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Dear Wendy

Different people, different issues

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  • #1100466 Reply

    This year, at the end of February my ex and I mutually ended a 8 year long relationship. It was painful, but ultimately it was for the best. I am over it, and excited about life and meeting new people. The only reason I am mentioning this is because being the only long term relationship I’ve ever had I feel very inexperienced in the dating area. In August I started dating someone. We only became intimate in the past couple of weeks. I noticed a few things that are different from my past relationship and I quickly got confirmation that not every relationship is the same. See, in theory I knew that, however in practice there are a few things I don’t like, but would like to maybe address with him.
    1. He has a lot of girl friends. And recently, while I was away with work, and texted to check in with him at the end of my shift he responded with, I am at dinner with my friend (girl) I haven’t seen in a while. Just the two of them. And it bothered me a bit. Because I on the other hand never went to a dinner with a guy unless it was a date. But that’s my experience.
    2. I wanted to go to a concert and in a span of three weeks I asked him about 2-3 times if he wanted to go with me. I don’t remember what he said but he wasn’t interested in going to it. However the day of- he texted me asking what’s up, etc and ended up telling me that his friend (a guy friend he said) ended up surprising him with a ticket to this concert (the same one I wanted to go to). So that was again strange to me. You know just that feeling that this is just a tad weird. And maybe it isn’t and I’m just looking too much into things and being bothered by trivial things?
    Is this even worth having a conversation about with him?
    I am 26 and immature and also not great with communicating these things, I am just trying to learn by getting some advice.
    Thank you

    #1100470 Reply

    Not really enough information here to say if there’s a real problem, but… it’s about the three month mark, where relationships tend to either get more serious or fall apart, and you have concerns that are causing you to write in for advice. So yes, you should examine these concerns.

    The first situation with the dinner, I think it depends on context. At face value there’s nothing wrong at all with having dinner with an old friend, including one of the opposite sex, but like, would he normally tell you all about his plans and this time he didn’t? Was there some change to his pattern that made him seem to be hiding something? Could he be deciding not to tell you things because he doesn’t want to get “in trouble” or have you be upset?

    With the second situation, yeah, actually, that’s annoying that he didn’t want to go with you to a concert you wanted to go to, but then spontaneously wanted to go with his friend. I would recommend speaking to him about that one and not let it fester. Tell him you really wanted to go and hoped he’d go with you, and you felt blown off when he decided to go with his friend. Ask him what it was about his friend’s invitation that was different from yours. See what he says. (Could it be he was worried about paying for two tickets? Were you offering to buy, or no?) Anyway, listen carefully to his answer and try to have a conversation where you aren’t accusing or yelling, but trying to problem-solve. See what happens if you suggest you get a ticket too and go with them.

    With the female friends thing, look, he has girl friends. That’s who he is. I would say continue to observe his behavior there and don’t get confrontational. Gather data. Assess your level of comfort. Understand his patterns. Check your gut – do you trust him? Does he hide things from you? If so, why? Ask him. But right now, unless you know you can’t be comfortable with him having female friends, I don’t think any action is needed.

    #1100473 Reply

    I think #1 is more of a you issue than an issue. It’s a situation that didn’t crop up before because, for whatever reason, you and your ex agreed that you guys weren’t going to do that. But… it has skewed your perception of “normal”. You dated your ex since you were 18; I’ve no doubt that both of you set up rules for the relationship based on your individual insecurities and you never broke out of those because … those are the “rules”.

    Dinner with a friend doesn’t mean a date. A dinner date with your coworker, cousin or friend of the same gender is not a romantic date. It’s just a get together. The evening meal is not reserved for romantic partners. It’s just a meal.

    As for #2 – I think Kate asks the right questions. It might be that this friend has a habit of surprising people with gifts. Or not listening to people. It may be that it’s easier to just go with the flow with this person rather than start a whole “thing”. Who the hell knows? Point being – you need to ask your bf why he accepted the ticket from his friend but in a “help me understand” way not in a “what’s wrong with me?” way.

    #1100477 Reply

    I agree with everything Kate and LisforLeslie said. #1 is a non-issue unless he’s exhibiting shady behavior or is doing something outside the norm.

    When the husband and I first started dating, I didn’t ok lunches or dinners with him that I had with other friends, some who were male, some female. I’d maybe say, “Oh, I’m having dinner with Jim tonight” or “Jim and I had dinner last night, we had a good time catching up.” He had female friends too that he’d hang out with.

    #2, I would have more of a problem with and I’d feel a little hurt. I’d say talk to him about it. Make it about how it made you feel, not accusatory at all. Something like “I was a little sad to hear that you are going to the concert with your friend when I asked you a couple of times and you didn’t seem interested. What changed?”

    I don’t like talking about my feelings, but between this site and seeing a therapist, I got better at it and relationships became stronger. It’s ok!

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