Have you ever felt that weird pang in your stomach when a girl is talking to your SO? It’s hard to brush these feelings off as just an overreaction when you’re worried that your SO might be developing feelings for her. It’s probably not a good idea to accuse your SO of something when you don’t know what role your girlfriend or boyfriend is playing in the situation. While it’s important to protect your relationship and the one you love specifically, sometimes they can turn a harmless situation into a harmful one for you. And, of course, if your SO is developing feelings for someone else–it’s THEIR fault, not the other girl’s. It can be really hard to not get mad at the third party, but don’t forget who truly is breaking a commitment to you!
Here are six ways that you can tell the difference, so you can know if you should be worried about “that” other girl.
1. They go to her before they go to you
Ultimately, your SO should be your best friend, right? Whether you think they should have girl best friends or not, being a huge part of someone’s life means knowing almost everything that goes on with it. That means that there are some things they tell friends and some things they only should tell you, or at least tell you first.
If he or she goes to another girl first, chances are the two of them might have a closer relationship than your actual relationship! It’s important to make sure that your SO feels comfortable telling you anything, so make sure someone on the outside of your relationship doesn’t look more inviting than you do as a girlfriend.
2. She knows a little too much about the relationship
Your relationship is about the two of you and that’s it. Information about the arguments you have, your sex life or your plans to get married one day should never be shared without your consent! Just like Michael Jackson said, “Ain’t nobody’s business but mine and my baby.” You and your lover share things that no one else could understand the way you two do. Your SO shouldn’t be telling other girls (or really anyone, for that matter) what you guys do in private. Have you ever been talking to a girl and she mentions something about your bae that you didn’t even know? Yeah, you should probably get to know her a little better – and by that I mean figure out what your SO has been saying.
University of Pittsburgh sophomore Harmonie Christian had the terrible experience of watching her ex start dating his “girl best friend.” “[The girl] was his friend first, but as time went on I came to consider her a best friend. [She] and I’s original bond was contingent upon the boy being in my life, but when he and I broke up I remained her friend,” she says. In this type of situation, who knows what this girl could have been telling her boyfriend what they discuss as friends? It can really get confusing when everyone is this close, so it’s important to set boundaries and try to find out everyone’s intentions.
3. She’s around when she doesn’t need to be
It’s one thing for her to hang around in a friendly way, but there’s a limit. If you and your SO are having lunch and she stops by to say hi, and then sits down and joins in… red flag. Now, it’s important to give everyone the benefit of the doubt; not everyone is after your boo (even though you think they’re the cutest ever)! But when she lingers really often during your times together, your SO should speak up against that, for your sake. The worst part might be that she seems really friendly! Talk to your SO about how much friendliness you’re comfortable with so that you don’t step on any toes.
4. She ignores you when she’s talking to you and your SO
Now this is just plain rude. She looks into your bae’s loving eyes, and only talks to them the whole time! Are you even there? She may even go as far as to ignore you when you talk. It’s important to pay attention to your SO’s behavior: do they include you when this other girl is around? Do they make it clear that you are their top priority when she is in the room? Former St. John’s University student Deanna London says that they might do this because they know you’re there. “I always pick up on the girls who will start being extra nice to guys when they find out they’re dating someone,” she says. You might want to worry a bit about her if this is happening. If you don’t feel comfortable asserting yourself in those situations, have a talk with the one you love. Let them know you’re not to be messed with.
5. Your SO can’t give full details on what they’re doing or talking about
Maybe you’re even brave enough to let them hang out alone. You go girl! But problems can arise when you feel like you’re out of the loop on what they do, so you get a little suspicious. In Harmonie’s situation, secrets revealed themselves over time, and she wishes she knew beforehand. “[She] swore nothing would ever happen because that was her, ‘brother,’ who she would never be sexually or romantically attracted to,” she says. “Deep in my spirit, I knew that was also a lie. The clues were hidden in the way they bantered like a married couple, she would get jealous when he hung out with his flavor of the week and not her, the way her mom would insist they were meant for each other, and how he would purposely sabotage her efforts of being with other people.” These kinds of relationships, although publicly friendly, are privately much deeper than that. If you think your SO is hiding something like this from you, it’s time to investigate.
6. She’s flat-out flirting
Hopefully, you never have to see this happen. Some people, unfortunately, just don’t care that you actually love this person. It’s almost hard to ignore when a girl is openly flirting and trying really hard to get someone’s attention. Like Deanna said, some girls try to up their game when they know a guy is taken. “They’ll do things like brush up against their body, or wear more revealing clothes ONLY when the guy is around,” she adds. It’s not okay, and should be called out if your SO doesn’t immediately do something about it. If you notice that your SO is neglecting you and paying attention to this kind of behavior, they need to be put in check. Harmonie says in hindsight she knew it was happening all along and sadly ignored the signs. “I felt the energy. I saw the signs and the red flags…The only thing I can hope is that when you see the signs and truly feel that something isn’t right, you run faster than I did.”
As with any relationship, it is important to have trust in your partner. However, if you have a bad feeling about a certain girl in your SO’s life, it might be a good idea to communicate your concerns before the situation gets out of hand.