I've been the third wheel in my best friend's relationship for several months. When she got her new boyfriend, he seemed great -- easygoing, kind of funny, and not too shabby-looking.
But after a few months, he moved in with her, and now they're inseparable, so anytime my friend and I have plans to go out, he has to come along. He's really started to get on my nerves. He's not very smart and he often doesn't get the music, politics, or cultural topics my friend and I discuss.
I've tried hinting to my girlfriend that we need to have ladies' nights sans the boyfriend, but she says that he'll sit at home and mope if he's not at her side 24/7. Not only does this annoy me and drive me away from my friend, but it's also a really toxic relationship for her. When I've suggested that she should ditch him, she gets mad at me. What else can I do?
-- The Third Wheel
Dear Third Wheel,
Suggesting to your friend that she leave her boyfriend, whether you like him or not, is the wrong thing to do. Unless he's physically or mentally abusive, she doesn't need an intervention from you. Doing so will only push her further away from you. When my friends used to express disapproval of my past relationships, I stopped hanging out with those friends. I think most people would do the same.
On the other hand, you don't want to be stuck hanging out with the douchebag boyfriend all the time. Surely, there's some activity you and your girlfriend can do that won't attract lonely boy. For example, suggest a day-long shopping spree or a Sex in the City marathon at your place.
You can always do something else -- like hitting up a coffeehouse or movie -- once he's out of the picture. If the leech still insists on joining you, you could start bringing up female stuff; periods and/or yeast infections are perfect topics. Maybe then he'll get the hint that his girlfriend and you need some serious girl time. If he sticks around through all that menstrual-cycle talk, maybe he's not such a bad guy after all.
Got a problem? E-mail Bianca at firstname.lastname@example.org.