Mixing Friends and Lovers



As those of you who know my life story are already aware, my first love was one of my best friends for years before we ever bumped uglies. As a result, he was thoroughly integrated into my social life. Our friends were our friends and they were all up in the mix of our relationship; smiling fondly at us when things were good, gossiping about us when things were rocky, and gunning for a reunion when things ended.

That was the first and last time I merged my lover and my circle of friends. Since then I’ve kept the two as separate as I possibly can. In the Spectacular Asshole era, some people caught a glimpse of him a time or two, but very few of my friends ever had so much as a 5-minute conversation with him. With the next one – Mr. Max as I like to call him – we had many of the same friends but still made every effort to fly under the radar. We didn’t go to parties together or leave them together, we were never affectionate in public, and we’ve been known to flat-out lie when asked direct questions about what went on between us.

I’ve been single since the demise of Mr. Max and more than ever I strive to keep my dalliances separate from my friendships. I don’t bring my next victim to our parties, don’t launch him on society at our bbq’s. If I’m seeing someone I don’t bring him to weddings or ask him to pick me up at the spot. Blabbermouth though I may be, I keep my ish so low that my closest friends have no clue who is waxing my ass on a regular.

All things considered, I think that keeping your friends and your man separate makes for a more peaceful life. When your friends don’t have a ringside seat for the goings on of your relationship, they’re less likely to make comments and give unnecessary advice. If your boyfriend has never had to sit and listen to your girls squawking like a bunch of magpies, you won’t have to have that annoying conversation with him where he warns you not to tell those girls what goes on between you because they talk too damn much, you swear that you never will, and both of you know you’re full of shit. And if, like me, your social circle is inhabited by dirty birds and habitual line-steppers, your boyfriend doesn’t have to witness the relentless groping and harmless flirtation that you know is meaningless but will set him to swinging.

But as much as I advocate keeping the line between your friends and your lover squeaky clean, at the same time I have to admit to feeling a teeny bit wistful when I see other people seamlessly integrate their significant others into their circle of friends. How nice would it be to be in your homeboy’s living room laughing at some dumbass shit your friends are doing, and looking over at your girlfriend and having an entire conversation with her with just the raise of an eyebrow? What could be nicer than going in for your bff’s birthday and getting pissy drunk, knowing your boyfriend is right there waiting to pick up your shoes and purse, fling you over his shoulder, stuff you in the car and put you to bed? And of course if you are a line-stepper like me, what better way is there to make sure you behave yourself than to have your boyfriend right there watching your every move when you’re out with your rowdy ass friends?

The problem of course with mixing your lover and your friends is when you’re done with that lover but your friends aren’t. Ever had the experience of introducing your man to your friends and the next thing you know he’s more homeboy than you are? And then when you fire him he’s still everywhere you go because your friends love him just as much as they love you. Not a good scene, as I know at least one of my readers will tell you.

Bringing a boy around my boys is the utmost honour I can bestow on a human being. More than succumbing to monogamy, more than introducing him to my family, more than allowing him to sleep over at my house, nothing says you are the real deal than permitting Mr. Max to meet my crazy crew. And so far there’s not a man on earth that has warranted such an honour.

But what do you guys think? Do you believe in mixing your SO with your friends? Have you had this blow up in your face before? Share with me in the comments.

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bag lady. digital nerd. beauty junkie. shoe whore. i'm a sucker for big words and box-fresh kicks. know a little bit about a lot of things and have something to say about everything.

Comments 26

  1. When I dated my ex my friends met him but that was extent. I didn’t even let them now when he proposed… just when I was single again. No big deal was made no questions asked.

    My bff’s boyfriend was integrated within our group long before he became her boyfriend and it’s mostly cool on my part. I don’t want to know what’s going on in their relationship and I don’t want to offer my advice. If I’m forced to it’s ALWAYS neutral. I can’t say the same for all the rest of the girls in my group and well…. that would explain some of the issues she gets herself in. Le.Sigh.

  2. Lady Ngo says:

    Hmmm, I don’t really have that experience. Mine is more along the lines of dating someone that your friends already know. There are only 2 times where i can think of this not really going well. The first was basically that me and my boo had very similar circles but somehow had never met each other. When we started going out, i went from being Jen to being “DC’s girl”- even to people i had known since like 2nd grade. Then when things were over and i had moved away, everyone insisted on keeping me updated on his comings and goings and pointing their fingers at me for “ruining his life” (apparently i broke his heart, *shrugs shoulders*)
    The 2nd, basically my boo found his own way into my social circle through other random people in my life. Most people hadn’t known that we dated (or that i wasn’t completely over him at the time- mostly because we were still sexing on occasion). And the people that did know we were together once upon a time would always give me that “are you ok, we don’t have to stay if you don’t want” look whenever we were at gatherings together. Stuff was awkward for the longest. Thankfully thats the past now.

    As for mixing friends and SO’s, i say only do it once you know that the person is going to be an at least semi-permanent fixture in your life.

  3. Andrienne says:

    I’m against it for one reason and one reason only. I had a friend who’s boyfriend cheated on her with a mutual friend of ours that we worked with. Since then I’ve made the conscious decision to not have anybody I’m involved with be too buddy-buddy with my friends. At the end of the day they are just that MY FRIENDS!!! I just think it leads itself to all the problems that Max mentioned above. Good post Max!!!

  4. kookie says:

    Integrating SO’s into your circle or you being integrated in their circle can either build trust or chip away at it. If your man’s friends are generally law abiding citizens with a low lecherous factor, you can go to sleep at night if he says he’s going away for the weekend with them or a night on the town. However if you meet his friends and nearly each one has got side chicks lined up like they have some “ladies get in free night”, its hard to believe that he’s not doing the same thing. Birds of a feather and all that.

    However in this day and age with crazy people doing crazy things, I say your SO should be known at least to one or two close friends. If ever I come up missing I want my best friend crying on the 6’Oclock news knowing EXACTLY who could have had a hand in my disappearance and listing possible suspects in alphabetical order if necessary.

  5. Malik says:

    Until you both settle down and agree to make each other your life, then the two of you shouldn’t be your life. Now, I wouldn’t say be as stringent as Max because if he kidnaps you and no one who knows you knows him then you’re shit out of luck. There really isn’t a need for everyone to be buddy-buddy though unless you’re at the point where you earnestly believe this person is going to become an essential component to your being for a long time.

    I’m a big fan of keeping life separate though. There isn’t a need to do everything together or to even be following each on Twitter or Facebook. With all the constant access to you, you begin to feel like your significant other is more like your parole officer above anything else.

    1. Flyy says:

      I geneally agree w/ everything that Malik said… I also wouldn’t want to be as stringent as Max and JUST be introducting my fiance to my friends at the rehersal dinner. LOL.

      I have been in instances where the friends have casually met the boo piece(s) and have voted for one over the other, etc. Lol. I am very sociable person so it is highly likely that the boo piece will meet the friends – and has before – but not in that, they’ll have inside jokes sorta way. On the other hand, I have been forced to be friends w/ some of my friends’ boo pieces. LAWD! I just… *sigh* As much as I resisted, she would always bring him around and such… I think she was looking for approval from the group. For what? I don’t know… that’s your man, not mine. One day out the blue, he was texting me… she gave him my digits. .__. whole time I’m thinking, this can’t be life. LOL.

  6. OSHH says:

    I generally keep things seperate as a rule and besides I only have a couple of really good friends in my circle anyway. I agree with Malik on the social networking thing also, I don’t even period.

  7. LaLaBakir says:

    I haven’t mixed friends and lovers since college…so I really don’t have much to contribute.

    However, I have a friend who prides herself on being friends w/ her friends ex’s or event current boyfriends/husbands. I still can’t figure out what’s up with that. Wait, I think I know. It makes her feel good to say she spoke to Mr. X and tell you something you didn’t know.

    1. GirlSixx is CholeRayne516 says:


      Maybe it’s my skeptic scorpio rearing it’s head but I don’t know if I could run with a chic like that. Doesn’t she have a man of her own? Why she needs to befriend her homegirls Ex’s?

      I’m sorry that just screams Shiesty to me

      1. GirlSixx is CholeRayne516 says:

        Oh!! and current boyfriends and Husbands??!!!

        Oh Hell Nawwww!!!!

        Ya’ll better keep a third eye on that chick.

        1. LaLaBakir says:

          Girl! She’s one of those people who wants to be cool with everybody…wants to have a one up on you (i.e. keeping in touch w/ your ex). I don’t know how to explain it, smh. She has a man now, so we’ll see what happens with that.

          1. GirlSixx is CholeRayne516 says:

            She needs boundaries, well now that she got a man of her own, hopefully she’ll implement them.

  8. Humble_One says:

    I never understood this. I’ve met women that will only date men in their immediate circle of friends or acquaitances. My rule is to keep them separated. I don’t need both worlds mixing. And I like to keep awkward situations to a minimum. I guess I’m just not that communal. Finding mates that are in your group of friends ends up in a situation where vaj’s and wangs are recycled through the group. Not cool IMHO.

    1. GirlSixx is CholeRayne516 says:

      Finding mates that are in your group of friends ends up in a situation where vaj’s and wangs are recycled through the group. Not cool IMHO.

      Very True…

  9. RedLady821 says:

    Well I’ve been with Mr. Red for so long that my friends all know him and have known him since the begining. They love him, they were all in my wedding too. Him, me, them, it’s all interchangeable. We’re all comfortable with one another, it’s like a big ole family.

  10. GirlSixx is CholeRayne516 says:

    “Do you believe in mixing your SO with your friends?”

    If boundaries are set straight from the gate it can be a good thing.

  11. the first girlfriend i had was similar to your situation. friends for years. ran in the same circle of friends and whatnot. everything was great when it was great and when things turned sour it felt like our friends had to choose sides (of course this wasn’t any doing of mines).

    now i try not to mix friends with people that i date but it seems pretty hard. honestly i’m in no way interested in becoming cool with guys that may be friends with a woman that i may happen to be dating. i have my own friends. it just seems like if you’re around a person you’re going to meet their friends and hang with them.

    quick story. when i got to nashville i started dating this girl who was my classmate. everything was cool. i quickly became friends with another one of my classmates. he in turn dated this girl who didn’t go to our school. once my girl and his girl met they instantly became best friends. i knew no good would come from it. after my girl and i broke up i would dated other people. eventually, i brought other girls around and my friend would bring his girl, who was still friends with my ex. i eventually had to control my friend and tell him to tell his girl to stop reporting on who i was dating/hanging with.

  12. Therese says:

    Haven’t had any situations blow up in my face or get awkward after a breakup due to mixing my worlds, thank the universe, but I like the idea of keeping friends and SO’s in separate worlds to a certain extent. Not to the point where they’re meeting him for the first time at the damn wedding or anything lol but I personally make it a point to discuss any newly developing relationships as little as possible until I know I’m serious about that person, then I have zero problem taking them know in my other world. My motto is ” I’m not gonna waste my breath talking about someone if it’s not serious” so my friends know not to expect to hear anything from me.

    I like when a guy knows my friends. I HATE when guys are standoff-ish and don’t wanna meet people I know. Weeeeiirrrdddooosss.

    Loving the posts as usual Max!

    1. LaLaBakir says:

      “I like when a guy knows my friends. I HATE when guys are standoff-ish and don’t wanna meet people I know. Weeeeiirrrdddooosss. ”

      YES!!! I can’t stand that! You need at least know the homies and have a rapport with THEE BFF.

  13. I know for some men they struggle with this because they can’t help but try and hit off their “friends.” Men then call it the motion offense, but what it really is, is a bunch of women you have slept with or want to sleep with all in one place. It can work, but you have to make sure those girls don’t become friends because a brunch can be the death of you.

    1. max says:

      Hahaha the motion offense is what made me fall in e-love with you.

  14. emti says:

    Wish i had this advice about 10 years ago when I decided to introduce my man to my friends. He has been my ex for at least 8 years and yet there he is at every BBQ, wedding, bday party, football game (you get the picture) my friends have. He has completely entrenched himself in my social circle and does not seem to be making any moves to leave it. And yes we still get along (I’m one of those rare ones that remains friends with my exes) but moving on is hard.

    How do you bring someone new into the mix when your ex is there campaigning to your (now) mutual friends for a reunion? I seem to be the only one in my group of friends who has to constantly be socializing with my ex.

    And what continues to frustrate me is that no one seems to think there is anything wrong with it. I can’t even remember the names of his friends and yet I’m at my friends wedding and there he is???

    I blame both my ex and my friends. When my friends break up with someone I don’t call them to hang out or invite them to all of our social activities. And on the other hand I don’t call my exes friends to continue some sort of friendship now that my relationship is over.

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  16. keisha brown says:

    there are definite pros and cons.
    what i learned is that toronto is too small to ingratiate romantic relationships & friendships.
    lets just say your man code post covers this.

  17. Joa says:

    I had to learn the hard way. #1 I mixed my friends before and I walked in on them, well you know……..I got over it and starting dating someone new, so i feel like Its happening to me as we speak my friends are getting way to comfortable with my man and dont want a repeat of #1. now I dont believe in mixing. I introduced my boyfriend to my friends (both guys and girls) I found out this past weekend that my girfriend has been talking to my man, his best friend, and another friend of his since febuary. I found out because they were all so very insisted for her to come to a party I never invited her too. On top of that I found out the party was her idea all along and they were covering for her! She also bought a gift for my boyfriend (for his belated birthday, 3 weeks ago and no one else did) when she never bought one for me on mine…One night I was going out with some girlfriends to a club. This night we were planning to go to a club I havent been in a year. My boyfriend has never heard of this place before. I had just left my friends house telling her that I was going to that club. an hour later my boyfriend calls me and asks me If i was going to that exact same club…I asked, how do you know if I havent been there since weve dated, what would makeyou say that? he said just asking. Mixing friends with my boyfriend has got a bit out of control. If you were to mix my advice is to set boundaires, your friends shouldnt have his number. what for? are they going to kick it when your not around? Some people say its cool to mix and yes it can be soooo much fun but you have to be very cautious. if they were friends before you thats a different story. Now since this has happened I feel a little paranoid about him getting my guy friends numbers too…

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