Bubbles_101 asks: I walked out of my boyfriend’s Christmas party leaving him and our son, since I got totally angry at him. But before that incident told me that we would only be dropping by his friend’s Christmas party to say hi and drop a gift for a exchange gift event. I did say yes but I wasn’t expecting that we would be staying there for too long. Can you imagine being in a party where you only knew their faces but not their names, since you guys are not that close?! You look like a total idiot sitting in a corner while he is having fun. But to be honest I really don’t like his friends (group of friends that were created through groups, more like a gang). Since before I met him he was in a group where each member has a car of their own. They have issues when it comes to pride. It’s like they should be the main heroes of the stories. I did try to calm down but he keeps on telling me to take a bath when I have a lot of house hold chores to do. He knows that right from the start I already told him that I don’t really like his friends but he seems not to care. I even look like a babysitter on that time. So I told him that I would be going home and left. He was totally angry when he got home, like 3 mins after I got home. He told me not to behave like that. He also told me that if I wanted to leave we could have just left. How was I supposed to tell him that when he was having fun and a bit drunk? I don’t think he would like to leave just like that. Yes, I embarrassed him in front of his friends by walking out of the party, but I don’t care since, like I said, I don’t like them and I have no plans of getting to know them. I feel like he prioritizes his friends over me. I feel totally neglected.
Hi Bubbles_101 –
I’m going to say I think both of you are a bit at fault here, and that I think the solution is pretty easy, if you’re up to it.
When I was a puppy, my veterinarian wouldn’t allow Handsome to let me play with other dogs, because I was too susceptible to diseases. Finally I reached the age where it was okay, and he took me to a dog park to celebrate. I was SOOO excited! Maybe a hundred dogs, all kinds of smells, it was heaven!
Oh, except, it wasn’t.
Not one dog there would play with me. I was the friendliest pup in the world, running up to all of them, and they’d either walk away ignoring me or turn and snap, scaring me. I felt so lonely and rejected. Handsome tried to make me feel better by playing with me, but of course, I was used to him – I’d been living with him for months. It was those pooches I wanted to want me.
But then, as he kept taking me back there, things changed. I got better at knowing how to approach other dogs, and which dogs to approach. And eventually I made some great friends I played just as roughly as I wanted with! That miserable park became my favorite place in the world.
Now you’re not exactly in the same place I was. I was all set to befriend those dogs, while you’re not so crazy about your boyfriend’s friends. But feeling left out and rejected and lonely at a party – that part sounds just the same.
So if you’re ever in that situation again, I recommend seeing if you can find any like-minded people there to chat with. Maybe someone else sitting alone. You might be surprised.
But more important than that, you and your boyfriend need to develop a new skill – communication!
It sounds like he didn’t really grasp that you don’t like his friends and didn’t want to stay at that party. Is that because you hadn’t made it clear enough? Or because he wasn’t listening to you closely enough?
I’m going to guess it’s a little of both.
So next time a situation like that comes up, I want you to do something that sounds really forced. I want you to tell him exactly what you’re feeling, and get him to repeat it back to you. Something like this:
“Hey I know you want to go to the party, but I really don’t want to stay there. You know I don’t like hanging with that group.”
“Wait, did you understand what I said?”
“Can you tell me what it was?”
“That you don’t want to spend the whole night at the party.”
“Well that’s part of it, but I really don’t want to spend any time there. Can we just drop off that gift and leave?”
“Well that’d be rude. I at least need to talk with the people there.”
“Okay, how long will you need? Ten minutes?”
“Tell you what, I’ll give you fifteen. But then I’ll come and tell you we have to go. Or if you want to stay, that’s okay, I’ll leave and see you tomorrow. Okay?”
Do you see what happened there? No blaming, no accusations, no secrets. He wasn’t listening at the beginning, which you might have found annoying, but instead you just clarified your point of view.
Another time, you can discuss what it is about his friends you don’t like. But for now, all that matters is your ability to feel okay in that room.
But I will warn you about something for the future. If there’s something you really don’t like about his friends, you might look more closely at him. Something in him adores them. Is he more like them than you’ve considered?
I’m not trying to break you up, but maybe there are qualities in him you guys need to talk about, before your relationship gets any more serious.
Again, communication is SO important! Which reminds me, I need to go communicate to Handsome that I love him, I’m done with my work, and I’m hungry. I sure hope he understands!
All my best,