Woman Urged To Dump Man Inviting Female Friend To Stay: 'Dealbreaker'

The internet has slammed a man who has invited a female friend to stay despite being in a relationship with another woman.

In a viral post on the popular discussion site Mumsnet, a woman shared her frustration as the man she has been seeing for five months revealed he was having a female friend from a recent vacation trip stay over.

There is plenty of debate when it comes to men and women being "just friends," and research published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships in 2012 suggested that platonic relationships may be more difficult than some think.

Researchers brought 88 pairs of opposite-sex friends into a lab. The participant pairs were separated, and each member was asked a series of questions related to their romantic feelings—or lack thereof—toward the other friend.

Woman sits with suitcase and couple argue
A stock image of a smiling woman sitting with a suitcase and looking at her phone, left, and a picture of a couple arguing with an upset woman at the front, right. The internet has urged a woman to dump her boyfriend after he invited another woman to stay despite it being a "dealbreaker" for the woman. Deagreez/cofotoisme/Getty Images

Results suggested that there are large differences in how men and women see their friendships, with men more likely to be attracted to the female friend and also more likely to think that their friend would be attracted to them.

Women, on the other hand, were generally not attracted to their male friends and largely assumed this lack of attraction was mutual.

Men were also more willing to act on their perceived ideas of mutual attraction, and researchers concluded that men, relative to women, have a more difficult time being "just friends."

Sharing her dilemma, the Mumsnet user explained: "I've been seeing someone for 5 months. He's great fun to be with and I really enjoy his company. He ticks nearly all the boxes of what I'm looking for. When we are together we get on fantastically, he's been supportive over difficulties I have had with my ex and the sex is great. It's been tricky coordinating diaries as we are both busy and I don't always get the sense that he's desperate to see me although he's very good at keeping in text contact."

Her new partner had recently been on a family adventure vacation for just over two weeks and got friendly with another family—a single mom and her daughter who is the same age as his son.

A couple of weeks earlier, he had asked his girlfriend how she would feel about the woman and her daughter staying with him on a visit: "Apparently he had said if she was ever in the area she should visit and he wanted to know my thoughts before responding," explained the poster.

But the Mumsnet user was not keen on the suggestion. "I felt totally sick at the thought but took some time to respond after getting opinions from friends who were unanimous that they wouldn't like this either," wrote the girlfriend. "Anyway, I responded and said sorry but it's a dealbreaker for me. It's not even just that I would worry that something would go on between them, it's also that this other woman would be getting quality time with him."

After telling her boyfriend how she felt, he expressed some shock but said he hadn't given the friend an answer either way and the woman said she'd hoped the plan would be dropped.

"Then he seemed to really step up the effort and arranged a weekend away. We had an amazing time and got on so well. But as he dropped me back home I thought I should double-check about the visit," wrote the Mumsnet user. "Then he told me that he'd had a conversation with this woman several days prior and said she could come."

The woman said she was "absolutely devastated" when she learned the visit was going ahead and said that her mood and anxiety had been awful since.

"I'm so upset we went away and had lots of intimacy when he had already made a decision to do something I'd told him was a dealbreaker. I asked when he was planning to tell me and he said when I asked or nearer to the time," she wrote. "I feel like my feelings are not important to him."

After sharing the ins and outs of her situation with other Mumsnet users, the woman was overwhelmingly urged to ditch her boyfriend.

"Get rid of him," said one commenter, while another wrote: "Five months in should be the head-over-heels romantic time. This is far too stressful and making you feel bad. Dump him."

Another Mumsnet user said: "I think he's being really odd. It's not an old friend that he made years ago; it's a new random woman. It's not normal for her to want to come and stay with a new bloke living on his own unless either of them thinks it's going to lead somewhere."

Relationship expert Rori Sassoon told Newsweek: "This woman should definitely ditch her boyfriend. He wants to have his cake and eat it too. A loyal, worthwhile boyfriend does not allow (or want) other women to stay with him—besides his girlfriend. The fact that he hid this from her is cause for concern."

"You gave him an ultimatum. He decided which way to respond to that," pointed out another reply on Mumsnet.

"Red flags all over this one," warned another Mumsnet user. "If he knew it would upset you and did it anyway, and wasn't upfront about it, that is an even bigger deal breaker. Don't give him another thought."

Sassoon explained that it is important to have a partner who respects your boundaries: "If a man does not respect your boundaries, he does not respect you. In this situation, the woman should gather her thoughts, which keep her composed later on. From there, she should tell her boyfriend that she is uncomfortable and feels disrespected. If the roles were reversed, I doubt this boyfriend would appreciate her being incredibly close to a mystery man.

"I would advise this woman to keep herself accountable in the boundary department. She does not need an anonymous forum of parents to validate her feelings. She knows what she needs to do, but I can sense a fear of the unknown. If she does not cut the cord, the relationship will drag on and exacerbate his selfish, pleasure-focused actions."

Newsweek was unable to verify the details of this case.

If you have a similar relationship dilemma, let us know via life@newsweek.com. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

UPDATE: 04:15 a.m. 10/04/22: This article was updated with advice from relationship expert Rori Sassoon.