SelenaStupid asks: I feel left out and sad when my boyfriend hangs out with his friends. He doesn’t have many friends, plus there is this female friend that he hangs around. He gives me his attention so much. And he loves me. But it bothers me when he hangs around with her. Also I cannot ask him to lose his friends because he has so few. It bothers me. I need help
Hi SelenaStupid –
I don’t know, SelenaStupid, you don’t sound all that stupid to me! Sounds to me like you’re very aware of the situation, and understanding of all sides! Maybe I’ll just think of you as SelenaSmartButFrustrated! How’s that!
I actually think you and he are in a pretty good place. You know he loves you, and he shows you lots of attention when you’re together. That’s great! But you feel left out when he’s with his friends.
Boy do I relate to that! My human Handsome loves me more than anything on this earth, but he goes out with his human friends all the time – often to places I can’t go, like movies and restaurants – but then sometimes he comes home and I can smell that he’s been playing with his friends’ dogs! I’m not exactly jealous about that – I don’t get upset about him being with other dogs – but I do feel like I missed out. After all, I love being with him, I love being with his friends, and I’d especially love playing with those other dogs, but I got left at home the whole time!
But you’re in a better position than I am. I won’t be able to change his mind about seeing friends or going to places I can’t go. At times he’ll choose to spend more time with me and not with them, but that’s another story.
But is that what you are saying you want?
I’m not sure if you’d like to be included more, when he’s with his friends, or if you just want him more to yourself. It sounds like you accept the fact he needs those friends, so I’m wondering if you could maybe join in with them a bit more. Not every time, but just some of the times that he spends with them. I’m thinking that might take away some of the “left out” feelings.
But also, maybe you need to tell him about your feelings about the other female. It’s kind of fun to have someone a little jealous of you, you know, and if you say it the right way, it can actually be a fun secret between you two.
And third, it would be great if YOU can start hanging out with some of YOUR friends when he’s out with his. Can you do that? Do you have some people you can arrange with? And if not, maybe you could work to find some. Friends who would be yours, who would matter to you, outside of him.
And then, there’s a fourth thing you need to do. And that’s to take a deeeeeeeeeeeeep breath and relax.
Think of it: 1) He’s hanging out with friends you know he needs. And 2) he loves you and treats you well. There’s actually nothing wrong. Nothing at all. These two things could be true if you two had been joyously married for 47 years!
So stop beating up on yourself, take a breath, and accept the fact that you get a little jealous, and you want more time with him, and that everything is wonderful.
You see, it’s actually GOOD that I miss Handsome so much, and he misses me so much, during the day. Our ‘hello’s’ are just so wonderful when we meet back up! You and your boyfriend can have that same dynamic.
If so, you have every potential for happiness in this relationship – enough to think of yourself as smart! This I know. Because it’s my life.
All my best,