Hey there! (This is GoGotchi ^^)
I actually just got back into Tamagotchi in my second year of college, just thought it'd be interesting for you to know that.
I have quite a decent amount of friends, but I find that I rarely socialize with people one on one. Instead, I spend most of my time on my own doing work, playing bass, etc.
That being said, I have quite the busy schedule but regardless I still keep a tama in my pocket (or somewhere near me) because as silly as it may sound, it makes me feel like I'm not alone. I don't think it's the fact that there's something that needs me to take care of it, asking for my attention all the time, but instead just knowing that there's something or someone (I suppose) with you and you're not really alone. Haha.
It's a psychological comfort.
Hm, I have to wonder about the boyfriend/friend situation, though. Are you willing to lose your friend over your boyfriend? I don't think that your boyfriend should be asking you to limit contact with your friend, instead I think that he should respect the fact that he is your friend and if he really doesn't like him, he can just make sure that they're not around each other at the same time (your boyfriend and your friend). Especially since this friend is so close to you... Are you really going to risk losing your friend when you already said that you don't have many other close friends? Just some thoughts.
I honestly don't think it matters whether your friends are mostly female or male. I know that for me, I have more male friends than female friends, however when it comes down to it, I make friends with people whose personality I like, not based on their gender. Don't worry about imbalances or fulfilling social expectations, as long as you have friends who are there to support you and can understand you, then you're good. I wouldn't worry what they look like on the outside, or what others think of them.
Hope this helped.