Girlfriend tired of being the fifth wheel
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Dear Carolyn • I am not sure if my issue stems from my own insecurity or if this is an actual problem that needs to be addressed. My boyfriend of almost two years is an amazing guy. The only problem is, he is two different people when we are alone together and when there are others around. In the company of others, he is always trying to be the center of attention. He will leave for long periods of time, and I have no idea where he is.The last party we went to, a girl started telling me how cute he was and how he had flirted with her the whole night. Also, when we hang out with others, I feel like a fifth wheel. I've told him about this many times and there haven't been any changes. What should I do?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous • Decide if this is the way you want to live your life, and adjust your relationship status accordingly. You are unhappy with the status quo, so you need to respect your feelings and change that status quo — in ways that don't include asking and waiting for him to change for you, or rationalizing your discomfort away.

Dear Carolyn • A friend who lost his wife a few years ago has made it known that he'd like to start dating. Another friend has asked me to give him her number. For the first time, I came face-to-face with the fact that I'm just not that into her as a friend anymore; I actually get fatigued in her company. While I don't mind fixing them up, and putting aside for the moment whether or not they end up clicking, what does it say about me that I'm balking at recommending my friend to a guy looking to meet a nice woman?

Balking

Dear Balking • It means you recognize that you'll feel somewhat responsible if these two (1) become a couple, and then (2) unravel in spectacular fashion due to the aspects of her personality that wear you out. It's good that you recognize your influence here. So, account for that influence: Pass along the number, and say it comes without guarantee, warranty, or even much affection for the idea of setting people up. Two adults can take it from there.

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