Dear Carolyn: When I started dating “Tim,” my friends were very excited. I don’t usually date, especially long-term. Tim is a great guy, really nice, very funny and endlessly sweet. Almost too sweet. He constantly overextends himself, drives hours out of his way after work to help a friend of a friend and, because of this, has a hard time keeping plans. He is very well-intentioned, and I trust him. I have no doubts about our relationship. None of this bothers me. It honestly inspires me to become a better person and help others like Tim does.
However, my friends think I’m being strung along, mistreated, overlooked and ignored. Some have met Tim and are charmed by his charisma, personality and sense of humor. Others are bristly when I even bring up his name. It bothers me that my friends can’t just be happy for me. I’ve always been wildly independent, without a need for a man constantly around, and it truly does not bother me that Tim is busy lending a hand, even if it’s at the expense of our alone time.
I guess I’m asking, where is the line between helping someone else and mistreating your girlfriend? Am I tiptoeing on it? Is Tim neglecting me, or are my friends projecting?