I don’t want to sound mean here. They are a very nice group of people. I don’t feel any negative feelings towards them. They are just really boring, aside from my boyfriend, who is generally the life of the party. And they insist on spending every holiday, birthday, etc., together. There is generally next to no conversation, laughter, or jokes at these gatherings. Everyone agrees with each other, and there are no debates, and the topics of conversation are generally about TV or video games.
I don’t get why my boyfriend feels like he belongs with these people, but the fact is that he does, and he desperately wants me to be part of the group. I’ve tried to belong, to engage with them, to add new topics of conversation, to try to find a common link that we can all share, but it just isn’t there. More and more I dread these “parties,” and I have found myself faking sick or pretending I have other things to do. My boyfriend says that I need to be friends with his friends, but I just can’t tolerate the boredom any longer.
I want to try to make some new friends together, but he works very long hours and says that he doesn’t have time for this. I figure that life is way too short to spend so much time not enjoying the people around you. I feel selfish, but I just can’t imagine spending — wasting — all this time with these people in the years to come.
My question is what would you do, if you really hated spending time with your boyfriend’s friends? I know it sounds crazy, but I am seriously considering moving just to get away from them, so that we could have the time to make new friends and have a normal social life. I love him very much, but I feel that my only options to avoid these people are to move or break-up. Is that crazy? — Bored to Death
Yeah, that’s a little crazy. I mean, three years together and your only problem is that you think his friends are boring? Eh, it’s kind of a boring problem, tbh. He could have friends who treat you like shit. He could have a lot of untreated mental illness in his family. You could be different races and he could have bigots for relatives. There are so many ways that the people in your partner’s life could make things unbearable for you, and the worst you have to deal with is some boring conversations about video games? I say get over it.
You asked what I would do, and here it is: If I truly, truly loved my significant other and the only issue we had is that I found his friends boring and he expected me to hang out with them on holidays and special occasions, I’d — get this — suck it up and hang out with them on holidays and special occasions. Maybe not every single one — shouldn’t you be spending some holidays with your families? — and probably not every single weekend, but definitely some of them. Being around boring people for a few hours isn’t the end of the world. And out of all the sacrifices and compromises people in relationships make for each other, this one is pretty low on the hardship scale.
You say that life is “way too short to spend so much time not enjoying the people around you,” and while, sure, that sounds like a great philosophy, it isn’t realistic for most of us. Most of us have that one annoying co-worker who grates our nerves, or a family member who exhausts us, or even true-blue friends who have periods of being super needy or annoying. But most of us, though perhaps inconvenienced, deal with it because that’s what adults who aren’t completely self-centered and want to keep their jobs and maintain functional relationships do. Because the benefits outweigh the inconvenience. In your case, the benefit of keeping your boyfriend happy and maintaining a relationship that you say is otherwise perfect, outweighs suffering through a few boring parties.
As for making new friends, I don’t understand why you have to make friends “as a couple.” If your boyfriend “doesn’t have time” to make other friends, why can’t you just make new friends on your own? You don’t have to do everything as a couple. You don’t have to share an identical social life. And maybe by modeling for him how you can go out and have fun with your girl friends by yourself, he can better appreciate spending time with his boring guy friends by himself.