It's not unusual for men and women to be friends. You certainly have female friends, and your girlfriend no doubt has male friends, but if her best friend is a guy, well, that's a different story.

Whether or not men and women can truly be friends -- best friends -- has long been a subject of debate, and there's no way that we're going to settle that debate here. Suffice it to say, for the purposes of this article, we're operating under the assumption that heterosexual men and women cannot be best friends; sex always gets in the way.
Therefore, if a guy and a girl appear to be best friends, it's necessarily because one of them secretly wants to see the other naked.

So what do you do if you meet a girl, start dating her, and find out that her best friend is a guy? Her commitment to her friend might make you jealous, but if you get too possessive too fast, you're bound to lose her. The trick is to assess whether or not her best friend poses a threat to your relationship, and then deal with the situation accordingly.

Don't express jealousy

First things first, don't express jealousy. It's likely that your girl has dumped many previous boyfriends because he couldn't handle the fact that her best friend is a guy. It's especially important to note that if you issue an ultimatum early on in the relationship, you will lose. Besides, jealousy makes you look insecure, especially if it's unfounded. You need more information before deciding how to act.

Meet the best friend

Tell your girlfriend you want to meet her best friend. It's the only way you'll be able to accurately assess their relationship. Does he stare at her longingly? Does she flirt with him? Remember to keep your jealousy in check. He's her friend, so she's naturally going to be comfortable hugging him and speaking confidentially to him. Your main objective here is to assess the competition.

Be nice to her best friend

You'd make an effort to be nice to her female friends right? So why should things be any different just because her best friend is a guy?

She's going to judge you based on how you treat her friends, so make a real effort every time he's around. Besides, if you're consistently nice to him, and he's consistently a dick to you, you'll be the nice guy who's making an effort, and he'll be the jerk.

Find out their history

As you determine whether or not her male best friend poses a threat, you need to find out more about their history. Casually ask whether she and her best friend were ever more than just friends. Keep the tone light and playful. Chances are that she and her best friend had at least one drunken make-out session back in high school. Make sure to find out as much about his romantic history as possible too. If he "never seems to find the right girl," it could mean he's still pining after your girl.

Phase him out

If her best friend is a guy, it's probably going to cause problems for your relationship, as there will always be another guy with whom she's emotionally intimate. Ultimately, if you want your relationship to succeed, you need to gradually become her "go-to guy," the first person she thinks to call whenever she has good or bad news. Here are some techniques to help you phase her best friend out of her life.

Find him a girlfriend

Make it a project with your girlfriend to find her best friend a girlfriend of his own. Suggest that the two of you start setting him up with single girls you know. Go on double-dates to facilitate the process.

Get her to talk about him

Another useful technique for phasing him out is to subtly get her to talk about him. Encourage her whenever she starts complaining about him. Be there whenever the two of them get into an argument. Remember, however, to assume a passive role. Insulting her best friend is not the way to her heart, so don't try badmouthing him yourself.

Set him up to embarrass himself

OK, granted, setting her best friend up to embarrass himself is a pretty shifty move, but all is fair in love and war, right? Try getting her best friend drunk, or subtly encouraging asinine behavior.

the delicate art of subtraction

It's important to remember that women are going to have male friends: We're not encouraging you to keep her from being friends with any guy. We're just saying that if her best friend is a guy -- her very best friend -- you'll probably need to phase him out before she will ever be totally committed to you.