I have been with my boyfriend for 14 months. We are in our late thirties. Our relationship is good but we have one source of conflict, his female close friend.
So their friendship pre-dates our relationship. My boyfriend was single when they met, she was not and is still with the same guy. My bf and her met through a shared passion (climbing) and fast became climbing partners and close friends. They met around lockdown and maintained friendship with her going over his place to climb on his climbing wall that he built. He has also been on a climbing holiday with her and her boyfriend. So this has not had any romance - for one she has always been unavailable and another is my bf has always maintained he has not been interested in her in that way. The similarity between her and my bf is that they are obsessive about climbing and are both high ability.
So I met him in Dec 2021 and it was not long before I gathered he was a passionate climber. I had never seen anyone so driven to get up on a Saturday and Sunday morning so eager to make plans to go climbing (we never spent those days together) Despite this, I really liked him and put it down to him being a slow burner and was just not that into the relationship yet. It was only over time that I realised he had a best friend climber... I realised as they were the two from the climbing group who made plans and to go all day climbing together. One time I was at his place and waited for her to come pick him up and I waved them off with "have fun today", while I went home feeling a bit wounded.
So over the months I began to be more open with him as one of the things he would do was tell me stories about her. I mean he finds her so funny. I learned that she tells him about her sex life and when she is menstruating and laughed telling him her bf gets jealous about her going climbing for the day with a man (my bf) So overtime I was getting more and more uncomfortable with this friendship. Like I said above, he never spent a Saturday or Sunday with me due to climbing. Well the one time he didn't go, he was building her a climbing frame. This was a plan they came up with together. One thing he has been is honest - I couldn't meet up one Friday and had plans of my own, and he told me she was coming over to help build the climbing frame. He was going to make dinner for them both too - something I suspected he would do so I asked if that was happening and he said yes.
There are a whole host of stories I could say about this friendship. She is German and he learns German for her. They go on long summer days in the sun climbing and going in the sea together. She wears very little clothing when she climbs and he looks up at that (it gives you a considerable view of someone's nether-regions if they are wearing tiny shorts) But putting that to one side, I think it's best I describe where things have come at 14 months into this relationship (now). So they now see each other much less and I suspect she too has felt a little rejected as neither she nor him make much direct plans with each other. BUT there is a significant thing at present - it is off-season. They do still see each other in the indoor climbing centres.
So at the weekend my bf and I went climbing - he takes me occasionally and we go just us. He knows I prefer to go with just him as a group is a bit overwhelming for me being new to climbing. I have been slowly learning to climb for the last year. So at the weekend, we see her at a nearby climbing spot but across the other side of the landscape (quite far away). She called out in the distance and my bf was beaming, I mean excited seeing her. It was strange to me when he commented saying 'she's wearing her winter onesie'. I was like, 'oh you can see what she's wearing from here?'. After that he looked over every so often. I just felt moody about it but we carried on where we were. At the end of the day she came over to where we were, she was with another climber guy. There was about 20 mins of chat at this point about her climbing accomplishments and what she has done over the winter. One climb of note being a challenging climb that she told everyone about. My bf looked at her 'you did that and you didn't tell me?'. They looked straight at each other. He seemed disappointed to me. Call me paranoid but I felt she said it in that instance so that I would see his reaction (emotional reaction)
After that, we went for a meal, just me and my bf. She came up in conversation. I am a reasonable person when it comes to these discussions but I wanted to know about the plans ahead. He said the climbing season is on the way and he might get her back as his climbing partner and 'we will see how you deal with it', he said.
That brings us up to right now. I don't like any of it. I believe his interest in her is platonic, but I am not comfortable with what this woman means to him at a deeper level. He and her have different boundaries than what I consider normal and I don't know if that's something easy to get past. I have tried to be understanding and I have also been open with him that I struggle to accept a close friendship with another woman like this. But I leave it to him to do what's right by me rather than force him to change (I don't want to control anyone)
I have inadvertently influenced his choices and he sees her less for me, but I don't think this is what he actually wants - at least with the revelation at the meal saying he is going to make her his climbing partner again and see how I cope with it. This tells me he very much does want this woman a part of his life again.
Am I overreacting? Should this be something I should just get used to? Or am I right to be uncomfortable/ upset/ sensitive about this?