Dating

A Single Girl Rant: Stop Telling Your Boyfriend My Secrets!

February 7 2011 | CeCe Olisa

As Robert and I continue to date, I’ve started thinking about the type of girlfriend I want to be. Not to him, but to my female friends. There are so many annoying things my friends do when they’re in relationships, but I don’t think they notice it because they’re not single. So in the spirit of last months Big Girl Rant, today I give you: A Single Girl Rant.

Because TBGB is such a personal blog, I didn’t tell very many people about it when I first started. As time went by, I decided to share it with three close friends. All three of these friends were in serious relationships and although I was very specific about not wanting everyone to know about and/or read my blog… all three of them told their boyfriends.

Of course, they told their boyfriends about TBGB because they were excited about it, proud of my writing and wanted to be the bearer of good news; but it wasn’t their news to tell. If I wanted their boyfriends to know what I was doing, I would have told them myself!

Sometimes I feel like people in relationships need to be reminded of a few things:

  • You are an individual!
  • You are my friend/confidant, your boyfriend is not
  • You are in a relationship with your boyfriend, but I am not
  • You may feel the need to tell your boyfriend everything, but I don’t
  • You may trust your boyfriend, but I don’t (I barely know him!)

It takes a lot to build a friendship. Trust, vulnerability and sharing aren’t things that happen over night. Those are things you earn, and sleeping with my friends isn’t a quick pass into my personal life.

Its frustrating because once I figured out that my friends were sharing things I asked them not to with their boyfriends, I suddenly had to reevaluate what I decided to share with them moving forward and that was awful. I had to accept the fact that things that used to be sacred, weren’t anymore.

The crazy part is, now that Robert and I are dating I find myself wanting to update him on my friends lives. I feel like such a hypocrite, but he knows a lot of them, has met their boyfriends and sometimes I want to mention things that are going on, but then I remind myself what it feels like. I know when my friends confide in me, they don’t expect things to go farther than me, and if course… I know how it feels.

I don’t know… maybe my expectations are too high and this is just what happens when people are in relationships.

Has this happened to you? What do you think?

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51 responses on “A Single Girl Rant: Stop Telling Your Boyfriend My Secrets!

  1. Leslie @ The Tale of Going Natural

    I don’t know. One of my friends was in a relationship where I felt comfortable enough with her boyfriend (now husband) that I could tell him whatever I told her (including the issue I am having with infertility. His silly advice? “Pull out. Whenever you don’t want a kid is when you have one. So just have him pull out.” Thanks Joe LOL) But yeah, i have had other female friends tell stuff that i really didnt want them to tell their guys. Most of my friends are normally respectful of that fact, but you got a few that can’t live without their sig other, and tell them everything.. and it annoys me. Blah. I don’t tell Jeff everything, and he doesn’t want to know everything.

    1. TheBigGirlBlog Post author

      @ Leslie: Your first situation is ideal to me. You’re comfortable enough to share with your friends husband is way different than her making the decision to share for you. The three of you having a close relationship is awesome!

      I think Robert doesn’t want all the dirty details of my friends lives either lol 🙂

      xoxo

  2. jamie

    I def know what your talking about. As a single gal, my girlfriends boyfriends will bring up topics to me of things I did not tell them. I always just took it as part of my relationship with my girlfriend and something I would have to deal with.

  3. Lauren

    It’s different between boyfriends and husbands. I think the marriage relationship is far more important than friendships, so I don’t keep anything from my husband. (At the same time, he usually doesn’t care about the minutia of my friend’s lives the way I do so I only edit for the sake of interest.) However, my husband is good enough to pretend he doesn’t know anything about it when he’s around my girlfriends. Whenever I tell a married girlfriend somethng, I assume news may travel to her man too. Just as long as there’s a “cone of silence” around the two of them, I’m ok with that.

    1. TheBigGirlBlog Post author

      @ Lauren: I totally agree with that… I know that this will only intensify when my friends get married. Hopefully, the cone of silence will be in tact by then! lol

      xoxo

    2. Gene

      I agree with you here. I actually came to this page because I was wondering how ethical it is to tell about your best friend’s stuff to your spouse and in my opinion, as long as your boyfriend/husband is just a bf/hubby (i.e., you’re new in a relationship), you don’t share but as the relationship progresses the best friend has to realize that she is not the best friend/confidante anymore. He is the best friend now and she has become secondary.

  4. G/W

    I’ve never had a boyfriend but yes, I find it a cause for concern that my friend’s boyfriends probably know about who I drunkenly hooked up with and that my parents don’t sleep in the same bedroom. I’ve tried sharing these concerns but the girls just look confused. In this particular group, there are no secrets even if you want there to be- I just figure that I’ll tell them minimal details about my life and I can go ahead and overshare with my boyfriend when my time comes. I think that’s the only way they’ll get it.

  5. G/W

    P.S. As for husbands, I’m sorry but I disagree with that- unless you positively need to tell him something (i.e. I tell you that I have cancer and you need emotional support from him), I don’t see why he needs to know about my vaginal infections or self confidence issues.
    It’s not even like you need to lie. It’s funny because most husbands don’t bother sharing details about their friends lives but women love to volunteer that sort of information to their significant other.
    In my head, it’s kind of like letting your best friend read your diary and having her photocopy it and show it to her boyfriend. It’s my privacy that I’m choosing to let her in on and I’d hope she’d have enough respect for me to realize that it’s my decision and not hers.

  6. Sassy Marmalade

    I can see both sides of this issue, and I think it’s a tough one. For me, there are definitely some personal things about my friends that I share with my boyfriend. But it’s never to just gossip or keep him in the loop or anything like that. When I tell him things, it’s because I’m looking for emotional support from him in some way. Whether it’s just to vent because I’ve had a long day dealing with some fight among girl friends or to seek his advice about an issue I’m struggling with involving a friend. I think it’s reasonable to expect that if you tell a friend something and specifically ask that they keep it to themselves, that they do … but otherwise, I think it’s normal that some things are shared with a significant other. On the other hand, the significant other should never share that knowledge, even to discuss it with the friend in question. Whenever my boyfriend confides in me about his friends, I keep that to myself when I see them.

  7. Mari

    I agree with G/W, i don’t think there’s a difference between boyfriend and husband in that matter. It’s not like you’re lying to them, it simply doesn’t concern them. If you believe your husband has to know every little detail about your friend/confident, tell her that. Cause I’m pretty sure she will not want to confide in you anymore.
    At least, I wouldn’t.
    I have some friend’s husbands/boyfriends that I don’t have any issues if they know, as long as I’m the one telling them or, at least, approving the “passing it on”. lol
    I think it’s not respectful, and sometimes even embarrassing.

    1. TheBigGirlBlog Post author

      @ Mari & G/W: I hear what you guys are saying and I agree, but I think expecting my married friends to keep stuff from their hubby’s is a futile hope.

      I guess I find comfort that although there is still betrayal, at least husbands imply a sense of permanency. The boyfriend thing means that when they break-up my issues/vulnerable moments will go with the boyfriend too.

  8. clara

    Big Fan here, CeCe! I understand your frustration; I think that maintaining a “I am still single (i.e. a complete and fulfilled individual) in my relationship” stance is actually much more difficult than it sounds because, as Robert mentioned to you awhile ago, once you’re in a relationship, you often have to think in terms of a “we” rather than an “I.” It sucks when it seems like your friends have succumbed to that “we” rather than respecting your wishes as a friend.

    If it’s any consolation, though, I would guess that when your friends shared this news with their significant others, it was done more out of pride than out of malice. I’m proud of this blog and I don’t even know you personally, so I would think that your friends were just excited to see you do something wonderful and wanted to share it with the person they are closest to. Also, in this age where people announce everything from break-ups, engagements, pregnancies and divorces on the internet, they might have forgotten that some virtual spaces are meant to be anonymous. Does it excuse them breaching a confidence with you? No. But I can see how they messed up and it probably wasn’t done intentionally. Blogs are such a weird beast because they are shared openly with an audience of strangers as opposed to our closest friends and readers; I know it might seem like your friends have callously handed over your diary to their bumbling boyfriends, but perhaps the greater silver lining here is that you’ve shown your friends a very honest and genuine side of yourself. And I wouldn’t be ashamed of that at all.

    1. TheBigGirlBlog Post author

      @ Clara: Ahhh such words of wisdom! You might be talking me off the ledge here 🙂

      I don’t think my friends were sharing my personal business in a negative way, but it was still hurtful because it was unexpected. Of course it also made me wonder what else my friends had spilled to their boyfriends.

      You’re right the whole internet thing is weird… Even though I blog my life away here, I’m actually a pretty private person (maybe that’s why I remain anonymous, it helps keep the balance). So yes, your diary analogy is 100% on point.

      Thanks for being so understanding!

      xoxo

  9. shauna

    I think when you’re in a relationship it’s automatically assumed your partner will be told. Unfortunately. So I’m still careful about telling girlfriends things altho I assume they’ll tell their husbands.i

  10. knight

    I’m confused. I think I mentioned to my boyfriend at some point that you have a private blog and it’s awesome (I was just bragging) but I don’t recall ever sharing your personal information or actually showing him the blog. I guess it didn’t occur to me because I talk about my blog and other bloggers all the time. Feel free to ask the guy. It actually pisses me off that he doesn’t know anything about you.

  11. Michelle

    I haven’t been single for over ten years so maybe I’m not the most sensitive person to this topic. I think that when you have been with someone for a long time they come to know your friends really well. And as you and your bf grow closer it becomes more and more difficult not to share things about friends with your bf. However if a freind told me something very private and sensitive and swore me to secrecy then I would not share that information. I think that you will find that as you get closer to Robert you will find that talking about what your friends are up to comes second nature. I think as long as your not gossiping or saying anything hurtful I don’t see the problem. Most couples seem to do it. Good luck with Robert :>

  12. Monique

    Ooooooo…. I have to admit, I was THAT girl when I was married. There were very few things my friends told me that I didn’t then turn around and relay back to my (ex) husband. I didn’t think anything of it, just as I don’t think anything of my friends telling their significant others things I tell them now.

    BUT… I do understand how that can be annoying/invasive/gossipy. Especially because I’m far more aware of it now with my parents telling everyone and their brother news about my sister or I. And the most annoying thing is that they get MAD when my sister or I tell them a) to stop because we want to hear it straight from the person the news is about or b) that we already know. They get most pissed off when we already know because chances are, we’ve each known for weeks and kept it from them. Vicious cycle.

    And now that you’ve pointed it out, CeCe, when (if) I’m in my next relationship, I will be more conscious of telling my friends’ news, or not telling it as the case may be.

  13. juliette

    Hmmmmm. I’ve always had relationships where I discussed personal things with BFs – but that’s because I always have relationships where we are very open with each other. But the BFs know enough not to bring those issues up in the company of my friends! On the other hand, many of my married friends freely discuss their sex lives and I always wonder if the husbands know that and how they feel if they do? Knowing that your wife’s friend know about your erective disfunction – would that make the husbands uncomfortable? I guess it’s just a matter of pcking your relationshiops carefully? Complicated, I think.

  14. Healthy_Heather

    hmmm, I wonder if I am guilty here! I definitely tell my husband about things going on with my friends, but more along the lines of good news, achievements, etc. But secret girl stuff? He doesn’t even want to know MY secret girl stuff much less someone else’s! On the other hand, I automatically assume that as soon as something leaves my lips, it is no longer mine. If I don’t want people to know about it, I don’t verbalize it, even to my girlfriends. Guess I am jaded!

  15. Cristin

    Ultimately, my husband is my best friend. All of my girls know this and see us as a packaged deal. He might roll his eyes when I tell him we are all PMSing at the same time, but it does give him some greater insight. My girls, too, see my husband as their friend, and I don’t think they would care all that much. I’m definitely going to ask them how they feel though. Definitely thought-provoking!

  16. Ash

    I am a very private individual, extremely private. However, my privacy goes out the window when it comes to my friends. Most of my friends are in relationships and my very best friend is married. I know if I tell them something it will be shared with their significant other. For me it’s always been expected because I share everything with my boyfriend. I know he keeps what I say to himself unless it is concerning only me or only him. It is a completely different situation if one of my friends asks me to keep something confidential. I keep their confidence and when the time rolls around where they need to keep my confidence they do. However like I said I share everything with my boyfriend, so keeping my confidence is never an issue. If I’ve said or done something that I cannot share with my boyfriend maybe I should not have said or done that thing in the first place.

    Open, direct, and honest communication has been extremely effective for my relationship. I do not believe sharing news about other friends between significant others is done maliciously. However, if you’ve asked your friends to keep your confidence they should have, bottom line. I would say sit down and discuss this with them and ask them flat out, how would they feel if it had gotten back to them that you were sharing their secrets?

  17. Nichola

    To be fair my bf is barely interested in the intimate details of my friends lives so if I do overshare, he probably won’t remember what I tell him anyway! As my man doesn’t really know my friends I feel that I can talk to him about certain situations (I certainly wouldn’t tell him about vaginal infections!) without my friends feelings being hurt. I wouldn’t tell my bf anything about a friend that I wouldn’t be comfortable with them sharing with their partners. I think that is a pretty decent rule of thumb.

  18. Erika Jewel

    Interesting. I guess I can see it from both perspectives, but as a single person, I truly get it. There have been times where I’ve had a convo with a friend and she’s said “Oh, yeah me and (BF) were talking about you last night and he said…” and it threw me. Not for the conversation, but because “oh, ya’ll are talking about me? About what?” LOL! One particular time she mentioned that he said that he really hopes that me and my dude (not a bf, but we’ve been skirting the issue for several years) “get it together”, we seem good together. Did I mention they live in a different state and neither of them have ever met dude? It made me wonder what sort of things she’s shared with him about me and my relationship with Dude. It’s a fine line.

    I love Clara’s comment though. 🙂

  19. Lolo

    A-fucking-men! This lost-in-my-new-boyfriend bullshit is my friendship pet peeve. I swear to God, I am finished with one of my oldest friends because everytime she gets a new man, I only hear from her when something goes wrong. I don’t need every new love interest to know my personal history. Husbands & boyfriends don’t need to know everything about your girlfriends. End of story. Have a girlfriend code and stick to it. You better believe the boys have theirs.

  20. Monique

    There is a fine line with this. I think on one hand you can share some info but there are some things you have to keep to yourself. Ultimately, you have to stay loyal to your friend.

  21. S

    I think there is a fine line here. In a lot of respects, I agree. It’s irritating when the whole of your current psyche is splashed all over your social network without you intending it to be. At the same time, I frequently discuss with my guy about things going on with my friends (full disclosure: we have been together for a decade) because it helps to keep me grounded and gain perspective on the situation. I find that I’m often so invested in what’s going on with my friends that sometimes having him explain his “once removed” perception of the situation really does help me to be a better friend and give THEM what they need.

    That being said, if it’s something that is particularly sensitive or embarrassing (or I’ve been asked specifically not to talk about it), I will respect that even with the dude as long as it isn’t going to directly impact his life. For example, if my guy and I hang out socially with a friend and her man and they are having some relationship problems or something else has happened that will seriously change the social dynamic, I will give him a heads up as tactfully as I can so that he can be sensitive to it the next time we see them. Same with anything in a similar situation with single friends. It’s not out of spite or unthinking over-sharing, its about trying to make things easier for everyone.

  22. the_FM

    I AM SOOO with you on this one! I repeatedly find myself saying to my *most* trustworthy friend, “don’t tell anyone, not even marc (her man).” It’s like an unsaid right that girlfriends are going to tell their man anything you told them in secrecy. Part of me understands that – sometimes telling a significant other is really like not telling anyone at all. But what’s up with being in a relationship and suddenly not being able to keep your mouth closed about anything?

    Most recently – i texted the above friend that I needed to talk to her. She immediately called me back and I said “you can’t tell anyone!” I happened to be spreading pregnancy news about an ex-booty call situation (he knocked up his lady) and I knew it wasn’t my place to be telling people, but I was burning up inside. Her response? “Well I’m sitting across from Marc right now.” Which was my cue – yep.. she won’t tell anyone… except him.

  23. Ms. Independent

    Well, you you’re friends are always going to share things with her boyfriend for ALL kinds of reasons (she’s a blabber mouth anyways,she’s curious about his opinion on the matter, etc.). However, knowing what you know, it’s your responsibility to NOT share Everything with your girlfriends if you’re single or not single. I don’t believe in sharing EVERYTHING with my best friend. She’s married with children and I’m single with 4 walls in my apartment. This too shall pass, however keep some of your business to yourself 🙂

  24. amna

    This is exactly what i am going through with my husband and it happened before with many friends and thier husbands. Would you allow me to repost your post in my blog?

  25. Megan Votour

    Amen… to everything said here I am tired of my friend’s boy friend knowing everything. Some of it is very personal and I have met the guy once. Actually she was telling him about personal stuff before we met … I could have screamed about the stuff it turns out she told him.

  26. Megan Votour

    Amen… to everything said here I am tired of my friend’s boy friend knowing everything. Some of it is very personal and I have met the guy once. Actually she was telling him about personal stuff before we met … I could have screamed about the stuff it turns out she told him.

  27. guest23

    Happened to me! Now when my best friend asks me about this guy that I like and hows it going I just say not much is happening. Which isn’t true. I hate to white lie but she tells her boyfriend EVERYTHING and you know what; it’s so nice just knowing that if I don’t tell her, he won’t know. This is my life and my feelings….why should he know. If I want to tell him something then let me be the one to do it. It just makes me mad when it’s a deliberate thing rather than I did it because I was worried about you or something. So I just have to watch what I say now and I wish I could trust her again. When someone tells me not to tell anyone their secret, I don’t. It’s not my secret to tell! Why do people think that don’t tell anyone means tell everyone you don’t know!

  28. guest23

    Happened to me! Now when my best friend asks me about this guy that I like and hows it going I just say not much is happening. Which isn’t true. I hate to white lie but she tells her boyfriend EVERYTHING and you know what; it’s so nice just knowing that if I don’t tell her, he won’t know. This is my life and my feelings….why should he know. If I want to tell him something then let me be the one to do it. It just makes me mad when it’s a deliberate thing rather than I did it because I was worried about you or something. So I just have to watch what I say now and I wish I could trust her again. When someone tells me not to tell anyone their secret, I don’t. It’s not my secret to tell! Why do people think that don’t tell anyone means tell everyone you don’t know!

  29. curious84

    My on and off and my best friend are actually best friends in a sense they talk to each other about things besides our relationship. Okay, and they talk about our relationship too. But it’s mainly for advice and what not. She tends to agree with me or him whenever there’s an argument. We’re three peas in a pod now that I think about it haha.

  30. curious84

    My on and off and my best friend are actually best friends in a sense they talk to each other about things besides our relationship. Okay, and they talk about our relationship too. But it’s mainly for advice and what not. She tends to agree with me or him whenever there’s an argument. We’re three peas in a pod now that I think about it haha.

  31. Charlotte

    A guy we know tried to feel me up and I told my best friend not to tell anyone and the first thing she does! Tells her stupid boyfriend who I HATE! He treats me like dirt and he is threatening to spread a rumour about it 🙁 i told my “bestfriend” to tell him not to tell anyone and he says “tell (lets say my name is charlotte) that this is probably the first time she has ever heard this…NO” i told my friend to say cop on and what does she do she texts “charlotte said cop on”!! Then of course he texts back “tell charlotte I do what I want and im going to tell everyone!” And ive heard an extra part added onto the rumour now that i asked the guy to feel me up! Im so stook!! Please help me

  32. Charlotte

    A guy we know tried to feel me up and I told my best friend not to tell anyone and the first thing she does! Tells her stupid boyfriend who I HATE! He treats me like dirt and he is threatening to spread a rumour about it 🙁 i told my “bestfriend” to tell him not to tell anyone and he says “tell (lets say my name is charlotte) that this is probably the first time she has ever heard this…NO” i told my friend to say cop on and what does she do she texts “charlotte said cop on”!! Then of course he texts back “tell charlotte I do what I want and im going to tell everyone!” And ive heard an extra part added onto the rumour now that i asked the guy to feel me up! Im so stook!! Please help me 😭😭😭😭😭😭

  33. loopdeeloop

    I totally agree! I explained to my best friend that I trust her because we have been friends for 10 years! I have known her girlfriend for a little over one year and I have not spent nearly enough time with her to really trust her. But, still, I found out that my bestie told her gf stuff after I explained how I felt. It is very frustrating and inconsiderate. That’s not even the only close friend that has happened to me with! When I am in a relationship, I personally find it very natural not to tell my significant other secrets that are not even mine to tell. I am all for being an open book for my significant other, I just don’t feel the need to go opening others’ books for him/her as well.

  34. Gigi

    YEEEES! I told my friend about a crush, and she told her boyfriend. TWICE! WITH TWO DIFFERENT GUYS, even after she promised not telling him anymore about my life and my feelings. I trusted her but now I see I can’t tell her anything. You can’t even trust your friends nowadays. (If they are real friends ._.) She has told me very deep feelings and thoughts, even things that her parents don’t allow her to do, and I say absolutely nothing. I’m a vault when it comes to that stuff but she seems like she isn’t. I don’t like my personal life being in people’s mouths but she can’t understand that. I hate it. I guess I’ll have to write a diary becase I can’t seem to find someone to confide my feelings and thoughts without my secrets being told to everyone I know 🙁

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