One of the most enduring parts of a committed relationship is that you and your partner are best friends. You complement one another in many ways, and you have each other’s backs. However, what do you do when your partner dislikes your friends?
According to research published by the National Library of Medicine, friendship plays a vital role in your well-being. Humans have evolved as social creatures and have a fundamental need for companionship. The study mentions that camaraderie is a critical component of happiness.
Ways to Settle Issues Between Your Partner and Friends
You’re in a problematic situation if you’re between your lover and your pals. While you are in love with your significant other, you don’t want to destroy years of treasured friendships. If your partner dislikes your friends, here are ten suggestions that may resolve the conflict.
1. Find the Underlying Issues
Whenever there’s a conflict in your personal or professional life, not everything is as it seems. Once you start talking to the opposing sides and do a little investigating, you may discover underlying issues. Some may be so obvious that you never noticed them, and others more hidden.
You know that your mate doesn’t care for your friends, but do you know why? Perhaps they are withholding some information from you or have a grudge from the past. Maybe it has more to do with your love relationship than any issues with your friends.
2. Is Your Partner Jealous of Your Friends?
This recommended step can be a slippery slope, but it’s essential to know. You’ll need to be honest with yourself if you suspect that your partner can’t stand your buddies because of jealousy. When you go out with your friends, does your partner become angry and critical?
Maybe they’re jealous of your time for a good reason. Do you spend most of your free time running around with your besties and rarely with your partner? Perhaps they feel lonely and betrayed because they’re always last on your list.
If this is the case, it’s understandable that your significant other may feel slighted and bitter. However, if your partner expects you to spend every second with them and is irrationally jealous, there’s a problem. You may be in a relationship with a controlling and toxic person, and you’ll be wise to make your exit.
3. What Do You Say About Your Friends?
You’ve probably known your pals for a long time. Perhaps you even grew up together and had many shared experiences. So, you have the advantage, and your lover may only be familiar with what you say.
If your partner dislikes your friends, listen next time to how you talk about them. Do you mention them in a positive light, or do you share all the things you can’t stand about them? Have you ever broken confidence and told your mate things about your friends that they trusted you not to repeat?
It’s impossible to erase something that you’ve already said, and your mate heard. However, you may try some damage control. It may involve apologies to your partner as well as to your companions.
Have you painted a skewed picture of who your friends are? Since that’s all that your person may have as a reference, it’s no wonder they think ill of your besties. The only way to fix this situation is to let them know your friends for a more accurate assessment.
4. Have You Outgrown Old Friendships?
Sometimes, you hang on to old friendships out of obligation. If you’ve known each other for years and have gone through a lot together, it’s hard to admit that maybe you’ve grown apart. It’s normal, and it doesn’t mean that either of you is a terrible person.
Maybe one of the reasons your significant other isn’t fond of your buddies is that you’ve also lost interest in them. Unless you have a strong bond, time and distance can make friends drift apart. You rarely spend time together or talk, so it’s just the natural course.
It’s not like you are “resigning” from a friendly relationship. You’ve simply grown apart and have gone your separate ways. However, if you are involved in a toxic friendship with others, and your mate realizes it, you’re within your rights to walk away.
5. Be Patient
Remember the old phrase about good things coming to people who wait? If your partner dislikes your friends, maybe you need to give them some more time? According to a study cited by the National Library of Medicine, people often form impressions of others by their physical appearance.
Such personal judgment isn’t always accurate. Have you ever met someone and your first impression of them turned out to be wrong? It takes time to know people for who they are, not by who they seem to be. So, be patient with your partner, and let them get to know your friends better.
It’s difficult being between a person you love and longtime pals. If your partner dislikes your friends, you usually become the mediator. You need to make sure that you are listening to both sides.
Maybe your mate doesn’t care for your buddies for a good reason. If you don’t listen to them or are in denial, you’ll never know. To be fair, you must listen to what both parties have to say.
Active listening involves open body language, mirroring the speakers’ emotions, and restating what they’ve said. It’s the best way to avoid misunderstandings.
7. Have a Group Discussion
The best way to settle a conflict between your lover and your besties is to get it all out in the open. Consider meeting on neutral grounds and let each side have their say. Everyone may be surprised if there’s been a long string of miscommunications and misunderstandings.
Usually, these situations are mild, and there are no strong emotions involved. However, if your partner dislikes your friends intensely or has a history of confrontation, your group discussion may be more difficult. In this case, you’re better off talking to both sides separately.
8. Learn How to Compromise
After having a group discussion and hearing both sides, you may not like everything you hear. However, confrontation may be the tool that helps resolve some issues. If not, it’s still okay to agree to disagree.
Maybe you’ve come to an impasse that makes you realize that your mate and your buddies will never be close. Unless either side is toxic for you, you needn’t choose one over the other. It’s possible to love your person and keep your other friends.
By making a compromise, you also set some ground rules. Your pals will be supportive of your love relationship and civil to your partner. Conversely, you will ask your significant other to be supportive of your relationship with long-time besties.
9. Create More Occasions to Get Together
Often, your partner dislikes your friends because they don’t genuinely know each other. The best remedy for that is to make your person part of your social circle. The next time you meet your companions for dinner or a movie, bring your mate along.
Consider inviting your pals over more often, so your partner feels more relaxed around them. Ideally, a couple has mutual friendships. However, differences in culture or ideals may make it difficult. The only way you can tell is if you bring everyone together.
10. Make Some Hard Decisions
Staying between your lover and your besties can wear you down mentally and emotionally. If you’ve tried to be a peacemaker and nothing has worked, you have some hard decisions to make. Take into consideration what you’ve learned from discussions.
You must try to set your emotions aside and re-evaluate your relationships. What if your friends and your lover clash because they’ve been trying to warn you that your lover is toxic? It’s not a case of choosing your buddies over your mate, but rather you are choosing your best interests.
If your significant other is acting out of jealousy and has control issues, listen to your friends, and say goodbye. It’s a difficult call, and you must know that your companions are acting out of love and for your well-being. This is an extreme case, though.
On the other hand, what if your partner dislikes your friends because they are toxic and you’re too close to realize it? Good friends will be supportive of your love relationship when they see you are happy and being cherished. Those who get jealous or try to sabotage you and your partner aren’t real friends, so write them off.
There are no rules that say your partner and your friends must be one big happy family. However, it makes life a little easier when they can at least be civil. It’s up to you to offer the olive branch and see what happens.