Monday, 22 February 2010

Worst girlfriend ever?

So I have this group of girl friends and we’ve been friends for a few years now and everything’s great and I get on with them all really well, there’s just one small thing that really irritates me and on Saturday night it raised its ugly head yet again.

They have this thing where all of the boyfriends get invited out to our nights out. And worse than that, when the girls go out, the boys are encouraged to all get together and have a boys night as well.

I find it completely bizarre to tell you the truth.

You know how in America they have that whole, what is it, separation of church and state? I have separation of friends and boyfriends.

I don’t actively keep them away from each other but I’m not going to go out of my way for all of them to become the best of friends.

The boyfriend and I had been going out for nearly a year before he was properly introduced to this group of friends and before that they’d say “We haven’t met the boyfriend yet?” and I’d think, “Erm....and?” Am I looking for your approval of my boyfriend? No. Do you need to be friends with him to be friends with me? No.

I just feel like it’s irrelevant whether they know him or not. I mean I became friends with these girls long before the boyfriend ever appeared, my friendship with them has nothing to do with my relationship with him.

I feel the same way about their boyfriends. If I meet them, that’s great. If I don’t meet them I won’t be sitting at home wondering what they’re like, I doubt I’ll consider them at all. As far as I’m concerned, as long as the person my friend is going out with makes them happy then that’s all I need to know.

In fact it can get more awkward if you meet the boyfriend and don’t like him. Which is the case with one of these girls. I think her boyfriend’s a complete fool. I just want to slap him every time I see him and hear the latest inanity to come out of his mouth. But it doesn’t make any difference that I think that does it? Am I going to say with her “Your boyfriend’s a twat”? (Oh how I wish I could.) No I’m not because me thinking that isn’t going to make them split it up, it’s just going to make things awkward for us.

Also I like my independence. I like that I have my own friends and that’s my thing and they belong to me and the boyfriend isn’t overly involved in that area of my life. Like I say, I don’t go to great lengths to keep them apart but I equally am not going to invite him to every girl’s night out that we have. And as for him becoming friends with the boyfriends? If that happens naturally, of its own accord then that’s great. What I’m not going to do is force him into a situation where there’s a group of men that everyone thinks should get on, just because their girlfriends do. The logic doesn’t follow for me.

So on Saturday I went out for one of these nights. We were going for a meal for someone’s birthday and they’d said boys were welcome to come and I thought to myself “That’s nice” and left it at that. I did ask the boyfriend if he wanted to come and I could see by his face that he didn’t really want to so I said that was fine by me, he could have a date night with his one true love, the X-box.

I get to the restaurant and realise immediately. I am the only person here sans partner. And it makes me sigh on the inside because I know what’s coming next...

“So where’s the boyfriend tonight then?”

“Erm.....he’s at home.”

SILENCE.

It's like they can’t conceive that he wouldn’t want to come out for a meal with all my friends.

And then you have the incredibly boring meal where everyone’s sat in their couples talking away and I’m wanting to stab myself in the eyes with my chopsticks because it’s just all so bloody boring.

The thing is it makes me question myself. They seem so surprised and shocked that he isn’t out that I start thinking that I’ve obviously got this all wrong. Should I be insisting that he comes out? Should I be having other couples round for sophisticated dinner parties?

And I thought to myself, my god, I’m a really horrible boyfriend, I’m making him stay at home with crisp-stealing cats whilst I’m out having a laugh.

I got back home and apologised to the boyfriend.

“Sorry if I’m rubbish”

“How are you rubbish?”

“For making you stay at home and not encouraging you to come out for the meal.”

“Whose birthday was it again?”

(I tell him)

“Yeah I would have come out but to be honest I can be doing without her and her boyfriend.”

And I sit back and think, maybe I’m not so bad after all.

Until the next ‘girls’ night out...

11 comments:

Petit Filoux said...

You know what, I think you're completely right. There was a time when I was a bit younger when my two best friends got boyfriends, and suddenly we were "all" going out for dinner together. Only I didn't have a boyfriend at the time, and so I just backed out. And it was really awkward. It seemed like they couldn't live without their boyfriends and we couldn't just have some girly time together anymore. Anyway, all that to say that I agree with you!

BLONDEDESIGN said...

You are right, we are not all 21 and seek friends approval. My hubby would be doing the same as yours in on the computer a night to himself!! Kxx

sallyrose45 said...

Mother of pearl!

THANK GOD.

It reaaaaaallly fucks me off when I say to my girlfriends 'hey, let's have a little dinner party this weekend'. Inside I am all excited because we don't get the chance to spend much time together anymore and I so miss the school days when we would spend entire weekends together baking, chatting and laughing.

These days, it tends to be more of an evening event, because the girls have to spend the day with the boyfriend naturally. Living together clearly isn't enough for them... Nevermind that I live in an entirely different country.

And yes, the boyfriends are invited. Again, nevermind that my boyfriend lives in an entirely different country and can't make it (not that I would want him there anyway).

WTF is this? How can we talk about willies and stuff when the boyfriends are sat right there? And yeah great, I'll just sit there like a singleton.

Thanks guys, soooo good to see you and spend quality time watching what I say so your boyfriend doesn't know you were slagging him off via text message.

Jeeeeez.

BAH.

P said...

This guy I work with has a group of male friends and it seems to be some unwritten rule that all of their girlfriends become best friends and live in each other's pockets. I don't get it. Don't these girls have their own friends? Why do they all have to be bosom buddies just because their boyfriends are all friends? That's basically all they have in common.

It makes absolutely no sense to me.

Trish said...

Oh I so agree. How refreshing to hear you and your commenters say the same things. Here we will be married 30 years this summer and you know what? We still have our own separate AND joint friends...AND....we still have our individual tastes, likes and dislikes...and that is what keeps us together...that we are NOT forced into being conformists to what people think a couple should be like. Long before I met my handsome dark haired young man, I had friends. They were friends from my life before and you know what? They had absolutely nothing in common with this new person in my life, nor he with them. But I loved them .. friends and boyfriend...not impossible...just that they were so far from each other's frame of reference. And everyone respected that. Well most everyone, there were two of my friends that couldn't bear it and soon would not be with me and their boyfriends or spouses unless my boyfriend came. So they stopped asking me. STrange eh?! Oh well, how more liberating to be able to be who you are because of that...not because someone expects a 'certain normative behaviour'.

J said...

Ditto - how can you bitch about the menfolk if they're there all the time? (Yes we love them, but sometimes they just piss us off and you have to vent your anger somewhere, and if you can't do it with your girlfriends who can you do it with?). I love it when it's just me and my girlfriends - we can have fun, laugh at ourselves and talk about things that wouldn't interest a man in a million and one years.

notesfromthefrugaltrenches said...

Wow, I too find that weird! I mean, can women not be without a man even for an evening? Can we not be a great couple and still be who we are with unique and individual thoughts, desires, passions, hobbies, friends etc. I've noticed a real trend with my friends, those who can never be apart from BF are more likely to stay in very bad relationships rather than be single. Scary at times!

Oh I too love that picture with the white horse. I just finished watching Gilmore Girls, if only E4 was on 4OD! Although yesterday's last 10 minutes didn't show because of some fault. Oh I adore GG!

mooncalf said...

I think you've got to start interpreting 'boys are welcome' as 'boys are coming' and either take your own along or avoid those events.

I think your level of separation is fine but unusual and that most people will want to integrate at least some boyfriend and friend activities.

As you get older and people become more coupled/married/child-bearing this only gets more noticeable and eventually you will find that your only friends are in the same category as you.

If you're single then weddings will become goodbyes, if you're childless then you'll gradually lose a few to childrearing... The ones with the awful other halves generally get lost along the way too...

The Curious Cat said...

Hee hee - you called yourself a 'horrible boyfriend'...you're certainly not that! :)

I can see what they are trying to achieve - unity, community - all that jazz... but don't feel pressured. If it isn't your thing or your boyfriend's thing then don't do it. And you're right - it can get a bit dull...you don't need to take the boyf everywhere you go... xxx

miss*H said...

Here here girlfriend :) Me and Mr W are the same..he does his thing with his friends and I do mine, we definitely don’t live in each others pockets. It would drive him and his friend mad if I had to be with his all the time and likewise it would druve me mad if the boyfriends had to be invited to everything. What on earth do couple who are with each other 24/7 and share the same friends have to talk about after a night out?

One of my male friends had a girlfriend once who literally wanted to be with him 24/7 and every time the boys tried to have a lads night out she’d turn up and ruin it for them or just tell him he wasn’t allowed to go anywhere without her. Crazy!

American Girl said...

I'm with you! Having separate social interactions is totally normal and healthy! Having nights out with couples are nice but it shouldn't be an automatic every time occurrence. I hate that it's so hard for me to see girlfriends without their significant others attached to their hips. It totally stifles conversation! Sometimes I don't feel like bringing up my latest drama, problem or good gossip with some dude I don't know. And when I do - if they try to weigh in - it's like bitch please, stay out of this. It's usually the one thing that hurts friendships with my girlfriends. Fail whale.

Although I might add my college boyfriend found it offensive when I wanted to have "girl nights". He called me sexist! Ha. I was like, um, why don't you get more friends?!