I might try SMN then and I have been mainly going DRG/RDM for most of the stuff we duo. I haven't suffered any deaths...just some close calls. I think I'm just being paranoid because my BST friend says we are doing just fine. But SMN might be fun to level when we're not duoing dangerous monsters.
Thanks for you input!
The biggest tip I can give to a DRG playing with a BST is to make sure the BST is up to snuff with WS -> Snarl, or even subbing WAR and using Provoke -> Snarl to pin hate on the pet right before or after your WS. You are still a primary DD with some of the highest spike dmg in the game, so you will probably be tanking 99% of the time later on (BST pet won't hold over an early drakes without you making an effort to help him with snarl or jumps). That being said, remember that some of your jumps shed hate and use them appropriately. Don't be afraid to try outside-the-box mechanics or subjobs. Do anything you can to pin hate on your BST friend and then have him snarl to pin hate back on pet. One thing to consider is leveling as DRG / THF and using things like Trick-Attack on BST -> WS -> BST/WAR provoke -> Snarl. In the span of a couple seconds your pet will have so much enmity it will almost guarantee neither you nor the BST will be taking any hits for the life of the mob. If he's /DNC, a nice AOE waltz or Ghetto-Voke before snarl will accomplish the same thing without leaving you with only Breaths to keep you alive. If you are still looking to move away from DRG, but don't want to play a support role job, the THF class itself makes another excellent partner for the same reasons I just listed.
If your friend plans on leveling a healing class like RDM, SCH, WHM down the road, it may be a good idea to put DRG on hold to level with those, since it will be incredibly easy to kill quickly and stay alive. You'll be helping your friend and yourself. But only do this if you have a job you'd like to level with your friend that isn't DRG in the meantime, don't force yourself into it. Other people have suggested SMN, I agree this works very well. A buffing class will also help a great deal (a haste spell alone will make any melee class level a significant amount faster). BST + BST and BST + SMN are far and away the most effective 2's combos for low-manning experience and NMs, and you'd be surprised what you can take down by just throwing pets at something til it dies, but don't get yourself wrapped into some cookie cutter combo - just play what you want to play and when you hit Abyssea it'll all move along so quick it won't matter.