My boyfriend and I have been dating for the past three years and it’s definitely serious. He has a HUGE group of friends (we’re talking 20-25 guys), whereas you can count my friends on one hand. It seems like every weekend his friends are inviting him to weddings, birthday parties, engagement parties…every type of social engagement you can imagine. He expects me to come along with him, but I know what will happen — I always end up sitting at a table talking to his friends’ girlfriends, whom I don’t have much in common with.
Recently, I’ve stopped going to all these events. I told my boyfriend that I barely ever see my friends (by choice) and that I’m just not a small-talk person. I’m not outgoing, I don’t have the patience to sit through 3 hours of dinner conversation or a 4 hour birthday party. I just don’t care enough.
When I told my friend, seeking a little sympathy, she was shocked I would make my boyfriend go solo to this sort of stuff. She said that if she was in love with someone, she wouldn’t care what the activity was, she would just enjoy being with the person.
My boyfriend even confronted me saying he felt a little left out in the cold, especially since everyone else’s girlfriends attend. I told him I was never going to be the girl who is BFF with his friends’s GFs. That’s just not me.
Either I’m nuts for just not giving a sh*t about friends that aren’t mine, or everyone else is getting upset over a non-issue. I love my boyfriend, I just don’t want to be a part of his social-life-before-me. Do you think our relationship is doomed?
Dear Notta Bitch,
Are you crazy for opting out of going to all your BF’s BFF’s parties or is all this fuss over a non-issue? I’m leaning a little more towards your side of the fence on this one.
When you’ve got a partner there’s a certain amount of sacrificing you make to make them happy. Yes, this includes letting yourself be dragged to parties of, as far as you’re concerned, complete strangers and their girlfriends/boyfriends/families/bookies. It can be excruciating, especially for someone who isn’t outgoing. I would say that it takes quite a bit of effort and exertion, mentally, emotionally, and physically to put yourself in those kinds of positions. Shyness sucks. It can be overwhelming. To break out of it is one thing, but to subject yourself to tortured “Hi, I’m so-and-so, and for the next three hours we’ll have to sit next to each other and pretend to give a sh*t about all of the things we do but won’t ever do together, compare who has the better job, possibly end up behind each other in a conga line, or side by side doing an electric slide, and listening to overlong speeches full of inside jokes we have to pretend are funny but that we’d rather spend the time getting flayed by Hannibal Lector instead of sitting here.” If you’re a social butterfly it can be taxing. If you’re a social mole, it’s the social equivalent of being water boarded. So from the perspective of trauma, I see where you’re coming from and I think you might be justified getting “sick” and skipping out on a few parties.
On the other hand, you’re a partner and you have to support your partner. So, you can’t skip out on all of them. It doesn’t sound like you have, mind you. I’m just saying that you suddenly can’t refuse to go to everything. It does sound like you’ve done your time and have earned a reprieve. Plus, lets not get into how freaking expensive going to all of these parties can be. Are you traveling to each of them? Do you ever have to take a day off of work for one? Do you have to get a new dress or fork over some cash for a gift? Oftentimes it gets to be less than financially practical. And if your BF’s got a problem with how this all makes him look then he’s got some issues with his friends to deal with.
It’s one thing if you’re skipping out on a couple parties a year. If these are happening on a monthly basis then you’ve got logic and practicality on your side. It’s not fun to go to random people’s weddings. And your boyfriend’s being a bit touchy if he’s hurt you won’t let yourself be dragged along. Plus, how much of an effort does he make to make sure you feel like you’re part of the group?
Tell him to suck it up. You’re not a party favor and you’re not arm candy. You’ll go to the super important ones, but it’s up to him to let you know which those are. And they can’t all be “the most important.”
“Everybody clap your hands!”