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Four's a crowd

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  January 31, 2013 08:32 AM

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Q: Hi Meredith,

Loyal LL reader here, so naturally I saw the recent letter about a bromance, which got me thinking about my own situation. I have a potential concern about the intensity of my boyfriend's bromance with his best friend.

A little background: We've been dating for six months. Things are going well so far. We see each other 2-3 times per week. He's loving, caring, funny, outgoing, motivated, responsible, and we want the same things in life. I see our relationship lasting a long time ... providing my current problem doesn't get out of hand any more than it has.

He has two friends -- a couple -- who live very close to him already. On average, we see them at least twice a week, and sometimes every single time we are together, leaving very little time for either alone time for us or time with my friends. Additionally, during the three to four days we are not together during the week, he is also hanging out with them in some shape or form.

I have tried my best to handle it as gracefully as I possibly can. I bite my tongue. I always smile. I always contribute financially or bring stuff over to their place (with very little to no reciprocation on their part) and am constantly trying to be good to them because I know how important they are to my boyfriend.

It has become increasingly more difficult to exercise patience in this situation. His friends are the type who very rarely like to leave the confines of their own apartment. They never like to go out and explore nightlife or anything along those lines. They are big fans of drinking, and as a result, we are constantly subject to witness their drama that escalates quite frequently.

I recently snapped and had a conversation with my boyfriend about the issue. He agreed that the amount of time we hang out with them is excessive and that being around negativity and being around that type of lifestyle is not beneficial to us. He also has recognized that we don't spend enough time with my friends and that he needs to make more of an effort.

Music to my ears! Except ...

His lease is running out soon and he is looking for a new place. He has been in contact with the couple's landlord and is considering moving into the same building because of its convenient location and good rent price. I will not be moving in, therefore I don't even know if I'm justified in voicing my opinion on the matter. That being said, this friendship has already created so much stress on my part that I don't know how to deal with it and fear for the effects it could have on our relationship.

I am looking for advice on to how to deal with the situation. It's not my apartment, I'm not paying rent, so do I even have a right to say anything? How should I bring it up? Are these concerns legit?

Help!

– Two's Company, Four's a Crowd, Mass.


A: At six months, the best thing to do is to ask questions. As in, "What are the pros and cons of living in this building?" And, "Would it be difficult to live in the building and not see your friends every night?"

For the record, it might not be the worst thing for him to move into the building. It's a good rent (which is hard to find these days), and he obviously likes the location. That kind of proximity to his friends might make it easier for him to stop by and say hello without staying for hours. And remember, this would be temporary.

If you were moving in, this would be a different discussion. But you're not. Not even close, right? And he finally understands how you feel about setting boundaries with these people. Give him the chance to prove that he can respect your needs.

Let him move wherever he wants and see how he manages. And from now on, don't bite your tongue. If you don't want to stop by their apartment, tell him. If you're not happy, explain why. Don't wait until you snap.

Readers? Does she have the right to tell him that he shouldn't move into the building? Did she wait too long to speak up? What will happen if he moves into the building? Has she given him enough time to prove that he can respect her needs? Should he even be considering this move after their discussion? Help.

– Meredith



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ABOUT LOVE LETTERS: Welcome to Love Letters, the place for love advice (giving and getting). Globe relationship columnist Meredith Goldstein and Boston.com readers are ready to take your letters and tell you what's what. Have a question? Click here to submit or email us at loveletters@boston.com.
Blogger Meredith Goldstein

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.

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