Dear Blake,

My boyfriend, “Kirk,” and I have been dating exclusively for nearly two years and live together. We met during the pandemic, so for the first year or so, we mostly hung out — just the two of us. Since the world has opened back up, I’ve been encountering some problems now that we’re able to socialize with others.

Kirk often becomes silent and moody when we are around my friends. He’ll often leave early and abruptly without saying a proper goodbye. I find it incredibly rude. We’ve talked about it a number of times, but it continues. Kirk never acts this way around his own friends or family.

He also sometimes becomes terse, irritable and depressed when it’s just the two of us, typically before or during an outing. Because of this, a number of promising date nights have ended badly.

As his behavior continues, it makes me more and more angry. Kirk says this is just the way he is and he can’t be happy all the time. Is a relationship worth trying to save if you can’t consistently have fun with each other outside the house?

Signed, Ellen
From Lincoln, Nebraska

*                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *                    *

Dear Ellen,

Kirk’s motive for behaving the way he does, is somewhat of a mystery to me. It’s even possible that he caught something during the pandemic that causes him to act like an idiot. Here are some other possibilities. Maybe Kirk is silent around your friends, because he feels he’s not as intelligent as they are, and he doesn’t want your friends to know how stupid he is. On the other hand, he could he feel he is so much more intelligent than they are, that he doesn’t want to waste his time conversing with a bunch of morons. If he abruptly leaves your buddies, is it possible it’s due to their body odor? If their stench is powerful, you can’t blame him for avoiding smells that are not fit for human nostrils. And finally, it could be possible that the shutdown during the pandemic caused him to become stir crazy and it affected him mentally. Hopefully he’s not so far gone that him comes after you in the middle of the night with an axe while you’re sleeping. Even if he does, police are very good at reading blood spatter to piece together a crime scene, and with the advancement made in DNA, you can easily be identified through bone fragments. I hope this helps.