Manners Matter: Three’s A Crowd

By Mary Pat

Dear Mary Pat,

Is there ever a nice way to tell someone you’d rather not hang out with their significant other? I have a friend I’ve grown close to but it seems that every other time I ask her to hang out, she’ll agree and then later ask if it’s okay if her boyfriend joins. I don’t care for him and would rather he not join, but I don’t know how to politely decline her request.

Only Big Enough for the Two of Us

Valmy, Wis.


Dear Only Big Enough for the Two of Us,

Sometimes the most difficult thing we have to accept is seeing a friend with someone we don’t like or approve of. It can really get in the way of a friendship if the boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife isn’t worthy. Unless you see that your friend is in an abusive relationship, it is best to try and support her and her choice and keep your opinion of him to yourself.

That does not mean that he should be a part of everything you do together. If you make plans with just your friend, then that is what you should stick with. It isn’t fair of her to keep including him all the time and it isn’t rude for you to simply say, “You know, I was hoping for a little girl time to really catch up with you. Can we just hang out on our own please?” Direct and honest is always the best approach. If your friend can’t go out without her boyfriend every now and again that isn’t a good sign. Hopefully your friend will see the value of spending time with just you.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

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