DEAR KELLY: My boyfriend has a younger sister who is two grades below us. She's cute and popular and has a lot of cute little friends who always like to flirt with my boyfriend because he's an "older guy."
He denies it's flirting, and said they are just friends to him.
His sister is always having her friends over to do things like swim, hang out or spend the night. I know that he's always around all those girls and they're just wearing things like bikinis. He said it's no big deal and that he can't help that they are always over.
There's one girl in particular who I really don't like, and I think she would jump at any chance to hook up with my boyfriend. Every time I'm there with him, I think she flirts.
When I told him I don't like her, he said that she's just like a little sister to him. Recently she posted a picture of the two of them on Instagram and wrote, "Shout out to Ryan. Thanks for always being there for me."
When I asked him about it he just said that she talked to him about problems she was having with her mom and he tried to offer advice.
Am I wrong for wanting him to not hang out with all the girls when they (especially her!) come over? Every time I know she's over, I freak out and it causes a big fight between us.
What should I do? Am I overreacting?
DEAR UNSURE: I try to always be fair-minded and see both sides. And I usually can see different points of view and try to find a good middle ground. In your case though, your boyfriend seems to be in trouble with you because he has a younger sister who has cute friends, and you're upset with him for something he has no control over. I'm not sure he is doing anything wrong and it feels like he deserves to be defended in this situation.
Yes, it's wrong to ask him not to hang out with his sister and her friends when they are at his house. What are you expecting him to do, hang out in his room all night? It's an unfair request and it puts too much stress on the relationship. If you can't handle that he has a sister whose friends come over, then you should bow out of the relationship. It's a part of his life and something you can't ask him not to be around.
Does the other girl have an older brother? Maybe she sees Ryan as the older brother she doesn't have? Perhaps it's true that she is like a little sister to him. Has he lied to you before about other things or does he have a history of being honest with you? If he hasn't lied to you before, why do you assume he's lying about her needing help with her mom?
It's a pretty normal thing to talk to someone older whom you respect about problems at home. Her posting of the picture of them doesn't feel like they are trying to hide a relationship from anyone. It seems very normal and it seems like maybe it's more about you than it is about them.
No matter who you date, they will always have other people in their lives.
If it's not a cute younger sister, it may be a cute coworker or neighbor or partner on a group project. You need to refocus your energy to what you can control instead of what you cannot.
Stop seeing your boyfriend's sister and her friends as a threat. Try getting to know them better. Hang out with them without feeling jealous or annoyed by them. Give them a chance to get to know you, too. Maybe if you took the chance to talk with them you would not feel so threatened by them.
Being insecure can destroy the relationship you want so desperately to work. Overcoming insecurities in a relationship in important in becoming an emotionally healthy person.
Write to Kelly Richardson at Teen Talk, The Sacramento Bee, P.O. Box 15880, Sacramento, CA 95852, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.