Your partner is funny, they’re charming, and they have a winning smile–to you. Sure, you’ve told your friends every time you break up, but later, after you got back together, you explained that you both talked it out, and now you’re in love again. So why do they still hate him?
That charming side you see, they don’t. To your friends, that “winning smile” is a judgmental smirk. So in a case like this, what should you do? Do you tell your significant other? Do you keep them away from your friends? Do you give your friends an ultimatum?
Is your partner a keeper even if your friends don’t like them? Here are some reasons why your friends might not like your partner and what you should do about it.
Reasons Why They Don’t Like Your Partner
Your friends have their reasons for choosing not to be around your partner. If this is the case, it hurts, but you can’t force people to be friendly to one another. So what can you do? First, let’s examine a few possible reasons why your partner may not be their cup of tea.
They Liked Your Ex Better
Your ex put together amazing parties and always bought rounds of drinks for everyone. Even past the material things, your ex was funny, and your friends really seemed to bond with them. Now that you have broken up, your friends are secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) rooting for the two of you to get back together. This makes it easy not to like anyone new trying to come into your life because if they succeed, you and your ex as a couple become obsolete.
When you get into a new healthy relationship, the dynamics of your friendship change. You used to spend all your free time with your best friends, but now your time is divided between work, errands, and your new love.
Unfortunately, friends tend to fall under the radar when a new relationship pops up. To make matters worse, when you carve time out for them, they have to listen to you talk about things like how you’re a vegan now and how you’ve decided to abstain from alcohol. This can make them feel you’re only doing these things for your new partner.
His History Is Questionable
Good friends are always in your corner, so they may look at your relationship with a side-eye when they have inadequate information about your partner.
For example, did your friends find out your partner has a poor dating track record? Just because you know he’s a serial dater and have decided to give him a chance doesn’t mean your friends will give him that same chance. They have your best interest at heart and don’t want to see you hurt.
Jealousy can come in many forms. Maybe your friend is jealous because the time you used to spend with them is now spent with your partner. You used to plan vacations together, but now you barely even talk. Or, maybe your friends are jealous because they’re still single. They see how happy you are and want the same thing for themselves. Being in the presence of a happy couple is hard when you are miserably single.
In a healthy friendship, your friends should be happy for your relationship. But don’t judge them too harshly. They may be happy for you but miserable in their situation, and this is what you witness.
They Believe You Can Do Better
Friends tend to be judgmental if they think you can do better than your partner. For instance, you’re always paying when you go out, or you work two jobs and go to school while they sit on your couch all day. But, again, your friends are looking out for your best interest. They don’t want you to settle. Instead, they want to see you with someone on your level or at least working on goals.
They Witness Your Partner Treating You Unfairly
Friendship means you have each other’s best interests at heart. If they see your partner treating you poorly, they’ll speak up. Unfortunately, when we get into a relationship, we tend to be blinded by love. Your friends see you allowing substandard treatment, and they don’t like that. They would rather see you with someone who treats you respectfully.
What to Do if Your Friends Don’t Like Your Partner
Okay, we’ve established why your friends turn up their noses at your new partner. But, regardless, you are continuing with the relationship.
However, you still want to hang out with your friends. What should you do? If you don’t want to lose your friends or partner, try a few tips below to help them get along.
Hear Them Out
It can be tiring hearing your friends dog out your partner every chance they get. But they’re not doing it to be malicious. They have something to say and want you to hear it, so listen. Give them a chance to explain why they don’t like your partner. You don’t have to agree with everything they say, but at the very least, understand why they’re saying it. Your friends want a chance to be heard, so hear them out. You may learn something new.
Get Everyone Together
Remember in grade school when you were mad at your best friend, and the teacher made you both sit at a table and discuss it? Well, it’s like that. Sometimes it’s better to sit everyone down together and hash it out.
However, if there is too much tension, let the situation calm before putting everyone in the same room. Otherwise, it could end up worse than it started.
First, ask each person how they would feel coming together for a discussion. If no one is interested, eighty-six the idea. If only a few parties agree, sit them down for a chat. Then, anyone else can take part in a one-on-one conversation with you.
Look for Common Ground
Find a common interest for all parties involved. For instance, if your partner enjoys music, invite them to a concert with a group of your friends. This way, it’s not an intimate setting, so everyone can enjoy the show without necessarily focusing on one another.
If There’s Validity in What They’re Saying, Take Note
Along the lines of hearing what your friends say, take advice and suggestions to heart, especially if there is some validity to what they’re saying. Don’t completely shut them down because you’re sick of hearing it. For instance, they say they saw your partner cuddling up with someone else, but your partner told you they were going to a study session.
Even if you don’t want to confront your partner, don’t let it fall by the wayside. Your friends wouldn’t lie to you, but it may be a misunderstanding. Brushing off your friends will only result in future hurt feelings, and they may never confide in you again.
Stop Venting to Them about Your Partner
I can’t say this enough, stop whining and complaining to your friends about what your partner does or doesn’t do. If you forgive your partner, your friends will only remember what you complained about. A good rule of thumb is your partner is only as good as the last bad thing you told everyone they did.
All you want to do is vent anyway, so if you need a sounding board, try an acquaintance you don’t hang out with or someone you don’t mind not liking your partner. It’s better than telling family and friends and dealing with the future snide remarks when you tell them you’re back together.
4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Vent about Your Partner to Your Friends
- Your friends will only know one side of the situation; yours. Therefore, judgment is based on your experience only.
- Friends can be tough. Let’s face it, they are looking out for your best interest, so when they hear you upset, they are quick to tell you to dump him or to move on.
- After the tenth time hearing about how he cheated on you and you’re back together, friends stop judging your partner and start judging you!
- Negativity breeds negativity. Going on about all the bad things your partner does only makes it easier to continue that trend. Learn to discuss the good things in the relationship.
Get Some outside Feedback
If your friends really don’t like your partner and you can’t figure out why, speak to a neutral party. Someone outside of the situation will be able to offer some input. It’s even better if it’s someone who knows your partner and your friends.
Outside parties include:
- Leader of a religious organization
- Trusted advisor
They can sort through all the information and help you find a solution.
Be Willing to Cancel Group Outings
Backing out of group activities might sound severe, but if you’ve been trying to get your friends to accept your partner to no avail, you may have to force their hand. You can’t control how they think or feel.
This is one way to make a statement. It’s either both of us or none of us!
When they see how happy you are with your partner, they may back down and welcome your significant other. But they might not. However, this is a chance you’re willing to take. Once your friends understand the severity of the situation, they may reconsider.
Ways to Introduce Your New Partner to Your Friends
You’ve talked about them for a while. Now you want to introduce your new partner to your friends formally. Before throwing them to the wolves, check out the perfect ways for your friends to meet “the one.”
- Don’t make it a surprise – According to Zoosk.com, “You don’t want to throw your significant other into a surprise introduction because it may throw everyone involved completely off guard and result in unwanted nervousness and awkwardness.”
- Choose a friendly, casual place to meet – Avoid the first meeting at a formal event like a wedding. Instead, choose a place where the dress code is relaxed and comfortable. Breakfast and lunch are ideal times to meet. Avoid dinnertime because it is more formal.
- Allow your partner to have some input – Meeting new people, especially best friends, can be daunting, so make sure your significant other feels comfortable. Let them pick a time and place. Or, if you choose the time and place, make sure your partner is okay with it. Being in a relationship is about making decisions together.
Ask Your Friends to Respect and Accept Your Choice
Eventually, it may come down to an ultimatum. It’s not choosing between your partner or your friends. It’s more of a statement, “This is the person I’m with, so I ask that you respect that.”
Sometimes your friends don’t like your partner, and it has nothing to do with anything wrong they did to you. Sometimes they don’t like them because of something shallow, like his dress style or dry sense of humor. That’s okay. The reasons are inconsequential to the happiness of your relationship.
Just as your friends don’t love everything about you, they still accept you. That’s the key. Your partner is an extension of you. They should accept them as well.
Tell your friends something like:
“I don’t care what you think about his collection of Elvis memorabilia–but I would appreciate you keeping that to yourself.”
For whatever reason, sometimes, people don’t mesh well. That’s fine. Your friends and partner may be too dissimilar to forge a true bond. Don’t rush it. Find common ground and slowly integrate your partner into group activities. Who knows? Once your friends get to know them better, everyone could be friends, or at the very least, civil toward each other.
If everyone still refuses to get along, learn how to hang out with them separately.