I recently gave five letters from my Love Letters inbox to members of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, who begin their run of this year's Free Shakespeare on the Common production, "Coriolanus," on Wednesday.
Five actors from the cast volunteered to interpret the letters as monologues and performed them for us on camera in the scenic South End. I'll admit that it was weird for me to watch these actors take on the personas of real letter writers. It made me wish I could sit down one-on-one with everyone who writes in.
Today's letter will be performed by Angela Smith, who plays Valeria in "Coriolanus." The original letter -- and my answer -- is below.
I've been with my boyfriend for four years throughout high school (we finished last year) and now we are moving into the real world and trying to adjust to a very different life.
My boyfriend has a group of friends, both male and female, and he hardly ever invites me to hang out with them. He initially said it that would be kind of weird, which sparked a lot of anger from me. I felt like he was embarrassed of me. Later, as he got more accustomed to the idea of me having out with them, he was more open to it and said it could be fun -- but he never invited me.
Yesterday he was talking to me about a good restaurant that the whole group could go to, and asking me for ideas. I gave him some suggestions and expected that he might invite me along -- but he didn't. So I said to him, "What would you think of me coming along?" And he said "You know, I didn't even think about that." I was offended given that I have been expressing for months that I would like to be invited to such things and it didn't even cross his mind to think about inviting me. He could definitely tell I was offended but I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, as it sparks a lot of tension.
I can't stop from seeing it as a pity invite and still feel like I'm the fun police and that I'm only getting invited because he feels bad. Is it immature of me to remain offended by such a thing, or should i just get over it and suck it up?
– Left Out, Mass.
A: You need your own friends, LO. And you need to be out of this relationship.
He excludes you and makes you feel bad. Meanwhile, you're more focused on getting an invite from him than finding a way to transition out of high school on your own.
People in couples are allowed to have their own separate groups of friends, but you shouldn't have to walk around feeling as though your partner is embarrassed by you. And you should have a list of people who you can call on a Friday night, friends who represent your "real world" life outside of high school (and your high school boyfriend).
My advice? Take space. Join clubs. Find roommates who are around your age. Be single. Learn to walk on your own before you couple up again. I know that it's easier said than done to drop a boyfriend of four years, but it's time to be alone. He wants to have his own, new life. Don't you?
Readers? Should she stick around? Is it OK for him to have his own friends? Is he just being rude about his plans? What about the restaurant anecdote? Can this relationship be saved? Help.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.