Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Boyfriend Demands Girlfriend Stay in With Him

DEAR HARRIETTE: My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over a year, and things have been great. We don’t argue much, but when we do, it has to do with me wanting to go out with my girls. I’m a college student and want to have a good time, but he doesn’t trust me enough to go out. He agree that I have never done anything to cause him not to trust me, but his argument is that he doesn’t trust the other men in the environment. I’ve asked him to come out with me, but he would rather stay in the dorms. I end up giving in and staying in with him, but it’s unfair.

I’m not sure what to do because it seems like this will be an issue for the rest of our lives if we stay together. Should I break up with him, or should I accept that I’m not allowed to go out? -- Concerned Girlfriend, Philadelphia

DEAR CONCERNED GIRLFRIEND: Notice the language that you used. You speak of what your boyfriend "allows" you to do. That makes me concerned, because you should not be controlled by anyone, including your boyfriend. Of course, you want to please him -- as he should also want to please you. You also need to figure out how you are compatible and the ways in which you are not.

If you and your friends make safe choices when you go out, you will be as protected as anyone can be as you go about your life. Assure your boyfriend of the precautions that you will follow. That should include limited alcohol consumption, traveling in groups and not being the last to leave.

I do not recommend that you retreat from going out at all. You will end up resenting him for forcing you to make that choice. That is not the way to begin a life together.