We Only See Each Other On ‘Date Nights’

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year this summer. We are both in our late 20s.

When we first started dating, he told me that he's had trouble balancing relationships and friendships in the past, and that he was the "girlfriend kind of guy" who would end up falling out of touch with all his friends while he was in a relationship. He told me that it was important to him not to do this anymore. I fully respected this because I never had trouble balancing the two things in my life – both are so important to me.

As a result, we ended up having "date night" on Saturday nights, and Friday nights were set aside for his guys' nights. Flash forward to now. He plays on an adult sports league with his guy friends two nights a week and still has a weekend guys' night. We see each other two nights a week, while he sees his friends three. We've talked about how this relationship is so different than our past ones, and how we see a future together, but I guess I thought we'd be getting closer at this point in our relationship.

He's still completely regimented about his guys' nights, and won't tell them no, even if he doesn't really feel like going out. Meanwhile, if I get invited to a party or out with other couples on a night that happens to fall on guys' night (even if he and his friends don't have set plans for something specific), I know I'm going alone. I told him that while I think he's doing a great job maintaining friends, I feel like I'm paying for mistakes made in his past relationships. He agreed with me, but then this past weekend it happened again. I invited him to a family friend's cookout and ended up going solo, while he went to a local bar/lounge with the guys (he hung out them two nights prior). So now I feel like our relationship is at a standstill. I also think that hanging with friends and significant others doesn't have to be as structured as he's making it. I understand that maintaining other relationships in your life is important, but we also aren't in high school/college anymore. At some point, I would assume that significant others do become the priority relationship, right? Instead, he has three out of seven days dedicated to friends.

I guess my question is, do I bring this up again? I don't want to come off as a nag, especially since I already brought it up, but I feel kind of neglected at this point.

- Compartmentalized in NH


It's never pleasant to bring up problems up twice, but if you're not happy with how things are going, you have to have another talk. You don't have to get into your philosophy about significant others trumping friendships after college, because that's not really the issue here. You just want him to be more flexible about his plans. He should be open to seeing you on a Friday, because you wouldn't object to being ditched on a Saturday if his friends were doing something special. You can't force the rest of the world to plan around your date nights.

Also talk to him about those two blank days of the week. He has five nights of engagements, which leaves two wild cards. Perhaps he can see a little more of you during that unscheduled time. Alone time is wonderful, but if you're balancing a serious relationship and close friendships, it's harder to come by. It might have to be the thing he sacrifices if he wants to keep you close.

Readers? What about this schedule? Thoughts on balance?

– Meredith