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“It’s Been Five Years and I’ve Never Met His Friends!”

Guest columnists and contributors are generously sharing their talents and insights while I’m taking some time to care for my new baby. Today’s letter is answered by columnist and blogger, Billie Criswell.

I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for over five years and while we have great time when we’re together, I’ve never met his friends. I know his old friends, but since he’s been in college (about three years now) he doesn’t hang out with them anymore and has new friends. Somehow, he makes sure I never meet them. He usually makes excuses such as “You won’t like them and you’ll feel out of place,” which might be true since they do drugs a lot and I don’t (I live in the Netherlands where it’s legal), but even so, I’d really like to meet them.

He’s a very social person and since I’m not that social, I’m sort of scared he’s afraid I’ll damage his reputation. I have no other idea why he won’t let me meet his friends. He knows all the girlfriends of his friends, so why does he keep me a secret? I just feel as though he’s got something to hide and it makes me insecure and jealous and when I confront him he just says I shouldn’t be so silly and that meeting his friends will just make me feel worse.

Am I overreacting? Am I scaring the poor guy by wanting to meet his friends? I feel jealous of the good time he won’t include me in and insecure about why he won’t let me meet his friends and afraid he’s got something to hide (does he cheat on me?). I hope you can give me some advice. — Hidden Away?

Let me get this straight…. you’ve been with this guy for FIVE YEARS and you haven’t met his friends?! That is not only unusual, but absolutely unacceptable. Your feelings are perfectly justifiable considering the situation, and let me give you a big fat “NO! You are not overreacting.”

Either he is hiding something from you, or he is hiding something from his friends. This excuse of “they do drugs and you don’t” is ridiculous. I drink alcohol and I am friends with people who don’t drink alcohol and we get along just fine. I just don’t buy it. I also don’t buy the excuse that you aren’t very social since you haven’t had a chance to see if his group would be a nice one to socialize with. Frankly, it sounds like he is taking advantage of you being introverted and you shouldn’t tolerate it, especially considering you have repeatedly requested to be included with his friends.

I am not a fan of ultimatums… but for you, I might make an exception to this rule. Tell your man to pony up and stop hiding you from his friends already! If he refuses, kick him to the curb! You don’t need someone like that in your life, and after so many years, he should have a little more respect for you and WANT to introduce you to his friends.

Most of all, you need to know that you deserve to be in a relationship with someone who wants to show you off. Being hidden is unacceptable no matter what the reason is. So you must find it in yourself to have the type of relationship that is worthy of you, and this guy just doesn’t cut the mustard.

* Billie Criswell is a columnist and blogger from the “Delaware Seashore.” She loves zumba, bloody marys, and cooking. You can follow her shenanigans at Bossyitalianwife.com.
 

 

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{ 116 comments… add one }

avatar Carolynasaurus December 13, 2011, 3:06 pm

I’m with Billie on this one, but I think you should be careful with the ultimatum. I do think you should make one, but with yourself, not him. Put some more time in first. Invite him out with your friends, invite a wide spectrum of people, show him how much fun you can be, show him how easy it is for the two of you to hang out with friends, and afterward, ask him again. Once you’ve shown him that all of his excuses don’t stand up and he still won’t introduce you, give him some set amount of time to change his mind on his own and when he still won’t, then you have your answer.

avatar amber December 13, 2011, 3:18 pm

if they had been together for a shorter amount of time i would agree. but, they’ve been dating for 5 years. after five years he doesn’t know that he can hang out with her and friends and have fun? if she really wants to hang out with them, what can one time hurt? it will either go well or she won’t hang out with them anymore. personally i never would have put up with this for three years.

avatar Carolynasaurus December 13, 2011, 3:29 pm

I completely agree with you. I’m just saying, before you bring it up again, make a conscious effort to dispel his excuses. This guy sounds like a piece of work and the LW has been overlooking this huge flaw for some reason for a long time. I don’t think she’ll be able to move on without first exhausting her options. She needs to see that it’s not her, it’s him, something she clearly can’t see if she’s been putting up with this for so freakin’ long.

theattack theattack December 13, 2011, 4:34 pm

I can definitely agree with this, but not your first comment. She definitely needs to make an ultimatum with him since it’s been this long, but it would be beneficial to both of them to demonstrate beforehand that the reason she’s not meeting his friends has nothing to do with her social life. It’s a problem of his that has nothing to do with her.

avatar atraditionalist December 13, 2011, 4:52 pm

Yeah even after 1 year this would be ridiculous. I’m sorry LW but what the eff are you doing with this guy?

avatar Jay December 13, 2011, 3:23 pm

It’s been 5 years he should at least have an idea. I don’t see it worth the effort. Do you actually think that is the real reason he isn’t introducing her to them?!

avatar cporoski December 13, 2011, 3:49 pm

the only reason I could see is if they weren’t local. That isn’t explained here. When I was in college, my high school and college friends didn’t meet because of the distance.

avatar Matcha December 13, 2011, 3:55 pm

They might not be local. She said she lives in the Netherlands, and she says, “But since he’s been in college he doesn’t hang out with them anymore.” To me that might indicate that he moved somewhere new and spends less time with them.

avatar Matcha December 13, 2011, 3:56 pm

Though I reread the letter. This means she was dating him for two years before he went to college and she still didn’t meet his friends?

avatar Rachel December 13, 2011, 4:05 pm

She said she knew his old friends, so probably the people they both knew from high school?

avatar cporoski December 13, 2011, 5:12 pm

That is what is hard about this time line. For the first two years they were in high school then he went to college. she could have still been in high school. She could be the girlfriend back home. We used to call it their high school soulmate. But we never met these girls because thier parents wouldn’t let them stay over.

bagge72 Bagge72 December 13, 2011, 4:12 pm

Yeah she just hasn’t met his new friends that he has made in the last three years since he has been in college. I’m guessing they are local since it seems like she has had pleny of oppertunities to actually meet them.

avatar cporoski December 13, 2011, 5:13 pm

true, if they are local, this is really wierd.

avatar LennyBee December 13, 2011, 5:00 pm

Even if they aren’t local, if they’re close friends, they should have met already in some manner. My boyfriend’s closest friends live in Europe, and after a year and a bit, I’ve been “meeting” them over skype because they’re curious.

avatar cporoski December 13, 2011, 5:14 pm

You are right. He isn’t making an effort to include her. But it wouldn’t be an overt snub as much as an oversight.

avatar Britannia December 13, 2011, 3:07 pm

I can kind of understand where the boyfriend is coming from. Being the only sober person in a crowd of people under the influence of drugs can be very awkward for the drug users AND the sober person. However, LW, if your boyfriend doesn’t give you at least a chance to meet them and see if you get along well with that crowd despite the differences in your lifestyle choices, there’s definitely something up and you should reconsider this relationship.

Kate B. Kate B. December 13, 2011, 3:10 pm

This is true. But she should be the one to decide if she feels awkward or not. Something’s fishy.

avatar Mel December 13, 2011, 3:13 pm

I highly doubt they only get together to do drugs. And that they do drugs ALL the time. Why can’t she tag along when they go to the movies, for instance?

theattack theattack December 13, 2011, 4:38 pm

Exactly! And even if they incorporate drugs into everything they do (ie: smoking before the movies), if they are actually his friend, his girlfriend is important enough to have a sober get-together. My friends and I used to smoke weed with every single thing we did, but on multiple occasions we skipped the smoke to meet each other’s families, girlfriends, boyfriends, whatever. No big deal.

avatar Steph December 13, 2011, 5:17 pm

I completely agree. There is no way that they are always on drugs. It seems like a bit of a stretch that they can’t even meet because they are drink/high.. Even if you are a quiet person and his friends are not, there still should have been the opportunity to meet them, maybe at a smaller setting, like a small dinner. Even more important is that the LW has specifically asked to meet his friends. Clearly its important to her and the fact that he is unwilling is a problem. Do his friends even know he has a gf?

avatar Britannia December 13, 2011, 6:14 pm

I know many people who DO do drugs every single time they hang out together.

JK JK December 13, 2011, 3:16 pm

So true about the awkwardness… years ago I went with my husband to a friend´s sister´s house, and after dinner thay lit up (thank goodness m husband didn´t, he knows my views on drugs). It mustpve been one of the most awkward moments of my life, just meeting these people and having to sit through something that goes totally against my beliefs.
Luckily that group doesn´t use anymore, and now we actually ang out quite a lot with them.

I guess in this case it depends on LW though, if she´s strongly against drugs than I can imagine it would be horrible to spend time with people doing them. I´m guessing LW´s BF does drugs as well, in which case I´d have to ask how they´ve been together this long with different values (not trying to sound judgmental, not sure which word to use).

Drug use aside, if I hadn´t met a BFs friends in say a year (let alone 5!!!) I would so leave him.

avatar SpaceySteph December 13, 2011, 3:22 pm

Even if it is awkward, sometimes you have to go through temporary awkwardness as part of being in a relationship. Like how my boyfriend is dragging me to an awkward party this weekend. I won’t know anyone and am terrible at small talk, but he wants these work-friends to meet me so I’m gonna go. Being in love means suffering through each others friends occasionally because you want to be part of their life and not just a side item.

avatar lets_be_honest December 13, 2011, 3:28 pm

So true.
Your comment reminded me of the LW who wrote is about her boyfriend who flipped out when she brought him to a documentary showing. Remember that one?

theattack theattack December 13, 2011, 4:39 pm

wow… definitely pushed that out of my memory.

JK JK December 13, 2011, 3:42 pm

Sorry, maybe awkward wasn´t the right word. I´m shy, so always meeting new people is awkward for me. I usually grin and bear it.
But in that specific example it was really REALLY uncomfortable. I am completely against drug use, so having to be there with people using was a horrible horrible situation.
That´s why I said that I guess it depends on LWs views on drug use. If she doesn´t use, but is OK with it than I´m sure it would be less uncomfortable for her.
The more I think about it, the more convinced I am that LWs BF is up to something though.

avatar Britannia December 13, 2011, 6:15 pm

Perhaps the boyfriend doesn’t want her to “suffer though” his friends?

avatar AKchic December 13, 2011, 3:08 pm

Yeah… this smells pretty off, and it’s not the paint job being done in my building today.

Why is he keeping you from his group of friends? At best, he’s embarassed about the group of people he socializes with (in which case, why doesn’t he pick better people to socialize with?). At worst, he enjoys them and you’re just the girl he settles down with at the end of the night. The vanilla ice cream that he comes home to in order to wash his pallette after a night of partying with mint chocolate chip, rainbow sherbet, moose tracks, Reece’s pb cup, birthday cake surprise, etc.
Put your foot down and insist on change. Meet the friends and let your gut decide on what to do afterwards. If he balks, leave. If you meet them and things are uncomfortable (girls are standoffish, or worse – won’t stop hanging on him), and you interpret it as because there is hanky-panky you’re interrupting – then leave him. If you interpret things as you are interrupting a drug scene, then question why the hell HE is involved in this drug scene. Is he a drug addict? Is he selling? There is more to HIS story than you’re getting.

avatar lets_be_honest December 13, 2011, 3:13 pm

Your “at worst” isn’t really the worst, imo. Maybe something’s wrong with me, but all I saw when I read this is ‘he’s probably cheating on you or has a VERY different life than you believe he does.’ My teenage voice is screaming MAD SHADY!

avatar SpaceySteph December 13, 2011, 3:16 pm

I agree. First thought I had when I read this was that his friends are all girls that he enjoys hanging out with AND making out with and the awkward part will be when his harem finds out he has a girlfriend and his girlfriend of 5 years finds out he’s a slutbag.

avatar bethany December 13, 2011, 3:31 pm

Exactly what I thought!!! I figured he had another girlfriend on the side that his friends knew.

FireStar FireStar December 13, 2011, 4:06 pm

I agree. My first thought was there was another girl the friends knew about so he is saving them the awkwardness of meeting his original girlfriend. I don’t know that that is the case but I do know that something is off. A proper boyfriend would want to include you in his life – especially the fun parts. If you can’t be around the drug users then YOU will tell HIM so – not the other way around. I don’t think ultimatums have no place in a relationship. Sometimes it comes down ” to fix it or else”. At least that gives him a chance make things right – knowing what the consequence will be if he doesn’t. Honestly, it’s generous at this point. Five years is a long time to play keep away.

avatar AKchic December 13, 2011, 4:46 pm

I was trying to hope that he wasn’t cheating. Honestly, yes, I think he’s cheating on her, if not using her as the “vanilla” steady settle girlfriend while he has many casual girlfriends on the side, which is why he doesn’t introduce the friends to her. He keeps the two lives separate for a reason.

avatar LennyBee December 13, 2011, 5:04 pm

That was my thought too – if none of his friends know about you, you’re probably the other woman. Or at least there’s some other woman that his friends know. Although I like the harem idea for this situation as well.

avatar Steph December 13, 2011, 5:19 pm

That was my first thought, but i didn’t want to be all negative.. I’m glad someone brought it up.. My first thought was ” Well.. clearly he doesn’t want his girlfriend at school to find out” MOA

JK JK December 13, 2011, 3:18 pm

Oh god, now I´m craving ice cream. And the flavours in the US sound so yummy. SOme day I´m going to have to go up there just to pig out on all the junk food. And go to one of those huge supermarkets (are they really like the ones in the movies? haha)

JK JK December 13, 2011, 3:19 pm

ooh, and go to that hershey´s store that was on Project Runway once.

avatar ArtsyGirly December 13, 2011, 7:07 pm

That is in Chicago – I was there when they displayed the dresses which was really cool

JK JK December 13, 2011, 7:30 pm

I always thought Chicago waqs the US city I would most like to visit, taking away Hawaii and Alaska.

avatar AKchic December 13, 2011, 8:56 pm

Alaska isn’t a “city”. Hell, “Anchorage” is about the only real “city” in Alaska.

JK JK December 14, 2011, 12:23 pm

I know, just for a change I expressed myself badly. I meant leaving out the states of Hawaii and Alaska. Sorry about that.

avatar AKchic December 14, 2011, 2:37 pm

No biggie. Honestly, if you put the entire Alaskan population together, we might have enough people for a big city. Of course, many of us in Anchorage think Anchorage is too crowded already.
I’d love to move out of the city, except I don’t want to drive on the Glenn Highway back to Anchorage every day. 45 minute drive each way in the winter (at best!), in the dark, with gas prices hovering at $3.93 (that’s what I saw as I passed the closest gas station yesterday, so I’m sure some are a few cents higher). *shudder* At $4/gal, it takes me $168 to fill up my suburban (42 gallon tank). If there is a decent hurricane/earthquake/disaster/war or conflict somewhere to disrupt gas and we have to ration it – we’ll see about $5/gal in Anchorage. We did see that a few years ago. In the non-road communities – they are at $8+/gal right now. That’s why I live in the city as opposed to living in a cheaper HOUSE with a big yard in the Mat-Su Valley.

avatar Addie Pray December 14, 2011, 12:26 pm

It is the best city in the USA if I say so myself. …

avatar ReginaRey December 13, 2011, 3:22 pm

Yes, the supermarkets are truly that big. Haha. And if it’s junk food you want, America has no shortage for you!

theattack theattack December 13, 2011, 4:42 pm

In fact, those gigantic supermarkets are almost entirely filled with junk food!

avatar AKchic December 13, 2011, 4:47 pm

Yep – they’re big. Even in Alaska, they’re big.

Caris Caris December 14, 2011, 11:22 am

US ice creams got nothing on Argentinian ones IMO :P I tried them and didn’t like them, at all.

JK JK December 14, 2011, 12:22 pm

I remember the ones in NZ were horrible. I do love ice cream here (El Piave espeically), but sometimes I´d love to try new flavours!!!

avatar savannah December 13, 2011, 3:47 pm

Remember that she lives in the Netherlands, where some drugs use is legal. It simply does not have the same criminal connotations as it does in the US and the culture around drugs there is different than in the states.

avatar cporoski December 13, 2011, 5:19 pm

True. But when I was in high school, the kids that didn’t drink were called “straight edge”. Did i just date myself? anyway, the ones who went to college all caved and started underage drinking, the ones that stayed behind stayed straight edge. when we would go home from college, there was a huge divide from the hometown crew and the ones that went away. maybe he wants to keep her sheltered from it.

avatar Splash December 13, 2011, 3:54 pm

Schweddy Balls?

avatar Eljay December 13, 2011, 4:13 pm

AHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!! I have yet to try that one, but it is an absolute MUST on my list – for the name only. :)

avatar AKchic December 13, 2011, 4:48 pm

If he’s dipping in the Schweddy Balls variety, maybe she’s got more issues with the boyfriend than double dipping in general.

avatar atraditionalist December 13, 2011, 4:57 pm

Yeah on a similar note: an acquaintance of mine’s boyfriend wouldn’t introduce her to his friends – they really only hung out with her friends and not his. He said it was because they do cocaine and she wouldn’t like that. In fact, he did cocaine with them and one of the girls in the group was his “girlfriend” as well and he didn’t want anyone to know that he was still with my acquaintance so he referred to her as “his crazy ex girlfriend that keeps calling him”. I know this sounds far fetched but it happened. She found out because the girlfriend emailed her to ask her to leave him alone and stop stalking him.

Anyways this letter made me thing of that

avatar AKchic December 13, 2011, 5:22 pm

I’ve heard of similar things happening. People don’t know how to extricate themselves from a lifetime of the drug scene, so they hide a “sober” life from everyone else and keep appearances.

My own uncle is a crack head and is embarassed by me because I worked in a prison and work in rehab services now and refuses to tell anyone where I work. Tells them I’m just the “twice divorced, trailer-trash niece”. Refuses to comment when anyone mentions that my aunt (married to the younger uncle) is an accountant at the Anchorage branch of the FBI. She’s an “accountant”. He hides all “official” titles/jobs/designations from his friends, so he isn’t ostracized.

Firegirl32 Firegirl32 December 14, 2011, 12:16 pm

Oh. I want ice cream now.

avatar ChemE December 13, 2011, 3:12 pm

I have to agree with Billie here, that’s such a long time to not meet someone’s friends. Have you met his family?
If it was a new relationship, sure I could buy that maybe the stars haven’t aligned and you haven’t had a chance to meet them, but he is actively preventing you from meeting them. Something shady has to be going on. I’m sorry, but this is ridiculous.
Do you guys ever go places? I mean surely in the 5 years you’ve been together you must have been out and bumped into one of his friends?
Either he’s embarrassed of his friends or you, either way, you should tell him he’s the one being an ass and you are NOT overreacting.

avatar lets_be_honest December 13, 2011, 3:15 pm

Good questions! I’d also add do you guys have long term futures together planned? If so, this is even more bizarre.

avatar SGAC December 13, 2011, 3:12 pm

“Either he is hiding something from you, or he is hiding something from his friends. ”

Spot on! I think a HUGE part of “acting like a boyfriend” is the fact that your guy is willing to share with people the fact that he IS your boyfriend. Five years is a long time to go without not meeting his friends. One of the friends in question could easily well be another girlfriend, a baby mama or even his wife. The only reason why he would potentially hide you from his friends is if they’re so unsavory and/or criminal that he doesn’t want you to be tarnished by them…and if that’s the case, why are you hanging out with someone who wants to be with company like that?

avatar Michelle.Lea December 13, 2011, 3:12 pm

something is definitely not right here. especially that he’s ‘hiding’ them from you purposely. I dont know. I’m extremely paranoid so I wont mention all the other things it could be. I honestly dont think it’s as simple as they’re users and he thinks you’d be uncomfortable.

avatar Schwinny December 13, 2011, 3:17 pm

I agree with Billie here. There is something way wrong here. My guess is that his friends don’t know about you and he may be hiding other things as well. If he is not willing to include you in his life fully, then DTMFA and MOA.

avatar Flake December 13, 2011, 3:20 pm

I wonder how is that even possible, after 5 years?? Do they live in the same city as you? If so, there’s a very good chance of you bumping into one of them when you are out.. Does he hide them from you, or you from them, on purpose? And there’s a saying in my language, “tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell who you are” or something like that. The point is, you do not know a huge part of his personality, and after 5 years, I find this unacceptable. Also, who said that if you do not know his friends after a couple of months, then he is not your BF? I think that was Chris Rock, but I am not sure..

avatar John Rohan December 13, 2011, 4:33 pm

I think people are misreading the letter. They’ve been in a relationship for five years. She doesn’t say that he’s been hiding these new friends of his for five years.

avatar Maracuya December 13, 2011, 4:35 pm

Okay. Then he’s been hiding them (the new friends) for 3 years. That’s still too long.

rainbow rainbow December 13, 2011, 3:27 pm

Maybe he has a girlfriend in his other group.

avatar Morgan December 13, 2011, 3:56 pm

That was my first thought as well. A college girlfriend and a high school girlfriend.

avatar ReginaRey December 13, 2011, 3:28 pm

Yeah, to echo lets_be_honest…this is reallllllll shady.

At best, your boyfriend is inconsiderate and immature. I mean, isn’t it the goal of most people to have their SO fit in well with their friends? I know for me, I probably wouldn’t seriously date someone who couldn’t mesh with my closest friends. At worst, your boyfriend lives a completely different life than you think he does…and that leaves the door open for a LOT of possibilities.

Either way, I still think the common denominator is that you’re likely not with the right person for you. If your “at best” still means that you’re boyfriend is actively attempting to keep you and his friends separate…then your “at best” really leaves something to be desired, don’t you think? Either he’s ashamed of you, of he’s afraid you’ll judge his friends, or he’s afraid his friends will judge you. None of those circumstances scream to me “You guys are SO right for each other.” In fact, it’s pretty much shouting the opposite.

It’s been 5 years! If this were going to happen, it would have. I wouldn’t stick around any longer trying to get your boyfriend to do something he’s already made clear he won’t do. Attempting to change this will only throw off the balance of power…it’s pretty clear he’s already putting in less effort than you, which isn’t right. MOA and find a dude who you can share a social life you both enjoy with!

Budj Budj December 13, 2011, 3:29 pm

“Friends” = other girl friend / wife / family.

Have you met his parents at least? If not, MOA…this reeks of alternate life.

Budj Budj December 13, 2011, 3:33 pm

Or maybe there are friends…but he is having drugged out sex with one of the girls…I know…I shouldn’t be pushing anxiety ridden thoughts on you like this, but really…this situation is all kinds of shady and someone that doesn’t jive with your friends or won’t let you even have an opportunity to try isn’t someone you should be dating.

avatar silver_dragon_girl December 13, 2011, 4:05 pm

That was my first thought, that she’s his “secret girlfriend.”

avatar AKchic December 13, 2011, 4:51 pm

The “secret” clean, sober, sane one? In which case, it screams that he recognizes that he has a problem (with the lifestyle if nothing else) and wants out, but has not figured out HOW to get out of it. If this is a NEW lifestyle choice for him, then what other problems is he getting into because of it?

Yeah… she should probably cut her losses and move on.

avatar bethany December 13, 2011, 3:34 pm

I could see if it had been 6 months or something, but seriously 5 years without meeting his friends? That is just plain old weird. He’s hiding something, and it’s not you. He’s hiding a girlfriend/wife/baby-mama/maybe even a boyfriend. Something weird’s going on and if I were you I don’t think I’d stick around to find out what it is.

theattack theattack December 13, 2011, 4:46 pm

Heck, even at six months I would be pushing to meet these people! Five years is waaaay unacceptable!

TaraMonster TaraMonster December 13, 2011, 3:42 pm

Something is definitely up. I’m curious to know if he’s met your friends. It sounds like you’ve been dating since high school. After 5 years I would want to know what was up. I can’t believe I’m recommending this, but if he’s still resistant to you meeting his friends after you voice your concerns, then I would a. breakup with him and then b. snoop. Not necessarily in that order. I’d feel like I had a right to know if he was a secret operative for the government or a cheater after that amount of time!

Jess Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 13, 2011, 3:43 pm

I’d like to know from LW, have you like EVER met these people? Do you know their names? Details of their lives? Have you seen photos? Are you connected on Facebook? Have you been to your BF’s campus? Have you met anyone associated with his school? What about family? Does he work? Have you been to his place of employment? Met co-workers or his boss?

I’m trying to gauge how much you are TRULY being shut out of his life and how much of this is really just about “dicks before chicks” or him having his dude time which involves smoking pot and snickering with other dudes over video games. Knowing the answers to the above questions would help to confirm that.

If you have truly never laid eyes on these people, that is cause for serious alarm. In a terrible worst case scenario, you could be dealing with a person who is a chameleon that moves from group to group –changing his identity as he goes. People like that are rare (see: The Sociopath Next Door) but they do, unfortunately, exist.

If its more that he likes dude time separate from girlfriend time, you just need to assert a LITTLE bit of overlap so that your lives are better connected. Just leave when the bong and Wii come out. Everyone will benefit.

P.S. I lived in Belgium for FIVE years –right on the border of The Netherlands– where pot is also legal. And in my 20-30 something friend set, NO ONE smoked. It was just something teenagers and “hoodlums” did. Back here in the US, it seems much more common. Go figure.

avatar ladiejoy December 13, 2011, 3:57 pm

I would wonder – do they even live in the same country? She points out that she lives in the Netherlands, but doesn’t say where he is. We would normally assume they live near each other, of course, but “we have a great time when we’re together” combined with clarifying where she lives just seems to me like they are not in proximity to each other.
Which, of course, would make a huge difference in this scenario. Yes, 5 years is a long time to not meet any friends of your significant other. It would be a little more understandable, though, if they were trying to coordinate schedules sporadically, even internationally.

Regardless, I hope the LW feels comfortable enough with her guy that she can simply have a heart to heart with him and let him know that it hurts her feelings to not be included. It’s sweet if he wants to spare her from things he knows aren’t part of her lifestyle, but it’s still HER choice to make whether or not she can handle being around it and she should be given the opportunity. So in response to his “It would just make you feel worse”, I would have to come back with “But you should at least give me that chance, then I’ll know for sure.”

If, after a calm and CIVIL discussion about it (you indicate you “confront” him – but that is sort of an aggressive term and he could be acting defensively if that’s the case) he still is unwilling to share his life with you, then I’d seriously consider finding someone who would be proud to show you off.

avatar Something More December 13, 2011, 4:12 pm

I think she clarified where she lives just because she mentioned that her BF and friends do drugs. Like, it’s legal there so it’s not that big of a deal.

avatar Flake December 13, 2011, 4:13 pm

She mentions Netherlands to explain the drug use, since it is legal there.

avatar ladiejoy December 13, 2011, 4:18 pm

Eh, reading fail then I guess. Maybe it was just the two things together but I got the feeling they weren’t physically close. But whatever. Still pretty weird.

theattack theattack December 13, 2011, 4:50 pm

I think you got that feeling partially because your intelligent brain is trying to make sense of why she wouldn’t have met his friends after that long. Because it would provide at least a semi-reasonable explanation for this sort of behavior.

avatar Jess December 13, 2011, 6:43 pm

Yea I also got the impression they were in a long long distance relationship. (Her in netherlands, him in US). Maybe just in their short time together he just wants to maximize one on one time.

rainbow rainbow December 13, 2011, 3:59 pm

LW, are you sure you’re his girlfriend? It just occurred to me now that this could be one of those situations where one person thinks it’s exclusive and important and the other one doesn’t, but lies about it to keep getting whatever he’s after out of it.
Like the lady here: http://dearwendy.com/your-turn/your-turn-he-wants-to-marry-me-but-hes-moving-in-with-his-girlfriend/ only less (be nice, brain! be nice) innocent.

avatar ReginaRey December 13, 2011, 4:05 pm

I had this thought, too. This could be a “misunderstanding” of drastic proportions. But I don’t think I’d put my money on it.

avatar silver_dragon_girl December 13, 2011, 4:02 pm

To give you some perspective, I’ve been dating my boyfriend for 2.5 months, we live 950 miles apart, and we’ve both managed to meet a few of the other’s friends.

avatar Rachel December 13, 2011, 4:04 pm

Wow, totally sketchy. Maybe you can throw a party and insist that both your and his friends attend? Or just invite yourself along to a party he’s going to. I just can’t really see there being a good reason for you to have not met his friends yet. He’s got to be hiding something.

avatar Maracuya December 13, 2011, 4:07 pm

To this I have to add: I had been dating my boyfriend for about a year when we’d met our friends that we didn’t have in common. (And we live a 14-hour plane ride away.)

avatar LSS86 December 13, 2011, 4:08 pm

I feel like we need a LOT more information. Things that would be really helpful to know:

Have you ever directly asked him why he doesn’t want you to meet his friends, or have you just asked if you could tag along to a party or something and his response was that his friends do a lot of drugs and you probably wouldn’t enjoy hanging out with them?

Have you ever told him, point blank, “I want to meet your friends, I know you don’t think we’ll get along, but I want to meet them anyway?”

Do you live close by?

How often do you see him?

Have you EVER met these people? Seen pictures on Facebook of your bf hanging out with them?

I’m inclined to agree with the other commenters that something shady is going on, but it would be nice to know a little more about the situation.

avatar LSS86 December 13, 2011, 4:15 pm

Oh, I’d also add: how many times has this come up? Is it a weekly occurrence that you ask to come hang out with his friends, or is it only a couple times a year?

avatar cporoski December 13, 2011, 4:57 pm

I want to know thier age apart. is he is college and her still in high school. is he in college and she working? It makes me think of the “hometown girlfriend” thing.

caitie_didnt caitie_didn't December 13, 2011, 4:09 pm

Soooo shady.

A decent guy usually can’t wait to introduce you to his friends, and often when you meet them it’s “we’ve heard so much about you!!” etc etc. And anyone who is embarrassed to introduce you to his friends isn’t worth one more second of your time.

My money’s on secret girlfriend!

avatar cporoski December 13, 2011, 4:09 pm

Though you are treating him like a boyfriend, he is not treating you like a girlfriend. He should want to show you off and he isn’t. He is either embarassed of them or embarassed of you or hiding something. either way, you don’t need this. There was a guy I dated off and on for years (more off than on) and he never introduced me to his family. I was sure he was ashamed of me. Finally, I met them and his dad was a boar of a man. You could tell how uncomfortable he was. It wasn’t me, it was them. Regardless, we didn’t fit together because he was trying to be two different people. MOA

avatar Jiggs December 13, 2011, 4:20 pm

To paraphrase Chris Rock: If you’ve been dating a man for five years, and you haven’t met any of his friends, you are NOT his girlfriend.

Skyblossom Skyblossom December 13, 2011, 4:30 pm

The only time I’ve seen this happen was when the guy was embarrassed that his girlfriend wasn’t good enough for his social group and so he had a second girlfriend for his social group. He was telling the girl that I knew that he wanted to marry her but he took the other girl out to all social events. The two were at different universities so he got away with that for over a year until he forgot to remove the souvenir drink glass from his fraternity formal from his car before visiting the girlfriend he intended to marry. He’s hiding you for a reason that meets his own needs, not yours.

avatar cporoski December 13, 2011, 4:54 pm

yea, i knew a girl who would talk about her boyfriend but he would never be around, only come over for sex, never take her out. She would say boyfriend, but it was so clear he was embarrassed of her. There were other girls too. it was awful. It also could be that she doesn’t fit in with his college friendsNow, as some have said. there are important details needed including thier distance apart and thier age difference. If she was a freshman when he was a senior and was a college guy and she was still in high school (not sure if school levels are the same there or not) but he might want to protect her from college stuff.

avatar va-in-ny December 13, 2011, 4:33 pm

I am sorry, dear. I am sorry because I don’t think good can come out of this. You have been together for 5 years. I am assuming he has spoken about these friends before, shared stories wtih you about each of them, and has made it very clear that he does value these friendships; otherwise, I can’t imagine that meeting them would be important for you.

I can only think of one reason why you would not have been introduced in 5 years time – you are not the girlfriend his friends know about. He probably doesn’t want his friends to know that he’s being a real scumbag by having two girls at the same time.

You need to really lay down the law here. The relationship he has with you needs to be the total package. Outwardly shown to all those he considers to be his inner circle. If he has some sort of hang-up (not another girl) that is keeping him from combining his groups, he needs to get over that… now. But, to be honest, I am scared of what you will find out.

avatar LTC039 December 13, 2011, 4:34 pm

I’m not understanding how you’ve been with this man for 5 friken yrs & bought all his excuses to never meet his friends… Point is, he IS hiding something, not sure what, but it’s def. something. Cheating is possibilty but it’s not the only one.
If he really is “embarrassed you’ll ruin his reputation,” then sorry hun, he doesn’t really love you. He should be proud of you & WANT you to meet his friends. That’s what people in relationships do.You are not overreacting & have every right to feel upset, suspicious, etc…
Bottom line, the ultimate decision is yours, however I would give him an ultimatum… I don’t particularly care for those, but I think in this situation it is called for. Either he lets you meet AND hang out with his friends, or you’re done. However, I still think this situation shows he is a shady person & personally, I would just drop him all together, but it depends on if you’re willing to let go so easily or not…

avatar atraditionalist December 13, 2011, 5:03 pm

Who cares what his reasons are for not introducing you to his friends? Cheating, embarassed of you, they’re losers etc. The point is that you have wasted 5 years with someone who doesn’t intend for you to be a part of their life. Otherwise they would be trying to include you in it more. MOA!!!!!!!

avatar iseeshiny December 13, 2011, 11:42 pm

This one is my favorite, I wish I could like it twice. We could argue all day about why, or that we don’t know the whole story, but in the end it really doesn’t matter.

Amybelle Amybelle December 13, 2011, 5:38 pm

I just want to chime in and agree with everyone who is saying this seems very shady. I mean, I truly can’t think of any explanation for him to be like this that isn’t shady! Sorry but my money is on cheater.

avatar SherBear December 13, 2011, 5:39 pm

It the great words of Chris Rock “if you have been dating a man for four months and haven’t met any of his friends, YOU ARE NOT HIS GIRLFRIEND”…now you might actually be his gf but something is seriously wrong with this picture. A guy should WANT to introduce you to his friends and involve you in his life. There is some extreme compartimentalization going on right now and that raises some major red flags in my unprofessional opinion!

bittergaymark bittergaymark December 13, 2011, 6:21 pm

He obviously has ANOTHER girlfriend. No, seriously. That’s what is going on here.

avatar Kerrycontrary December 13, 2011, 6:43 pm

Is there any possibility your boyfriend is hiding you? I mean that would’ve been difficult when you two were in high school, but if you are both in college and attending a medium to large university your boyfriend could legitimately be hiding you from his friends because he wants them to think he is single. Large schools offer a lot of anonymity and space to lead a private life. I know this sounds totally paranoid of me, but stranger things have happened. No guy wants to outright seem like a jerk by being caught by his friends cheating on his girlfriend, but if they think he’s single he can do whatever he wants when he goes out to bars and parties. Whatever is going on, all of us readers believe something is UP with your guy.

avatar Jess December 13, 2011, 6:47 pm

i dont think this sounds paranoid, I think it is likely. He’s obviously going out of his way to keep her from them (she’s mentioned wanting to meet them, he says no) so what else could it be? As another poster said, either he’s hiding the friends from her, or he’s hiding her from the friends.

avatar Morgan December 13, 2011, 11:42 pm

That’s not paranoid at all. I think its exactly that either he’s living it up as a single guy or he has another girlfriend at school who has no idea he’s still dating his high school girlfriend as well.

avatar Kaylee December 14, 2011, 11:58 am

I agree, this doesn’t sound paranoid at all. The guy who I thought was my boyfriend when I was in law school (he worked in the same city) pulled this on me for awhile. He had a bunch of friends he’d met when he was at a bar with some of his roommates (one of whom was also incredibly shady and cheating on his girlfriend and she had no idea) and he’d talk about them all the time but he kept making excuses to keep me from meeting them. He liked to “act single” when he was out with them and what it really came down to was that he was afraid they’d like me and then think he was a jerk for acting single when he was out. In his warped way of thinking, I would ruin his friendship with these people just by existing and not being an awful person. He also tried to pull it when I became friends w/ some of the interns at his job because we’d attended a class together. When I finally got to meet and hang out with these people, things were fine and I had a good time with them but he was such a control freak who liked to compartmentalize (“I like to keep my work and personal life completely separate” – which was impossible since we worked in the same specialized area of the legal field and our bosses sometimes collaborated), it was always a big issue between us (among numerous others but this was a good representative of how dysfunctional that relationship was). Given what we know from the letter and your update, I would suggest getting out now because the damage an issue like this can cause can be long lasting (it’s been 5 1/2 years and I haven’t been in another relationship since). It messes with your emotions and your feelings of self worth and your sense of trust in others (why is he hiding me? Am I not good enough? Is there someone else? Is there someone else and he doesn’t want them to meet me and like me and then think he’s a jerk?) and you deserve better than this.

Please, please listen to yourself this weekend and what your gut is telling you when you meet these friends. I agree, crying and freaking out when you bring up the subject isn’t normal and that combined with his keeping you separate just screams that something is wrong. If nothing else this isn’t healthy for you and you deserve so much more. Good luck, sweetie, we’re all behind you.

avatar AnotherWendy December 13, 2011, 8:56 pm

I have been where she is at. And the reason he kept me from them was because they were all basically losers. Alcoholics, unemployable, petty criminals, chronic cheaters, etc. They looked up to him because he had his sh*t together for the most part. And so he felt really good about himself around them and could basically let loose with them because there were no standards to conform to. He didn’t want me to meet them because he didn’t want to mix me up with this side of him. Basically he had a foot in dysfunction junction and a foot in the “normal” neck of the woods and he didn’t want the two worlds to collide. I realized over time that there was too much of a dysfunctional edge to him and that I was more in love with the potential of who he could fully be than the reality of who he really was. I don’t know if this is at all your SOs situation LW, but it could be something similar. It doesn’t have to be a sinister reason he’s keeping you apart, it could just be he doesn’t want you to see up close a part of his personality that is comfortable with people of such low caliber.

avatar lexie.b December 13, 2011, 11:16 pm

Any chance that you might unknowingly be the other woman? You dont say if you’ve met his family too. Do his coworkers/friends/family know about your exsistance?

Lyra L December 13, 2011, 11:22 pm

Oh dear. LW, based on the facts that you’ve given, I’m guessing that you’ve been with your boyfriend since high school. I think your brain might still be set on “high school” mode, but as you are growing up and as he is growing up, he is changing and that change is causing him to grow apart from you. It’s ok to let him go because it sounds like he let you go a long time ago. Your boyfriend should be proud to introduce you to his friends and ABSOLUTELY should not intentionally exclude you as he’s been doing. It’s time to move on.

avatar ape_escape December 14, 2011, 12:33 am

Gaslighting. For real.

avatar Anna December 14, 2011, 5:37 am

5 years?! Sounds like at least one of these “friends” is more than just a friend to him. You should host a party and tell him you’d really like to meet his friends and he has to invite them. Of course, invite all your friends too. You will find out what’s going on. It will be obvious if one of those friends is something more to him.

avatar D December 14, 2011, 8:49 am

Hey everyone thanks for the help.

First I’d like to say Yes I have met his family (I see them often) and I haven’t met his new friends in 3 years, We both live in the Netherlands. I live in the Capital, he lives in a different city but studies in my hometown.

to get it clear, I am indeed his girlfriend (Exclusive).
I know I might sound like an immature high school girl, but if I didn’t try all I could think of I wouldn’t have sent this letter. My own friends adore him and can’t imagine he behaves this way, and so they couldn’t give me proper advice.
I talk to him several times but I can’t have a straight conversation, he cries, backs out, changes subject.

However 2 weeks ago I took my own Initiative. I told him (in person) I was ready to move on and leave him behind. I’m a bit shamed to tell, when he cried and begged me for another chance on the phone I gave in.

I am to meet his friends (for the very first time) this weekend, I’m a bit nervous because it’s at one of his female friend house. I’m not sure how I feel about that (all that talk about cheating still worries me), frankly I’m just going to trust my guts this weekend if he has indeed kept me away with reason (such as cheating) I will know..
I’ll know what to do in that case and I’m ready if I must.

Jess Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 14, 2011, 9:31 am

Thanks for the update. It’s good to hear that you put your foot down. Be sure to give us an update after the weekend my dear. And in the meantime, I wish you all the best with meeting the friends.

avatar va-in-ny December 14, 2011, 10:37 am

I am happy that you have stood up for yourself in this regard. But it does worry me that he “cries, backs out, [and] changes the subject” when you try to talk to him about it. That seems extreme to me. Why would he cry and change the subject when you talk about something so simple as meeting his friends? What does he get upset about?

I would keep a clear head when meeting his friends and try not to let emotions take control. I would be like a detective in that situation, analyzing how everyone is behaving. This is a very odd situation and I am sorry you’re dealing with it.

Just remember to do what is best for YOU in this situation. I wish you the best.

avatar Fabelle December 14, 2011, 9:24 am

Everyone’s said it already, but this is definitely wrong & not normal. I’ve had lots of experience with shady people, so I’m gonna say it’s not paranoid to assume he’s cheating. Especially since this is college– he probably wants to do the party scene while still holding on to his long-time girlfriend. And the fact that you’re not into drugs & have a personality introverted enough where he can get away with saying shit like “Ohh you would feel awkward” just makes it easy for him.

You can keep questioning him, but I’m betting he’ll just deny forever & then you’ll feel like you can’t leave him because “what if he’s telling the truthhh”. So my advice would be to just dump him cold & make up some other reason why.

avatar twiglet December 14, 2011, 6:45 pm

agree with everyone that it is deeply shady- and you should consider the possibility that he has done a few things(or people) that he doesn’t want you to hear about. BUT- it is also possible that he has been trying on a new persona that he knows is for now, for fun, for college, and not for keeps, and is ashamed/scared you will blow whatever his cover is.In which case, he has kept you out of it not just because you wouldn’t like it, but because you know the real him, and would blow his new act out of the water. He may have told a lot of big lies to live up to his new persona- he can’t risk you exposing him.
It’s still crap, but it doesn’t mean that you are less important to him.BUT whatever his secret is- and there IS a secret, if you have any future together, he has to spill the beans somehow.Either in a few years, you and he will be laughing about the bullshit he got up to at college, or you’ll be happy with someone else laughing at the bullshit some loser told you before you left him.Either way, It’s time for some truth and you have the right to seek it.

avatar Deanna August 30, 2014, 11:51 pm

Well, i recently found out that my husband doesn’t want a particular set of friends to meet me because before i had my daughter he described me as the bad chick with a bangin body, and then after i had my daughter i gained weight so he’s embarrassed to bring me around since their wives have bangin bodies and mines not what it used to be. It hurts. :( Is there any possible reason your BF could be embarrassed or ashamed? Maybe he tells his friends bad things about you and doesn’t want it to get back to you. However, he could very well have many things to hide like another woman, etc. Good luck!

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