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 crazy. I mean, three years together and your only problem is that you think his friends are boring? Really? Girl, count your lucky stars! He could have friends who treat you like shit. He could have a bonafide nuts 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? 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.
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iwannatalktosampson November 12, 2012, 11:22 am
You could always pick up an alcohol problem to make these events tolerable. Friends come and go but booze will always be there for you.
This is a great opportunity to make friends of your own. There’s nothing worse than a couple who has to do everything together. They are the worst!
iwannatalktosampson November 12, 2012, 2:50 pm
My last wise tidbit of the day is this saying: Only boring people get bored.
katie November 12, 2012, 2:52 pm
katie November 12, 2012, 11:25 am
i think you need to read wendy’s last paragraph a few extra times.
where is your own life in this picture? where are your own friends? your own family? what do you do on your own holidays/birthdays?
i promise, his boring friends who you only have spend… what, 10 days with a year, probably?… will not seem such a burden on your life if you actually *had* your own life.
katie November 12, 2012, 11:59 am
as i think about this more, i think this is a classic example of people expecting their partners to fill every need that they have. that is an incorrect view. you mention “There is generally next to no conversation, laughter, or jokes at these gatherings. Everyone agrees with each other, and there are no debates”, which leads me to believe that you need intelligent conversational stimulation in your life. that isnt a bad thing, but you cannot and should not look to your boyfriend and HIS set of friends to give that to you. this need of yours cannot be fulfilled by him. so go seek it out! find interesting cool people to hang out with who you can debate with and talk about cool subjects. take a philosophy class or something. but above all, dont “blame” your boyfriend or his friends for not being able to fulfill this need. obviously, your boyfriend and his friends are happy with each other just the way they are. they dont need the kind of conversational stimulation you seem to need. so go find it elsewhere. i have to do this too, so i sympathize with it being kind of dumb that you cant have those exciting conversations with your boyfriend. it kind of sucks, i wish i could share that with him, whatever. but im not going to blame him for being that way.
also, with this being the case, i dont think that your solution of moving is going to work. changing the situation wont change the people in it. your boyfriend will still want to see his friends, and he might not even want to be friends with the kinds of people you want to be friends with, so remember that.
JK November 12, 2012, 12:02 pm
Yeah, moving will definitely not work. They´ll have to start spending several days with the friends all at once, instead of just once in a while. 🙂
I don´t get how LW would even bring it up with her BF. Hey hon? YOu know how your friend bug me? Lets move to the next state to get away from them, OK?
katie November 12, 2012, 12:27 pm
haha… i wonder how that would go over as just a catch all solution.
hey hon? you know that lady who cut me off on my way to work today? lets move to the next state to get away from her.
hey hon? you know that bartender who gives me creepy looks? lets move to the next state to get away from him.
hey hon? you know you mom insists on calling us every weekend? lets move to the next state to get away from her.
someone please keep this going. lol
painted_lady November 12, 2012, 3:42 pm
Hey, hon? The toilet broke. Let’s move to a house where there’s a working one.
Hey hon? My boss is an asshole. Let’s move so I don’t even have the option of working for him.
katie November 12, 2012, 3:45 pm
your the best, PL.
painted_lady November 12, 2012, 8:08 pm
iwannatalktosampson November 12, 2012, 2:43 pm
Another suggestion – if you need stimulating debates come to DW everyday. We debate all the time and often disagree. Debates are the flavor of life. LW should just hang out here everyday to get her debate fix in.
katie November 12, 2012, 2:46 pm
seriously, thats what i do. and then i go home and tell jake about and he doesnt care at all. lol
iwannatalktosampson November 12, 2012, 2:55 pm
Haha. It’s hard for Ethan and I to debate because we’re both pretty passionate about certain things – so whether we agree or disagree I am exhausted afterwards, haha. On a side note – his grandparents and parents keep calling him and venting to him for like an hour about political issues and he’ll get off the phone and be all worked up and I’ll just be getting home from yoga and I’ll be all zen and I think I annoy him when I am just like “love conquers all” and he turns into the hulk. Suggestions?
katie November 12, 2012, 3:00 pm
suggestion: he needs to decompress after phone calls from family. boxing or a run or screaming into a pillow….
i am still working on ways for jake to decompress after he comes home from a hard day at work. he likes to pick on me… its not fun.
quixoticbeatnik November 12, 2012, 11:08 pm
Oh god, this made me laugh. It’s hard for my boyfriend and I to debate because we are on opposite sides politically. Plus, he loves to argue and debate. Me, noooooot so much. Le sigh.
LETS_BE_HONEST November 12, 2012, 3:00 pm
Similar problem is that Peter knows I’m always right, so its hard to debate with him 😉
Taylor November 14, 2012, 12:14 pm
Why is your name shouting?
lets_be_honest November 14, 2012, 12:22 pm
sorry, I logged in with my keyboard on all caps. Oops!
LETS_BE_HONEST November 12, 2012, 12:34 pm
I assume they don’t live where her family is, or childhood friends are, otherwise its pretty sad if she really has no one but him. But yea, go out and make some new friends LW.
LETS_BE_HONEST November 12, 2012, 12:54 pm
Just thinking a little more, if my boyfriend wasn’t willing to deal with my friends, I would seriously reconsider our relationship assuming my friends never insulted him or something bad like that. You might want to reevaluate how you feel about him if you are willing to break up over that.
katie November 12, 2012, 1:06 pm
yea, i think its a fine line between being friendly and open to people you might not necessarily like to hang out with vs declaring you never want to deal with them. i mean its realistic to think that your SO will get along amazingly with all of your own friends. it just all depends on how you deal with that divide…
but i do agree, if shes willing to let him go because of his boring friends, the relationship probably isnt the best one…
katie November 12, 2012, 1:09 pm
artsygirl November 12, 2012, 11:25 am
LW – I would start inviting your friends to the parties. Maybe if you add people who you enjoy spending your time with, you will stop ‘dreading’ the hangouts. After all, it is not your BF or his friends job to be your entertainment and make you happy, it is up to you. GL
artsygirl November 12, 2012, 11:27 am
P.S. Weaning your BF away from friends he has been close to for far longer than you relationship is a shitty move. Unless they are verbally or physically abusive towards you, there is no reason to start making ultimatums (i.e. that moving)
kerrycontrary November 12, 2012, 11:47 am
I agree that she should bring friends to these parties. I always bring my girlfriends along to parties/get togethers and I really like my boyfriend’s friends. It’s a chance for my friends to expand their social circle and bringing new people in mixes things up.
TaraMonster November 12, 2012, 1:09 pm
So true. And she doesn’t need him to make new friends as a couple. She just needs to make friends with some people who have significant others. Then have dinner dates or backyard parties or game night and voilà you have new friends as a couple (presuming you all get along).
QaraKoz November 12, 2012, 12:06 pm
Roxy84 November 12, 2012, 2:39 pm
Totally. This is what I first thought. Bring one of your friends! There’s got to be one of your friends who wouldn’t mind coming along for a night out.
Red_Lady November 12, 2012, 8:27 pm
Agreed! If these friends want to all hang out together, and the other guys seem to have a hard time holding on to girl friends, why not bring some of your own girl friends along? You say that they’re a generally boring group, so bring some life to the party!
mf November 12, 2012, 11:26 am
In my experience, most people are actually quite interesting if you make the effort to get to know them. Honestly, it sounds like you’re not making much of an effort. All your complaints basically boil down to: I’m bored because his friends are not making an effort to entertain ME. You’re making this about yourself. If you want to get to know somebody, you have to make the conversation about THEM. Their interests, their job, their family, their stories. If you can get a person to talk about something they are passionate about, I promise the conversation will get a whole lot more interesting.
However, I am with you on one point. You shouldn’t have to spend every holiday/birthday/special occasion with these people. That’s definitely overkill. Your BF should be willing to go to some of these get-togethers by himself sometimes. And sometimes you two should celebrate the holidays in a way that’s fun for both of you, not just him. If you tell him that you’re going to make more of an effort to befriend his friends, I bet he’d be willing to be more flexible with your holiday/special occasion plans.
Riefer November 12, 2012, 12:41 pm
Yeah, I can kind of see her point if it’s connected to having to spend tons of time with them. I think Wendy may have downplayed that a bit. The first summer I dated my now-husband, we got together with his friends almost every single weekend. It was horrible. I like them very much, but I don’t even see my own friends that often. And being with your partner’s friends is not as relaxing as being with your own friends. I felt like I had to be “on” all the time. By the end of the summer, I was skipping whole weekends because I was just so exhausted by it all. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if I didn’t like them. I probably would have considered breaking up with him too.
landygirl November 12, 2012, 11:27 am
LW, join Mensa, I’m sure you’ll find lots of intelligent people there to talk to.
6napkinburger November 12, 2012, 2:25 pm
Not fair. She didn’t say anything about intelligence. We tend to ream out LWs who complain about other people’s intelligence level, which i tend to disagree with anyway, but this LW doesn’t say anything about that. You’re inferring it and then judging her for it, which is even less fair. It might very well be true that the real reason she finds these people boring is because they’re dumb. But that isn’t her complaint — it’s that they don’t laugh or have fun conversations. Some of the best debates are over the most asinine things (the how I met your mother debate of ducks v. rabbits comes to mind).
She also says they don’t have anything in common,that she’s tried to find common ground or engage them in things that interest her, tried to engage herself in things that interest them. This shows she’s made a real effort — it’s just an unsuccessful effort. Someone above commented that she’s making it all about her and not about them. Of course she is! She can’t control any one else’s enjoyment but hers!
I am surprised with the amount of negativity towards this LW. Yes, it isn’t the end of the world, but a “count your blessings , I can’t believe you wrote in about this, you should have just sucked it up without complaining about it” type of advice, I think, is totally unjustified. If they’re spending as much time with his friends as it seems, it really matters. Yes, there are all people we don’t like, like the person at the office, but we deal because (1) something else is more important (e.g. work/paycheck/career) and (2) we get to enjoy the time we’re not with them doing things that make us happy. When your downtime/funtime sucks too, that’s not insignificant.
We tell people all the time to stop hanging out with people they don’t like/bring them down because it isn’t healthy for them (we tend to call them toxic). Sure, these friends aren’t doing anything awful, but clearly its affecting the LW enough that she wants to move because of it. I don’t think she’s being a drama queen — i think she’s being honest. And the amount of pressure her BF is putting on her to really like her friends just makes it worse — she feels crappy hanging out with them because she doesn’t like them, then she feels crappier/guilty because she’s disappointing her bf, and then she feels angry at her bf that he is putting so much pressure on her to like people she just doesn’t like. All of those are real emotions and putting a real strain on her.
My advice is to (a) make your own friends that you start inviting to these events, so that you have someone there to hang out with/that you like; (b) have a real conversation with your boyfriend about why it is so important to him that you are super close with his friends. Figure out the root– is it just so he can spend time with both of you together, so he doesn’t have to choose? Or is it deeper — something like that if you reject his friends you are rejecting him? Is he close with his family? Are his friends his surrogate family and he feels that you need to become part of that family? Figure out how deep it goes and what kind of issue it will be. If he can’t understand that you don’t especially like hanging out with his friends and don’t want to do it all the time, if he implores you to try harder — there is other stuff going on. (c) cut down on how much you hang out with them, but don’t do an all or nothing deal. Go some of the time and make your own plans for the other times. You might be seeing your BF less, but you’ll like your life more.
LETS_BE_HONEST November 12, 2012, 2:47 pm
Glad to see this comment, 6. I don’t really understand the need for nasty comments like that in this situation.
katie November 12, 2012, 2:57 pm
i dunno, i think this ignores the hugely relevant fact that her viable solutions are to move somewhere else (to make friends “as a couple”, no less), or to break up.
im not sayin that he isnt in the wrong either, or that they both couldnt use a good heart to heart and some good communication skills, but come on. “i think your friends are boring so we should move”? really?
6napkinburger November 12, 2012, 3:17 pm
I think the whole “moving” thing is just the LW trying to come up with a solution that literally removes the problem without having to address it — without upsetting the BF’s “need” for her to bond with them in a way she can’t. If they moved, then she wouldn’t have to hang out with them, but she couldn’t be blamed for not doing so and he couldn’t be hurt that she wasn’t close with them because it would be irrelevant (or, more truthfully, she could lie about it without having to demonstrate it). While people are jumping on her for it (“how dare she try to control who he’s friends with!”), that’s not what its about — its actually about her finding a loophole in her boyfriend’s happiness-rubric. It allows them both to be happy under the rules he’s created.
But I don’t think she’s literally set on hiring moving company, finding a new job, hiring a realtor, looking into school districts, property taxes, etc. She’s just frustrated. It’s like saying that if you get one more critical email today, you’re just going to stand up, walk out of your office and never come back. You aren’t really going to do that, even if you really do hate your job, even if you start working out a plan to actually leave your job. You’re just frustrated. And so is she.
I agree with you that they need to communicate and she needs to find out what the importance of her connecting with his friends really is. Because that’s the root of it all — that her bf “needs” her to be close to them. This isn’t an LW bitching about how she doesn’t like her BFs crappy friends — this is an LW who feels trapped and guilty about her inability to fulfill a self-declared need of bf despite her best effort and the emotional impact it is having on her, as well as the feeling that she is not in control of her own happiness, because she is “forced” (by her guilt and by his need) to “waste” her free time with people she doesn’t enjoy (and then feels guiltier that she doesn’t enjoy it).
katie November 12, 2012, 3:26 pm
well, she does say that she wants to “try to make some new friends together”, so i would say she is trying to control who he is friends with. she doesnt want to be friends with these people, so he shouldnt be either, and whether or not that is to alleviate guilt about the whole situation, like you said, i still think its wrong. like i said below, *her* like is too short to be around people she doesnt like, but apparently his isnt given as much weight.
i guess we dont know if she really does want to move away, and it would be totally crazy pants to actually think of that as a viable option, so your theory does sound better to me. but, even then, i dont think that excuses her. she would rather throw her hands up and not deal with the problem, rather then working through a solution with her boyfriend? thats not good. and whether the working through isnt happening on her end or his end, its still not good, and i would say a symptom of a bigger problem- communication and how they respectively get to live their lives.
Mandy S November 12, 2012, 3:37 pm
I see your side for sure as “working it through with the boyfriend” is a definite good first step (I don’t love his “I’m too busy” response; he’s obviously not “too busy” to hang with his current friends). But I don’t think she doesn’t want HIM to be friends with them; “making new friends together” can be great, and if they’re new, coupled friends, can be really fun for double dates, shared events, etc. I didn’t see it as such an extreme thing to want to make new friends together. That doesn’t preclude the boyfriend from spending time w/his friends on his own – it just gives them both new options.
katie November 12, 2012, 3:42 pm
i just dont see it from the letter… i mean, maybe, sure, 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.” (ps. wtf is “normal social life”??)
“I don’t get why my boyfriend feels like he belongs with these people”
“I feel that my only options to avoid these people are to move or break-up”
i just dont think that someone who just wanted “new” friends would say that. she doesnt like these people, and she doesnt want to be around them at all- and then because of their relationship, he doesnt get to be around them either.
6napkinburger November 12, 2012, 3:46 pm
I have to say, I disagree with you on both issues.
First, I do not interpret someone saying that they want them and their significant other to make new friends together as “controlling” who their S.O. is friends with. I think making new friends that they both like is one of the better ways to go about solving this problem. Especially because making friends isn’t a one-in-one-out proposition — he can be friends and hang out with both the new people and the old people. If you have to switch off “hanging out with your friends” or “hanging out with my friends” — someone always is having more fun;but “hang out with our friends” and “let’s each hang out with our own friends” and occasionally hang out with each other’s friends — everyone wins. I simply cannot read that to mean that she is controlling who he is friends with.
Especially because it is HE who insists that she hang out with his friends. She isn’t saying “I don’t want to be friends with these people, so you shouldn’t be either” — she is saying “I don’t want to hang out with them as much and because you insist we do this together, let’s find people we both like.” I just don’t see the controlling part.
And while I get what you mean about her response, she’s writing in for advice. She’s frustrated and needs clarity. She doesn’t need an excuse for feeling the way she does — she doesn’t need an excuse for feeling trapped. Of course she needs to communicate what she is feeling with her bf and they need to figure out the deal together — but she hasn’t committed some sort of sin by being frustrated and thinking in extremes. It really is like getting upset and saying you’re quitting — sometimes you need someone to say “no, no you’re not, and you know you’re not.” People are allowed to be frustrated and allowed to ask for help while they are — in fact, they should be encouraged to do so. I don’t think she needs us to excuse her or even for her bf to excuse her. I think she just needs someone to calmly tell her –” you aren’t going to move, and you know you aren’t going to move — you’re going to figure out a way to handle it. You can do it.”
Kristen November 12, 2012, 3:00 pm
I agree with you, 6napkin. I actually liked the LW from the tone of her letter and got the impression she’s gone out of her way specifically to try to engage these people in conversation and befriend them. Sometimes it just doesn’t work. My boyfriend has a group of friends that he plays dnd with that I don’t enjoy hanging out with because they’re the type of people that are so focused on one interest/hobby that they don’t like to talk about anything else. I could bring up a current event or something that happened on TV, and they’ll find a way to relate it to their game and go right back to talking about the character they’re leveling. That’s just who they are. If that’s the case with the LW’s boyfriend’s friends, then the best solution is just to let him hang out with them by himself most times. It’s good to have separate interests and friends as a couple. Plus, if you reduce the frequency of when you hang out with them, the times that you do will be much easier because you haven’t seen them in awhile and there’s more to catch up on. (And yes, a couple glasses of wine doesn’t hurt!)
Kristen November 12, 2012, 3:01 pm
Apparently I forgot that I’m married. I meant husband! haha.
theattack November 12, 2012, 3:10 pm
haha! It’s hard to change the language you use about someone so essential to your life.
Kristen November 12, 2012, 3:16 pm
Yes! Especially when you used boyfriend for 9 years, fiance for only 4 months, and now husband for four months. My brain hasn’t caught up!
LETS_BE_HONEST November 12, 2012, 3:22 pm
Wow, you dated for 9 years before marrying? You look so young in your admittedly tiny photo. Anyway, cute slip up!
Kristen November 13, 2012, 12:09 am
Thanks! I’m 25, so I suppose that’s still kind of young 🙂
KKZ November 13, 2012, 12:20 pm
Had to laugh a little about your D&D anecdote. I’m a D&D player and would always get super-irritated when someone turned the conversation around the table to something irrelevant to the game. D&D is not like coffee, or checkers, or cards or whatever, where you can play the game well while also having conversations about topics outside of the game world. It’s a roleplaying game. It’s supposed to be immersive; the players are supposed to remain, more or less, in character. So if I was in the middle of a campaign and someone started talking about Dancing with the Stars or something…yeah, I’d be annoyed, and I would try to direct things back to the game.
D&D is fun and social and all that, it just annoyed me when I thought we were all there to game together, only to find that some of the others were there mostly to socialize and maybe game a little bit in the background. Sort of like if you invited everyone to go to an amusement park and then when you get there, no one wants to ride any rides.
Of course, this attitude wasn’t popular with everyone in my group. There’s a reason we all stopped gaming together, partially because as adults we couldn’t schedule it in so easily, but partially due to incompatible gaming styles.
Anyway, somewhat irrelevant tangent, your comment just made me laugh because I’ve been on the other side of that situation.
Krissy November 12, 2012, 5:23 pm
I actually totally agree with you 6. My boyfriend had some friends when we first met that really just weren’t my crowd either. They liked to smoke a lot of pot and just sit around at someones house having the same conversations about things they used to do. Yes, they were all very nice people and I didn’t have any issue with them for the first few months, but my god, after about a year of them I was at my wits end also. I had my own friends, and I had my own interests, it really had nothing to do with that. We had very different schedules and I didn’t want to force him away from his friends or make him chose between me or them, so I went. Not all the time, but enough that I’d had enough of them. I got lucky though… we did move! We both decided to go back to school and left for a town 4 hours away. He’s made new friends up here that I absolutely love! We both have our own social lives, but also genuinely enjoy when we spend time together with each others friends (and yes friends that we both made together). So LW, I sympathize. I’m not sure how long I would have made it before some kind of major fight eventually broke out over what most people here seem to think is a stupid issue. Its one thing if these people are just casual friends, but if they are a major part of your boyfriends life, I can definitely see how this could be a problem. Sorry I have no helpful advice, nothing I did seemed to work unfortunately. I agree with 6 again, that this will probably need to be addressed and the root cause found at some point in the near future if you want your happy relationship to continue!
Eagle Eye November 12, 2012, 8:55 pm
Yes! I actually had a very similar experience to the LW, my boyfriend is a scientist and when we first met all his friends were from science and they only talked about science (and yes, science is cool but this was science that lacking a degree in science made it impossible for me to understand). In either case, I was bored, I would fwiw try and steer the conversation elsewhere but it always came back to science.
I understood that these were dear friends of my boyfriend, and I just decided to spend less time with them. I explained to him very clearly, how much I supported his friendship with them, why they bored me and thus, why if he wanted to spend time with them he was always more than welcome but I would use that opportunity to do my own thing.
3.5 years later and it hasn’t been an issue since.
Lili November 12, 2012, 4:21 pm
I’m skimming comments today. Can I get a Tl:dr summary of this whole comment thread?
JK November 12, 2012, 11:27 am
I love the “still very much in love”. Why add the still? I´ve been with my husband for 10 years and, i fI were given to say something lame, would saw we are very much in love. Not still.
Semantics aside, Lw go and make some of your own friends. Also, some of Arturos friends arent exactly my BFFs, but I know they´re close, so I suck it up. And you know what? I usually end up having a great time, even if some things bug me.
JK November 12, 2012, 11:35 am
JK November 12, 2012, 11:37 am
hmm… upon rereading. WHy would your Bfs friend group “kill the momentum” of YOUR relationship???
landygirl November 12, 2012, 11:53 am
That statement pretty much annoys me anytime any LW uses it since there’s always a “but” involved.
Rachel November 12, 2012, 1:12 pm
I think the LW is young, and the “still” is because she has young ideas about relationships – like that you would not want to “still” be with someone after 3 years. That and the video games made me think maybe she’s college-age.
FancyPants November 12, 2012, 4:31 pm
Totally, Rachel. And another thing – her solutions seem so absolutist with no further thought. LW, if you move away, you do realize most of your long weekends and vacation time will be spent going to see these friends you find so boring, right? Instead of some drinks for a couple hours on some dude’s birthday, plan on THE ENTIRETY OF LABOR DAY WEEKEND while you’re stuck staying at one of their homes. Total lack of foresight.
Diablo November 12, 2012, 11:34 am
How about finding interesting things to do with the boring friends, like maybe plan a ski trip or something? Or whatever you think might provide some common ground to go forward with these people.
Rachel November 12, 2012, 11:34 am
I am confused about how much time you’re actually spending with these people. You mention birthdays and holidays, which don’t happen more than, say, once a month. That gives you 3 weekends a month you should be spending with your friends or just doing things together. Are you? Or is your only social interaction with his friends? If he’s too busy to make new friends, you definitely need to do that on your own. You don’t have to *only* hang out with his friends.
bethany November 12, 2012, 11:38 am
Try to make some new friends of your own. Maybe they’ll have a husband or boyfriend you can introduce to your boyfriend a little down the line.
LK7889 November 12, 2012, 11:40 am
I have a couple of great friends who are sort of boring sometimes but they were there for me when my grandmother got cancer, when I was in the hospital, and my cat was diagnosed with kidney failure. And then there are the “friends” who are the life of the party, joke and laugh with me, and always have something interesting to say, but they were no where to be found during the hard times hit.
LW, just because you find someone to be boring doesn’t mean that they aren’t a good friend to your SO. You shouldn’t judge them so hard just because you think they are “boring.” I bet your SO doesn’t think they are boring and they may even have helped him out during hard times. Do what Wendy suggests and just suck it up.
But if you really just can’t get over it, do what IWTTS said and booze at the get togethers.
FireStar November 12, 2012, 11:46 am
Your only way to deal with your boyfriend’s boring friends is to move or break up? Or – I dunno – maybe compromise. Not all holidays are spent with them, he has boys nights, you guys meet up for drinks with his friends and meet up with your friends at dinner, host a party and invite your friends too and have a bigger group of friends you hang out with on the regular. Have a games night or a football party or whatever. There is no way a group of friends getting together just means everyone staring blankly at each other. Or maybe open your mind a little to see the value in the people that your boyfriend loves. I find it hard to believe that EVERYONE is boring. NO ONE has any interesting hobbies or jobs or lives. No one thinks the latest someecard is hilarious? There is no way. I think what is more likely is that they have picked up on your contempt and might not have all that much to say to you. It’s interesting your version of a solution is moving so that you free up time to make new friends with your boyfriend. So – I don’t like your friends so let us uproot our lives so I can take you away from them? Manipulating and controlling your boyfriend into doing what you want to do when he has already told you he wants to stick with these people is…well it’s manipulating and controlling. Is that who you want to be? Is that how you would want him to treat you? No? Then conduct yourself accordingly.
jlyfsh November 12, 2012, 11:46 am
I get that hanging out with people you don’t like sucks. And you say you’ve made an effort, but have you really made an effort? Because when I get frustrated with something or someone and I say well I tried to make it better, that’s not always true. Sometimes I have to step back and tell myself I have to actually try not pretend to. This might not be true of you, but it might also be a good idea to just think about it at least.
And I agree every single holiday, birthday, etc is excessive. Talk to your boyfriend about changing that. Make some traditions of your own.
And I also agree that making friends of your own that are separate from him is important. My husband and I both have different sets of friends. And I enjoy it. I enjoy the time we have together as groups, but I enjoy have separate time as well. It makes the time we have together more special as well I think. Because hanging out with people without him makes me miss him and appreciate him more, especially when I get to hear stories of less than stellar SOs who don’t bring their sick wives double chocolate mochas and two papers so she can get coupons from both.
jlyfsh November 12, 2012, 1:11 pm
i would also ask myself how i bring this issue up to him. instead of framing it about the friends, i would frame it about myself. let him know you want to expand your friend circle, you want to make new traditions on holidays, etc. there has to some compromise between him making all new friends and you hanging out with them for every possible event.
lemongrass November 12, 2012, 11:48 am
Part of being in a relationship is sometimes doing what you don’t want to for the sake of your partners enjoyment. My husband doesn’t enjoy chick flicks but occasionally watches one with me because he likes to make me happy. I’m bored by mechanical things but if my husband wants to browse a store with old little metal things that are fascinating to him then I put a smile on my face and say “take your time.” Relationships are give and take- this is where your boyfriend needs you to give and as Wendy said, it’s a pretty damn easy thing to give.
I feel a little mean saying this, but LW, you came off sounding pretty self-entitled saying how your boyfriends friends don’t entertain you and should I just move away from everything to get away from these people who can’t hold a decent conversation?
kerrycontrary November 12, 2012, 11:50 am
LW-Your boyfriend is really lucky to have a core group of friends that he has known for a long-time and that he can always hang out with. The majority of people don’t have that. And him not wanting to expand his social circle much is understandable. You said it yourself, life is short so surround yourself with the right people. Also, your boyfriend may really enjoy being the life of the party. Perhaps he doesn’t do well in social situations where he isn’t the center of attention. I think you have made a good amount of effort to get to know these people, so I would try to bring your friends to these situations and then spend more time building up your own social life. I understand you and your boyfriend spending a lot of time together, I’m the same way, but instead of making up excuses you could actually have a busy social calendar so instead of going to Mike’s birthday you could go to your friend Susie’s party.
JK November 12, 2012, 11:56 am
SInce they´ve known each other for so long, another idea for LW is to ask them at the next gathering about funny anecdotes or something. My husband has been friends with his main friends for like 20 years or more with a couple, and every time we get together I learn something new about the stuff they used to get up to. And I love it (for the most part hahaha)
katie November 12, 2012, 12:07 pm
yea, the hypocrisy is sad. her life is too short to spend with people she doesnt like, but apparently either her boyfriend cant make his own choices regarding friends, or his life isnt as short as hers…
QaraKoz November 12, 2012, 12:04 pm
Is anyone else not really buying this? After 3 YEARS of spending time and trying to find common ground with these people you don’t have anything positive OR negative to say about them? For most of us a few interactions with someone is enough to figure out if we like them or not but after years how can you not have an opinion on these people besides “they’re boring.”
Why do you feel debates a necessary prerequisite to being interesting? Some groups thrive on creating a supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable and one way people can do that is by sweeping disagreements under the rug. I understand if you don’t watch the same TV shows or play video games how it can be frustrating when that dominates discussion but you seem to seriously be claiming there are no other dimensions to this group of people. And I really have a hard time believing that. Maybe it’s time for a talk with your boyfriend about why he cares about these people so much and hopefully that may lend some insight into other dimensions of their personality?
Fabelle November 12, 2012, 12:11 pm
I actually relate to this, somewhat. Early on in my current relationship, my boyfriend retained a group of friends he had in college that alwaysss planned these elaborate events together around people’s birthdays. And I just did NOT like spending time with them! Like the LW, I thought they were…boring. Some were straight-up annoying, but I mostly was just bored whenever I tagged along. Even if it was somewhere I’d normally enjoy going, the vibe of the group brought me down.
So…I stopped going! At first my boyfriend was hurt over the fact that I didn’t want to go to some beer garden two states away for the non-milestone birthday of somebody I could barely tolerate (to list an, ummm…hypothetical…example) because he had this idea that couples should do every social thing together. It took a few serious discussions, where I pounded into his head that “it’s BETTER for you to go ENJOY yourself without a sulky girlfriend by your side who basically hates you for even knowing these people” (worded more diplomatically at the time! ;))
He didn’t like my friends either, so I also reminded him that sending him off alone opened up a night where I could go clubbing (he hates clubs) with my friends (who he thinks are all crazy). Compromise was necessary, though– like, if an event came up that I could see myself tolerating (a movie? only 2 hours & no talking? okay!), then I’d drag myself along as courtesy. And if my friends were doing something laid-back (dinner & drinks in a quiet sushi restaurant?), then he’d make an appearance.
Now, 3-ish years into the relationship, we kind of own the fact that we hate each other’s friends & don’t make a big deal out of it. We also– not gonna lie– see friends much less often due to geographical difference (oops, did I just make an argument for moving away to solve this issue?), random fallings-out, and just “growing up” (i.e. I’m too old for da club & he’s sort of learned that not EVERY invitation is an obligation)
SO, sorry this was so long & convoluted, but maybe you should just have a talk with him? Try not to disparage his taste in friends, but bring up the fact that you don’t NEED to be there every time he hangs out with his boring friends. Go do your own thing! (like others have mentioned, where are your friends?) If he doesn’t want to meet new people, you realize that YOU have the freedom to meet new people, right? Even if it’s just to have something else to do on the nights your boyfriend’s pack of friends are having Game Night or whatever.
“My boyfriend says that I need to be friends with his friends”– uh, no. It’s a pretty common, minor situation for S/Os & their respective friends not to be one big, happy family.
niki November 12, 2012, 12:21 pm
I totally agree with this. I’m not going to blame the LW for not liking these friends. There’s no rule that says we have to like everyone. Maybe they ARE boring. Maybe she’s being a snob. I really don’t know. What I do know is that it is unfair for the boyfriend to claim that she NEEDS to be friends with his friends. She doesn’t. Just as he doesn’t have to give up his friends because she doesn’t like them.
This is a situation where compromise is key. And if either party is unwilling to compromise, then they need to reconsider the relationship.
Copa November 12, 2012, 1:01 pm
I agree with this completely. But, the only problem is that not everyone will (and maybe LW’s boyfriend won’t!).
I didn’t like my ex’s group of friends when we were in grad school together. They were okay people, but it was a bit awkward for me because my ex pretty much adopted his friend’s group of friends from high school who lived in a different state. On some weekends, these people would drive a few hours to play beerpong at my ex’s friend’s apartment, and my ex just LOVED this. (Because he is/was a loner who has/had a hard time making friends of his own.) I, on the other hand, felt really awkward because I felt like my ex barely knew these people (he never saw them outside of a drinking/party scene because they live in a different state!) but still expected me to be as pumped for beerpong with them because he was. It was a whole ordeal when I wouldn’t want to go and he never understood that I felt like I was doing him a favor by declining because I had no issues with him going alone, at all, if it meant he’d be having fun (MORE fun since he wouldn’t have to worry about MY fun (or lack thereof)). He saw it as not being supportive (though interestingly enough he couldn’t be bothered to meet any of my friends and would sulk if I made plans with them until said plans were canceled — if they were males).
So, I guess if LWs boyfriend is anything like my ex, I can see how it would cause issues big enough to break up over. Not everyone sees it the same way. I don’t think there is anything wrong with bringing up the subject, declining to go to all of these events, or even asking the boyfriend to decline every once in awhile. So long as neither is asking the other to completely give up part of their lives for the other (LW creating her own independent life, LW’s boyfriend maintaining his friendships), hopefully it will work out.
MiMi November 12, 2012, 12:19 pm
Er… you think you have the ability (and the right?) to MAKE your boyfriend move away from his close-knit group of harmless peeps? I wonder what your point of view is if you think controlling his social life to your satisfaction is the way to be a good partner. I’m getting a vision of Sarah Jessica Parker’s character in The Family Stone yap yap yapping about what she thinks is interesting while the laid-back family are all like, “what’s up with this chick and why has she been foisted on us?”
These people, including your boyfriend, have a flavor they are happy with, so leave their Koolaid alone. You don’t have to drink it, but you don’t get to snatch the glasses out of their hands either..
niki November 12, 2012, 12:25 pm
Agreed. However the boyfriend also doesn’t have a right to make the LW drink the koolaid if she can’t stomach it. I’m surprised that there hasn’t been more said about the fact that the boyfriend thinks the LW needs to be friends with his posse. I think it’s important that they all have a mutual respect for each other and their places in the boyfriend’s life, but it’s not the boyfriend’s place to tell LW who she has to be friends with.
katie November 12, 2012, 12:30 pm
eh, like sampson said above, these two are probably the “do everything together/spend every moment together” annoying couple. so at the same time she thinks they need to make friends as a couple, he thinks that they need to be friends with his friends as a couple.
i think its just a symptom of the co-dependence or just general too-much-togetherness they seem to both carry.
sidenote: i heard on the radio today that the number one thing that long lasting couples do is let each person have alone time. time away from the relationship to be alone, pursue outside interests and hobbies, ect. sooo… theres that.
LETS_BE_HONEST November 12, 2012, 12:56 pm
While I don’t think it should be required that the LW be friends with them, she should for her boyfriend’s sake, be willing to hang out sometimes. Not every event, but certainly some.
Maybe he thinks of them as family, which it sounds like he does. I’d be pretty upset if my boyfriend wanted nothing to do with people I consider family.
niki November 12, 2012, 1:13 pm
I agree. She should be willing to hang out sometimes, which is why compromise is the key. But it doesn’t sit well with me that he claims that she NEEDS to be friends with his friends. Maybe they are codependent. But I get the sense that he thinks they need to do everything together, so she has decided that if that is the case, they need to find more interesting friends. I don’t agree with either the LW or her boyfriend.
niki November 12, 2012, 1:16 pm
I’m sorry if my previous posts haven’t made much sense. I probably shouldn’t even be posting today. I have a horrible cold and feel like I’m in a fog. I apologize if my thoughts and posts have been disjointed. Ugh.
Lynn November 12, 2012, 12:29 pm
Anna November 12, 2012, 12:30 pm
Why don’t you host a party occasionally? Then he gets his friends there and you can invite your friends who don’t drive you crazy. Everyone wins! And on the nights you know it’s going to be awful for you, make other plans. There’s no reason you have to attend every event they hold. Sometimes it’s better to have separate guys’ night/girls’ night.
If you’re looking for a relationship where you won’t have to compromise on anything ever, I regret to inform you it doesn’t exist.
TaraMonster November 12, 2012, 12:30 pm
I’m about to rant because something happened last night that PERFECTLY exemplifies when your SO’s friend treats you like shit.
My ex’s best friend HATES me. In college we were all friends. And then I started dating my ex, and that’s when he started treating me like shit bc I chose my ex over him (at least in his mind- he was never a contender). He is a huge douchebag, meddler, rude to people, gets drunk and sloppy, nasty to me in my own home, etc etc. My ex and I had many fights about this friend. Flash forward to last night. My ex and I are still in the process of moving our stuff/separating bills etc (it’s been 2.5 months since my 7.5 yr relationship ended). I moved out and have been staying with friends. He decided to go find himself in Africa like he’s Dave Chappelle or something- so he left yesterday morning for two weeks, and I moved back in temporarily so that I can pack and apartment hunt and get to work more easily. And I was already staying there on and off (got stuck there during Hurricane Sandy) because he and I are on good terms, and also on the same page about everything. I’m very lucky in my breakup in that regard.
I was on my hands and knees cleaning the living room when his friends-a couple- walked in the front door with SUITCASES thinking they were going to take a mini vacation in my apartment -IN MY BED WITH MY CAT AND ALL MY THINGS AROUND. And guess who gave them the key? His douchebag friend. Douchebag then emailed me telling me that my ex confirmed that this couple could stay there last week and he hoped there was no confusion. I nearly lost my shit. It was awkward, and they left. Because HELL NO. When I finally got in touch with my ex after he touched down, he had no idea why they were there. From what I can surmise Douchebag misinterpreted a comment my ex made about me moving my things out while he was gone, and didn’t realize that meant I was sleeping there (though my ex says he flat out told him this, but I’m TRYING to give Douchebag the benefit of the doubt) and basically was going to let this couple stay in our place w/o informing either of us.
So, LW. His friends could be like THAT. So get a game on your iPhone and play that the next time they bore you. Bring your Kindle. Whatever.
(I apologize for making this all-about-me. I’m just so angry!!!)
TaraMonster November 12, 2012, 12:36 pm
P.S. Don’t really play on your phone or read a book. That’s just rude. I’m just sayin tough it out.
j2 November 12, 2012, 12:40 pm
Bonus points for a star rant!
(Good solid bases, end everything!)
temperance November 12, 2012, 3:55 pm
WHOA. I would have lost my shit on the guy. Random strangers in your home? WTF??
TaraMonster November 12, 2012, 5:21 pm
They aren’t random strangers. They’re friends of Douchebag and therefore friends of my ex. My ex had originally told them they might be able to stay there if I was already moved out. But he soon after made it very clear to them that I would NOT be out and they could NOT stay because I made him do that. We had a Big Discussion about me being big time Not OK with that scenario. And then Douchebag told the couple my ex changed his mind, which he obviously did not. My ex thinks Douchebag misunderstood when he later mentioned again that I would be moving out while he was gone. But that conversation was not in the context of whether our apartment would be a crash pad; it was just a ‘talking about my life’ conversation. Douchebag just assumed it would be empty and didn’t clear it with my ex (or me) and went ahead and gave them the keys. So while there is an element of misunderstanding that went on, my ex was VERY clear that they could not stay over in his absence. Douchebag also has a history of hearing what he wants to hear and not what is actually said to him. Because when I asked the couple to tell me EXACTLY what my ex said to confirm, I got blank stares. Because they never confirmed with my ex. They confirmed with Douchebag.
Can you tell I’m still mad?
j2 November 12, 2012, 12:37 pm
I wish LW would have given some information on what she regards as non-boring friends.
For example, “Everyone agrees with each other and there are no debates,” may mean that she considers tensions, spats, and drama to be what provides excitement. Is that it?
Is it an absence of erudite debates on the Great Books? Or, is that they don’t tune in every night to Entertainment Tonight in hopes of fresh dirt on the Kardashians?
*HmC* November 12, 2012, 12:56 pm
Is it just me or is it a little weird to be super bothered by people that you find “boring”? I mean, what does that really even mean? What do you want, crazy drama and fighting and that kind of excitement? I guess I can sort of relate to finding people, well, not very intellectually stimulating or something. But I can usually find *something* to relate to people about. We’re all just people, and finding something fun to do with others isn’t really THAT difficult is it?
I dunno, I guess I just don’t personally relate to finding other people horribly boring and therefore difficult to spend time with. I like sitting around and relaxing with people, even just quietly watching a movie or something. Maybe I’m boring? Ha.
temperance November 12, 2012, 3:56 pm
I know a few people that my fiance is friends with that are super boring and horrible, so I avoid them. They’re his one-track-mind gamer friends or guitar friends, who are only capable of talking about first person shooters and guitars. Being around them absolutely sucks, but I deal with it and try and change the subject as often as possible (so does he).
You Go Girl November 12, 2012, 12:58 pm
The real problem here is the self-centered boyfriend, who insists that they spend every holiday with his friends because they allow him to be the center of attention. He will not consider making new friends as a couple or celebrating holidays with their families. The LW has tried hard to get along with his friends, but has simply not been able to connect with them because she does not share their interests in video games or TV.
I disagree with Wendy that this issue is simply a matter of sucking up and dealing with his friends. I think it may be a dealbreaker for the relationship because it points to a major incompatiability between the LW and her boyfriend. She wants stimulating conversation and rewarding relationships, while he wants to remain in adolescent video game mode. He is also not willing to compromise so that the LW can find other ways to get the rewarding relationships she craves.
jlyfsh November 12, 2012, 1:05 pm
It doesn’t say that he chooses friends over family, she just says they spend them together. It could mean they have thanksgiving with friends a week before, etc. I do think that if what you say is the case then they need to re-negotiate, but we can’t tell from the letter whether or not that is true.
Lindsay November 12, 2012, 12:59 pm
I’m slightly speechless. I don’t mean this in a mean way, but I think the problem here is you, not his friends. I’m not sure why you think they’re so boring. I could understand if you said they talk about things you don’t know about, but to declare them as boring people seems kind of arrogant. I’d be happy that my boyfriend had a full social life and close friends; making friends as an adult can be really hard. I feel like my concern would be hoping that they liked me and fitting into the group, not whether they were good enough for me. Honestly, the fact that they are so devoted to spending time together makes me think they’re probably warm, nice people.
I hope that your boyfriend is open to making new friends if he meets people he likes, but expecting him to make all new friends that you approve of is pretty selfish. He likes the friends he has. Do you have friends? Do you ever spend time with them (with your boyfriend or without)? Moving you and your boyfriend (which means finding a new place to live, two new jobs and forcing him to ditch his friends) just because you think his friends are boring is ridiculous. Considering these are the people he likes to spend time with, do you not think he’d find similar friends? Or do you plan to dictate who he can get to know?
So, try spending some time with your friends. And make an effort to get to know his friends. Maybe if you are more of a part of the group, you’ll find what they are talking about more interesting. Or make some suggestions that you find more fun, like suggesting the group go bowling or camping. But if you find that you can’t get over your annoyance with them, I’d suggest letting your boyfriend find someone who isn’t to judgmental.
MissDre November 12, 2012, 1:17 pm
I just don’t understand why she has to hang out with his friends. Maybe I’m weird but my boyfriend and I NEVER hang out with each others friends. I have my 2 best girlfriends that I do movies and coffee with and he’s got his own group of guy friends that he hangs out with. Then again, we’re not the type of people who enjoy parties and social gatherings and going out to bars or anything like that. So maybe that sets us apart.
But either way… if you don’t want to hang out with his friends, go out with your own group of friends, and just make sure to make an effort to have time alone together.
cdobbs November 12, 2012, 1:45 pm
Not sure how popular this is going to be but here goes…LW just don’t hang out with them anymore…I’m not sure why people always feel like just because they are dating someone or in a relationship with someone that that means that they have to hang out with their significant other’s friends…I see nothing wrong with having separate groups of friends and if you don’t like hanging out with certain people, then simply don’t…especially on holidays and special occasions (isn’t that even more reason not to have to hang out with them?)…it is probably better for the relationship to have your own group of friends and outside interests anyways…unless you are siamese twins I say there is nothing wrong with having a different social circle from your guy
LadyinPurpleNotRed November 12, 2012, 1:53 pm
There’s nothing wrong with having separate groups of friends, but it seems unrealistic to think that you’ll NEVER have to hang out with them.
applescruffs November 12, 2012, 1:49 pm
Those silent dinners sound pretty tedious. So maybe you don’t go to every one. Or you invite some of your own friends along. Or, like others are saying, you make new friends of your own. Good luck, LW!
L November 12, 2012, 1:54 pm
Whatever you do never ever ever try to pull your boyfriend’s friends away from him. He will choose his friends. You won’t like all of them. That’s natural. You can’t expect to enjoy spending time with all of them, but like Wendy said, the best way to handle this is to suck it up and deal with it. Things could be a LOT worse than they are.
GatorGirl November 12, 2012, 2:02 pm
Really? Move or break up? That’s how you’re going to solve this?
What about talking to your BF more, explaining why you are annoyed about spending so much time with these “boring” friends? Why don’t you try to take some interest in the things they usually talk about? Why don’t you share some of your interests with them? Or you could make some of your own friends and get both groups to hang out together, you could not hang out with the friends, you could just suck it up…
Seriously, if there is nothing wrong in your relationship other than these “boring” friends be thankful. But if you’re willing to break up with someone over JUST their friends (who appear to have aboslutely nothing wrong with them, other than y’all not having common interests) this might not be as amazing of a relationship as you think it is.
jlyfsh November 12, 2012, 2:53 pm
I’m thinking they don’t have the best communication skills, not just calling the LW out on that one I don’t think the bf does either. There has to be something in between move/break up or he makes all new friends. They just need to figure out how to get there. And I wonder if she is ‘attacking’ the friends in conversation which is making him super defensive. Not saying that absolutely has to be happening, but it seems possible.
I also agree that if boring friends are a reason to break up the relationship it probably isn’t as great as it seems.
GatorGirl November 12, 2012, 2:59 pm
Yeah, I agree communication does not appear to be either parties strong suit.
I just can’t fathom that this is a big enough issue that the LW wants to move or break up. I mean really? Some of my fiance’s friends are boring but whatever, they are his friends not mine. When we hang out with them I gravitate towards the more interesting of the bunch. Ugh, this situation makes my head hurt.
jlyfsh November 12, 2012, 3:30 pm
Yeah, I get the feeling these friends are mostly male, at least that’s how it seems from the letter. My husband and I have never had the same group of friends. We have some that over lap but our core group of friends are separate.
I have definitely been bored before. but, that’s usually when I tell him, hey babe next time you want to go to the arcade and play foosball for hours, how about you go by yourself and i won’t make you come to the wine tasting with the girls. i guess i don’t get the ‘need’ from either side to have strictly couple friends. maybe my husband and i are weird though.
GatorGirl November 12, 2012, 4:04 pm
I think you’re pretty normal from the sounds of it. I wish I had more of my own friends so my fiance got more “alone” time with his friends but since I relocated for him my local friend pool is pretty shallow. I would never break up with him over this subject though!
bittergaymark November 12, 2012, 2:57 pm
Talk about irony. For somebody complaining about how boring everybody else is — that was sure one boringly composed letter about one hell of a boring problem… Of course it could just be that your boyfriend so loves to be the life of the party, that he deliberately chooses to surround himself with boring people… His friends… His girlfriend… Think about it.
The other thought crossing my mind as I read this letter was how maybe they are all so quiet and agreeable at these dreaded dinners because the find YOU boring and hard to get along with.
You Go Girl November 12, 2012, 3:22 pm
Many comments are a variation of how the LW “should be grateful” that her worst problem is that her boyfriend’s friends are boring. But I think her strong unhappiness with having to spend time with his “boring” friends is symptomatic of deeper problems in their relationship. She is unhappy because she wants stimulating conversations with people she enjoys, but he refuses to do anything else besides spending time with his video-playing friends. If she was also able to do things she enjoys, she would probably be willing to suck it up and tolerate his friends. The real problem is that he is not concerned about her feelings or desires, and she is feeling so desperate that she is considering moving or breaking up. She needs to try again to talk with her boyfriend about how she feels, but if he does not listen this relationship may be over.
Another common theme is that the LW is superfical or stuck up because she finds his friends boring, and that she should try harder to get along with them. But I get the impression that she has tried her best to find common ground with no success. The fact that various girlfriends of the friends have not stayed around for long suggests that these friends may indeed be boring. I was never able to find any common ground with my in-laws or my stepfather, no matter how hard I tried.
LETS_BE_HONEST November 12, 2012, 3:25 pm
Given that they’ve been together 3 years, I have to assume she’s tried her best to befriend them. Hopefully she will take your advice, they can communicate and he can take her feelings into consideration.
LadyinPurpleNotRed November 12, 2012, 3:26 pm
We don’t know that he refuses to do anything but spend time with his friends.That’s an unfair assumption.
Mandy S November 12, 2012, 3:54 pm
That’s true – but she did mention suggesting trying to make some mutual friends, and he shot that down. That’s not cool, either. They definitely need to communicate better about shared time. While I don’t mind the occasional holiday w/my girlfriend’s folks, we don’t have a whole lot in common – so I don’t want to do every single holiday/birthday with them. It gets tiring! We split it up, and we both go out together – and apart – frequently – to networking events to meet new people and expand our circle of mutual pals. Fortunately, I like her friends (and she likes most of mine), but it takes some work to get there, for sure. These guys need more communication, not to just give up and agree to do whatever the other wants 100% of the time. I think someone referenced above that having their own interests is a good thing. Compromise, and split up holidays 50% with your folks, 50% with his – or do your own thing every other one.
LadyinPurpleNotRed November 12, 2012, 3:58 pm
Oh I completely agree, but she doesn’t say if they spend time with her friends (or if she has any for that matter) or if they do anything outside of spending time with his friends.
CSP November 12, 2012, 5:00 pm
LW, I have similar issues with my Husband’s friends. They are all single and they are all about sports. I definately feel like I am tagging along with that group rather than in it versus other groups we hang out with. So here is what I do. We have “Football parties” a few times a year. These parties are always sundays starting at noon and ending at the start of the night game around 7ish. So I make a ton of food and buy beer. If the girlfriend of the moment shows then I hang out but sometimes I will just sneak upstairs and read my book or do some writing or anything I want to do. It works out great because the guys love getting the home cooked food and time with my husband but I don’t feel forced to sit there quietly which would happen if we were at a bar. This then leaves Friday and Saturday nights for more mutual friends. Just an Idea.
painted_lady November 12, 2012, 9:44 pm
So, LW, I’m going to go against the grain a little bit. NOW, before you take my advice, understand that it is given ON THE CONDITION that you aren’t one of those obnoxious girls who must do everything as a couple. It is also given ON THE CONDITION that you have tried some of this stuff many of the excellent commenters have suggested. I am assuming some stuff here, so don’t just take this as an affirmation that you’re right, because it’s not.
Sometimes people just aren’t going to get along. They just aren’t. And yes, this is assuming that all of his friends are in this group and that this is the only group he sees socially. If you have friends outside of the relationship and he still insists every holiday be spent with these friends, that is unfair. If you’re not close to your families, then families of choice get to be rotated as well. That is assuming you have a solid group of your own – if not, for the love of all that is holy, go get one stat. If you don’t have close friends, your dissatisfaction with life is probably getting all up in your relationship and in your relationship to this group of people, and you need a life.
But maybe you’ve tried all that, and this is still untenable. Maybe your boyfriend is pressuring you to be with these people and won’t be happy till you’re all BFFs or something. I don’t know. Either way, you have two choices: you find a way to work with the situation you’ve got, or you break up. Isolating him from all of his friends? NOT A CHOICE. In fact, think about if your boyfriend did this to you: he’d be a controlling jerk who seemed to be on the path to abusing you. If your own friends aren’t helping, be very clear with your boyfriend that it’s okay that you’re not clones. Set some boundaries: you can only hang out with these people __% of the time. It sounds like, since he “desperately wants me to be part of the group” that maybe it could be him who doesn’t want you to avoid these people in favor of your own friends. So refuse to play. Don’t fight with him, but you get to choose what you do as much as he gets to choose the people you hang out with. Come up with some mantra you can use on this topic, like, “You have fun. I’m going to do my own thing,” on days when you just can’t pretend to be nice or you feel likeness breaking the ground rules that you set to preserve your sanity. Repeat ad nauseam till he gets the point. This is how you avoid the arguments. He will either get the point and adjust his behavior, or he won’t. If he won’t change his behavior – and this is reasonable behavior if a little one-sided and selfish if he’s the one insisting you hang with this group – then you have to decide if this is worth breaking up over.
I will tell you that my ex’s family sounds like this particular group of friends. Quiet, reserved, in constant agreement but without any real personality. I couldn’t carry on a conversation with them. Maybe it’s because I’m boring as well, like others were saying…and yet…I’m not sure how that equates out to I “deserve” to be bored. But all conversations were composed entirely of pleasantries, and getting an actual opinion, preference, or even sense of humor out of these people…it was like that old SNL skit, The Delicious Dish. I think his mom actually said “Good times,” un-ironically. They were perfectly sweet people, really, but holy fucking hell, after our one and only Thanksgiving together, I considered the possibility of spending every single holiday season with them, and it literally made me sick. It was so awkward and uncomfortable sitting in almost total silence, i actually started having some anxiety. So, honestly…I could see how the prospect of spending so much time with people who bore you to tears might be a little horrifying. If your boyfriend is insisting you love these people like you say…that sounds like a pretty miserable relationship. And I doubt it’s much fun for him either, so I would say you two either figure out a way to have separate lives and limit your mutual time spent with each other’s friends, or it’s fair to call it a day.
But no, you don’t get to move him away from his friends. I hope to god you were joking there, because that shit is bonkers.
Eagle Eye November 12, 2012, 10:05 pm
Yes to all of this! I tried to say something to this effect after 6napkin said something but this is perfect!
Lucy November 13, 2012, 2:49 pm
First, LW – you are right that it’s crazy to move away because you don’t like his friends. It’s good that you know that. But it’s also good that you acknowledge considering it, because it gives a good indication of how desperate you are to do something about it.
I completely disagree with anyone who says you should suck it up. Frankly, I’m a little confused by the commenters who say you’re being controlling. To me, it sounds like your bf is being controlling by saying you “need’ to be friends with his friends, by insisting you spend every holiday, birthday, etc. with a group of people that he very well knows you can’t stand, and by refusing to make any effort to make new friends that you would both like. I think that’s kind of shitty and selfish of him, actually. I’m trying to imagine the conversation where I insist that my husband be friends with my friends that he can’t stand, and that he spend every special occasion with them (or vice versa) and frankly that just makes me laugh. Not gonna happen.
Now, I don’t know what personality type your bf is. If he’s introverted, for example, then he may find the idea of having to do the work of making new friends so daunting that it exhausts him just thinking about it. There’s a lot of possible reasons why someone would not want to leave his comfort zone of friends he’s known all his life, and he may not be capable of it. That doesn’t mean he gets to control your entire social life by digging in his heels, but it probably does mean that if you want new friends as a couple you’ll have to do much of the work yourself. You’ll have to meet people and bring them into your circle and try and integrate them into the group. You have to decide whether you’re up for that. If you’re not, then make your own friends and spend social occasions with them. Your bf’s not the boss of your social life.
BTW, it’s not crazy to think about breaking up with someone over this. It’s not the “having boring friends” so much as the “having boring friends and insisting you accept them as your entire social circle.”
j.walker November 13, 2012, 3:54 pm
As usual, everyone is blowing this way out of proportion. Some people write to Wendy because they’re dealign with heavy shit, and some people write in because they need an objective opinion on some awkward social situation. I have done the latter, and while my response was tinged with a hint of get the fuck over it I appreciated that it was answered respectfully, (and at all given the amount of heavy letters also being answered.)
THAT BEING SAID I totally feel where the LW is coming from. Being around boring people ALL the time can be pretty soul sucking and anyone who says that the LW is to blame obviously just hasn’t been there. All they talk about is TV and video games?? I would shoot something.
My bf’s friends aren’t ‘boring’ per se, but because I’m in university I’m getting used to having more academic conversations and sometimes the topics brought up when we hang out just don’t do it for me. They also are a bit older and prefer a night in or at a pub and I need to get out and blow off steam one in a while. So what I did, and what I suggest the LW does is make some friends that give you what you want; even over the top what you want. After a few days of hard partying and skull crushing academia with my school friends I am way more ready (even appreciative) of a night in just joking around and telling stories. It might not be the friends themselves, but just the LW overdosing on their brand of hangouts.
Jiggs November 13, 2012, 11:37 pm
I’m trying to get over how stunned I am at the number of people in this thread who are like “no one is boring!” “if you’re bored then YOU’RE boring!” (ps. Life is not dictated by a Harvey Danger song). I am finding it super hard to swallow that these people have never been bored by anyone, ever. You’ve NEVER been trapped at a watercooler chatting with someone having a chocolate fundraiser for fingernail fungus? You’ve NEVER gotten into an involuntary discussion about someone’s heart medication? You walk a blessed road, clearly.
One-topic people are boring except to their particular niche audience. It’s the same way small town gossip is only interesting if you know the people involved. Otherwise it’s just a long story about some dude you’ve never heard of. And that’s boring. Whether these people are super interesting to each other is irrelevant; the LW finds their topics of conversation boring. So what? Different strokes, etc. I’m sure not 100% of people find any of you (or me) fascinating either.
LW, limit your contact with these people and you’ll find you’re a lot happier to hang out with them on occasion (which yes, you still have to do). If it’s a special occasion, suck it up and go. But if it’s just a hangout, skip it. You’re entitled to have separate friends, no matter what your boyfriend says. You don’t have to fake sick, but let your bf know you hope he has fun but you will be shopping/with your friends/drinking alone with a book/masturbating. If he insists you come, just keep repeating versions of “Thanks for the invite, but I have plans doing XYZ!” If he still insists, trot out “I’ll see So-and-So at his/her upcoming birthday for sure, but tonight I am busy doing XYZ.” If he’s repeatedly getting mad about that and insisting you NEED to be BFFs with these people too, that’s a big red flag to MOA.