Cockblocking friends are something I came across all too frequently when interviewing singles for my new dating guide. Going out with a single girlfriend should be a level playing field; you should look out for each other and boost each other's self-belief and dating confidence, but alas, that doesn't always happen.
Your friend will most likely fall into some of these scenarios when you're out:
1. It's all about her when you're out—like where she wants to go because she loves dressing up for smart places even if you prefer a chill vibe. She has the right gear for her favorite places—it's no matter to her that you don't.
2. She will always try to gain dominance over the guy you're chatting to. She does this by making sure she giggles louder at his jokes, moves up closer to him, etc.
3. She puts you down in front of guys—sometimes turning you into the butt of her jokes.
4. She'll flirt with a guy she's not even interested in, because she's seen you've taken an interest in him.
5. Once she pulls, she'll go off with her conquest leaving you on your own.
Here's how to handle her and build a better friendship.
Chances are, your friend annoys you when she does the above but otherwise she has good qualities—hence you being friends in the first place—so stick with it.
Start asserting yourself with the practical things first, like having a say in the venues you go to. Be straightforward, flag up where you went last time (her choice) and suggest where you want to go this time.
Practice makes perfect, so channel your most confident vibe before you hit the town, and when you're out with her, don't point out the guy you're most attracted to. Instead use a distraction strategy and point out other guys. When you have a moment, pass him on the way to the bar, flash a nice smile and make some eye contact. Here's hoping you two strike up a conversation without her muscling in.
When you're ready to talk to her about it, prepare what you'll say and start with a positive, such as: "We have such a great time when we're hanging out together but I feel it changes when we're around men."
Listen to what she has to say and you might be surprised. It might reveal insecurities of her own. Out in the open, these can be dealt with together.
Finally, if she doesn't change her ways it's time to find other friends to go out with.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.