Guys
Love's 7 Pet Peeves
How do you deal with the people who play supporting roles in your love life?
illustration by Lyra Garcellano

Picture this... You're enjoying a romantic picnic with your sweetie. Taylor Swift's "Love Story" is playing in your mind. You're relishing this sweet moment of togetherness when... rrriiiinnggg!!! His cellphone sounds off and the name Mommy Dearest flashes on the screen. Sigh! Will you ever steal a moment for yourselves? Here’s how to deal with the people who play supporting roles in your grand love affair.

  1. Your Brothers
    Profile:
    They're your round-the-clock bodyguards.
    Everyday, they run you through a routine check-up and bombard you with questions about what time you are coming home, where you are going, who you are going with... who is that boy anyway and what is he doing hanging around you?!?

    Strategy: Introduce him to your brothers little by little.
    First, mention that you have a "friend" who loves the same basketball team they adore. PS3  games? Your bros can borrow the newest ones from your "friend." Are they taking apart the engine of their car again? Your "friend" can help them since he's really good with cars. This subtle introduction should help cushion the blow they'll feel when they find out their newest chum is their little sis' boyfriend.

  2. Father of the Bride
    Profile: Everyone loves your dad! All your girl friends think he's the coolest and most adorable guy. But when it comes to dealing with your boyfriend, he turns from terrific to terror. He'd be more pleased to "hit" him rather than meet him. Oh, father!

    Strategy: Your boyfriend must be a wonderful lad for you to have fallen in love with him, right?
    It is simply a matter of getting your dad to see this side of him. A tried and tested move would be to invite him to an informal family occasion. This will allow your dad and the rest of your family to get to know him on a more intimate level. One entrée and a bite of dessert later, Daddy Dearest and your boy will already be exchanging NBA bets.

  3. The Boys
    Profile:
    Basketball. Pizza. Girl watching.
    This was your boyfriend's life with The Boys. All that has changed now that you're in the picture. They're starting to call him Mr. GBF (i.e., Girls Before Friends) since he hardly hangs with them anymore. Uh-oh!

    Strategy: Do not be threatened by the three- point motto of his barkada.
    Dare to join them and get to know them, too. Besides, there's nothing like a girl who can kick back and hang with the boys. Once they see what a great gal you are, they'd be happy their bud's in great hands! And once in a while allow him to have his own night out with the boys, too. You've got nothing to worry about if your relationship is built on solid trust.

  4. Your Boy Bud
    Profile: Buddy has seen you through braces, bunot hairstyle, baby fat and all.
    He has stayed up many nights listening to you whine over the phone because of some silly growing pain (like not being allowed to the Lady Gaga concert). Buddy has been exactly that...the buddy-slash-big bro you've always needed. Why then is he suddenly jetting as your new boy makes an entrance in your life?

    Strategy: Buddy is probably distancing himself out of respect for your sweetie. (Lest your honey might have a jealous streak.)
    Keep your friendship tight with him by occasionally checking in on how he's doing, and updating him on your life as well. A text or phone call should keep him at bay. You can also run to him for some love advice. Romance can be fragile but friendship runs deep!

  5. His Mommy Dearest
    Profile: Your sweetie is the youngest and only boy in a family of four.
    His mom was there for his first day of school, his first basketball game, and his graduation day. She helps him shop for clothes, prepares a hearty breakfast for him, and waits for him to come home. Do you still wonder why she is having a hard time letting go of her little boy?

    Strategy: It is understandable for her to feel a little threatened by your presence.
    Before you came into the scene, the most important woman in his life was his mom. Your presence signals a change where his mommy now has to be content with being second priority. Make life easy for her. Don't compete for attention with his mom—she will only despise you even more. Allow him to spend some time with his mom. Be respectful and never forget your manners when you are around her. Mothers can tell a good gem when they see one. You can also give her accounts of how he always thinks of her.  There was this one time in the mall that he insisted that we bought you some tulips... (Be careful not to appear sipsip though).

  6. His Ex
    Profile: One year post-break up, she's nothing more than a good friend.
    And although you're almost fully convinced, it doesn't help that she is still way too friendly with him and treats him like a one-man 911. What's up with asking him to pick her up from a disastrous date? And their casual coffee dates spell nothing but d-o-u-b-t. 

    Strategy: It helps to be understanding, but sometimes you've got to put your foot down.
    If their one-on-one hangouts are stressing you out, tell him how it's making you feel and hope he'll do something about it. Even if there's no cause for alarm, your feelings-and not his ex's—should always be priority.

  7. Your Ex
    Profile:
    You walk into your room and it's strewn with red rose petals.
    How romantic of him! As you call him on his cell to thank him for the sweet surprise, he appears clueless of the situation. "I left petals in your room? Oh no, don't tell me your  ex is at it again!"

    Strategy: Send a message loud and clear to both your current sweetie and your past flame: It's over between you and your ex!
    Don't respond to your ex's sweet gestures. Break it to him gently that you're happy with your personal life and you'd appreciate it if he'd respect your new relationship, thank you very much. It's time for him to move on, just like what you've done. Don't forget to reassure your now-boyfriend that you love him to bits, as well!
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Timi Gomez
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