go on and on.
Sometimes, you get jealous of the camaraderie they share, or the fact that he knows things about her that you don't.
We have all seen Ron struggle with the idea of “Harry and Hermione” and leading him to do stupid things, say awful stuff and basically be a douchebag. You wouldn't like to end up like him, do you?
Here is how to deal with your girlfriend's male best friend:1. The Chosen One:
The first thing you should know is that your girlfriend loves YOU.
Had she wanted to be with her male BFF, she wouldn't be going out with you, would she?
Remember, she chose you, over everybody else. The fact is she doesn't see her friend in a romantic light. Never has and never will. She loves him in the platonic sense, not the way she loves you.
If you believe that they will eventually realize that they like them and sail away with them, you have been watching a lot of sappy rom-coms or reading way too much romantic literature.2. Try to empathize:
You choose your friends, not their gender. Friendship is so much more than being a man, woman or queer. It encompasses love.
Just like your female BFF has you as a male friend, so does your girlfriend. The relationship you have with your best friend is the same which she has. Do not judge it.
© Zucker Brothers Productions/TriStar Pictures
We tend to not look at obvious things.
What if your girlfriend questions your relationship with your female friend? Aren't you a guy best friend too?
What we expect of others is expected of us as well. Expectation is a two-way street; you can't want something and give nothing in return.
© Heyday Films/Warner Bros. Pictures
We only look from our own, selfish perspective, not the bigger picture. Put yourself in another person's shoes, it will make you realize how narcissistic one can be.
Even if you don't have a female best friend, think about the situation from the other guy's perspective. Is it really good for you to judge him?
What about your best friend's boyfriend? Maybe, he thinks of you in the same way. How would you like it? Gives you a different perspective on the entire matter now, doesn't it?
You see, we only care and realize how it feels when it happens to us.3. Meet Them:
Often, we tend to create a preconceived image of a person we haven't met.
In this case, if you haven't met your girlfriend's BFF, meet them.
It is all in your head; we tend to exaggerate things, blow them out of proportion, especially if we haven't tried or experienced them.
© Dharma Productions/Yash Raj Films
Don't judge too harshly or rashly. Get to know him before you judge him.
Instead of getting paranoid and obsessing over the fact that there's another guy who your girlfriend loves (in a completely different way), just meet the guy and be done with it.
You never know, you might end up becoming their best friend after meeting them. Give the guy a chance at least.
It is only a cause of alarm if your girlfriend does not let you guys meet.4. Jealousy:
It is common to be jealous of a person your partner seems to be love. Somewhere you feel that their love will be divided and won't be enough for you.
You might feel jealous of the time they spend together. Or how easily they seem to talk to each other. How they seem to have no inhibitions when talking or how they bitch about someone.
The reason is simple: You crave that intimacy. That makes you envious more than the guy. But in our minds, it is the guy who is the culprit, not our feelings.
© Zucker Brothers Productions/TriStar Pictures
Jealousy is a normal emotion. It is okay to be jealous of your girlfriend's male buddy, a bit helpful too. A little competition is okay, it keeps you focused on your relationship, makes you try harder.
There is a chance that he might be better-looking than you. Do not let it affect you. You might think that "when she has a more handsome option, a better guy, why did she choose me?"
Love doesn't work that way. We can't choose the people we fall in love with.
Furthermore, don't underestimate your worth, you are much better than you think. Especially in the eyes of a person who loves you.5. Getting Along:
Spoiler: They are going to be in your girlfriend's life. In fact, their friendship might go way back, it might be even longer than your relationship. You just can't expect them to leave them high and dry for you.
The best thing to do is to try to get along with them.
You both love the same person in a different way, it is the common thread for you guys to connect.
Both of you are there to fiercely stand up for her when a need arises. That is what friends are for.
Hang out with them, go for a drink with them.
Before you know it, your girlfriend will be experiencing some perplexity with the bromance you both seem to have.
Moreover, you won't have to go far to rant about your girlfriend and share it with someone who already understands her.
You might end up learning a lot from them about her.6. Co-Exist:
On the off chance that you guys don't hit it off, do not fret.
You do not have to like everybody. Though, it is important to remember that your relationship comes first.
There will be things you don't like about the guy, that is okay and your prerogative as a human.
They won't be the best man at your wedding or the lead of your Baarat dance. There's no need to scream “This means war!” and cut their head off.
One thing is certain; you can't just ignore him.
We are all flawed in some way. Why don't you look beyond that and try to co-exist with this guy?
Think of ways in which you both can enjoy the company of your friend without pulling each other's hair out.7. Communicate:
If you feel attacked or vulnerable by your girlfriend's friend, communicate it to her.
She isn't a mind-reader, she can't know what's going inside your head.
Don't go chasing after the idea of them together, it will only bring heartbreak for you.
Tell you girlfriend about what bothers you about him and what you would like to do about it.
Tell her why you don't like her hanging out with him.
Try to figure out why it bothers you so much.
Tell her it that you aren't comfortable with him hanging around you guys all the time.
If you find your girlfriend's behaviour change around them, tell it to them. Try to know their reason.
In fact, try to talk to the guy in person. They might have their own problems with you. Try to understand that it isn't always about you.8. Stop Acting Alpha:
Your love life is not the 'Wild, Wild West'. You aren't cowboys who can settle scores with gunfights or shooting each other.
Your girlfriend isn't a commodity or a prize to be won; stop fighting for her with the other guy (of whom you are not entirely sure that he is in love with your S.O.)
You can't and shouldn't control the relationships of other people, however much you may love them. Having a significant other does not make them your property, nor does it make you theirs.
Men are competitive by nature, they are territorial. The male psyche is ego-centric. They try to establish authority.
When another man seems to hurt their ego or try to be the greater of the two, that is where trouble starts.
If another man appears to threaten your love, you must act but make sure whether he is actually doing so.9. Be Reasonable:
“Pyaar dosti hai”, claims Rahul while twirling a friendship band, trying to impress Tina. What Rahul doesn't say is “Pyaar sirf dosti nahi hai”.
Love is not limited to friendship; just because two people are friends doesn't mean they are in love.
He isn't there to steal her. He won't carry her off and laugh at your ignorance. Nor is he there to poison her mind against you.
Do not be that guy who thinks every other guy is in love with his girlfriend.
He is not in love with her. Had he been, he would have told her. Trust your girlfriend's loyalty.
Do not try to make your girlfriend choose between you and him. Do not be so insecure. If you feel insecure, try to find the reason for it:
Is it just the guy or do you find other reasons to be suspicious of their friendship?
Or is just jealousy?
Are you still unsure about your partner?
Security is increasingly important in a relationship; if you are second-guessing your relationship because a guy shows up, you need to reevaluate your stance.
Your relationship should be your first preference here.
You do not need to have a fight with the guy just to justify your unfounded, speculative notions.10. The Wrong Guy:
This is the worst-case scenario.
You have met the guy. He seems nice but you get the feeling that he interested in your girlfriend, in another way than a friend. He seems to suffer from the “Nice Guy Syndrome”.
He appears to try to impress her and manipulate her into spending time with him. Moreover, tries to hide his feelings under the pretext of friendship.
Then, it is time to confront him about his feelings.
You do not need to be aggressive, just plain old talking will do. Ask your girlfriend to accompany you. Let them sort out their issues.
Liking someone is not under our control, an attraction is involuntary.
Don't hate him for that. Just make sure that he gets his feelings out of the way. You need not meddle in their friendship, let them think it over.
Love is not possible without a few hiccups along the road.
Give the other guy a chance, a break. He deserves it. Maybe you both can tease your girlfriend together and prank her. :P
Best of luck! Just don't punch him in the face. :P