Please Help Me Not Kill My Boyfriend, He's So Well-Behaved!

Dear Miriam, 

You know how sometimes girls get together and complain about guys? Well most of the time I really don’t have anything bad to say about Shaun. I trust him, he hardly ever wants “boys night,” and he’s really good at getting over arguments right away. I hate to be that girl with the “perfect” relationship, but I don’t want to make up complaints, just so I can join into the conversation. What should I do? 

For once I’m not whining, 

Dear Ellyn,

For the most part, our age difference doesn’t really show, but every now and then when we go out on the town, Bryan wants to go home say two or three hours before me. I know I can always go out alone, and I do, but I want to party with him!

Trying not to feed my boyfriend uppers,

Dear Miriam,

I’m definitely the Bryan in my relationship, and I’m the younger one. I don’t know if it has to do with age or not? On one hand, I know how it feels to just want to go home to your bed. But I also know what it’s like to leave a bar or party when you’re not quite ready. I think I spent the four years before I met Shaun closing down bars. Then something just shifted for me. I don’t like staying up late anymore, because I’d rather wake up early. It’s not that Bryan doesn’t want to go out (maybe he doesn’t), but it’s more likely that he doesn’t want to go out so late. There’s nothing wrong with doing a couples friends dinner date followed by drinks with the understanding that you might stay out later than him. You trust each other, so that’s allowed.

I know it would be better if you were on the same page every night, but it’s the differences that balance the relationship. It’s possible he wishes you’d be ready to go home when he is too. If all else fails, and you just really really want him to stay out late with you one night, make him drink at least two Red Bulls around midnight. Remind him that his bed will still be there in an hour, you don’t go out every night, you’re only “young” once, and maybe bribe him with something to look forward to if he goes home with you, instead of going to bed alone before you get there.

There’s also compromise…but talk about it before you go out. If he normally wants to go home at 11, and you want to stay out until 2, promise each other you’ll leave at 12:30 no matter what. You probably won’t miss much if you’re not there for “last call.” Then again I’m on Team Bryan for this one.

Be grateful that he’s not an immature 30-something party animal!

Geriatric 20-something,

Dear Ellyn,

Sigh, the happily-coupled dilemma. I hate you! Have you not read Bridget Jones?? Actually, the formerly brazen single girl in me hates you; real-time, mostly happily-coupled me feels your pain. There’s a terribly awkward divide that happens between girls when one suddenly finds herself in a healthy, satisfying relationship and the other, well, doesn’t. You can’t talk to each other anymore. And it sucks. It’s almost as bad as being the rich girl’s poor best friend… only not.

Having been on both sides of the equation, the best solution I’ve come up with is to try to think the way your friend thinks. It’s not that you can’t talk about your problem-free relationship, it’s that you have to talk about it without being obnoxious or rubbing it in your friends’ faces. Just because you have something good going on, doesn’t mean you can’t talk about it, you just can’t assume everyone agrees with you or gets it or even wants to get it. Maybe it’s less talking about your boyfriend, then your friend, because really relationship are best friendships, and framing it that way. It’s also listening to whatever your friend has to say – about being single or hating on her boyfriend. What you can count on from a good friend is patience and understanding – and that should go both ways.

I know this is all very abstract and therefore probably useless advice, so I apologize in advance. I can’t lie, I love that my best (girl) friend is in a healthy, happy relationship too. It just makes life so much easier.

Girls (including me) suck,

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