So you’ve just started dating someone new. You’re in that amazing beginning phase where you get butterflies at the very thought of them; they’re sweet, there’s chemistry and you really feel that potential of it turning into something great. At some point, you decide it’s time to start integrating them into your life; you want to introduce them to your friends and show off how special they are. The only problem is, they never quite hit it off. You thought it was a no-brainer, you love your honey, you love your friends and they all love you – how could they not love each other? One very common reaction is to think your friends are crazy, and that they just aren’t able to see your sweetheart the way you do. But this isn’t a proactive reaction, and it can cause a lot of stress in both your relationship with your friends, and your mate.
When Your Friends Don’t Like Who You’re Dating
1. Figure out what the problem is. Does your friend have a history of not liking who you’re dating? Is there a possibility they might be jealous? How has your behaviour changed towards your friend since you started dating this new person? Sometimes the issue can simply be your friend is feeling left out and they want to spend more time with you. Make sure you’re not abandoning your friends for a new relationship – after all, if it doesn’t work out, who will you turn to? If none of these possibilities apply, ask your friend, in a calm and un-accusatory way what it is they don’t like about your mate.
2. Listen To Your Friends. This doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything they say – after all, they have one perspective in a situation where there may be several. However, if your friends know you, know your past history, and see something negative in this relationship, give them the respect of at least listening and considering what they have to say. When we have a very aggressive reactions against a friend telling us they don’t like our choice in dating, it can be an indication that deep down we know what they’re talking about but we are in denial and don’t want to deal with it. Consider the possibility at the very least, that they might be seeing something you don’t.
3. Make An Effort. It will seem much easier to keep your friends and your new sweetheart apart to avoid conflict and confrontation. This is the opposite of a proactive solution; if you want them to like each other, they’ll need to spend some quality time getting to know each other. Create a fun and stress-free environment if possible; engaging in a physical activity like bowling can be fun to break the ice. Make a mental note of who is making the effort to get along; both parties should be trying on some degree to make it work.
4. Be Self-Aware. This will be one of those personal tests in life. After weighing your friend’s opinion, what is your gut instinct? Are you in denial? Are you repeating a pattern that’s common in your relationships? What are the similarities between who you’re dating now and who you’ve dated in the past? How are you acting within this relationship, do you feel yourself, or do you perhaps feel less than, and are trying to prove something to them or yourself?
5. Be patient with your friends, and ask your friends to be patient with you. Sometimes integrating someone new into your life can take some time. Don’t stress if your friends and your mate are not instant friends, remember it’s not their choice to have this new person in their life, this is something you’re bringing into the mix. At the same time, your friends should allow you the space and time to grow. You may be making a mistake, but it’s your mistake. As long as communication stays open and honest, you can’t go wrong.