He doesn’t want me connected to his friends

I'm so confused about why my boyfriend gets extremely territorial about his friends.

My boyfriend and I are both in our 20s and have been together for two and a half years. I've met his friends lots of times and get on really well with them.

Recently, within the past month, I added three of them on Facebook – one girl and two guys. I also followed the same three people on Instagram at the same time. When he found out I followed them on Instagram, his response was "I don't know how I feel about that. Because I don't have Instagram I can't keep an eye on it. Stop adding my friends; they're my friends not yours." He got really angry with me.

I feel like sometimes he doesn't take the time to bite his tongue and says hurtful and spiteful things before thinking. Over time, that can obviously chip away at someone’s confidence.

What is this about?

– Friendly

I have a lot of questions about why he wants boundaries between you and his friends. If he wants to keep an eye on you because he doesn't trust you – or them – that is a big red flag. Why shouldn't you know the important people in his life? What does he think you're doing on social media?

If he reacted negatively to all of this because he'd like some things (and people) for himself, that's something else. Maybe he feels estranged from his friends – like he doesn't see them enough – and your natural, relaxed relationship with them is highlighting some insecurities.

For the record, that wouldn’t make it OK for him to say mean things and act like he needs to surveil you. My point is, if you don't know why he's behaving this way, please ask.

The real problem in your letter is how he talks to you, in general. I have to wonder whether he has any hindsight after these hurtful conversations. Is he apologetic? Self-aware? If this is the norm, and he just spits out an awful thing and moves on, this relationship isn't right. You want someone who builds you up. No chipping away.

Also, this is yet another letter that doesn't tell us anything good. Think about why you didn't include the happy stuff. Maybe because there's not enough of it.

– Meredith

Readers? Do you follow your significant other's friends on social media? Thoughts about the real problem here?