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Dear Graham Norton: 'My boyfriend is keeping his female friends away from me'

Graham Norton
Dear Graham Norton: 'My boyfriend is keeping his female friends away from me' Credit: Andrew Crowley/Getty Images

Dear Graham

My boyfriend and I have been together nearly two years. One of his best friends is a single girl. When I met her it struck me that they seemed awfully close. I asked him whether anything had happened between them; he said no; I believed him. Not enough for it to register true, though, and so I asked a few times more. He kept saying no. Eventually he said they had a casual thing, but it was 25 years before.

I went through his things and found an old photo of them embracing that he’d kept. I saw her calling him at 8am (I didn’t look through his phone, just saw the call coming through). I saw him getting all tetchy when I’d ask about her. She never came to any of our parties despite being asked. And even though they are best pals, I have only met her, say, five times in the whole time we’ve been together.

I now don’t know whether to trust him

About three weeks ago, I plucked up the courage to ask yet again. He was evasive and inconsistent about when and for how long they’d dated. Eventually he texted her asking her to call me to tell me nothing is going on, although I’d asked him not to. She and I eventually met for coffee. She confirmed that nothing is going on, but she did say she and he are “like an old married couple”. She also said she had a problem with him being friends with another single girl – whom he also keeps at arm’s length from me. I felt she was rubbing my nose in their closeness, albeit in a “nice” way.

I now don’t know whether to trust him. I’ve asked him all the questions I can and he repeatedly says I’m his only girlfriend. But I’m concerned that if I stay, I’m a fool: he might do this again. And yet I’m concerned: if I leave, would I be leaving because of nothing more than my own paranoia? This has really got to me and I don’t really know why. It’d be great to get a male perspective.

OK, London W11

'If you continue to make this an issue then, trust me, he will make the decision for you', says Graham Credit: Andrew Crowley

Dear OK

Why your boyfriend hasn’t already dumped you I do not know. You had suspicions, he has gone to extraordinary lengths to allay your fears, and now the ball is very firmly in your court. You either accept that everyone is telling you the truth or you walk away. I don’t know how old you are, but here is something you should know: there are no perfect relationships. If it wasn’t this close female friend, then it would be something else. Work, alcohol, football – there will always be rivals for his attention and his affection.

If you continue to make this an issue then, trust me, he will make the decision for you. Find a way to get on with this woman – and treat your boyfriend with a little basic respect – or you will be learning how to enjoy single life.