Competing With His Guy Pal
Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for five months now, and we feel that we have truly found the one that we are supposed to be with. I love him to death and I know in my heart that he loves me too, but the problem is one of his friends. His friend is 37 years old and never had a girlfriend, and he lost both of his parents and only has his grandmother left. My boyfriend feels bad for him so he goes over to his house a couple times a week and leaves me out. I feel like I have to compete with his friend for his time but my boyfriend says that is not the case. He keeps telling me that we need to have some alone time together but then he decides to go over to his friend's house again instead of spending some time with me. Should I say something to him or not? -- Linda
Dr. Susan: You mean you haven't told him how you feel yet? I'm always astounded when couples say they're destined to be together forever, yet they're hesitant to bring up something that is deeply troubling. On the one hand, it's a good thing that your boyfriend is compassionate and wants to help alleviate his pal's loneliness. But on the other hand, I can't see why you have to be left out of this friendship entirely. Perhaps if you were to be invited along once or twice, you'd better understand your boyfriend's motivation. It could be that he gets something out of this friendship that he doesn't get from you (it's not all altruism). But if you haven't had much alone time together, a fact he doesn't argue with, then why doesn't he do something to change that? I hate to see you at the mercy of his changing moods. You might consider making a few plans of your own and not being available every time he snaps his fingers.
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Advice for Her
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.