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Friend keeps trying to force his GF into our group

  • 05-06-2021 3:02pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭


    Hi

    I'm in my mid 20s, and I've been friends with the same group of lads since school. During that time we've all had relationships, and we all generally got on with, or put up with each others o/h. We didn't have to see them every week, so it was grand.

    However, recently one of the lads got with a girl, and they're getting pretty serious. It's his first real relationship. She's a nice girl, nothing wrong with her, and he seems happy. The issue is that he's trying to basically force her into the group as one of the lads, if that makes sense. Everything we suggest, the first words out of his mouth are "Do you mind if X comes". We're not going to say no, but it's getting really out of hand.

    If we meet up for cans and fifa, watch football, the cinema, anything, she has to be there. It feels like he's trying to prove to us that he's in a relationship. It's getting really annoying as theres a different dynamic there and we cant speak as freely as we would if she wasn't her. One of the lads is recently out of a long term relationship, and was never like this.

    We're trying to organise a lads trip to vegas next year, as Covid has really ****ed with us over the last year. He's insistent on her coming also. I want to tell him to **** off with this ****,

    It's getting to the stage where we are considering just not asking him to do stuff with us anymore? Any advice?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,324 ✭✭✭YellowLead


    It’s definitely a bit off if none of you have gfs that are constantly with the group. Does she not have any friends of her own maybe? Sounds odd that she wants to spend ALL her time with him so much so that she can’t let him have some friends time, time with friends outside of a relationship is so healthy.

    Of course it could be him that is insisting she come everywhere rather than her wanting to but for both of them it’s an unhealthy dynamic regardless of which is behind it.

    Instead of not inviting him - could one of you not bring it up? Make it clear that you think it’s great he’s in a relationship and that you like the GF, but that you still want some lads time. See what he says.


  • Registered Users Posts: 216 ✭✭Skibunny77


    It's getting to the stage where we are considering just not asking him to do stuff with us anymore? Any advice?

    I think you simply name it. Say to him, listen we are arranging a few lads only events, know you might not want to leave X out, so no worries if you can't make it. If he asks why X isn't welcome, just say, it isn't personal to her, it would & will apply to any current & future partners for certain lads only events. Provide plenty of opportunities for mixing and then have very clear lads only nights. You could also say am sure X has girls only nights and fully understands...


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,137 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs


    Should be an easy enough conversation to have, it's not unusual to leave partners out of friends events. Thankfully mine thinks hanging around with me and my friends sounds as horrific as I do. And likewise, I would have zero interest in hanging with her and her friends.

    She tried to get me to spend time with her friends and their husbands/boyfriends, kind of couples organised events and trips in the early days but I was having none of that, I don't want a new circle of friends. Happy with the (admittedly small) group of friends I have already.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,702 ✭✭✭zoobizoo


    I've been there.... as in we've had a friend's girlfriend foisted on us on nights out by my friend and then she'd crow bar herself in on other nights.


    The simple response is "no sorry, lads only" . That covers you guys and he has no come back.

    He obviously doesn't realise that sometimes the guys just want to hang out without women.

    It could also be that she is asking to come along. Again, the "boys night" answer has you covered.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,887 Mod ✭✭✭✭shesty


    Is this is the first serious girlfriend any of you have had, because it sounds like it?I'll be honest, you can tell him lad's nights only alright for those nights, but the likelihood is that if it is as serious as you say, you will probably have to accept that you will be seeing less of him over time.It just kind of happens as relationships grow.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,061 ✭✭✭leggo


    There’s a lot of truth to the above. The harsh reality is that, especially if it’s his first, from his perspective he’s probably including you guys and not including her. The message he’s literally telling you is that he’s willing to go along to your nights as long as she can too. So it’s worth keeping in mind that pushing back against her will likely mean seeing less of him too. At least until they break up and you see him all the time again to the point you’re sick of him, until he meets someone else and the cycle repeats.

    Some people are just like this OP. I get the frustration, and it’s definitely not for me either, but it’s who they are and you won’t win any attempt to prise them from their partner because that’s the person they want to spend all their time with.

    In terms of how to deal with it, that part is easy. Like people suggested already clarifying that it’s a lads night is one way. Just having the conversation like adults is another idea. Personally I’d default to addressing it directly but jokingly like, “Do you take her to the men’s jacks with you when you’re in a bar too lad, jaaaysus??” But some people can’t get away with that kinda humour or don’t have that kind of relationship.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,788 ✭✭✭ztoical


    'Hey Dude, great that you've got a girlfriend, she's nice and we are happy for her to come along to most social events but we want to keep some activities us only, no partners'

    Assuming OP that other people in your group didn't insert their then partners into all group activities it's a simple conversation to have all together as a group. Agree certain activities are just your group, no partners but make sure its clear which ones you allow with partners otherwise its just going to be seen as you not liking her and he'll likely pick her over you at this stage. It's likely most of you will end up in relationships so the 'guys only' events will gradually be reduced but there's nothing wrong with wanting to keep certain things as your core group only like the Las Vegas trip but you'd be surprised how unaware some people can be and so you have to just be blunt about it. Friend of mine invited me on a tip to Vietnam several years ago along with another friend. Myself and this friend travel a lot together so it seemed like a straight forward trip but then found out the original idea had been planned by another friend who wanted it to be a 'bros holiday' (the friends words) but this wasn't obvious to my friend. Massive fall out over it between the two that could have been avoided had the friend just been clearer at the start.


  • Registered Users Posts: 939 ✭✭✭bitofabind


    “Sarah is lovely but Vegas / random night out is lads only, we’ll set something up for the wider group another time”

    He’s either clueless or getting pressure from the gf to let her come along, in which case he needs to learn how to enforce boundaries


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭completedit


    Difficult one. It can be hard to juggle friend groups and a relationship especially if their relationship is quite pally. He probably just wants to create memories with her and feels that he should involve her. Personally wouldn't bother me if a guy's girlfriend came along all the time; I'd probably think of it as a sign they won't last but wouldn't bother me


  • Registered Users Posts: 930 ✭✭✭TheadoreT


    Feels like you're pushing onto that age were some people will be getting sick of the same old single life jazz and be getting into more serious relationships. I can't see this getting better for you if its lads only nights out you crave. Groups tend to evolve into more mixed sex ones the older we get. You can always have a football or golf or whatever your interest trip away with the lads and there shouldn't be any issue communicating that but I feel this is more facing up to realities of adult life. It won't be too long before screaming babies will be tagging along too.


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  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 158 ✭✭Zebrag


    Hi OP

    I can unstand the frustration in this. It doesn't mean you don't welcome your friends GF or you're ignoring to get to know her but I understand the frustration in letting your friend know that some group chats and nights away are soley for one purpose.

    Myself and partner are not in each others friend groupchat because its essentially that, our own friend group chat. If there was a couples thing going on or cinema outting and my partner is interested he might tag along but if its a night out and a lads or girls night out, I wouldn't dream of asking if he can tag along, he's the same. It's not that we don't want each other around but having your own connection with others outside of the relationship is healthy.

    I can't comment on the friends relationship and I would hate to assume if it's a case of the GF demanding to tag along which can sometimes be the case but your friend needs to understand as well that OHs don't get invited for various reasons, this doesn't always mean there's a potential that feelings of like or dislike is involved. Especially a lads night away. Some guys like to let loose and when there's a GF there of another lad, it could change the dynamics of what the trip was for (providing it was a decent trip if you know what im talking about)

    My partner likes to have his weekend away with his friends. Drinking, gambling and I'm not privy to knowing that lads tend to get a few drinks on them and have a look here and there. How lads act when their GF and friends GF are around is different. How they like to talk and act, they probably wouldn't dream of letting their OHs know what come out of their mouths. Also, a lads night away without the OHs is a time to let loose (in a sensible way I would hope!)

    I know myself if I was on a girls weekend and a friend invited their partner and was the only male, the dynamics would change and it would be a case of "well we'll have to entertain this chap or include him in conversations he won't be comfortable with" and I know this is the case with a lads outting to wherever they wish to go.

    Your friend needs to be independent without his GF, new or not. The GF needs to know that her boyfriend can have a night out without her. It doesn't sound very healthy if they need to be around each other all the time. Okay I get a new relationship and you want them to be included but a line is drawn as well. I'm sure the OHs of your friends are probably dying for a minutes peace when the guys all go away.

    Maybe you should be upfront and honest. If he gets defensive, that's on him. He has to understand that some trips are soley for one purpose and he's more than welcome to decline the offer of not going if he's insisting on his GF to tag along

    Good luck OP


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭ManOfMystery


    No other option here really than to be honest and just say it like it is. I have a group of male friends and we have nights out often - we're all married or in relationships and get on well with each other's partners, but have no desire to bring them along on a night out or lad's event - and I assume the same applies when they have a social gathering without males! There is, as you say, a totally different dynamic.

    I also think regardless of sex, if you have a group of close friends and one is suddenly trying to hoist a new person on that group, then it should at least be discussed beforehand.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13


    I have gay friends who don’t bring partners on certain nights out. It’s not just because they’re ‘lads’ or ‘girls’ nights - it’s because some nights are for a group of friends who have a certain dynamic, and the assumption that a partner can be landed into that is presumptuous and inconsiderate. Especially if it’s constant.

    Sure if it’s a group night out. But having a friends partner there on every night is just not on in my book (and I’m long past my 20s, or first relationship). Certain nights out are about connections with old friends, about talking freely about relationships/life - and having an ‘other half’ there changes the dynamic not only for the person who brings them, but for everyone else too.

    I think your friend is well out of order. But I also think you need to step up and say that some nights are old friends nights, but that it’d be nice if she could go to x night with the gang (if you guys do a gang night of your crowd plus acquaintances and partners).


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,619 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34


    Friend is pushing his luck and getting away with it, so he's pushing it some more.

    Don't gang up on him, get one person to talk to him about it, mark his card about limits. If it means you see a bit less of him while he and his gf spend time together, well honestly that's how it should be.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,398 ✭✭✭El Gato De Negocios


    Is it possible this is been driven by her? Ive known several people over the years that have been in relationships and their OH was very possessive / jealous and gave ultimatums like "you dont get to go if I dont go with you". Controlling type behaviour. If this is his first real relationship perhaps he is afraid to set boundaries with her and explain that "lads nights out" are just that.

    Depending on your friendship with him maybe ask him is there any particular reason why she has to attend every single gathering. Even do it in a jokey kind of way to soften it?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,702 ✭✭✭zoobizoo


    Is it possible this is been driven by her? Ive known several people over the years that have been in relationships and their OH was very possessive / jealous and gave ultimatums like "you dont get to go if I dont go with you". Controlling type behaviour. If this is his first real relationship perhaps he is afraid to set boundaries with her and explain that "lads nights out" are just that.

    This.

    I've seen this happen with pal with new gf. She would turn up when I'd arrange to meet him for a coffee!

    When I told him "dude, you can't bring her along everytime we meet".... he then told her what I'd said.


  • Registered Users Posts: 16,486 ✭✭✭✭osarusan


    She could be the driver behind it, or she could be equally sick of being dragged along to get-togethers with a longstanding group of friends with a history and dynamic she's not part of. Find out what's really behind this if you can.

    In general though, as relationships get more serious, the nature of these get-togethers tends to become shorter and closer to home in my opinion.

    It's one thing for a lad to head off on a boozy/sporty weekend down the country - it's not unreasonable to expect a partner to let him off for the weekend - but it's another thing for him to fly to Vegas leaving his partner behind. A partner is well within their rights to object to that I think, particularly if money is any kind of issue.

    Those longer, more expensive outings will likely be off limits for a lot of people with long-term partners/families.

    It's the stuff that's closer to home - the cinema, the pub, that can continue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 166,026 ✭✭✭✭LegacyUser


    osarusan wrote: »
    It's one thing for a lad to head off on a boozy/sporty weekend down the country - it's not unreasonable to expect a partner to let him off for the weekend - but it's another thing for him to fly to Vegas leaving his partner behind. A partner is well within their rights to object to that I think, particularly if money is any kind of issue.

    Those longer, more expensive outings will likely be off limits for a lot of people with long-term partners/families.

    It's the stuff that's closer to home - the cinema, the pub, that can continue.

    What a lot of rubbish!
    She has no right to interfere in his plans with longstanding friends.

    She is not his mother.
    Assuming he works and provides for himself he can do whatever he wants with HIS money.


  • Registered Users Posts: 235 ✭✭Ms. Newbie18


    Hi OP,

    Your pal is obviously still in the honeymoon stage of his relationship and probably has no clue what he is doing.

    Be straight with him but not in dcik head way. Say there are outings that will be lads only - as I assume you have always had. Regardless of who is in a relationship. That while you(guys) think his OH is great, she is his GF and not your mate. You & the other lads want nights out with your mates only.

    Like others have said be prepared to see less of him until the shine wears off.


  • Registered Users Posts: 500 ✭✭✭anndub


    This is what starts to happen in your mid twenties. He's trying to merge the two most important relationships in his life, his girlfriend and his friend group. It's a healthy thing to do. Over the next couple of years I'd expect more girlfriends to start tagging along, not fewer! I can't see the problem, you're describing group outings anyway, what does it matter if there's an extra person? By the time you hit thirty you won't have a very large friend group if this continues to be an issue for you. Sounds harsh maybe but true.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 16,486 ✭✭✭✭osarusan


    What a lot of rubbish!
    She has no right to interfere in his plans with longstanding friends.

    She is not his mother.
    Assuming he works and provides for himself he can do whatever he wants with HIS money.


    Fair enough if you think that way.


    In my eyes, considering the time and cost involved, I there's a big difference between 'I want to head to the Galway Races/All Ireland final with the gang and stay over and get plastered' and 'I want to head to Vegas for a week with the gang'.



    But it's getting away from the point anyway. It doesn't seem like she is interfering in his plans or stopping him from doing stuff. It's more the case that, for whatever reason, she's tagging along.


    It could be that she's controlling or untrusting or whatever, but it could be him driving it as well, and she could be going along with it while bored out of her mind.


    Maybe the honeymoon period will end soon enough and they will be able to be out of contact for longer.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,272 ✭✭✭qwerty13


    anndub wrote: »
    This is what starts to happen in your mid twenties. He's trying to merge the two most important relationships in his life, his girlfriend and his friend group. It's a healthy thing to do. Over the next couple of years I'd expect more girlfriends to start tagging along, not fewer! I can't see the problem, you're describing group outings anyway, what does it matter if there's an extra person? By the time you hit thirty you won't have a very large friend group if this continues to be an issue for you. Sounds harsh maybe but true.

    I don’t agree with this at all. There’s a time and place for ‘lad’ or ‘girl’ nights out (or ‘existing friend groups’) - but in my experience anyway, there’s often other outings where partners/other friends are welcome. They’re just not welcome every time, all of the time - because it changes the dynamic. I’m a lot older than the OP, and we’d still have separate lads/girls nights - but also nights where it’s all welcome.

    I don’t think it’s a healthy thing to do, for this guy to bring his GF to everything, and cheeky and inconsiderate to assume that it’s automatically ok that she always tags along. I’m female, by the way.

    PS: I should have said that an expensive/lots of time away trip should always be considered carefully, eg can the couple still afford treats or holidays together if one chooses to go on an expensive trip. And if there’s kids, all bets are off if it’s a week away rather than a night. But for gaming nights, cards, cinema, meals, beers, a weekend away - then I think it’s good enjoyment and a good outlet for either party to do this without their partner. We’re still all individuals, as well as perhaps being people in relationships.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,765 ✭✭✭mailforkev


    anndub wrote: »
    Over the next couple of years I'd expect more girlfriends to start tagging along, not fewer!

    Don’t agree with this at all. I’m in my early 40s and still have a good group of friends. Almost all are married with several kids by now. Random nights out are few and far between at this stage but may or may not include partners. Also dinners out etc. It just seems obvious who goes to what.

    Anything like heading away for a night with the lads to a rugby match was, and always will be, lads only. My wife heads off on the odd hotel/spa break with her friends too. “Alone time” is a valuable part of a healthy relationship. We’re married, not chained together.

    None of my friends ever tried to shoehorn a partner in to anything. Luckily I have no clueless friends with needy partners. Would have been nipped in the bud fairly quickly if it had.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,176 ✭✭✭✭ILoveYourVibes


    I think he will eventually realize he has to find couple friend groups etc. And move on.

    You guys are all single so maybe he can't relate to the group so much.

    I mean if he wanted guy only time etc ....he would go alone i am sure.
    He's trying to merge the two most important relationships in his life, his girlfriend and his friend group.


    As a female for me its a weird dynamic your partner's friends ..cuz if you are hanging out ...you act like friends but you know if you broke up ...like i mean what i am saying is you know you are not really friends. Now that isn't true all the time etc. It feels ..fake. Not saying its always like that.

    But it seems to be the case here.

    Maybe put it this way ...ask him does she really want to go ? I bet she doesn't. I bet she is bored stiff.

    Maybe just say can she only come 50% of the time or something?

    Either he says ok cool ...or he stops hanging with you and you lose him. Im not sure you were that great friends if that happens tbh.


  • Registered Users Posts: 745 ✭✭✭ClosedAccountFuzzy


    Never really encountered this issue. Girlfriends and boyfriends were always just part of the bigger group of friends

    Is this one of these Irish single gender schools legacy issues?

    I’ve really noticed that a lot here - there’s often this very hard line between the girls and the guys, it reminds me of Last of the Summer Wines.

    Life gets more complicated and girlfriends, boyfriends, wives, husbands and kids all start to become part of it as you get older. It’s just things evolve.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,205 ✭✭✭Rowley Birkin QC


    Whatever about anything else, the Vegas thing jumped out. I've done two trips to Vegas with the lads. For the record, nothing in anyway awful / illegal or compromising happened on those trips.

    Bringing partners to either of those was an absolute no, not for any reasons of impropriety but because it was a lads trip. Having an "outsider" along would kill the dynamic stone dead and everyone would end up resenting yer man and his OH.

    I've also gone on couples sun holidays, big mixed group (couple & singles) ski holidays, all great fun and to be recommended. But a dedicated "lads trip" is sacrosanct.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭completedit


    So odd, I do feel this is a legacy of the split education system. The idea of a 'lads only' trip seems so bizarre to me. If the people are cool then they'll make it cool and a better experience. Don't get the need for a dividing line.


  • Registered Users Posts: 561 ✭✭✭Sonic the Shaghog


    Ah will you go way lads and girls nights are also a thing in the US, Canada and the UK and I'm sure not the only places you'd want to be very sheltered to think it's only a thing here


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭completedit


    Only good thing about it is that it is probably heathy for a relationship to have diverging social lives.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,624 ✭✭✭notAMember


    Sounds old fashioned to have those exclusion rules for a group of buddies.


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