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Ask TherapistMaryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMaryAnn, Counselor
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 5957
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues
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Hi Im a 24yr old male in a relationship now for 7 months,

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Hi I'm a 24yr old male in a relationship now for 7 months, everything started off perfect together we are the same age and both just qualified from university where we were friends, her friends are all in relationships and we have been out together on several occasions but over time my girlfriend has started saying she is worried about losing her friends and not spending enough time with them so she has wanted to go out and spend time away from me more and more often but I find I get hurt by this cos I don't understand it and don't want the same yet but I'm aware as time goes on that I may want the same ,so am I being overprotective and paranoid or is my girlfriend worrying about losing her friends so much that she is doing this too early in our relationship? We are quite open and talk about this often and she has her own insecurities also which we have managed to sort out but this is one issue we are struggling with because I don't understand how nights out in nightclubs with me and her friends are different from nights out without me, this also causes other concerns because we never go out on our own anymore, please any advice would help, my girlfriend says she understands but she is starting to resent me because she feels she can't do the things she wants without annoying me.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your questions.

It sounds like your girlfriend is concerned about her friendships, possibly to the point she is willing to sacrifice time with you in order to be with them. But what is concerning here is that she is so worried about losing her friends. True friends would not just leave the friendship because someone finds a partner. They typically would be understanding. So this could be more about your girlfriend's insecurity than her friends leaving.

If your girlfriend is willing to address her insecurity about her friendships, that might help. A therapist can help her explore why she feels her friendships are so important to her that she fears losing them over her relationship with you.

She also needs to find more of a balance with you. She cannot give up her time with you in order to spend a majority of her time with friends because she is fearful of losing them. She also cannot choose her insecurities over you. If she is handling her insecurities by giving up her relationship with you now, how will she handle when she marries and has children? It may be helpful to try talking to her again and bring these concerns up in a loving way. She may be less defensive if you advocate for the two of you having a better relationship than if you point out her issues.

I hope this has helped you,

May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Kate thank you but we do spend plenty of time together but i feel hurt when my girlfriend says she is going out with her friends as she feels it is therapeutic for her more so if she has a girls night, I understand this to a certain point as I work in a counselling background as a mental health professional but as I feel time with her is therapeutic for me it is hard to understand why time with me is not the same, she has insecurities from a past relationship, which we are managing well but I worry am I letting my own insecurities interfere with us or are we in different places within the relationship because I have yet to feel the need for time apart? She has agreed to go out on our own but this was followed by her arranging a night out with her friends the next night which I felt insulted by so essentially I'd like to know where I stand in this, am I in the wrong so to speak because I can't understand the differences in time with me and her friends or are we in different places or am I just letting my insecurities take hold ?
Thank you for the additional information. It helps.

If she is balancing time with you and her friends, that is ok. It is normal for her to want to spend time with her friends separate from you. Women (and men) need friends because their relationships with their friends are different than their romantic relationships. As you know from studying psychology, men and women are different. Because of those differences, it is healthy for both people in a relationship to have friends of the same sex. Friends (for either of you) can enrich your lives because of the differences. Everyone needs to have many different kinds of relationships in their lives from family, friends and romantic types of relationships. It is emotionally healthy to have these relationships. If you feel insecure about her friends, you may want to take a closer look as to why it makes you feel that way.