You Asked: Why is he so Anti-Social?

Dear Sugar--
My boyfriend has social difficulties in my opinion. When we are out, he has a hard time talking and starting conversations, and when he does talk about something (only topics he has great interest in) he always comes off arrogant- stating his opinions as facts, and he tends not to look at people in the eyes, a big pet peeve of mine. He frequently would rather watch TV in the bar than have general conversations.

I have tried to ask him to be polite and begged him to start at least one conversation in a night, but he just doesn't get it! I also asked him why he even bothers to go out if he remains quiet watching the TV all night. In my opinion, he needs to try to befriend my friends because they are getting the wrong impression of him - when it is just us, he is wonderful, outgoing and charming, but instead he makes them, and me, feel uncomfortable when we all go out. I am sick of hearing "I don't think your boyfriend likes me... why doesn't he talk", etc. Please help. --What's his Deal Debbie


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Dear What's his Deal Debbie--

Yikes, having a shy boyfriend can be so frustrating if you're a social butterfly, but it sounds like he is just insecure. Does he know your friends very well or have they only met a few times? Does your boyfriend act this way when he is out with his friends too?

Although it is annoying to you that he isn't much of a conversation starter, nagging him to open up could be in turn making him more insecure. Many people come off as arrogant when they feel intimidated, so maybe you should have your friends get to know him in an environment that he feels more comfortable in. Have your friends over for dinner, or go out with both your friends and his friends -- merge your groups so you both can be with the people who make you feel safe.

Unfortunately you're going to have to let your boyfriend warm up to your friends at his own pace. Since he is so great one on one with you, hopefully it won't be long until your friends see that side of him too. In the meantime, try to back off a little and give him the space and time he needs. Reiterate to your friends that he is simply shy and hopefully they can be a little more understanding the next time you are all together.

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