I feel left out with his friends

Hi Meredith,

I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year now. He is wonderful and amazing and we love each other very much. The problem is that I feel like I don't fit in with his friends. He has a close-knit group of friends who have known each other for 10+ years. Whenever we hang out with them, they spend a great deal of time reminiscing about the past and laughing about inside jokes. They are very kind to me and are a great group of people, but I always feel like an outsider. I'm not very outgoing to begin with, but it's particularly hard for me to fit in with this group because they are constantly living in their shared past. My boyfriend and are both in our mid-20s and at the point in our lives when our friends are starting to settle down, and so we see less of them. I guess that should be a good thing given the situation, but it really hasn't given me and opportunity to get to know his friends well because I only see them about once a month. I know me fitting in with this group is important to my boyfriend, and I wish I could do a better job of it. I'm tired of feeling like the awkward outsider. Help!

– Don't Fit in With His Friends, Brighton

Try hanging out with some of these people in a more intimate setting. Invite two of them over for dinner with your boyfriend. See a movie with just one other couple. The more you see these people outside of the pack, the more you'll develop your own inside jokes and memories.

Also understand that these friends are probably anxious about how their new lives are pulling them away from the past. They probably sit around and reminisce because the want to hold on to what they had. Don't take it personally when they talk of the glory days. It's not about excluding you, it's about hanging on to each other.

Readers? Anything the LW should know or do to make this better? Help.

– Meredith