If you’ve ever felt left out or neglected because your guy spends too much time with his friends instead of spending quality time with you, then this article is for you.
I know exactly how you’re feeling because that was my situation this time last year.
Luckily, that’s not the case now. So I’m going to share with you the steps I took to turn things around.
My boyfriend never takes me out but goes out with his friends
I always knew that my man was super sociable. It was one of the things that first attracted me to him.
He had lots of friends and was always the life and soul of the party. He loved being out and he loved meeting new people.
But it wasn’t until things got more serious between us that I realized just how much he really enjoyed hanging out with his friends.
I felt like the time he was spending with them was encroaching on our time together. It felt like they were getting the best of his time, like Saturday nights.
I started to feel second best to his friends. He went out with them and did fun stuff. Whereas when he saw me, we’d just sit around the house together and Netflix and chill.
Eventually, it really started to impact our relationship. I was silently seething inside. I knew I needed to do something about it.
Here’s what I did, I hope some of these tips are useful for you and your own situation too.
Why would my boyfriend rather hang out with his friends? 10 tips to turn things around
1) How much time is he spending with friends?
There are feelings and then there are facts. And the truth is that the two are often not the same.
So the first thing to start with is a bit of self-reflection and introspection.
It’s always good to pause for a moment and check that your feelings about it aren’t causing you to potentially overreact.
Ask yourself how much time he is hanging out with his buddies, and when he sees them. Now consider how often you see him, and when.
Is there a big difference between the two? Are they getting the majority of his time? Is he doing fun stuff exclusively with them?
You might wonder how often should your boyfriend see his friends?
And although there isn’t one definitive answer to that, the truth is that we all need to have friendships. So a few times a week isn’t so out of the ordinary.
It’s not necessarily that he is choosing them over you, it’s that friends provide something different to partners.
A study showed that men need to have a minimum of two guys nights a week to maintain good health.
Try to understand what bothers you the most about your situation:
- Is it how much time he spends with friends?
- Is it that he is going out with them, but doesn’t go out with you?
- Is it when he sees them that eats into your quality time together, for example on weekends?
We all need to realize that time apart is healthy. When handled in the right way, it can even strengthen a relationship.
It gives you time to miss someone and look forward to seeing them. It gives you more things to talk about when you’re together.
On the other hand, he also needs to invest in your relationship too. Both time and energy.
That means if he is out almost every night of the week with his friends, you are bound to feel neglected.
2) Don’t overreact by getting mad or clingy
Please don’t take this tip the wrong way. I’m not suggesting that you should smile sweetly and hide how you feel.
But I know first hand that when your boyfriend goes out with friends but doesn’t take you out, it can bring up all kinds of emotions.
You might feel a bit insecure and vulnerable about it. You might question his feelings and affection for you. You might feel resentful and a bit pissed off.
I think that’s normal. It’s because you care.
But your ultimate aim is to bring your boyfriend closer, not push him further away.
Telling him off, getting mad at him, or acting desperate and clingy is more likely to have the opposite effect to what you really want.
If you’re like me, then you don’t want to have to lay down the law and demand that your BF takes you out more and sees his friends less “or else”.
You want him to want to do that. That means making time together more appealing.
What helped me to avoid overreacting was stripping away our situation and figuring out what the root problem was.
I realized that it wasn’t so much that he went out with friends and not with me, it was the assumptions I made about what that must mean.
I actually kind of enjoyed cuddling on the couch together. I realized it was more about the attention I felt he was giving to other people and not to me.
I felt like him going out to bars, and doing fun stuff with his friends and not with me must mean on some level he cares less about me.
Of course, this was a feeling and not a fact. So I tried to remember that.
3) Build up your own social life
If you’ve been spending all your free time alone when you’re not with your guy, then you’re bound to miss him more.
Sometimes when we get into a relationship, we end up losing ourselves a little bit. We neglect other things we have going on and make our partner the center of our world.
That can be fun. But it can also backfire.
Go to parties, meetups, get involved in sports teams, spend time on your own interests and hobbies etc.
And make sure you spend as much time with your girlfriends as possible.
This works in a couple of ways:
- It helps to take your mind off things. You might be surprised that when you’re also busy, you don’t obsess over how much time your guy is spending with his friends.
- It’s sexy when our partners are independent. Him seeing you with a busy social life can spark his interest in keeping you closer.
This isn’t about making him jealous that you are also seeing your friends all the time.
But it’s about making sure you are living your best life, regardless.
4) Set healthy expectations around the relationship
I’m just going to say it:
I think too many of us have unrealistic ideas about love.
Sure, love is amazing, and without it, life can feel meaningless. But our idea of love is shaped by overly romantic notions. And it’s hard for real life to match up.
Have you ever asked yourself why love is so hard?
Why can’t it be how you imagined growing up? Or at least make some sense…
When you’re dealing with unmet expectations in a relationship it’s easy to become frustrated and even feel helpless. You may even be tempted to throw in the towel and give up on love.
I want to suggest doing something different.
It’s something I learned from the world-renowned shaman Rudá Iandê. He taught me that the way to find love and intimacy is not what we have been culturally conditioned to believe.
In fact, many of us self-sabotage and trick ourselves for years, getting in the way of meeting a partner who can truly fulfil us.
As Rudá explains in this mind blowing free video, many of us chase love in a toxic way that ends up stabbing us in the back.
We fall in love with an ideal version of someone instead of the real person.
We try to “fix” our partners and end up destroying relationships.
We try to find someone who “completes” us, only to fall apart with them next to us and feel twice as bad.
Rudá’s teachings showed me a whole new perspective.
While watching, I felt like someone understood my struggles to find and nurture love for the first time – and finally offered an actual, practical solution to finding a fulfilling relationship that feels equal.
If you’re done with frustrating relationships and having your hopes dashed over and over, then this is a message you need to hear.
I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
5) Suggest some quality time together
After asking myself some deeper questions about how I was really feeling, I looked for practical steps I could take to make things better.
I decided that before steamrolling in, I would start with a more subtle approach. Especially after I realized that maybe I was just feeling a bit deprived of his attention.
They say you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. So I decided to charm my way into spending more time with me.
A good approach can be to suggest you do some romantic, or fun things just the two of you.
Guys aren’t mind readers, and let’s face it, sometimes they can be a bit clueless. Make it clear that you want to go out more with him.
What is it that you want to do?
Go for a drink?
Go out for a romantic candlelit dinner?
Hit the bowling alley?
Head to the movies?
Whatever it is, suggest it to him. Let him know that spending time with him doing things sounds like your idea of heaven.
It will flatter him to know that you want to hit the town with your man.
6) Find new interests you can share together
Sometimes relationships can fall into bad or lazy habits.
Once we get more comfortable we don’t think we need to make as much of an effort. Of course, it’s not good to take someone for granted. But it happens.
To bring back a bit of a spark and make things feel fresh again, you could try to find some totally new things to do together.
Do you have common interests? Are there things you’d both love to try but never have?
Start a conversation about trying some new things in your relationship. See what he would be interested in, and find out if any of your interests match up.
Maybe it’s getting fit, maybe it’s learning a new skill or taking a class together, it could be something adventurous like going camping together.
This is the time you can make it clear that you’d love to go out and do more things with him. But you are framing it in a positive and constructive way, rather than having a moan.
How things are received often comes down to how we deliver it. That’s why being proactive rather than complaining is going to hopefully make him more receptive.
7) Let him know how you feel
It’s funny isn’t it. We hear all the time about how communication is essential to healthy relationships. If only it felt so easy to do.
It can be really hard to open up and tell your boyfriend how you feel.
You might worry about how he’ll react, whether he’ll be dismissive and make you feel rejected, or whether he’ll think you are being unfair or clingy.
You might even worry that you’ll lose your cool and it will only lead to an argument.
But if your more subtle attempts to create more quality time for you two in your relationship have gone unnoticed and unreciprocated, then you need to have a proper chat about it.
Tell him how you feel. When we bring up problems with a partner, it’s best to use language like “I feel” rather than “you never/always do this or that”.
The latter can sound accusatory. To get the best response from him, he needs to hear how it makes you feel.
You’re not saying he is bad or wrong, you’re telling him how you feel.
For example, this is what I ended up saying to my boyfriend:
“I love about you that you are independent and a good friend. It’s super attractive to me. But lately, I’ve also felt a bit sad about how much you do with them. When you go out with your friends, but we usually stay home, I sometimes feel like less of a priority to you. I’d love it if we could also have more proper dates”.
8) Get advice specific to your situation
While this article explores tips you can use if your boyfriend never takes you out but is always out with his friends, it can be helpful to speak to a relationship coach about your situation.
Relationships can be confusing and frustrating. Sometimes you’ve hit a wall and you really don’t know what to do next.
I’ve always been skeptical about getting outside help until I actually tried it out.
Relationship Hero is the best resource I’ve found for love coaches who aren’t just talk.
They have seen it all, and they know all about how to tackle difficult situations like when you’re feeling neglected or underappreciated in your relationship.
Personally, I tried them while going through the mother of all crises in my own love life. They managed to break through the noise and give me real solutions.
My coach was kind, they took the time to really understand my unique situation, and gave genuinely helpful advice.
In just a few minutes you can connect with a certified relationship coach and get tailor-made advice for your situation.
9) Come up with some ground rules
Ground rules don’t sound very romantic, but healthy relationships have clear boundaries and expectations.
All relationships need compromise. You are two separate people and you are bound to have different ideas and thoughts on things. It’s only natural.
But it’s important to find a middle ground that you can both be happy with.
Ground rules help keep things respectful in a relationship.
Talk about what you both think a healthy and happy relationship looks like. Get specific.
How much time do you think you should spend apart? How much time with friends feel appropriate? How many dates out of the house do you think is a good amount?
You need to share these ideas you both have with one another. Agree on the things that feel important to both of you.
For example, me and my BF decided to a couple of clear rules:
- He’ll tell me about his plans with his friends rather than spring it on me
- We will have one proper date out of the house each week
10) If he can’t or won’t give you what you need, find someone who will
If your expectations are too far apart, you might not be right for each other.
If your demands are reasonable, but he shuts them down, then he may not be the right boyfriend for you.
If you tell him how you feel (without throwing blame his way) and he cares about you, it is not too much to ask to take you out.
Hopefully, your boyfriend was just in the dark about how you were feeling, and so these tips will work to get you back on track like they did for me.
But if your guy is out every night, doesn’t value you and isn’t prepared to make any changes — you might have to be prepared to walk away.
You deserve a man in your life who wants to take you out and spend quality time with you.