Hi there,

I've been seeing a girl for just over six months. We've become quite close, see each other on average a couple of times a week, text message, I hang out with her and her friends sometimes, have a healthy sex life etc. When it was my birthday a month ago, she bought me a really nice present. Maybe it's a bit soon but she says she loves me and misses me.

She's heard me refer to her as my 'girlfriend' and seemingly had no problem with it, however on two occasions now she's referred to me as her 'friend' when talking to someone else, The first time she said this I said something to her the next day about it. She winced and said that she has referred to me as her 'boyfriend' but feels a bit shy about calling me it. I accepted her explanation and forgot about it, this was about a month ago now.

However, yesterday she did it again. I haven't had a chance to talk to her about it but will do tomorrow when I see her.

My question is: am I right to be upset by her calling me her 'friend', when everything points to something more? Or should I focus more on her actions than her words?

Thanks in advance.

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Did you just decide on your own that she was your 'girlfriend', and gave her the title?  Did you actually ask her to make it formal?  If not ... you may not actually have a girlfriend.  "Girlfriend" may imply an exclusivity that she never gave you.


Who was she talking to when she said it?  Another guy?



She did it when she lost her bank card and was on the phone to the bank, as I had lent her some money.

The second time she did it was when she was talking about a hypothetical conversation and with someone I hadn't met and introduced me as her 'friend'.

Even in 2013, women are still proving we're capable and intelligent, or think we have to.

The day before my wedding, if my fiance had loaned me cash because of a problem with my banking, I'd have described him as "a friend" to avoid an implication of financial dependence on a man, or to avoid judgment about mingling finances with a romantic interest.

I have stacks of insurance applications from the period of engagement in which I describe my husband as a "friend." That was because they're legal documents, and the law treats fiances as friends, and I didn't want a talk about how the insurance would work after we're married. I know that better than the agents.

My now-husband took me in for surgery a year ago. Same thing. When asked who was waiting to take me home, I said, "a responsible adult." I was also touchy about people thinking we were living together.

Thomas Aquinas says that truth-telling is a kind of justice - the truth being a common good, we shouldn't harm or conceal it by telling lies. I don't think all truths are common goods. Some things are personal, and I'm not even sure it's a white lie to give the bank, or the insurance company, or the doctor, a different impression of the relationship when it has absolutely nothing to do with them.

Tread, but tread lightly.

Care about her actions more than her words. I once had a "non-girlfriend" for 9 months, but she came home with me everytime we went out, invited me to all her parties, was always available to me. We were boyfriend/girlfriend without the status. If that's the case, just leave it. Don't force something.

HOWEVER, don't be blind either. If it's guys she's calling you a "friend" in front of, that's a red flag. This whole thing could be a red flag that she's just not that interested in you long term, but just enjoy it for what it is while it lasts.

What to do: Don't make a deal of it, but stay aware of it. Just keep your eyes out of her interest level and availability to you.

What not to do: Shoot yourself in the foot by getting grumpy about something like this and showing her that you're "needy" in the way of that commitment.

Oh God! I did the worst thing possible! I spoke to her about it over the phone and said that I was unsure where we stood and wanted to know that I wasn't reading too much into things. She explained that the reason she said it was that was that we hadn't explicitly sat down and said that we are boyfriend and girlfriend and she felt unsure about calling me her boyfriend (I see that but I did query her calling me her 'friend' a month, or so ago).

Anyway, she said that she doesn't see me as a friend, she wouldn't sleep over with someone that she saw as a friend and I'm definitely not in the 'friend zone'.

However she said that she thinks I'm a bit paranoid and, although she was nice, the conversation ended on a strange note!

I don't want her to think that I'm 'needy' or paranoid, i'm not usually like that but I felt the fact that she called me a 'friend' and took two days to respond to a text last week (she works shifts, said she had a bad week and was very busy) was a bad sign.

I guess I'm going to have to show her that I'm not normally like this by giving her a bit of space and not acting like this again... I should have listened to your advice, rather than getting things blown out of proportion!

No, man, you won the encounter!  She told you she has an interest.  You're not in the friend zone.

Now take her on a date.

Like a scab, stop picking at this, and let it heal over. Never mention the incident with her again. If you don't want her to think you are needy or paranoid then stop acting needy and paranoid. The girl sounds pretty laid back about it. Take a cue from that and let it go. 


Only from high school dating, which I'd imagine is greatly different from adult dating, but my girl of eight months actually thinks it's cute that I'm pretty needy (though it gets aggravating sometimes when I'm in a bad mood or something) and feels more secure around me since I'm so protective and paranoid about her. (Also can be aggravating, but not often on either.) I say act like yourself, and see how she feels. As a person in general, I'm one of the most laid back and independent in the world, but with her I'm ridiculously protective and clingy.

Actually it was the poodle.

Ditch 'er. 

She is a little uncomfortable with the social, public implications of intimacy that using the term "boyfriend" implies. It is a shyness, not a slight. 

 DO NOT tell her what to say. 

 DO NOT tell her what you wish she would say. 

 You grab her, bend her over backwards in a kiss right out of Gone with the Wind. Let the kiss linger a moment or two longer than necessary, until you feel her go weak in your arms.

 Then stand her back up, and with your face a micrometer from hers, in a calm but commanding voice tell her that she is your girlfriend, that you will refer to her as your girlfriend before all the world and with considerable pride, and you would just as soon announce to all the world that she is your girlfriend and give her a semi-playful smack on the butt.

 Then walk off and never ever mention it again. 

 Like a Man.

You grab her....move in close....put you lips right up near hers...don't touch her lips.....and WAIT.

If she moves in and completes the kiss - you will know she is yours.  Proceed with the rest of Michael's directions.  Give the kiss to let her know you return her feelings.

If she does NOT complete the kiss, then you'll know in your heart of hearts what is really going on....and she does not really feel it for you.

Either way, Ian, it will be a valuable life lesson.

Good luck, Buddy!


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