DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Clay," and I recently met another couple, "Doreen" and "Bob," who let us know they're interested in socializing together. I like the concept of double-dating. It has a different social dynamic than hanging out with Clay's or my single friends.
At first we enjoyed our time with them. We met twice for dinner that first month. However, lately we've been feeling pressured. Doreen sends four or five e-mails during the week and then a few text messages asking about our plans and if we want to meet them on Saturday.
I have tried to explain that we can't afford to go out every weekend and that Clay and I sometimes have other plans. I have told them I'd be willing to host a game night or rent a movie, but I get the impression they consider it an insult.
The issue here is that we don't like being pushed. One text or e-mail toward the end of the week is plenty for us. But receiving several inquiries all week makes us feel trapped. We have our own projects, friends and activities. We can't spend every weekend with this couple. As much as we enjoy spending time with them, how can we politely let them know that it is becoming too much? -- IN DEMAND IN ANNAPOLIS
DEAR IN DEMAND: Doreen and Bob obviously do not have as full a social calendar as you do, and they love your company. It would not be rude to explain to Doreen that, as you so clearly stated in your letter, you "have your own projects, friends and activities" and "can't spend every single weekend" with them. You should also say that being snowed under with e-mails and texts makes you uncomfortable.
Tell her that you enjoy them, too, that you have financial limitations and that you will contact them to schedule something. If they take offense because of it, the problem is theirs, so don't make it yours.