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Last week’s questions:
I’ve been dating a guy exclusively for a year and 3 months. Within the first year he went on 3 “guy trips” to Miami twice and Vegas once. I was uncomfortable with each, and made that clear. However, I wanted to respect his manhood and allow him to go with complete trust. I am sure he danced here and there but I did not question him when he got back either of the times. I kept it to myself.
Well, except the Vegas trip. One of his friends posted the dreaded trip on his Facebook page. As you can imagine, pictures can tell a thousand words. I confronted him on how embarrassed I was about the way he behaved- as if he were a single man. He barely defended himself because he claims he was drunk and didn’t even know people were taking pictures. Clearly he was drunk posing with one of his “home girls” holding her hair back and pretending to bend her over. That was embarrassing to me. He claims it was 100% innocent. I feel he was innocent, but it shows me that he when inhibitions are down (he is 29 by the way), that his behavior is not respectful of me. I am out of sight out of mind. Or maybe, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?
I am forgiving, but this coming July, the trend is starting once again. My question is, how do I go about dealing with this notion in my head that in July 2011, he is going to Miami for the same reason others go in July? He says it is a guys trip, but on the past 2 trips, magically his “home girls” are there to meet up. Some of these girls he hasn’t seen in years. And now this is becoming an annual Miami reunion. As his girlfriend, is this in a normal long term relationship excusable? Should I be okay with this?
I want to understand my man, and be okay with his guy trips, but I am unsure if I am just being naive. It is hard to take advice from women, because most of my friends do not trust their men. I know he is a good guy, maybe he makes stupid decisions when he is drunk; but I know he means well when it comes to me. But in terms of the respect factor, I do not know how to bring the conversation up with him.
Do I ask him that this be his last guy trip, or do I ask him not to drink? Won’t he rebel? My girlfriend (one of them) claims that he is taking advantage of me and I am “too nice” for letting him go on all these trips. When he made it a goal of his in 2011 to move out of his mothers house (They are Indian) and get his own place for US I was happy. But so far, he is more interested in his Miami trip than this move. He has plenty of money, so money is not the issue. I think it’s his priorities. However I don’t want to force him to not do what makes him happy. This is where my friends think I am wrong. Apparently he is having his cake and eating it too. Any insight? I asked him numerous times would he rather be single and get this stuff out of his system, but he says the clubbing is out of his system, and this is just a guys’ trip-an annual trip. He LOVES to travel with his guys. Side note: his boys are all single. They always are, or they magically break up with their girls before they go. Mine doesn’t want to break up when he goes. He pretty much calls me on the regular. Would I be wrong to give him an ultimatum when he goes, and tell him to think about if these trips are more important then the relationship we have? And ask him to think about it an decide between the trips and/or me?
Thanks for your question. We think you’ve hit upon something that a lot of women wonder about. So we’re going to explore the Guy Trip in general, and then address your specific question.
If a guy loves a woman they will pretty much do whatever it takes to keep her happy. But the emasculation factor is high here; so sometimes we need a break to strut our stuff, and prove to ourselves and our buddies, that we still have a drop of testosterone left in our bodies. Now typically, playing pool at a bar, or going to a baseball game, or frequenting the local “watering hole” is enough for us. For a few hours we preen and posture with our boys, reassert our manhood, and feel whole again. But sometimes these little medieval jaunts aren’t enough, and we need to put on full scale armor and do a little jousting. Enter the Guy Trip.
A Guy Trip is needed when our estrogen levels have risen to dangerous heights, and the levy is close to breaking; or when a shot of testosterone won’t do it, and a full fledged blood transfusion is needed. Guys will then plan some outlandish trip where they live in a semi-altered state for a weekend or longer, that allows them revert back to when they were single, living on pizza, drinking beer in the morning, gawking at women(hopefully not touching, but sometimes), and doing all the foolish things they remember as being fun. Typically after a few days, this behavior gets old, and they realize it’s not their manhood they were searching for, but their youth. And then they are happy to reinsert themselves back into their lives, content for the moment.
But having said all that, we agree with your girlfriends for the most part. Just because guys need these types of trips occasionally, doesn’t mean Vegas or Miami should always be the destination. A Vegas trip might be okay once-say for a special bachelor party, or for a big high school reunion or something like that-but not for a yearly jaunt. We’re not saying your man is actually doing something that undermines your relationship-although we’re not saying he isn’t either-but just that trips to Vegas are providing him more than a much needed injection of manhood. He loves going, and in this respect he is getting his cake and eating it too.
If your guy wants to bond with his “boys” why couldn’t he go camping for a few days, or go on a golf outing, or do something on a less grand scale? We’re just a bit curious why he feels the need to do a week long jaunt to the City of Sin to feel whole again? If you know what we’re saying.
We also wonder why his “home girls” always seem to be part of the picture. Doesn’t that seem a bit odd to you? We don’t know him as well as you do, but that certainly begs an explanation. Remember Nicole, if something looks and feels suspicious, it probably is. We had another question a few months ago where a woman’s man was also taking regular trips to Vegas with work friends. (We answered it on our podcast.) A picture was taken of her man and two women work “friends” sleeping in the same bed. He told her they just fell asleep and nothing happened, and she took him at his word. Well, let’s just say that was a bit suspicious don’t you think?
So we have a question for you. Does your man realize how much his trips to Miami and Vegas bother you? You say you’ve told him, but does he really know the depth of how you feel?
All relationships require some sort of give and take. And this comes with trust. Without trust, no relationship can survive the long term. It’s sad that none of your girlfriends trust their men. We believe there are men out there that can be trusted, so none of you should be settling for less.
We realize you don’t want to give him an ultimatum, and you shouldn’t. (This is where we disagree with your friends.) He has to come to the realization himself, after you tell him how you feel; otherwise your ultimatum will just lead to resentment on his part and your part, and possibly lead to the end or your relationship. But please tell him specifically how these guy trips make you feel; and tell him how you feel when you see pictures of him humping these so called friends. Deliver this information to him as calmly as you can. If he hears you and still chooses to do what he wants, then you need to take a hard look at the relationship and ask yourself a few questions. Are you getting what you need out of the relationship? And does he care enough about the relationship to change some of his behavior?
Sure, guy trips are wonderful and often necessary. They are similar to when women get together for a girls night out. (Well not exactly) But no trip should undermine an existing relationship, and cause more stress and strife.
This is a delicate balance, and an issue many couples struggle with. How much independence is okay within a committed relationship? Every couple has to come up with a solution that works for them. Too much of anything is trouble. So the balance between jealousy and freedom is something all couples have to work out. You two have a lot to work on it sounds like.
And for the record we wouldn’t be okay with our girlfriends, wives, or partners exhibiting the kind of behavior your boyfriend is exhibiting. Maybe he’s just not ready to be in the kind of relationship you want-a long term, committed, and respectful relationship.
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