Dear Ivy,

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost three years, and we live together. I don't want to come between my boyfriend and his friends, but at the same time, I feel really left out that they never invite me to do things with them. I know that it might not sound like a huge deal, but I am truly hurt that they never even consider inviting me to their outings.

Ah, yes the age-old dilemma. You gotta look at this with an open-mind, it’s not personal. Boys will be boys. Have you even seen them when they’re alone together? Trust me, YOU don’t wanna hang out them. It’s very healthy for your man to have a life, and a bunch of guy friends with whom he can get together with every now and then to let off some steam. You guys live together; he’s given you the majority share of his life, now you gotta be generous enough to let him have his own.

You probably consider yourself outgoing enough to be one of the boys. That’s not how they see it. No matter how much you try, you will always be his girl in their eyes. He won’t be able to make fun of you or beat you at a bet, they also have to be extra nice to you or risk pissing their buddy off. And just imagine how all the girlfriends will want to come too when they find out you were allowed in to the little club. It would no longer be a guys thing and instead turn into one big group date.

Don’t be a downer, use the time he’s away to reconnect with your own girlfriends.There is nothing sexier to a man than a woman with a life of her own.

Dear Ivy,

We have both been super busy with work and extracurricular activities so I suggested I skip overtime next week so that we could have a special date night on a day we both have off. Can you recommend some super special ideas?

Yes. Have a cook-off. There is no better way to bond than in the kitchen even if you haven’t fried an egg before. But I don’t mean your average steak and fries combo. I mean go all out.

Start you evening at the bookstore and pick out a cookbook of your choice. I would recommend something from Jamie Oliver for a main course and Gordon Ramsay for dessert. Treat yourselves to funny looking matching aprons as well, which you can probably find at Virgin Megastore .

Plan out the menu for the night together and make sure it’s a five-course meal. Don’t be reluctant to go for something super challenging with ingredients you don’t usually use. Be prepared to splurge. Treat yourself to a fabulous bottle of wine you can pick out from Vintage in Saifi village while you’re at it and set up a playlist in advance of both of your favorite tunes.

Next: get cooking. Make sure the table settings match the occasion and throw in some candles. Stuff yourselves silly. End things with your all-time favorite movie and some more wine. This will quickly turn into your monthly ritual -- guaranteed!

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Dear Ivy: Can You Recommend Some Super Awesome Date Ideas?

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