He doesn’t want me traveling with my friend

Hi Meredith,

I am a 32-year-old-woman and have been with someone for almost a year now. He's 34 and we've known each other since we were teenagers. My background is a bit of a mess. I was an alcoholic until I got treatment in my 20s (more than seven years without a drink!). I beat myself up a lot about things I can't change, and often second-guess what I am actually "ready" for. Sometimes I feel like I am a few years delayed compared to other women my age. I am also very introverted.

The situation is this: I have no female friends. My closest friend is a man, and the person I’m seeing is OK with that. There is an event coming up in a few months that involves me traveling with my male friend to another state for a few days. He got tickets as a birthday gift to me. Last weekend, the person I am seeing said he would be "uncomfortable" with me going to this event. I wanted to fight but dropped it because we were having a nice relaxing day.

I got out of a bad relationship a few years ago. That man was insanely controlling (hindsight) and abusive. The person I am seeing now is not like that but can be a bit possessive at times. He is a great guy and does so much for me that I am not used to. To be honest, I didn't even want to date again after my ex. This just kind of happened. I missed out on a lot of things in the past because of that relationship. Needless to say, I really enjoy my freedom now. Sometimes I really wish I were still single and alone. I guess my issue is that I am torn about not wanting to upset anyone and missing out on yet another event. I feel like I'll resent him forever if I miss out again. I really want to go and it's important to me for a lot of reasons. I just don't know what's right anymore.

– Lost


Go on this trip.

Go and enjoy yourself.

You're dealing with a lot of self-doubt here, but please believe that your letter makes perfect, wonderful sense. You want to be kind to your boyfriend, but it's just as important that you're good to yourself. Friendships don’t come easy to you, so you need to be able to enjoy the ones you have.

You dropped the conversation about the trip because you were having a nice day with your boyfriend. I get it. But it's time to have that conversation now. You need a partner who will support your friendships and trust that you understand how to manage them. Honestly, if he can’t get comfortable with the idea of you traveling with your BFF, I'm not sure your boyfriend is the right match for you.

Relationships involve a lot of negotiation, and the most important conversations might make you both uncomfortable. But you shouldn't avoid the big talks. You're uncomfortable now because you haven't spoken up.

Tell your boyfriend what you wrote in this letter. Explain why the trip is important, and be clear that you need to be with someone who won't stop you from enjoying this kind of opportunity. Ask each other questions. Trust your gut with the answers because it is steering you in the right direction.

– Meredith

Readers? Should the LW go on this trip?