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November 15, 2010

He Hates My Friends

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/he_hates_my_friends/

Photo

Boo Hoo BORING. Photo courtesy of Victor Jeffreys II, phiary.com/diary/victor.

Dear Yenta,

I’ve been dating a boy for six months and we’re very close. The problem is, he’s clingy. He doesn’t like my friends at all, so when I want to hang out with them and I invite him to come along, he won’t do it. What he will do is pout for the rest of the night, making it difficult for me to enjoy an evening with the girls without worrying about whether or not he’s okay. What’s worse is that the girls I usually hang out with have boyfriends as well, and they occasionally join us with no trouble. It’s only my boy that causes snags.

I’ve spoken to him about it and he admits to being jealous of these girls. But I only have so much time in a day, or a week, or in the school year before we all go home for the summer, and I’m not going to spend every second of my free time with him. He and I get along really well when it’s just me and him, or me and him and his friends, but he treats my friends with so little respect that I don’t know what to do. Help!

-BF Hates My Peeps

Dear BFHMP,

Blah. A man who can’t adapt to multiple social situations and is “jealous” of your girlfriends sounds like bad news to me. What are you supposed to do while he is pouting? Obvi. Pay attention to him. You asked for a boyfriend, not a child.

“If a relationship is not the easiest thing you have ever done in your life for the first six months, run (don’t walk) to the nearest exit,” says Tiffany Ranae Widdifield in “Should I Keep Him or Dump Him? Three Guidelines for Navigating Relationships.” “Relationships are hard work,” Tiffany explains, “However, in their infancy, they should be fresh, vibrant and exciting. You should feel as if you have met “the one.””

I’m with Tiff. Still, these situations always have more to them than meets the eye. Who knows, except maybe you and your dude, where his nervous insecurities stem from. What we can see is that he is capable of social normalcy, but something about your friends makes him check out.

Either your friends suck or your boyfriend sucks or neither suck, and you just happen to be wearing two left shoes. What are you ignoring? That is what this boils down to, right? What are you pretending is not happening? There is something up with your man, or something up with your friends. Period.

He is your boyfriend, of six months, not your husband for life. If things aren’t working and you put up a good fight to strive for normalcy, start weighing options. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you need to ever settle for someone who potentially stunts your growth. There is, however, a fine line between sorting out differences and growth stuntage. As Tiffany later writes, “That’s why rule two is so important to follow: If the second six months of your relationship is not filled with arguments, and doubts, and the unmitigated desire to throttle him, Run!”

Are you in the first or second leg of the 6 month window? Is this, “learning to love him,” or “shit, I am dating a complete loser?”

Another option: ignore everything I have said thus far and be strong in the face of an annoying scenario. No law says you must integrate friends and boyfriend on a nightly basis. Find him afterwards, or in the morning, or for lunch and enjoy the things you were going to do anyways in the meantime. In fact, doing everything together, spending every outing as a pair, might not be the best way to keep things breathing. Autonomy should not kill a good relationship.

Enjoy your life however you see fit and maybe he will come around. Otherwise, no matter which way you spin it, he will become someone you resent for raining on your friendship parade. When the summer comes, give him your time then, and your friends your time now. But my gut instinct is that if the fish stinks, chuck it.

For more help take the “Is he a good boyfriend quiz” or the “Should you dump him quiz” from Seventeen.com.

Also, for pointers, try 10 Ways to Be the Best Boyfriend or Girlfriend by Sparklife.com, A brief guide on finding the right relationship, keeping a proper perspective and remaining optimistic throughout a sometimes grueling process from Aish.com, and If the Buddha Dates: Handbook for Finding Love on a Spiritual Path.
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