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April 27, 2009

New at MSN: He wants too much guy-time

Filed under: Advice — posted by Breakup Girl @ 3:42 am

MSN datingAsk Lynn, Breakup Girl’s alter ego’s advice column at MSN.com (powered by Match.com), is now being updated monthly rather than weekly, so now you’ll get two new letters each month…

1. Jennifer is on her third go-round with Mr. Looks-like-Tim-McGraw. They dated, then broke-up, then were friends-with-benefits, broke that off, now they’re dating again — but better than ever before. Can this be real?

2. Sick of seeing both sides is frustrated by a boyfriend who wants time alone with his buddies a lot, or when they’re all together simply ignores her. Otherwise, he’s attentive and sweet — so what gives?

15 Comments »

  1. It sounds like Jennifer has a reasonably simple decision to make:

    She can give this relationship a shot, realizing that it might not work out and she could get hurt.
    -or- she can break up with him preemptively and never find out whether it could work.

    Under those circumstances, she’d probably regret not taking a chance more than getting hurt.

    Comment by Karl R — April 6, 2009 @ 10:54 am

  2. Your response was excellent! The love of my life did the same to me except for 7 years! I know, everyone told me to give but I didn’t stop hoping. The last time we broke up it was for a 1 1/2 years. He realized that he couldn’t be without me and since then we have now been living together for 10 years and still going strong! (neither of us view marriage as something we have to do). I am not saying that you should stick around and take it. I really put him to the test to make him prove to me that he was serious. Once he passes the commitment test then take him! I did and I am living happily ever after.

    Comment by Gayle — April 10, 2009 @ 9:41 pm

  3. Sorry, I think this is the wrong advice. I don’t know how anyone could respect him/herself if he/she got back together with someone who dumped him/her twice. Or (yuck!) used them for a friends with benefits situation. Personally, as a woman, I think it’s important to only be with someone who really wants me, and has never treated me badly, as this man so clearly has treated Jennifer. You know the saying…fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. A person who takes someone back after this type of treatment just seems weak and insecure in my opinion.

    Comment by Kate W. — April 17, 2009 @ 1:03 am

  4. This response was very spot on. Many women consider men boors, when they want to go out without them, for some guy-time.

    Ladies, you do not realize that we sometime, as much as we love you and feel good being next to you, we need distance too. This does not mean that we will never come back. As Paul Newman said, “why go out for a burger when I can steak at home”, the best relationships hinge on each of us being able to connect with our own buddies.

    We don’t mind if you go out with your girlfriends. We cannot listen to you like other women. Not yet,that will eventually come.

    The bottom line in all this is that he does come back. Your job is to make sure that he does keep coming back and the catch him hook, line and sinker. As much as you wish to nag him, don’t. Love him and tell him how much you appreciate him for coming back. You can also play a little coy, when he comes back. Tell him that you would like to see more of him and resist jumping into bed at every occasion. Hold back a bit. Play a little hard to get. Make a joke of it, the keep is light. You’ll need to tread gently here. You don’t want to make him mad, just a little jealous. Good luck.

    Comment by Leslie — April 20, 2009 @ 7:25 am

  5. Sharing the same priorities is what it’s all about! Not all men need time with buddies…that’s something I’ve never known. When both partners enjoy the same thing, be it just the two of them OR time alone with other people, it’s great. It’s not healthy to feel frustrated.

    Comment by Ashtara — April 20, 2009 @ 8:46 am

  6. Look people, For four million years men needed to have the social bonding skills to bond and interact cooperatively with other males. Survival depended on it. This allowed them to go on hunting or gathering parties and not kill each other. We males still retain the need and desire to be with each others in male bonding situations. It’s a necessary part of our psychological make up. I’m not talking about going down to the bar and drinking one’s self silly. Although that is an offshoot of the male bonding need, that is obviously immature and destructive to a relationship. However, constructive Male bonding activities lead to a male feeling more healthy and satisfied with their lives. If a male is satisfied with his life, he’ll be more satisfied with his relationship with a woman. If males are denied this, they become bored, morose and will often feel unsatisfied with their lives, and therefor unhappy with the woman they are with (Even if they love them). Guess what happens then… That’s right kid, arguing, cheating, break-ups, divorces etc…
    If you need further proof of this concept, look at male and female sex drives. As couple move in with each other and live together, their sex drive dramatically drops off. They spend less time being romantic. This isn’t just boredom but an actual chemical change that occur in people when they spend too much time together. When a man and woman spend some healthy time apart, their sex drives (chemical changes again) increase and they feel renewed passion for each other.
    I won’t get into the female social bonding needs here. If you are interested, look into female life satisfaction studies that followed the integration of the telephone in every home in america.

    Comment by chispo — April 20, 2009 @ 10:42 am

  7. It has taken me 42 painful years to come to the realization that men are hard-wired to need what I call “under-roo” time. They need to be able to do whatever they want away from their mates. The frequency varies from man to man but the need does not. If denied this they become bored, bitter and smothered. A female needs her space just as much but succumbs to her control freak tendencies and tries to keep a strangle hold on her man instead of being flexible and going with the flow. Girlfriend…find something else to do that doesnt include him, get a life of your own and see how fast his attentions turn to just what you are up to.

    Comment by Laurie — April 20, 2009 @ 2:44 pm

  8. I don’t think this is a psychology, evolutionary, biological or anything beyond issue! Did we all read the same article? This isn’t about a breakup or time apart, it’s about a person wanting friend time. Now I noticed it didn’t mention frequency of this time? Are we talking every week? Multiple times per week? What? And if they are just dating, he is NOT married! It is his life and her life.
    The unknowns being put on the table, here is something you NEED to have for a successful relationship and for once, WOMEN need to learn something: You do not need, nor should spend ALL your time together and doing things together. It is unhealthy, stifling and gives you nothing to talk about together later! Women need “girl” time and men need “guy” time (to varying degrees for each person). When two people start a relationship or transition it to marriage it is vital that you remember you fell in love with a seperate person… not your hip, arm, or any other part of your body. You each have interests, hobbies and friends that you should keep (After all, you fell in love with them for who they were not who you could make them right?)!
    The fact that he invited you at all is a GOOD sign he does love you (not to mention all the sparks in private!) but he probably sensed your feeling of being out-of-place, not to mention his friends probably felt very tense and awkward with you there.
    I am appalled at the number of women who still feel they should have control over their partners time and that guy time is always immature “under-roo” time. There are some things I enjoy that my wife doesn’t understand and personally I find it nice to be able to talk with someone that does more than just “smiles and nods” about something they don’t have interest in. Not to mention, when I’m frustrated it is nice to vent to the “guys” so I can go home happier and more relaxed.
    I love my wife and cut back on guy time because *I* wanted to be nice to her. If she had demanded it, or given me “ultimatums” I would have explained she’s not my mom, boss, or ruler and that she can either accept it or leave.
    It has been proven in studies, interviews and research that time apart is important too. So if he comes home to you, treats you well, gives you “sparks”, and has TRIED to include you with guy time (or reduces it when/if the relationship becomes more serious) then you have NO right to be upset. Enjoy some “you” or “girl” time!

    Comment by Thomas — April 20, 2009 @ 5:43 pm

  9. Did anyone else notice that they both just got out of “long, pointless, loveless relationships a few months ago”? Now she says that she loves this guy. Doesn’t this seem a little rash? How about they both take a little time in the single arena and play around. She has already started down the same road that the last relationship was on.

    Comment by Robert T — April 20, 2009 @ 5:50 pm

  10. Girls not giving their man free time a new occurance or has this always been the case? Most of my guy friends all have girlfriend’s that almost always have to be around them. They have few or no female friends that they can hang out with. Most female friends I have say they do not get along with other females so do not have many female friends. Is this a new trend? Or have girls always been this dependent on their boyfriend’s?(meaning they have no life besides their boyfriend and maybe work and school)

    I think the author is spot on when she talks about the girl in this article should make her own plans. Most guys love their girlfriends, however, they also like to play poker, basketball, lift weight, and drink and be stupid with the guys. Is that so much to ask without the female being around? Do you a yoga class or something.

    Comment by Robert S — April 21, 2009 @ 12:42 am

  11. Seems to me that a lot of women complain about “mens night out” but demand the “ladies night out” to bond with female friends. The truth is, everyone is involved with more than one social circle for varying purposes, and sometimes these do not overlap. I say let him have his night with the guys while she cultivates girlfriends to gab and nosh with. Girls, after all, have the “traditional” role of “solving the worlds problems” over tea or sushi. Then there are needlework groups called “stitch and bitches” that serve the same purpose. Why do you think there are quilting bees and “Church ladies?” Remember “Ladies Aid Societies?”

    You learn in middle school that it takes 2 girls to go to the bathroom. It’s not to take care of business: it’s to gab about all kinds of things you don’t have a chance in class to talk about with your girlfriend.

    Just as a guy wouldn’t admit to a girl all the physical things he evaluates in a female of any sort, there are things a girl wouldn’t admit to a guy that she discusses with her girlfriends about certain male aspects. Everybody needs time to be human.

    Goo-goo eyes should not be allowed to preclude the buddy needs in a social life.

    Off topic: just once, though (preferably more than once), I’d like to cuddle with a guy without him feeling obligated to have sex with me. Sometimes it’s just nice to be in the arms of the one I love.

    Comment by Virginia — April 21, 2009 @ 1:52 am

  12. I don’t have a problem with “guy’s night out” as long as I trust him. You’re probably thinking, “If you don’t trust him, why are you with him?” Believe me I’ve asked this question, myself, several times. My current situation is a good example and has me so confused, I don’t know which end is up. When he tells me he’s going out with a friend, I go balistic. The biggest reason I do this, is because he has told me all kinds of stories about his wild life style when he was younger. He’s never married and has always been a womanizer. I know he’s making a lot of it up, because he can’t remember telling me certain things and gets angry and yells if I bring them up and claims he’s never said any such thing. That’s why I don’t trust him. There are other reasons I don’t trust as well. I’ve been with this guy for about 3 years. At first, everything was going okay. We didn’t spend all our time together, but a good part of it. He seemed to care about me a great deal. He bought me very nice gifts and treated me to dinners, movies, etc. I would later discover that he was “grooming” me for a relationship that he controlled. He was “training” me to be someone to take care of him and listen to every word he said. If I didn’t, I was yelled at, ridiculed and he’d threaten to end the relationship. This would continue until I was finally sobbing, then he would apologize and tell me he loved me. He was never “in love” with me and never claimed to be. I honestly don’t think he “can” be in love with any woman. My problem? For about a year, we have been fighting like cats and dogs. He likes control and he no longer has it as much as he used to. I finally got tired of the emotional and psychological control and abuse and started standing up for myself. I’m not “behaving” anymore, so he is on the prowl for another woman to “train”. He wants a woman who will take care of his every need, meals, house keeping, etc., while he “plays” on his computer and does whatever else he wants. When we fight, he tells me to leave and when I go to leave, he tells me he doesn’t want me to leave. Probably because he hasn’t found his new “trainee” yet. My problem is, I can’t seem to let go. Even though, I’m depressed and have very little self esteem and I know being with him is destroying me, I’m having a really hard time breaking the hold he has on me. I tell myself all the time, “Okay, that’s enough! I can’t take anymore. Come hell or high water, I’m out of here!” But, I don’t leave. Any suggestions?

    Comment by Maria — April 22, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  13. Maria,

    Don’t just decide you’re going to leave. Start setting up the logistics:
    Get a supply of money so you can move out and into somewhere else.
    Keep a “get-away” bag packed and at a friend’s house.
    Find a new place to live.
    Etc.

    You also need to keep a journal of every time he verbally and emotionally abuses you like that. First, that gives you a record of what he does (and how frequently) if you need to get a restraining order at a later date. Second, if you change your mind about leaving, you can easily remind yourself of what kind of prick he is.

    Comment by Karl R — April 24, 2009 @ 9:35 am

  14. [...] leaves her at home so he can hang out with them. Read the letter at Happen — or check out our previous posting of the advice — then come back here to comment! Tags: bromance, friends, Happen, the guys [...]

    Pingback by Breakup Girl » This week at Happen: Too much guy-time — September 21, 2009 @ 9:57 am

  15. Got it! Thnkas a lot again for helping me out!

    Comment by Buffee — May 3, 2011 @ 5:30 pm

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