Dear Lucy: Three is a crowd
Posted Saturday, January 26 2013 at 00:00
My boyfriend always brings his friends along to our dates. They have been mates for forever and have their routines. He, for instances, refuses to give up their Saturdays for me, preferring instead to bring them to our dates! Is he really ready to date seriously or does he still need time with his friends?
My dear lady,
Your boyfriend had a life before you came on the scene, and he will continue to have a life. Indeed, as a girlfriend, your relationship with him should be deeper and more meaningful. Without trying to monopolise him so that he spends all the time with you, there is need for both of you to agree on what appropriate date times you can have for just the two of you – and then you let him be with his buddies. Changing his lifestyle suddenly and drastically is not realistic and should he try to do so, he will only be faking it, just to please you.
There are several other ways of discovering whether your boyfriend is ready to date seriously or not. The issue you need to focus on is: what do you do when you are together; what kind of conversations do you hold; what direction does he seem to be taking; and in your opinion, who, of the two of you, is pushing for the relationship to get to another level? In an effort to want to know him better, I would implore you not to act desperately, otherwise you might become a laughing stock for him and his friends.
Everything needs to be given time – time for his friends; time for you; time alone; time together; time apart; time to reflect and time to plan. Allow him some space to be himself and to do the things he prefers to do, when he wants to do them, and with whoever he desires to do them with. If he does not always want to hang out with you, then let it be. If, however, you discover that he hardly spends time with you, and that this is affecting your ability to relate and get to know each other more, then perhaps you will want to communicate how this trend of affairs is affecting your ability to see any growth in the relationship. It is true that three is a crowd when you are trying to establish yourselves in a relationship, but perhaps you are taking it too fast for him to be able to appreciate. Slow down a bit. Step aside and allow him to do as he pleases. Such moments will be good for him to reflect on what is happening between the two of you and if he values the relationship, he will create more time for you and will find it easy to communicate with his friends about it.
Otherwise, if you see him continuing to enjoy his friend’s company like nothing happened, then perhaps he prefers his friends to you. That way, you will be in a better position to decisively know whether to continue pursuing the relationship or to call it quits.