“I love you, but your friends suck.” Ouch. A discrepancy in social circles can really hinder a healthy relationship and act as a point of contention between the two of you, and your friends. Everyone has that buddy that is, well, hard to get a long with. Then there is the unfortunate truth that if you don’t like your partner’s friends, they probably don’t like you either. Fake smiles are easy to spot.
If you’re bumming cause your beau won’t shake a whiney wet blanket clinger or an obnoxious fratty type—or worse, a whole GROUP of whiney wet blankeys—read on for some tips to save you time, energy, and your Friday nights.
Try and spot the source. Before you bring it up with your partner, try and decide WHY you don’t like their friends. Is it as simple as they are loud or unmotivated? Or does it go deeper? Be honest with yourself. Are you jealous when your partner spends time with other people? Are you insecure the friends could be a bad influence? Just because your SigO’s best bud cheats all the time, it doesn’t mean your partner will follow suit. Trying to pinpoint WHY you don’t like their friends can help you resolve the issue, before you even bring it up.
Be open and honest with your partner about your feelings. Once you know why you don’t like the buds, bring it up with your partner, but only if you think it will be helpful. For instance, if it’s jealousy, you should probably deal with it on your own. If it’s a legitimate concern, like they peer pressure your boyfriend to stay out drinking on a Wednesday, causing him to be late for work the third week in the row… Also, when bringing this subject up, try and remember to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. Since this issue is about you and your feelings, using too many “you” statements could put your partner on the defense. “I feel like Joey is a gin guzzling misogynistic terror” is different than “you spend too much time with Joey, that gin guzzling misogynistic terror.”
Listen to your partner. After you’ve said your piece, listen to why your partner digs their bud. Do they have a great time together? Are their friends creatively stimulating? Are they old childhood pals that share an unbreakable bond? I mean, they have to have at least semi-decent tastes…they choice you after all, didn’t they? You can also pick up on this without directly asking; whenever your partner tells a story about their friend, hone in. What do they like about the memory? What does it say about the friendship?
Don’t try and force them to ditch their friends. Asking your partner to change their social habits for you is unreasonable, and we all know how it went down with Yoko. Don’t break up the band, yo!
Make an effort. You might be able to learn to like their friends. A boyf of mine had a friend who talked way too much, had an affinity for long-winded monologues, and was always convinced he was right. Basically, an obnoxious person to be around. Determined to enjoy social time spent with this friend, I started trying to actively engage in conversations with him, rather than grinding my teeth every time he began to speak. Turns out the monologues were really just an awkward attempt at a conversation starter, and once I edged my way in there, we had some interesting and fun conversations. He was still convinced he was right all the time, but as long as we agreed to disagree, it was all cool. This brings me to…
Agree to disagree. If you absolutely cannot stand their friends, then you can just agree to disagree and go on your merry way. Decline to spend time with those friends, but understand that’s your decision, and try not to be bitter or jealous when they spend time with their friends. Instead, use that time to get a little solo time with your buds, or yourself. However, if this is the choice you’re making, prep yourself for a little resentment on the friend’s part… Just cause they don’t see you doesn’t mean they can’t feel your distain.
Okay, tell me stories about your ex’s most obnoxious friend, or about how your boyfriend/girlfriend doesn’t like YOUR friends. Are you the loathed friend? I want to know!
*I originally wrote this post for iEatGrass.com.