The Dos and Don'ts of Letting Things Slide With Your Guy

There are always times in your relationship when you wonder what your guy could possibly be thinking during a disagreement. Doesn’t he understand why you’re mad? Haven’t you had this same argument hundreds of times? There are definitely situations that warrant an argument and there are times when it’s okay to let things slide. So how do you tell the difference between the two? What really is a big deal and what’s not? With the help of Julie Spira, dating and relationship expert and founder of, Her Campus will go through five different scenarios of collegiette complaints and let you know when and when not to let things slide with your guy.

Complaint #1: He doesn’t want to spend time with my friends

It can be frustrating to have a different group of friends from your guy because, in addition to your family, both your friends and your boyfriend are the most important people in your life. You want to spend time with them both, but lately, you’ve had to choose between them.

When it’s a big deal
This is a problem if your boyfriend consistently refuses to spend time with your friends, because in turn, this can ruin your friendships. “It took me a long time to realize this, but my boyfriend was completely alienating me from my friends and family,” says Melissa*, a senior at Indiana University. “He refused to spend time with them and became extremely angry if I did anything without him.” If something similar is going on with you and your man, it’s time to stand up for yourself.

When to let it slide
There are definitely times when you don’t want to hang out with the guys, and the same is true for your boyfriend when it comes to hanging with the girls. If on an occasional basis, your boyfriend prefers not to hang out with your friends, instead opting for a night out with the boys or planning a romantic night for the two of you, then let it slide. It’s only natural to have separate lives and to spend some time alone.

“Your boyfriend has no obligation to spend time with your friends,” Spira says. “It’s my suggestion to let him have his Monday Night Football night or poker night while you schedule a girls’ night out ritual every week. This way no one will feel pressured about being left behind.”

Complaint #2: He drinks a lot

As college students, it may seem as though the majority of people we know drink to excess on the weekends and many even during the week. It’s sometimes tough to tell the difference between having a good time and having a drinking problem. To understand the difference, check out this HC article on alcoholism in college if you’re worried about your boyfriend’s drinking.

When it’s a big deal
Drinking can become a problem in your relationship if your boyfriend drinks excessively on a regular basis, and it interferes with your time with him. If your boyfriend is a different person when he drinks, he is emotionally or physically abusive toward you when drinking, or he prefers to drink than spend time with you, then it’s time to say something.

When to let it slide
Aside from the aforementioned situations, it’s okay to let your boyfriend have fun every once in awhile. As long as you’re not his babysitter at night and you’re enjoying yourself too, then this shouldn’t be an argument. “I used to get so mad when my boyfriend would go out and drink with his friends, then call me drunk in the middle of the night,” says Brooke*, a junior at the University of Missouri. “But then I realized I was actually more mad that I wasn’t out and that I’d been woken up, not really mad at him for having a good time with his friends.”

“Drinking a lot is a big red flag,” Spira says. “It’s also dangerous and can be a sign of other addictions. Have a conversation with him about his drinking and let him know it makes you uncomfortable and that you care about his safety. Do it from a position of love and caring instead of acting like a nagging girlfriend.”

Complaint #3: He’s consistently late

In busy college relationships, it’s a struggle to make time together and it’s tough when one person isn’t on time, thus cutting into your plans. You’re frustrated and all you want is for your boyfriend to be on time.

When it’s a big deal
If your boyfriend is late on a regular basis and doesn’t seem to notice or care that you’re upset about it, then it’s time to stand up for yourself. If your boyfriend isn’t making an effort to be on time even after you’ve voiced your complaints, then it’s time to evaluate whether or not time management is a deal breaker for you.

When to let it slide
Some people are just inherently bad with time, and your boyfriend might be one of them. If it seems as though he’s trying to be on time and he genuinely feels bad for making you wait on him, then it’s probably okay to let it slide – at least a few times. “My boyfriend was always late, and I mean always,” says Katie*, a senior at DePaul University. “He felt really bad about it though, and he did try to be better, but eventually I just started telling him that things started fifteen minutes earlier than they did, and it worked!”

“Have a conversation with him that his consistent late arrivals are disrespectful to you and to the other friends you’ve made plans with,” Spira says. “Ask him if he’d like you to text him as it gets closer to the meeting time as a gentle reminder. Let him know that if he arrived late to the airport, he’d probably miss his flight. He should have the same respect for your time as well.”