Dear G Philly: Answering Reader Questions

You ask. We tell.

I’ve been having problems with my partner’s friends lately. It seems that whenever we spend any time with them, there’s drama. So I’ve made a promise to myself this season to try and avoid it. But now I’m getting criticized by both my boyfriend and his friends. How can I keep the peace without completely losing my mind? I’m really being put to the test with all the parties this month. Help?

Unfortunately, just because you fell for your boyfriend doesn’t mean you’ll fall for all of his friends. Have you tried talking with him about some of your concerns? Rather than simply boycotting the party circuit this season, try making compromises. Let him know that you’ll go to a few events if you can opt out of others. It’ll be up to the both of you to decide which ones will be less, well, drama-filled. Another way to avoid the conflict is by putting down the sauce. Literally. Sometimes animosity and drinking can cause more conflicts than we care to admit. But if you keep your sobriety – and cool – you may find that you’re able to navigate your partner’s friends more successfully without the added headaches. Also try focusing more on common ground than the frustrations – and go into each event with a positive attitude (as hard as that may be). You may find that it sets the mood for others. Good luck!

I spend a lot of time online meeting guys for hookups. It’s been working great. But last year I met someone who I’ve been seeing more seriously on and off. He’s recently suggested that we become exclusive, which sounds great in some ways. But I’m not sure I’m ready to give it all up to be in a relationship. I never really saw myself as a monogamous person. But there’s something about this guy that is different. How can I let him know I’d like to have a more open relationship until I can figure things out?

You could let him know that you’d like to have an open relationship by letting him know you’d like to have an open relationship. But you probably know that already, right? It’s his response that likely has you worried – and for good reason. It sounds like this one would like to cultivate something a bit more serious than you might find in the Man for Man section of Craigslist. But given than he’s met you under those circumstances (or at least it sounds like it from your email), he should also realize that you’ve been fairly honest about the sorts of experience you’re looking for from other men. The best advice? Be completely honest with him. Let him know you really do care about him – and that you’re considering a more monogamous relationship – but you may not be ready to commit 100 percent. The worst thing you could do is agree to his terms and then end up sneaking around. Everyone gets hurt and you’ll both be miserable. But if you discuss your feelings about monogamy and open relationships, you both may find a comfortable place to get to know each other even better. But be prepared for him to bring up the subject again. And think about what you’ll say if (and after) he gives you the time you need.

Have a question? Just ask: nmcdonald@phillymag.com

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