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What is acceptable behaviour?


tristan
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My girlfriend and I (both in our 20s) are going out over 2 years now and live together also. She is very beautiful and has many good qualities regarding her personality. However she is very outgoing and loves meeting new people. She lives for social activities and encourages them all the time. Before we got together, she had a rough time with her ex-bf (of 4 years) and felt betrayed by him. In the course of their relationship they took separate career paths and started to live very different lives. He spent time away from her working and she started going out "with the girls" and found it "easy to get on with male friends" (her words). Because of the way things went between her and her ex she finally ended it, and got together with me, immediately afterwards. He was outraged and threatened us, and it got a bit messy. It transpired though that he had cheated on her, and slept with another girl during their relationship. When I look back my girlfriend at the time was out drinking and clubbing all the time, it's how we met in the first place and there was a lot of flirting, but she never crossed the line and cheated on her ex-bf with me. I believe that she has never cheated.

 

When we got together I trusted her, but as time passed I knew about several other guys that were after her the same time as me. After we got together, these guys continued to hit on her and she innocently flirted with them, but if they grabbed her inappropriately, she would push them away and tell them to stop. They even did this in front of me, so I'm sure at times it was worse when I was not around. So I then started to feel insecure and had trust issues with the relationshp. She in the end cut out all those people out of her life and one or two people that I had as friends I cut out also, for her. These "friends" were people that blatantly did not respect for our relationship, so this is why we cut them out.

 

Now much time has passed and my girlfriend and I have lived out of eachothers pockets. We are together 24 x 7. We don't really have separate social lives. Last night was the first night that we went out separately with our own friends. It worked out rather well. Half way through the night she came to meet me, and I was delighted to see her. She then left and went to another club, she seemed to be very giddy and looked like she was really enjoying herself, much more so than when we would be together. I have decided not to feel insecure about this, because I'm sure she was just enjoying her freedom. A few minutes later she arrived back and said she changed her mind and asked could we go home. I brought her home and the night ended prematurely.

 

Yesterday before we went out we argued for a bit because my insecurities did get in the way. When we would go out clubbing etc, we would go out at about 9pm, start getting ready around 7pm. Yesterday my girlfriend started to get ready at 3:30pm and left our apartment at 7pm. She did everything that she could have done prepare herself, some of which she would rarely do when we go out together, etc. Then she got up while I was asleep and got dressed, makeup, etc. She then woke me to tell me that she was going out with her sister. She then left with her sister and friends moments later and told me she would be back at 7pm. She called me a few mins ago and said it will be later, that she got delayed chatting and that she would be home around 8:30pm. We had made plans before she left to see a movie tonight. We'll still have time, if she gets back when she says she will, but if she doesn't I think that she is really starting to put her social life before us. Am I wrong in thinking this?

 

What is acceptable?

 

She is very enthusiastic about us having our own separate social lives. But last night for example she made it clear that I was not allowed to intrude on her "girls night out", yet she came to me. She doesn't want me to intrude on her night out purely because she wants me to work on my trust issues and that me showing up at her event would only prove that I do not trust her. Also I know she has trust issues with me also (but to a lesser extent, because I don't get hit on as much as she does, and she knows how much fidelity means to me). I have a feeling that she returned early last night because she saw the people that were with/around/near me, and wanted me away from them, and the only way she could achieve this is by asking me to go home with her, that she was not feeling well. Again I could be wrong and this is my trust demon talking.

 

What do you think? (sorry for the long post, I just wanted to describe the situation in context). Thank you

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Well, since you both have cut out people who don't respect your relationship, that's good. You should be happy about that because that's something you both agreed on, it should help build on your trust.

 

If you're worried about her cheating while she is out clubbing, sit down with her and let her know you're concerned, but don't try and push it to where you'll seem overprotective.

 

And if you really think that she's putting her friends above you let her know that, definitely. If you had plans and she pushed them aside, I don't blame you for being concerned about the relationship.

 

I think you'll be okay if you talk to her, it sounds like there's just a few little kinks in the relationship and if you work those out I'm sure you'll be fine.

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I don't know if this will help, but here is my perspective on what you've said in your post.

 

In past relationships, I have basically spent 24-7 with that person, and not nurtured relationships with other friends or family nearly as much as I should have. With my current boyfriend, whom I just moved in with this weekend (yay!) I really am trying to make sure that we maintain balance...that we see our other friends and family and maintain our own lives as well as maintain our relationship. Since I've been with him, I've realized what a healthy relationship can truly be...and as contrary to logic as it might seem, being happy and secure with him means I've really come to value my "girls' nights out," and I encourage him to have nights with the guys, going out, playing cards, whatever.

 

When I went out with two of my best female friends the other night, I took a lot of time getting ready--doing makeup, picking out an outfit, etc. It's fun sometimes just to go to that effort...NOT to attract other guys (we went dancing at a gay club, so that wasn't even a thought, lol!) but just to...well, enjoy the process. It reminded me of in college, when my roommates and I used to spend hours getting ready, then go out and just have a good time together.

 

Maybe it's as simple as this: Your girlfriend loves you, loves spending time with you, but also has recently realized that she misses her "girl time"--spending time with friends and her sister. She might "check out" other guys when she's out, like my friends and I do, but it's looking, nothing more. I am completely devoted to my guy, and cheating would not even cross my mind. I LOVE my girl time, and it's so important to me to have that as well as time with my guy.

 

The fact that the two of you have the mutual respect and caring to stop having contact with people whom you feel don't respect your relationship, says a lot. I've always had a decent number of guy friends, but after my current guy and I started dating, I realized that some of those friendships were inappropriate...so I stopped contact. There are other guy friends who are true friends, and those are still around...and happy for me and my relationship.

 

I guess the key is to keep communicating, and make sure you let her know what you will and won't stand for. Maybe pick your battles...cut her some slack if she wants to stay out a bit later with her friends, as long as you know what she's up to and as long as she keeps you posted about when she'll be back. If you have specific plans, ie. dinner reservations at 7, and she bails or is really late, let her know that you feel that shows disrespect for you and your relationship, and you're not happy about it.

 

But by all means--trust her unless she gives you reason not to. I know my boyfriend trusts me and always has, and that means the world to me.

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If you have specific plans, ie. dinner reservations at 7, and she bails or is really late, let her know that you feel that shows disrespect for you and your relationship, and you're not happy about it.

 

But by all means--trust her unless she gives you reason not to. I know my boyfriend trusts me and always has, and that means the world to me.

 

Yeah, that's kinda what I was trying to say - But you just worded it so much better.

 

Hope the advice helps you Tristan and I hope the relationship works out for ya!

 

Keep us posted and let us know if anything else comes up - We're here to help!

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Because you admit to insecurities it is a little hard to say exactly what is going on but to be honest there are some signs that concern me. I would 'trust but verify' to borrow from Reagan.

 

I would also be a little upset if a girlfriend could not be bothered to make herself look good when I took her out but spent several hours getting ready to go clubbing with her friends.

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She just called me back there to say that she may not be able to make the movie. That her sister is driving and that she will do her best. She has asked me to wait for her at the movie theatre because it's more convenient than driving all the way to our apartment. Even if I do this, we may still miss the movie. I'm afraid if that happens I'm going to feel hurt and angry.

 

I mean they were only travelling 80miles away today, which doesn't take long when you're in a car. This wouldn't be the first time lame excuses were made when she would go somewhere with her sister and friends, etc. The reason why I feel insecure is that when she and I are together, we are usually punctual. However when she is going somewhere with other people, she tends to leave early and return late with often very transparent excuses. It doesn't really bother me unless we have something planned. But she knows I wanted to see this movie, and she was the one who suggested it on friday, after she told me that we would be spending a good bit of this weekend apart. She said that if all goes well with me trusting her (which it has), that we could end the weekend with a movie together.

 

This kind of thing happened in the past, where she broke a promise like this. It's the principle that gets to me, like she doesn't respect our plans (when she has something else on around the same time). She would argue with me saying something like "the movie had terrible reviews anyway" or "I have no control over other people, who made me late". I just bothers me that it is very conveniently all the time, when she is with other people. I argued with her a few days ago saying that "I feel like all she wants is to be away from me and with other people. That she gets way more excited about that prospect and is always looking for ways to make these social outings happen". Because (I admit) we have lived a somewhat unhealthy relationship up until now, being around eachother all the time, I feel that all she has to do is throw it back in my face to get her way.

 

Because I am/was the one with greater trust issues, she uses this all the time in arguments when I feel that things like her respecting our plans has nothing to do with trust, just respect.

 

If people agree with me, what can I say to reason with her?, or if I'm wrong, could you please just give me some advice. I love this girl very much. I just had one of my friends call me there and ask me why I left early last night. They know she has some minor trust issues with me, because they can see it in her face when we're all together. She asked me to come to one side last night, so my friends wouldn't see her asking me to bring her home. She would never want people to know that she was the reason I left. So when I spoke to my own friend on the phone, I told him straight out that she wasn't feeling well and that I brought her home. He still thinks it's rather odd, because he was standing beside me when she came in the first time acting all giddy and full of life. Then 20mins later her sister rang me and said she was bringing her back to me. He saw all this and I don't think he believes that there was anything wrong with her, and that us leaving early was unjustified.

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My thoughts are, that you should have your own lives too, and not be tied together 24/7. That is important for your own individuality and personhood. Otherwise you do tend to become dependent on one another, and lose yourself in the process....which tends to create big problems down the road.

 

At the same time, there must be a healthy respect for one another in terms of being honest about what you are doing and also respecting one anothers boundaries.

 

I think it is totally acceptable she can have girls nights out where you are not invited along, and you should have your guys nights too...but you should both be also putting your partners feelings into consideration and respecting their boundaries, even when they are not there.

 

I do NOT think it is respectful to blow your partner off, or to be very shady about your plans or whereabouts. I am concerned she throws the issue back in your face as a "trust issue" and seems to blame YOU for her shady behaviour.

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I would also be a little upset if a girlfriend could not be bothered to make herself look good when I took her out but spent several hours getting ready to go clubbing with her friends.

Oh god I don't want to say that she doesn't look good when we go out. She always looks amazing, I think my girlfriend is absolutely beautiful. I was just saying that she seemed to be a lot more entusiastic and excited about going out with the girls than with me. I believe this because of the amount of extra time she put in to the night (getting ready, etc). We argued in the past and she said "that she gets dressed up for herself and nobody else". She also told me that on the first day of college, or a new job, etc that she likes to make an extra effort. I mean I feel that is weird because it contradicts what she said about "it being for herself". I mean if you do those things on the first day of something you are just trying to create an impression on other people, not for yourself. Or am I wrong. I mean she wore lipstick on the first day of gradschool (she never wears lipstick). When I saw this, I asked her why was she doing this, and she told me to back off that this was just another fine example of me not trusting her.

 

I really appreciate the replies I've received so far. I don't really do (nor do my friends) have "lads nights out". I dont' really understand this culture. However I do acknowledge that many others do, and if it is an important element in a healthy relationship, then I do absolutely want to understand it. So I really appreciate anyone in here (female preferably) explaining the girls night out process and how it has nothing to do with cheating or flirting with other guys, etc.

 

Thank you very much, you are making this easier on me. After reading some of the points so far, it makes me feel more trusting of my girlfriend when she says things like "getting dressed up is part of the experience". I just think that's something of a mars venus divide. I don't fully understand it, but I will definitely respect it, if it poses no harm to what I hold dearest, our relationship.

 

RayKay "Otherwise you do tend to become dependent on one another, and lose yourself in the process..."

I do believe that this has sort of happened to both of us over the past while. I don't feel as lively as I used to, and I do think that a change is necessary. I just think that because she wants this change so much, she will go overboard implementing it, to the extent that we will no longer see eachother except sleeping in the same bed.

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