Girlfriend Management: How To Handle Her Friends

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Girls think a lot of their friends, and we're well aware of the fear that sets in when you're faced with making a good impression on these VIPs.

Though you sometimes just have to bite the bullet, I thought some tips for the handling the more dangerous individuals could come in handy…

1 | The practically smug-married one
Who is she? A pioneer for the 'serious' relationship, she shares a diary with her boyfriend (who she no doubt already lives with), is called 'Aunty' by his nieces and nephews, hosts exclusive dinner parties and unapologetically plays match-maker, often using double dates as her weapon of choice.

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The problem: She makes your girlfriend think about 'where you are' in your relationship, and that's never as far as it should be. You start hearing hints about how much they call each other compared to the two of you, how homely their house is, how easy they are together, and such like.

What to do: Don't avoid her. If your girlfriend has to turn up solo, that will only raise suspicion and incite unhelpful comments (which will make their way back to you at more heated moments). Perhaps share your male expertise to point out (subtly) when Mr Perfect is in fact gritting his teeth; sneaky but effective.

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2 | The needy one
Who is she? She's constantly ringing your girlfriend in floods of tears and making her feel guilty for spending too much time with you. She is needy, possessive and fuelled by a belief that you've stolen her friend away.

The problem: Your girlfriend is always on the phone to her or rushing off to cheer her up. You lose hours of time that should be yours, and are exhausted by the incessant drama.

What to do: Your girlfriend will be as worn out as you so console her that she's doing a wonderful job. Then find a boyfriend for this girl to throw her energies into – pronto – but not your best friend; identify your equivalent and send them off into the sunset together, preferably with a one-way ticket.

3 | The bad influence
Who is she? Lost track of your girlfriend? She'll be two bottles of vino down at the pub with this one, sharing life stories. This friend is most likely the life and soul of the party, with a talent for twisting arms.

The problem: There's no such thing as a 'quick drink' so it's a beat 'em or join 'em kind of affair, yet you feel like you're imposing on a sacred gathering. Plus, all that girly chat means she probably knows quite a lot about you, which makes you nervous.

What to do: Get over the fact that girls 'share' more than boys do and accept any invitation to join them. These meetings are not sacred, they're just plain fun so bring your friends as reinforcement if that will make you feel better. The more the merrier.

4 | The hot friend
Who is she? What it says on the tin.

The problem: Glamorous, bubbly and über-confident, she inevitably drops you into a no win situation: you can't deny that she's attractive with any credibility, yet you daren't admit that she's ok to look at since she already makes your girlfriend feel like a frump.

What to do: Just be careful what direction your conversations (and eyes) take. Commenting on something harmless like her shoes is fine but making jokes with any kind of sexual reference puts you on dangerous ground. Your girlfriend will be noticing everything you do when this creature is around (not to catch you out, but because she's a tad insecure) so make sure you're nicely – not overly – affectionate to put her mind at rest.

5 | The stirrer
Who is she? Your worst enemy.

The problem: She's that niggling little voice putting doubts in your girlfriend's mind. Her pathological attempts to turn her against you include highlighting your faults, pointing out why other boyfriends are better or regaling stories of why you will end up hurting her.

What to do: Passive aggressive is the only way. You can't be honest with her without providing ammunition, so innocently telling her how much you appreciate what a good friend she is to your girlfriend, or how helpful she is when things are tough, will leave her dumbfounded. Bare in mind that this is not personal – she would hate any guy in your position – but remain on best behavior when she's nearby.

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