It's easy: "Mom, meet Sock. Sock, this is my mom."
September 13, 2012 7:19 AM   Subscribe

I have a great boyfriend who treats me really well, but we hardly ever hang out with his friends, except sometimes at parties. And even though he agrees that we're for (very) serious, he hasn't even mentioned the idea of introducing me to his parents. I have told him that I'm upset about the friend stuff.

We've been together for several months. I'm a lady in my thirties, so I'm ready to Get Serious And Settle Down, which I have told him. Even if I weren't the impatient type, I can feel the clock ticking, and I don't have time for these games.

Important context: he was with someone else for a long time before they broke up. (Which was before he and I got together, fwiw.) They have all the same friends. I've never met her but she has said she doesn't feel comfortable with me hanging around her crowd, one of whom gave me the silent treatment at a party. He says he doesn't know how to navigate the situation. I sympathize, a lot, but it still sucks for me.

I think he's the cat's pajamas. I could dial things back in our relationship and start seeing other people, but my heart wouldn't be in it. What should I do? I want be a bigger part of his life.
posted by sockity sock to Human Relations (37 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Those gates must be opened from the inside.
posted by nickrussell at 7:23 AM on September 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


How soon is it after the breakup?

If soon enough that the Ex is still being weird about friend-sharing, it's possible that all you need to do is give it time. And keep an eye out for rebounditis.
posted by greenish at 7:24 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


This would be a deal breaker for me and has been in the past. What it conveys is a sense that the guy is not pleased as punch to have you in his life -- that may or may not be the case, but it is still a shitty message to send.
posted by angrycat at 7:24 AM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have a great boyfriend who treats me really well, but we hardly ever hang out with his friends, except sometimes at parties. And even though he agrees that we're for (very) serious, he hasn't even mentioned the idea of introducing me to his parents. I have told him that I'm upset about the friend stuff.

I feel like saying this over and over in AskMe: stop waiting for things that you want and start asking for what you want. Your relationship will evolve (positively or negatively) because of it.

"Can I meet your parents? I'd love to know what they're like." If he says yes, gravy. If he says no, you have an answer now.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 7:25 AM on September 13, 2012 [20 favorites]


Have you introduced him to your parents?

Also, if the friends are better friends with his ex than with him, what is the point of getting you to hang out with them? They might be cool to him when he's around, but it doesn't sound like anyone is chomping at the bit to be nice to you. There's no Relationship Commandment that says his friends have to be your friends, and your friends have to be his friends. It sounds less like "games" and more "I don't want to deal with other people's dumbass drama," which is a good thing.
posted by griphus at 7:25 AM on September 13, 2012 [11 favorites]


Some people REALLY, REALLY need a lot of time before they are comfortable stepping up to "time to meet my people". Especially if they'd been burned by a breakup in the past. One of my best friends was living with his girlfriend for an entire YEAR before he introduced her to his parents.

This is not necessarily a reflection on you; this is a complex stew of his own comfort level, his own history (i.e., the person who broke up with him), and maybe his own parents' perception of what "meeting a girlfriend" may "mean"; in other words, maybe in his family, you don't introduce the girlfriend to the family until you're like a half a step away from "we're moving in together" or "we're getting married", and he knows he's not THERE yet and so if he introduces you to his family too soon they'll just be all excited that he's getting ready to propose to you and they'll be nagging him and it'll just be a THING.

I would just give it time and patience. Maybe talk to him about how this is what you've been thinking, but realized maybe there's something you don't know about -- is his family just really funny about that kind of thing, etc.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:25 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


If it's only been a few months, I'd give it more time. You seem to be jumping the gun.
posted by frizz at 7:26 AM on September 13, 2012 [22 favorites]


This really depends on whether 'several' months is closer to 3 or 6, IMO. At 3 months, not having met his parents of most of his friends seems about right. At 6, yeah, it's worth having a conversation.

As you mention, discomfort is clearly his reason for not wanting to introduce you to the exes' friends. In your position, I think I'd push a bit to get him to figure out how to navigate the situation, as it's causing you distress and also clearly isn't of your making. Also, you need to be aware that at least some of his friends view you as an usurper and perhaps he's trying to spare your feelings? Time is your friend here.
posted by zug at 7:26 AM on September 13, 2012


Some people don't think that meeting the parents is a big deal. I'm one of those people. Is your boyfriend?

As far as the friends, I think it does depend on how long ago they broke up and how long you've been dating. If he's making moves towards introducing you into his friend circle (which is frankly something that she will just have to get used to and get over) that's one thing. It's also possible that his/their friends don't or won't like you, which is another thing. But this:

I want be a bigger part of his life.

kinda jumped out at me. What exactly do you mean, OP? Do you feel generally compartmentalised, beyond the friends and parents things?
posted by sm1tten at 7:29 AM on September 13, 2012


Does he hang out with his friends without you? After a messy breakup with a fairly long term gf, my whole social circle was basically ruined for me for at least a year, because every time they were all going out some where, she would inevitably turn up, too much awkwardness.

Doesn't explain the parents thing, though. You might be a rebound for him and he just doesn't want to get to involved right now.
posted by empath at 7:37 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I've found that "meeting the people", while we tend to think of it as meaning something, rarely indicates how much someone is into you. I dated someone I really liked, but having had my friends and family fall in love with my exes in the past made me feel undue pressure, so I avoided integrating this guy with my friends. At the same time, I met his whole family and many of his friends. I thought this meant he was as into me as I was in him, if not more. Nope.

I agree about just asking. As far as mutual friends with the ex, try to stay calm on this front. I think that he's willing to respect his ex's wishes on this is a good sign.
posted by peacrow at 7:39 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the family front: I didn't meet my partner's mother until about 8 months in. However, I met his friends in very short order.
posted by futureisunwritten at 7:46 AM on September 13, 2012


How long have you guys been together?

Different people have different metrics for this stuff. For example I wouldn't dream of even bringing up meeting my parents until it had been six months, unless maybe there was a coincidental "oh, so my dad is in town next weekend" kind of thing.

To be perfectly frank -- and I get that you are doing the limerance thing and likely don't see it this way -- I find it annoying when my friends demand to always have their new S.O. at every social event. Sometimes I just want it to be girls' night. Sometimes I want to be able to share inside jokes without having to explain everything to the girlfriend/boyfriend who we all just met. Sometimes I just want to have a quiet dinner with only a few people, or go to an event and not have it feel like a summer camp field trip because everybody needs a plus one and suddenly we're a herd of 15 people.

If you guys are a newish couple "parties sometimes" seems like a perfectly appropriate context to bring you around.
posted by Sara C. at 7:47 AM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


More info:

stop waiting for things that you want and start asking for what you want

I'm pretty straightforward about asking for what I want. Just--asking to meet his parents is a step up from the friend stuff, which already isn't going well.

Does he hang out with his friends without you?

Yes.

Have you introduced him to your parents?

Yes.

This really depends on whether 'several' months is closer to 3 or 6

6.

How soon is it after the breakup?

Soonish. It was an awkward breakup (though what breakup isn't?).

Also, if the friends are better friends with his ex than with him

Nope, they're equal friends. Most of them are friendly to me; I think they mostly don't know what to do and are waiting for cues from my boyfriend.


Off I go. Thanks for all the thoughtful responses so far.
posted by sockity sock at 7:47 AM on September 13, 2012


Does he like his parents? Does he seem them often? My SO's family are very close and I met them within 6 months, I am not close with my family and only introduced SO to my father after about 5 years.
posted by biffa at 7:53 AM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Do you know how he feels about his parents? I have friends who are afraid of introducing even future hypothetical partners to their parents because their parents come off as crazy. (Or they fear they will.) And IIRC I've seen a few AskMe's to that effect, too, like "My family is dysfunctional/broke/weird, will they scare off my new love interest?" With parents (and to some extent the friends, here) he could be afraid of what they'll say, too. Maybe he wants to prove to them that this relationship is better than his last one that broke up, which is often confirmed with time. Maybe he doesn't want them to see you as rebound girl. Maybe he's ashamed of them or how outsiders will see them at first in some way. All guesses of course, you'd have to ask him.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 7:55 AM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Nope, they're equal friends. Most of them are friendly to me; I think they mostly don't know what to do and are waiting for cues from my boyfriend.

If they're waiting for cues from your boyfriend to know how to act to the person he is dating, I think he may be trying to keep you from some rather, well, socially awkward people. I can't imagine anyone needing to be told to be polite to someone's significant other. Socially awkward friends can be a giant pain in the ass around new people who aren't aware of how to manage their quirks.
posted by griphus at 8:00 AM on September 13, 2012


Some people don't think that meeting the parents is a big deal. I'm one of those people. Is your boyfriend?

Concurring with this. My wife hasn't met my parents at all yet, and we've been together for more than 5 years. Admittedly, they're in a different country but it was more than three years (and after we married) before they even saw each other on Skype. It never occurred to me that this would be an issue, to be honest. I think it was more than two years before I met her Dad, too.

To some people, like me, the 'meeting the parents' thing means absolutely nothing. Especially when you are a fully grown adult. I still don't see any significance at all in meeting the parents of someone in knowing or gauging the seriousness of a relationship. Just a (on preview ANOTHER!) data point that may be helpful. I see 'meeting the parents' as a totally outmoded concept. Maybe he's the same.
posted by Brockles at 8:00 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


When people get burned, they become much less likely to do the things that got them burned. This applies equally to stove tops or relationships.

I can't imagine it was comfortable for your BF to share everything with his ex and then have all of that ripped away after so much trust had been established. So maybe he's opening up to you a bit more slowly. It's not fair to you (since, in a roundabout way, you're getting punished for the ex's behavior) but it's an understandable part of human nature.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 8:03 AM on September 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's easy: "Mom, meet Sock. Sock, this is my mom."

It may not be that easy for a lot of people, for a lot of reasons.

If he's not ready for a full introduction yet, such as a proper dinner or family holiday gathering, I would suggest a compromise strategic SWAT strike of a meeting, where he has to go to his parents' house to borrow a power drill or whatever on your way to the movies, and you happen to be in the car with him, and, oh, hey, this is Sock.

The pressure will be off, in that you will have met the parents, and eliminated that sense of being some secret shame, but all the complexities of a full meeting and its implications will be postponed until he's and/or they are ready in the fullness of time.

The friends thing, though? He needs to make a better effort. Plenty of options on that score, he needs to try harder.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:18 AM on September 13, 2012


I think you need to verbalize what the real issue is: You want to settle down and become committed. You don't know if your boyfriend's agenda is the same.

You need to ask: "Hey BF, I really dig you and I'm in this for the long haul. I'm interested in marriage and a family. I'm at an age where I can't devote years and years to the process. No pressure, if you're not there yet, that's fine, but I need to be in a relationship that's headed in that direction. One of the signs that a relationship is moving forward is a blending of friends and family. I get that your ex kind of got the friends in your break-up, and I realize that it may take time for her to be okay with me in that mix. So, since that's off the table for now, what about family? I'd like you to meet my folks, is there any reason you wouldn't want me to meet yours?"

If you're afraid to ask this fundamental question, then you're in the wrong relationship anyway.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:22 AM on September 13, 2012 [25 favorites]


It seems you've met his friends1 but he hangs out with them without you, and you want him to hang out with them with you. I'd be more worried if he didn't introduce you to his friends at all; if he's introduced you, they know you exist, but he hangs out with them without you...perhaps he's just being respectful to his previous girlfriend's wishes, or as you say he's having trouble navigating the whole thing. You should just let him know that you want to be with a person who hangs out with his friends and you at the same time more often than not, and ask him if he thinks he can be that kind of person.

1"Nope, they're equal friends. Most of them are friendly to me; I think they mostly don't know what to do and are waiting for cues from my boyfriend."
posted by davejay at 8:24 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Important context: he was with someone else for a long time before they broke up. (Which was before he and I got together, fwiw.) They have all the same friends. I've never met her but she has said she doesn't feel comfortable with me hanging around her crowd, one of whom gave me the silent treatment at a party. He says he doesn't know how to navigate the situation. I sympathize, a lot, but it still sucks for me.

He could make waves with his ex (and risk making waves with her crowd, which is also his crowd), or he could try to wait it out. He is trying to wait it out.

As far as the friends go, this is your answer right here. He doesn't know how to navigate the situation because it's shaped by external factors (his ex, their friends) and until those factors change in some way, there's no solution that doesn't put someone out. Yeah, it sucks for you. It sucks for him, too.

Nope, they're equal friends.

They're not. The ex has made her wishes known that she'd prefer that they not make you a part of their social circle, and they are complying. Unless he's making similar requests (and those requests are being fulfilled), they're not equal friends - whether anyone would admit it or not, they're taking sides.

Anyway.

I'm pretty straightforward about asking for what I want. Just--asking to meet his parents is a step up from the friend stuff, which already isn't going well.

The fact that the friend stuff is such an uphill battle should tell you most of what you need to know here.

The crux of it is that you want to be a bigger part of his life and he does not want that. He's fresh out of a long relationship and an awkward breakup. If things are still at the level of "I don't want your new paramour fraternizing with our mutual friends," then the smoke has definitely not cleared from their relationship/breakup and it sounds like you want a future that he either doesn't want or isn't ready to think about yet. In either event, you're putting your eggs in a pretty uncertain basket and I think you should do half of what you suggested: Scale it back with this guy but don't go seeing other people, just spend some time working on your own self.

He doesn't want what you want. This would be fine if what you wanted was to ride a rollercoaster and he was scared of that. But what you want is something much more crucial to the relationship, so this is not fine.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:35 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty straightforward about asking for what I want. Just--asking to meet his parents is a step up from the friend stuff, which already isn't going well.

It doesn't sound like a step up; for starters, it sounds like the friend thing is murky due to the continued existence of the ex. Chances are, his parents don't have that same problem, so it may be easier to get introduced there. Everyone's life dynamic is different.

I introduced my current GF earlier to my parents than my friends, in part because my friend group was in flux and bringing someone new into a group with relationships ending/exes around was fraught with disaster.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 8:40 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


He says he doesn't know how to navigate the situation

Nobody enjoys negotiating the politics of friend-circle breakups, but they are a reality (and the 30s are prime time for the more difficult ones, divorces and long term relationships breaking up). It only gets more complicated with kids in the mix, with people having new partners who were in fact a motivating factor in the old relationship breaking up. If you want to keep your friendships you have to be flexible.

Rather than pushing him on the principle of why he doesn't bring you to his friends you might try focusing on suggesting specific activities with specific people (individuals or couples). Obviously avoiding any you had a negative or chilly reception from and focusing on those you've had the best rapport with. It is easier to deal outside the group dynamics because the group dynamic invokes the old relationship and will for a while yet.

Coming in after someone's long-term breakup is tough because while it's a fresh scenario to you - new relationship, new extended circle to get to know, they are adjusting to a transition from a situation with a lot more common history. It does need more time than an ordinary new relationship. Thus the importance of doing things with singles or couples - this needs to not just be inserting you into an existing set of relationships but creating new ones from the ground up. It cuts back on the complexity and it also works a lot better as a scenario where you can apply gentle pressure, i.e. I wanted to go to such and such event or entertainment, why don't we invite so and so? Or ask them to dinner if you cook or to go out to the new restaurant.

If he pushes back against this kind of thing, if he isn't being proactive about the family issue as you get well along towards a year in on the relationship (I think you're wise to let this be for now, one thing at at time) then I start to worry there's a real problem with his commitment.
posted by nanojath at 8:46 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree with Ruthless Bunny, all this stuff about friends and family doesn't mean much if he's not headed in the same direction as you are — married with kids. And, after only six months and coming on the rebound of an intense relationship, he may not be there yet. You can fish for *signs* or you can ask overtly. You can lean back and see if he comes forward to meet you but, ultimately, you need to decide what your needs are and how you are willing to have them met.
posted by amanda at 8:50 AM on September 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was in the exact same situation with my partner of 8 years. He had a bad break-up about 5 months before we met, and it was one of those situations where his friends and family had all been giving him lots of "input" about what he should do. When we met he was still getting over that break-up, and he just didn't want the complications introducing me to his friends and family. We took things slow at first, but then it became a pretty exclusive thing. It was a year before I met his closest friends (two of which are ex girlfriends), and 18 months before I met his family. For him, he just needed a great deal of time distance between the break-up and introducing a new girlfriend to feel comfortable. I did find it a little weird, but once it happened, everything was fine.
posted by kimdog at 8:52 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


To clarify, I don't think it's weird that he doesn't yet KNOW how he feels about a long-term committment yet. But, this is about you and your ability to wait or not. If you're not getting a good gut feeling and you need an answer NOW then you may need to cut bait. He could introduce you to his family and take you out for a night of carousing with his friends and still not be ready to "settle down." The only way to start getting at the meat of the issue is to communicate in an open and loving and raw way.
posted by amanda at 8:55 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I agree with others that it sounds like some time and patience is probably needed. With that said, I wonder if your boyfriend might plan smaller group activities that include you. Perhaps there is an activity that you and he and only a couple of his friends enjoy. This might be more manageable and if things go well between you and the friends that positive interaction will get back to the other people in the social circle.
posted by mmascolino at 9:00 AM on September 13, 2012


Also, if the friends are better friends with his ex than with him

Nope, they're equal friends. Most of them are friendly to me; I think they mostly don't know what to do and are waiting for cues from my boyfriend.


Sounds like they're getting them.

Which isn't quite a condemnation. People move at different speeds. Maybe he's slower. You sound like you're feeling this time pressure so you have to decide how important that is to you. Sometimes incompatibility issues aren't purely "he must have potatoes with every dinner and I hate tubers," sometimes they manifest purely as approaches that make certain situations or life stages impossible to navigate.

If you really don't walk away I think you need to identify and address the underlying issues here. Which seems to be "this sends me the message that you're not in this for the long haul." Maybe there's another way to deal with this. Maybe there's not and you need to cut bait.
posted by phearlez at 9:04 AM on September 13, 2012


Hmmm. I have met many of his friends (his best friend quite early on, but it was accidental) at least once, but I do 't hang out with them, nor do I expect to. We're both the type that view our together time as an us thing and our friends as a me thing. Most of his friends are either single guys (where I would be the third wheel) or married guys looking for some escape time from their families. He does guy things with his friends and I don't expect to spend time with them. But your mileage may vary on that one.

As for family, that has been a trickier one. There were some deeper issues, and it continues to be an evolution for us. The short version is, I enjoy my family a lot more than he does---and a lot more than he enjoys his own. So for me, meeting them was a Big Deal and I very much cared what they thought of me. He was the opposite. Ultimately, we have worked out some compromises for how we negotiate time spent with both sides. But I had to understand that 'it matters, obviously' and 'it matters to me' are not the same thing, and he had to understand that being with a partner who DOES care will require him to stretch as a person, at least a little bit.

In short: don't assume that you are in the same headspace on this. And don't assume that there is something wrong just because you are not.
posted by JoannaC at 9:06 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I came here to say what Ruthless Bunny said. I get the sense that you're treating the friends issue and the parents issue as proxies for "does this guy want to spend his life with me?" Which is a reasonable thing to do, but unfortunately these issues do not actually answer the "for life" question. On the friends front, you already know why: it's awkward with his ex. On the parents front, maybe he's not serious about you, or maybe he isn't close to his folks (or has a problematic relationship with them) and doesn't want to prioritize meeting the parents because he doesn't think it's constructive.

You say "even though he agrees that we're for (very) serious", but you don't give us any details. I think we're going to need those details: does he say this when hard-pressed, or does he talk about it on his own?

When I had been dating my my then-girlfriend (now fiancee) for 8-ish months, out of the blue I told her that I would like to someday get married and have kids, and I would like to know if those are also things that she would like. Not that I wanted her to say that she would marry me specifically, but that she is open to the idea and is dating ultimately to find a partner. I she didn't meet my parents for another 4 months after that because while I like my parents, it would cost $1k and a few vacation days for us to go see them. It just wasn't worth the effort to me, but it had nothing to do with how I felt about her.

Back to the story: she said yes. Then we didn't talk about it for about 14 months, because after that there's not much to say. You just have the relationship and see whether you two are compatible. There wasn't any magical mix of friends+family that made this any better or worse, it just depended on us spending time together.

I think hearing what "even though he agrees that we're for (very) serious" means will be instructive, because that seems to be the question you're trying to get an answer to. The friends and family situation are poor proxies for his level of interest in being serious because there are too many external factors.
posted by Tehhund at 9:21 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this could be a combination of a number of things. With the meeting-the-parents thing, this could just be a compartmentalisation issue; I didn't meet my husband's parents for well over a year into our relationship, which didn't bother me at all because I knew he'd always had a strong tendency to keep his friends and family separate (in his case, probably as a consequence of going to a boarding school and having two quite separate lives). It never crossed my mind to interpret this as a sign of our relationship not going anywhere or me not being enough of a part of his life.

With the friends thing, is he introverted at all? I'm just wondering because my husband and I are both introverts and we've never made much of an effort to integrate one another into the other's respective friendship circles (though that's also partly because we had a group of mutual friends before we got together). Personally, I find the dynamics of being in a group where I know one person really really well and they know everyone else really well but I don't know anyone else really taxing (but then I am tremendously socially awkward) - is there any chance your SO feels like this too, and is consequently avoiding putting you in the same situation because he imagines you'd feel the same? I know I often try to avoid putting other people in social situations I'd find difficult, because I tend to forgot other people can handle them better than me! I do suspect that with introverts particularly, you can't really equate seriousness of relationship with integration into social circles at all, because to an introvert, the big step in a relationship is letting someone into their own internal world rather than introducing them to all the other people in their life. That may not be what's going on here at all, but it's a possibility.
posted by raspberry-ripple at 11:20 AM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a lady in my thirties, so I'm ready to Get Serious And Settle Down, which I have told him. Even if I weren't the impatient type, I can feel the clock ticking, and I don't have time for these games.

It is too early in the relationship to be thinking this way.
Just declaring We Shall Settle Down Now! doesn't actually create a partnership. Instead, settling down is something that happens sort of after-the-fact, when you've been in an effective partnership for some time, and you kinda just know it when you're doing taxes together at the breakfast table one day, or something.

Do you feel generally compartmentalised, beyond the friends and parents things?

If you answered "yes" to this, then I think you have something to worry about.
If you answered "no," then I don't think you do.

Like the person Empress Callipygos mentioned above, I'd been living with my boyfriend for a year before he met my father. Some of that was logistics (Dad lives overseas), but some of that had to do with how my family and I treat "bringing the boyfriend home for the holidays" or whatever. It had nothing to do with how I felt about my boyfriend. In fact, I'd long known that I loved him, and was super-serious about our relationship. As a result, I handled it in a way that would ensure that my family treated it as serious, as well.

As long as he's not hiding you from friends, or keeping your relationship a secret, or otherwise acting all squirrely, I would hold off on forcing this issue. Ask him about it, sure. But maybe wait until the year mark before this turns into some major problem that you start making demands about.
posted by vivid postcard at 12:12 PM on September 13, 2012


As Ruthless Bunny says, it's important to address the real problem.

You can talk to him all you want about the symptoms - not meeting his parents, not going to a particular event with his friends, not spending tim ewith his friends in general - but your real core issue is that you feel like he's keeping youout of part of his life, and you worry this is an indication he isn't feeling as serious about the relationship as you are.

If you address one of the symptoms, and he fixes it, you'll be back with next week's question saying 'we're going to his friend's party, but I think it's just because I badgered him into it.' So sit down and have a talk, and take it all the way to the main issue.

"Hey honey, you know how I was saying the other day that we don't spend time with your friends? We talked about your ex, and all that makes sense, but the problem stuck with me. What I've realized is that not hanging with your friends or meeting your parents makes me feel compartmentalized, and separated from parts of your life - which isn't to say that I expect to have 100% of everything, it's only been 6 months. Basically I wanted to make sure that you understood why these things were worrying me. It's that every time I'm shut out of something, it tends to cascade into worrying that you don't feel as seriously about our relationship as I do, so I wanted to be sure we're on the same page here."
posted by aimedwander at 1:34 PM on September 13, 2012


I've never met her but she has said she doesn't feel comfortable with me hanging around her crowd,

Who did she say that to? If not directly to your current boyfriend then who cares, you're hearing gossip second-hand and it's not your problem. If directly to your current boyfriend, I'm sure he said "I'm sorry you're not comfortable but we're not together anymore and sockity is my girlfriend and we're going to hang out with my friends," right? If not, then you have a problem, but the ex-girlfriend is not it.

one of whom gave me the silent treatment at a party.

Is this person a friend of your boyfriend's? If not, and just a face in the crowd, then who cares, not your problem. If so, then I'm sure your boyfriend said, "hey sockity is my girlfriend so be nice," right? If not, then you have a problem, but this person is not it.
posted by headnsouth at 2:31 PM on September 13, 2012


What happens (or would happen) when you suggest meeting up with some of his friends in small groups? As in "Hey, [Friend] and [FriendPartner] are really cool, and I like spending time with them. I'm thinking of inviting them out next Wednesday for dinner at [Awesome Local Restaurant] - think they'll be up for it?"

Does your boyfriend organise a lot of social stuff himself, or just go to other people's events? From what you've written, it sounds like he's going to other people's parties and responding to invitations to hang out, rather than initiating things. If his friends are taking cues from him, could making some invitations as a couple be a way to cut through the whole awkward "I don't want to impose by bringing Sockity/we don't want to impose by inviting Sockity" dance?

I can't really speak to the parental thing (too many variables might be influencing it, and I don't know what his motivations are). But if the friends are being friendly to you, could you take the lead in organising a few things with the ones who seem most receptive?

(Also, what is your own circle of friends like? Are your needs for social interaction being met in general, or are you stuck at home chafing and feeling lonely when he goes to hang out with his friends without you? I assume he's met some of your friends - how did that go?)
posted by Someone Else's Story at 11:02 AM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


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