What to do when you have different standards of intimacy with friends

Awerpia asks:

Of late I’m finding it difficult having discussions with my girlfriend because they only end up with her misinterpreting what I mean, crying and accusing me of having insecurities. But truthfully I really trust her; it’s just that sometimes I just want to get sometimes right. I just want to understand why she does certain things! Before this corona outbreak I remember visiting her and spending some time together. It was all great until she got a video call from a so-called male friend. I questioned her and she only retorted in anger! You see I don’t have any problem with my girlfriend having male friends. But I personally think video chatting someone is very intimate. Apart from her, I don’t video chat anyone. Sometimes it hurts when you try to keep something special for someone but actually they don’t regard it as such.  I mean how and why on earth would I video call my best female friend. The best I would do is to call on phone.  There are so many options for communication, so why choose video call?  I trust her when she says that the guy is just her friend. No doubt about that. But does the guy just want friendship? Because I don’t see the necessity of video calling my best female friend unless it’s really some pictorial aid I need, which is very rare. But the way she defended the whole act made me look like a fool.  I’m still not comfortable with this video call issue but it’s like I have to swallow it. 

Hi Awerpia –

            What I want to do is to bring the two of you into a room and ask you both some questions.  And there’s SO MUCH about that wish that I can’t do!!!

            But mainly I want to ask you why her having videochat with him bothers you so much, and I want to ask her why it’s so important to her to do it.

            Now I’ll start on you.  You say it’s “intimate.”  But isn’t videochatting what’s happening with every business meeting, cocktail party, yoga class, and therapy session in the world right now?  Does she not videochat with her female friends, her relatives, or her coworkers?  Now you’re right that someone could use videochatting for VERY intimate exchanges.  But what is it that makes you feel so strongly about it?

            And with her – what’s the big deal?  Sure it can be fun to videochat, but if your boyfriend is bothered by you videochatting with this one guy, then why not talk on a phone instead?  Lots of people choose the phone these days just because they haven’t showered yet, or because they don’t want to put on makeup.  What’s so bad about doing that?

            In other words, to me it feels like both of you are acting out of some anxiety that I don’t quite understand.  But let’s be clear – we dogs greet each other by sniffing each other’s butts, so our concerns about intimacy are very different from yours!! 

            Meanwhile, in terms of how best to deal with this, I’d suggest you do some soul-searching and figure out the answers to my questions to you, and then tell them to her.  Explain what it is that bothers you so much about this (again, versus her videochatting with other people).  And then tell her, “I know it might be silly, but it really bothers me.  Would you be willing to give me this?” 

            If she agrees to stick to the phone, then fine.  But if not, then feel free to ask her the things I asked you.  And then see if you two can work something out. 

            Truly, whatever it is that you decide is fine, as long as it’s together!!

All my best,


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