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Balancing our friends

Posted by Meredith Goldstein  February 12, 2013 08:33 AM

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Romance Rumble Round 2 begins today. Robert Pattinson and Russell Crowe are out. Gosling and Newman are going strong. You can vote here.

After running this letter two weeks ago, I got tons of questions from people having issues with their partner's friends. This is one of the many:


Q: Hi Meredith,

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year and a half. We are happy together. Great sex life, great chemistry, same interests, love sports, love beers, love going to bars to watch games, and this comes off as conceited, but people love us together. There are no real issues with us, except for one. We always hang out with his friends. His friends are fun -- they are similar to us so it's not like it's a total drag to be with them. However, whenever I suggest something with MY friends, you can see his lit-up face become dim very quickly.

My friends (and a lot of girls in general) are not interested in some of the things that my boyfriend is, like sports or going to bars. My friends are more into going to clubs versus a bar. Clubs are fun to me, but not every weekend, and my boyfriend is on the same page. And usually whenever we end up going out with my friends, he is texting his friends and seeing what they are up to and seeing if they want to meet us.

I guess what my question is, how do I approach him on this without making him feel I don't like his friends. Is this normal behavior for a guy? I have dated a couple of other guys and typically I found that I was always with HIS friends, especially in the beginning of a relationship. Should I just separate my friends from my boyfriend and make time for both? In an ideal world, I want my boyfriend to be my best friend and also be my boyfriend and bite his tongue when he doesn't want to do something that I want to do, a.k.a. compromise with me, like I do for him.

I am little bit all over the place with this love letter, however, any advice would really help. One last thing: My friends and my boyfriend don't hate each other; there has never been any kind of fight between anyone, and the same thing between me and his friends.

– Friends Upon Friends, Boston


A: You're trying too hard to make this work, FUF. There's no need to drag your boyfriend to a club with your friends. People might love you together, but they probably love you separately, too.

I understand why it's important to bring him to big events (concerts, birthday parties, weddings), but does he have to be with you on a random Friday night? Probably not. I'm sure you have some single friends who'd love to see you out without a partner.

Trust me, you want your boyfriend to be honest with you more than you want him to bite his tongue. And it's OK if you spend more time with his friends than he spends with yours. It's not about keeping score.

Also know that at some point, your friends' priorities will change and they won't want to go clubbing and bar-hopping, or at least not as much. You and your boyfriend will have different needs too, and the social structure will shuffle. All that matters right now is that you're seeing your friends and that you're focused on them when they're in the same room. If you're thinking about why your boyfriend is texting in the corner, you're missing the point.

Readers? Is this a temporary problem? Should her boyfriend be at the club? How do you combine lives without keeping score? 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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