Dear Annie: Am I being selfish and perhaps jealous, too?
My partner of five years, "William," says he is more comfortable in the company of women than men. William has revealed to me that while he was growing up, his father was domineering and not compassionate or understanding. Instead, William had a close and supportive relationship with his mother.
William is kind, and successful in his field, and we have a warm and loving relationship.
But I feel myself tense up when he makes an effort to become buddies with my female friends. When he "notices" them (pays attention to them in an innocent way) one can see they are flattered and, of course, are drawn to him. I am not comfortable with him developing rapports with my friends.
I would appreciate knowing what you would suggest. Perhaps I should add that I do not fear he'd ever be unfaithful with any of these friends. — Need Advice
Dear Need Advice: Your partner's warmth toward your friends is an extension of his love for you. Count yourself lucky; I'm sure many women reading this wish their boyfriends or husbands would make more of an effort with their friends. As long as you trust him, and it sounds like you do, you have nothing to worry about. Try to use positive self-talk (about yourself and your relationship) to combat negative, insecure thoughts. The more you indulge in speculation, the more you feed your jealousy — and that green-eyed monster has a way of wreaking havoc where there was none.
Dear Annie: I go out to eat with girlfriends often. One friend in particular has the habit of pulling out her phone halfway through the meal. She then proceeds to show everyone the latest video clips she likes on Facebook or pictures of her grandkids. I feel like this is thoughtless and rude, but I don't know what to say! The other day at brunch, several other friends copied her after she initiated it and started doing the same thing. Am I the only one who likes conversation anymore or am I out of step? — Speak Up or Put Up?
Dear Speak Up or Put Up: I believe phones belong on the table during a meal no more than elbows do. But I think you might have to let this go for two reasons. One, your friend isn't ignoring everyone at the table to stare at her phone; she's using it as a way to share things. Think of it as the modern-day equivalent to passing around wallet photos of the grandkids. And two, you're outnumbered. You might try proposing a no-phones rule, but be prepared for the group to veto it.
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