She’d rather spend time with her friends

I have been seeing a woman who is in her mid 50s for eight months. Things seem to be good; we see each other two or three times a week, we do sleepovers, and we have a lot in common. However, I have a huge concern when it comes to her spending time with her friends vs. spending time with me. It seems she would prefer to spend her time with her friends. All I hear is "friend this, friend that." We'll be talking on the phone, and if one of her girlfriends calls, she will drop our call to to talk to her. If we are out on a date, I make sure that if I get texts, I don't reply until after we're done, but she sits and has conversations with her friends, which I think is rude.

I tried telling her this but she said she needs to reply to them, and tells me to get over it. In the past we made "tentative plans" (her words-plans for dinner, etc.) and then out of the blue, one of her friends will call because her husband is out of town, and suddenly there's a call for the "girls" to come over for a sleepover. That will trump our plans. When I objected to this, she got very defensive and told me that I that should spend time with my buddies (which I do), but I also tried to explain to her that she is important to me and that I prefer spending time with her, but she doesn't get it. What is weird to me is that they have sleepovers, and sometimes they sleep in the same bed. I asked her if the relationships were romantic/sexual, and she said no. I even asked if she is seeing someone else, and she showed me her phone and said no. I just don't get it. I am not a controlling jerk, I just want to feel important. Also, to me, a woman in her 50s shouldn't have sleepovers. So what am I to do? Sit on the sidelines and accept that I am second choice, or move on? Any advice is much appreciated.

– Second Choice

Some people keep friends at a distance and invest more time and energy into romantic relationships or family. Others have friends who are their chosen family. The woman you're dating clearly puts her friends first. This group is her support system and the source of a whole lot of joy. You can't expect that to change over eight months.

But that does not excuse her bad behavior with you. It's rude to ignore the person in front of you to have a conversation via text with someone else. It's even worse to cancel plans last-minute, or to make it clear to a significant other that they'll be ditched and forgotten if something more fun comes up. She shouldn't be telling you to "get over it." You want a partner who respects your time.

Really, this sounds like a bit of a mismatch. Even if she shows you that she can make you a priority, I'm not sure you want a partner who has filled her life with so many other people. It sounds like you want a small world and a girlfriend who is so excited to see you (especially at the start of the relationship) that she might bypass plans with someone else. That's OK.

It doesn't mean that her sleepovers and all-night chat sessions are wrong. It doesn't mean there's any reason to judge this woman's lifestyle or tell her that the most important people in her life are a problem. It just means you want different things. There's no reason to sit on the sidelines when you have the option of waking away.

– Meredith

Readers? Mismatch? Sleepovers?