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You Asked: I'm Being Left Out

You Asked: I'm Being Left Out

Dear Sugar,

I've been dating this guy for four years now. I currently live in the city in which he was born and raised; I moved here just prior to meeting him. He has a number of friends of which I have never met. I have always wanted to get to know them, but he's been very weird about it. He is continuing to make new friends, but sees no reason to tell me about them or introduce them to me. As it turns out, most of them are other females. I feel shut out and betrayed!

I don't think he's cheating on me, but I just don't understand why he doesn't talk about them with me. I have tried to talk to him about this on occasion, but it always ends up as an argument. At this point, I don't even bother bringing it up anymore, but it still hurts me. Do you have any advice for helping me deal with this?

— Left Out Lily

To see Dear Sugar's answer


Dear Left Out Lily,

After four years together, it's very strange that your boyfriend won't let you meet his friends, male or female. I don't blame you for being upset; I would be, too. Although I can't provide you with a logical explanation as to why your boyfriend keeps you so separate from his friends, I do think it's cause for concern — especially since it's obviously bothering you so much. First of all, determine what will truly make you feel better. Do you just need him to acknowledge your feelings? Do you need to meet one of his friends? Get the details of their visits together? Or is it some combination of all these things? Once you've figured this out, it will make it much easier to discuss it with him.

As with most relationship problems, communication is key. Talk to him again, but instead of asking why he's leaving you out, tell him how you're feeling. You're betrayed, sad, and confused and he needs to understand that, which he won't if he's too busy defending his reasoning. Once you've revealed your emotions surrounding this issue, tell him in no uncertain terms what it will take to make you feel more comfortable. If your boyfriend still won't oblige, I think it might be time to take a step back and examine your relationship very closely. Good luck!


Join The Conversation
Redhot44 Redhot44 9 years
Ok this is exactly why my last relationship didin't work. he never introduced me to his friends. most likely,he is did you find out his new friends were all girls?
LizL LizL 9 years
While I know we don't know the whole story, we are missing the big picture. Why would you want a relationship that is less then ideal. If you are ready to settle down with someone, you shouldn't should be perfect (aside from the "he doesn't pick up his dirty laundry or do the dishes" kind of issues). After dating some assholes, I learned not to settle, and I found my husband.
vmruby vmruby 9 years
Asking him doesn't necessarily mean he going to be honest.He's already had 4 years to explain why he doesn't include you in that part of his life.You can take this for what it's worth : his actions speak much louder than his words ever could.
geebers geebers 9 years
I have to piggy-back on sunshowers comments. Good point- and exactly what I wanted to say. We dont know the situation and we can only provide advice based on what we know. Also - this poster clearly feels very upset and needs to communicate.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
Okay, I'm still not sure what your point is. Are you saying, "Let's give their relationship the benefit of the doubt," or are you saying, "Let's give the boyfriend the benefit of the doubt,"? Either way, my point was that it's obviously not working for THEM, regardless of the boyfriend's reasons for keeping her from his friends. Even if the boyfriend has perfectly innocent reasons for not introducing her to his friends, she'll still feel left out of his life - and like I said, the difference between your boyfriend and the OP's boyfriend is that the OP's boyfriend seems to have a very active social life and a large circle of friends who he spends a lot of time with. So my point was that it's a BIG part of his life that he's shutting her out of. It's not fair of him to expect her to be okay with that.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
And I wasn't trying to say it was "okay" just that until she gets a reason WHY out of him it's really hard for anyone to judge and make assumptions.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
sunshowers83 I was just trying to make the point that you seemed to make for me. That there may be reasons other than what other people are assuming it to be. There is no one set standard as to what a relationship requires since each relationship is an unique as the two parties involved. Such as mine and my boyfriend's... I also think age has a lot to do with it. I mean being late 20's early 30's seeing your friends DAILY is pretty much impossible.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
aimeeb, it sounds like you and your boyfriend are both fine with keeping your friends in separate spheres. However, you have to realize that a relationship like yours and your boyfriend's is fairly unique - very few people would be okay with that, and rightly so. In fact, it sounds as if friends play only a small role in your lives (at least in your boyfriend's life, anyway) and that might be a big factor in why it works so well for you. I can't imagine going months without seeing any of my friends. For those of us who spend time with our friends every day, that's a BIG chunk of our everyday lives to close off from a significant other. So keep in mind that just because it's fine with you doesn't mean everyone should be expected to be alright with it.
pink_magnetism pink_magnetism 9 years
That's bizarre that after 4 years, he still won't let you meet any of his friends. I think you need to have a talk with him.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Point taken gooniette. I guess as someone who doesn't have what people would consider the "picture perfect" relationship I consider myself the voice that sometimes there ARE reasons to people's less than "normal" actions. There is a gray area a lot of the time.
gooniette gooniette 9 years
aimeeb, I think the difference is that this poster asked for advice. Based on the information she gave us, we are giving our opinion. Of course we don't know the whole story, but we rarely do in these situations, so we try to figure out what's going on based on the information given.
gooniette gooniette 9 years
Pick your self-esteem up out of the gutter and move on!! You obviously want someone who will include you in all aspects of his life and this man is not giving that to you. Your needs are not being fulfilled. Think about what you want and go get it.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
geebers well like I said her situation is different than mine was. She claims he goes out with his friends all the time and is steadily making new ones. My boyfriend would go several months and even years without seeing his friends. If he goes out as much as she is claiming talking to him maturely is the only way she will be able to get anywhere with him. And I have to say, as I did in my 2nd post on here that if I posted my relationship over the past 4 yrs on here I am sure many people would have some things to say and "advice" to give me and assumptions would be made. But when they heard why my boyfriend is how is is they would feel pretty horrible about their assumptions as he has a serious mental health issue. The only way I was able to find out this out was by being honest and communicating with him instead of assuming it was "this or that." From a personal stand point, I'm not keen into introducing ANYONE to my mother. She was abusive in many ways growing up and even after 4 yrs of dating I rarely bring my boyfriend to their house when I go there since I am mortified of how she might act in front of him. So again people shouldn't assume unless they know the whole story.
lightheaded lightheaded 9 years
Talk to him about it, maybe he will introduce! Its possible something might be up, but let him know thats what your thinking, without being mean about it, and let your frustrations be known!
geebers geebers 9 years
Sorry aimeeb - I am going to side with the posters who see this behavior as a red flag. It's really odd to shut out someone whom you have been dating for 4 years and supposedly love. But I DO advocate communication - especially since the OP mentioned that her supposed attempts to bring it up lead to arguments. Clearly there must be something in there that points to either she is not being rational or trying to have a mature conversation with him OR he is being immature and shutting her out (and if it IS the second case, I think the red flag becomes a red flag that is flashing at you that something is very wrong!!)
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
BTW Dear I commend you on your advice. As someone who doesn't have what many would consider an "ideal" relationship I have made it a point to communicate with my boyfriend. So all these things most of your posters would consider "red flags" or things they wouldn't "put up with" I know why things are as they are where if I told most of the people on here they would assume it was this and that and when they heard why he is how is is they would feel, well pretty crappy for their assumptions. So again I commend you on not being someone to assume things about a person's behavior without knowing them, and the whole situation but rather advocating communication and honesty. Kudos.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I've dated my boyfriend for 4 yrs and know few of his friends. And there is NOTHING else going on contrary to popular belief above. It kind of makes me roll my eyes reading it to be honest. As I said in a post months ago leave it to people to assume the worst. Although I can see why most people would. Have you ever tried asking him without being well a bi*** about it? I mean none of us on here know how you are approaching him on it. How old are you? I mean when I was 21 I had a boyfriend I had dated two years and never really cared about introducing him to my friends. I had my life and he had his if they happened to cross paths like we were out and saw someone there were introductions but I didn't make it a point to have a meet and great with my friends. At that age it just wasn't something I found all that important, I found my time with him my priority not his time with my friends or vice versa. Also with my boyfriend now he himself rarely sees his friends which I know is different than your situation as you say he is making new friends right and left. How do you know this to be true if you say he does not speak to you about it? I think you need to address him on the matter maturely and not as a confrontation for all you know it could be something very personal. (as I found out myself) I'd go into more detail so it would make more sense but I don't feel comfortable airing out my boyfriend's personal mental health issues on here. But I think you need to talk to him.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
Crap, that's not what I meant to do, I'll start over... Honestly, there is no GOOD reason for your boyfriend to be keeping you out like this. NONE. Possibilities include: - you're the girl on the side - you're just one of many girls that he's playing - he's embarrassed of you, and doesn't want his friends to meet you for fear that they'll ridicule him All the possibilities have one factor in common - he sees absolutely no future with you, and doesn't care if you stay or go. And the fact that you've put up with this situation for four years makes me worry that there are a ton of other red flags that you've been oblivious to.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
Crap, that's not what I meant to do. I'll start over... Honestly, there is no GOOD reason for your boyfriend to be keeping you out like this. NONE. Possibilities include: And the fact that you've put up with this situation for four years makes me worry that there are a ton of other red flags that you've been oblivious to.
sunshowers83 sunshowers83 9 years
Wow... honestly, there is no GOOD reason for your boyfriend to be keeping you out like this. NONE. Possibilities include: And the fact that you've put up with this situation for four years makes me worry that there are a ton of other red flags that you've been oblivious to.
nourche nourche 9 years
This goes way beyond "left out"! There's definitely something fishy going on...
missmarina20 missmarina20 9 years
Sorry, but it sounds like ur the girl on the side :(
lizzie_ttu lizzie_ttu 9 years
It is DEFINITELY time to take a step back & analyze your relationship. And 4 years? I'm utterly shocked that he not only hasn't introduced you to his friends (male or female), but the fact that he didn't introduce you in the beginning and you're all friends together! Plain & simple, for whatever reason, he's trying to hide you. Have y'all gone out in the past and you don't make conversation with anyone buy your BF? Have y'all gone out and by midnight you're ready to call it quits and he wants to hang for a few more hours? Does he like to drink a lot and you not (and v/v)? I could go on & on. However, after 4 years, you guys should be best friends. And you should share friends, too. I know that my boyfriend's ex was never invited to anything they did. His friends didn't like her and she never made an effort to like him. That cause a lot of issues in their relationship & they ended up calling it quits b/c he realized if she couldn't hang & have fun with his friends the way he liked her to, then why even have her in his life? As for now, I'm always invited if something's going on in my BF's territory. I'm genuinely friends with his friends, have feelings invested in what's going on in their lives and really good friends with his friends' girlfriends! There was an issue when my BF and I started dating and a girl who was hung up on him kept inviting him to "get a drink" or "grab a quick bite to eat." His answer was always, "Yeah, sure! Lizzie and I would love to!" We never met up, and they're in contact no longer. All in all, it sounds a little fishy to me.
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
my dear poster, i think you're just a jump-off (f*ck-buddy/booty-call/part-time lover/ etc.). after 4 years and he keeps you at bay??? the writing is on the wall. don't be a donkey.
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
That's really strange! I'm sorry I don't have any advice other than to just agree that it is so bizarre. Even though my boyfriend's friends from our hometown are SO incredibly different from me, and from our newer friends from college and our new town, I still have met them and will occasionally hang out with them when we go home! And as a woman, I ALWAYS want to meet my male friends' new girlfriends! Yeah, it sucks if you become close to them and they break up, but I'm always so curious and nosy! Plus, if they are dating my friends, they are my "friends" too! Unless I hate them....which is another story....
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