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Parallax - Advice

March 18, 2002

My way or the highway

Dear Conversely,

Ask us a Question!I have been living with my girlfriend for ten months now. We do everything together, which is the way she likes it, and so do I. She has been working at a new job and the girls from her office have a girl's night out. She dropped hints of wanting to go; now these hints have turned into heated discussions. I would not go out drinking, to a bar, or clubbing without my fiancé, and I expect the same from her. I prefer to not go looking for trouble; I was a DJ, and saw people who normally wouldn't cheat, get sucked into it (drink too much, slipped something in their drink etc). When my girlfriend was in college someone slipped something in her drink, she passed out on the bed with two guys in the room and her frat brother came in just in time. This is not about trust. I trust her and do not give the third degree. But I am a white guy who would not go walking through Queens at 1 a.m., listening to country music. What do I do? I don't want to break up with her. Help!!! Email to a Friend

Her view:

Dear My-Way,

I think a compromise may be in order. Certainly you should have an open discussion so she knows exactly how you feel. Frankly, I believe that if it worries you so, she should be accommodating enough to allow you this latitude and refrain from drinking in bars without you. It's not such a huge request and couples make concessions for each other all the time. She should step up and give in on this one.

A fair compromise would be creating some separate, but sober, time for her to be with the girls. How about tennis or shopping or pottery - whatever floats her boat? If a little bit of girl time is all she's after, certainly there are other venues to accommodate her little urge that don't involve getting drunk in bars.

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His view:

Dear My-Way,

Why don't you just bundle her up in padded clothing, put a helmet on her head, remove all sharp objects from reach, and germ-proof the apartment while you're at it. You might as well tie her up to prevent her from hurting herself. I mean, more people get hurt taking a shower than you know!

Just because you've been there and done that doesn't mean she doesn't get a chance to do it too. The more you keep her from doing it, the more she'll want to. Didn't you learn anything from defying your parents when you were growing up?

For her sake, and for yours, stop trying to run her life. If she wants to live it up a bit, more power to her. Life is too short. You may want to live on the edge yourself for a while - give it a whirl, as my colleague would say. For all you know, she'll go out a couple of times, hate it, and be back in the safety of your love cocoon in no time.

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