The basic idea of relationships is finding someone who thinks you’re one of the best things in the world and loves you accordingly. It’s about coming first whenever you need something and doing the same for your partner in return. I guess that’s why it was so maddening when I realized that I’d always come second to my boyfriend’s friends.
I thought it would no longer be a problem when the relationship becomes serious. When we first started dating, he was constantly running into people that he knew when we were out. The sheer number of friends he had made me uncomfortable, especially when we had to accommodate them in our plans. However, I imagined that as we became more serious, it’d be less of an issue and he’d naturally relegate them to the background of our relationship. This never happened. I seem to be discovering more friends of his every passing day.
He’s more likely to choose hanging out with his friends over spending time with me. There are days when I go ahead and make plans for just the two of us and then his friends call him to come hang with them and he abandons whatever plans we have to go do that—or worse, he invites them to come join us in our thing. It drives me crazy whenever this happens.
He never invites me to chill with his friends because he thinks I’ll spoil the fun. I wouldn’t be as hurt by his bromances and numerous friendships with other girls if he tried to include me or make me feel like I was part of his crew, but he prefers to hang out with them without my company. He feels like my presence would make things awkward for everyone and they won’t be able to be themselves around me.
At first, my introverted side made me believe I was cool with it. I’m an introvert and I don’t really like going out or hanging around people, so I imagined that not having to spend time with his friends would take some of the social pressure off me. Unfortunately, that’s not how I feel at all. The truth is, I might not like interacting with people or going out, but I’m happy to do those things as long as I’m with him.
It makes me wonder if he truly cares about me. Seeing the way he is with his friends makes me a little insecure about how he feels about me. I can’t feel the same energy that always surfaces when he’s around his friends. If I don’t excite him as much as they do, does that mean that what we have is fake and he doesn’t care about me as much as I think?
It’s a delicate subject to broach without things getting really negative. There’s no way to talk about how the situation makes me feel without it turning into a bitter argument. I’m not quite sure how I’m supposed to even begin framing the conversation to avoid being interpreted the wrong way. I don’t want it to come down to a situation where it seems like it’s a competition between me and his friends and I’m making him choose between one or the other. (I think I know how he’d choose anyway.)
I’m constantly reminded of how lonely I am without him. I don’t have a lot of friends, which means I often have free time on my hands that I want to spend them with him. When he’s always with his friends, it makes me realize I’m lonely and I don’t have a lot going for me in the social arena. I end up feeling sad for being more dependent on him than he is on me.
Whenever we’re with his friends I always feel like the odd one out. You know how weird it feels when people are sharing inside jokes and you can’t relate to any of it? That’s how it is every time we’re out with friends. They have so much history together because they’ve known each other for years, but we just started dating so I don’t have much to contribute when they’re telling stories and talking about stuff.
It forces me to become clingy. Knowing that he probably cares about his friends more than me makes me want to establish some boundaries for myself. Whenever he’s with his friends, I start feeling paranoid and doubting his affection for me and I start doing things to get his attention. It sickens me just thinking about it because I know that’s not who I really am.
I understand the value of friendships, but screw that. Friends are important and I’m a staunch believer in people having solid friendships outside of their relationship that they can turn to and count on, but it can easily become too much to handle. Things are great in moderation, but if you’re in a relationship, you should at least come first before the guy’s friends, otherwise, it’s no better than a hookup.
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