Have a hate-on for your beau’s entourage? Here’s how to make sure it doesn’t cause relationship problems.
Once upon a time, you fell in love with your guy – but not his friends. Some of them are okay, while others you fantasize hitting with your car, and you’ve actually Googled “how to make voodoo dolls” with them in mind. The good news is: You’re not alone.
According to a recent study, 1 in 4 women don’t like their partner’s friends. The bad news is: 1 in 10 say that has put a strain on their relationship, and you don’t want this to be you.
There are several reasons these feelings creep to the surface:
1. You’re projecting relationship problems onto his friends.
“Take a deeper look at the relationship and what’s really bothering you,” says relationship expert April Masini. “Chances are his friends might not be so bad, you’re just upset about the dynamic between the two of you.” Sure, it’s easier to point fingers in the short run, but in the long run, it’s a waste of energy.
Sometimes you might feel like his friends take away ‘quality time’ that should be spent with you, or they get to see a more fun-loving side to him, since you’re both so busy with the daily grind.
3. Some friends are a bad influence.
“They may be single (or married and unhappy) and urge your partner to meet women, party harder than normal, and even cheat,” says psychotherapist and relationship expert Kimberly Moffit, so then you start to wonder if your beau’s as big a jerk as his friends.
4. You’ve secretly never liked his friends, but thought if you changed him, he’d eventually change his friends.
“There’s a big difference between a guy who’s friends are exactly who they were when she met him, and a guy who’s changed his friends and behavior since she’s met him,” says Masini. “The latter usually indicates some other a problem with him or relationship problems.” Otherwise, it’s not fair to expect him to change when he never hid his friends from you to begin with.
However, there’s no reason why disliking his friends should mean relationship problems for the two of you. Here’s a survival guide for when you have to deal with these less-than-ideal dudes:
1. Reframe your perspective.
Focus less on what you feel he should get from his friendships, and ask yourself what he actually does get from them. In understanding why they’re friends, it will help you better accept his choices.
“Remember that male relationships with friends are different than ours,” says Moffit. “Often times, a man has had his BFFs since grade school, and they’re more like brothers than friends.”
2. Find common ground.
Are there things you and his friends do have in common? Focus your conversations on neutral ground to help you look past the things that make you grind your teeth.
3. At the very least, be civil.
When they pop by for a poker night, you don’t want to fill the air with hostility. Bust out your own poker face so you at least don’t come off as hostile. Your only goal is to not create tension between him and his friends, or relationship problems between him and yourself.
4. Invite your own friends into the equation.
If you have a few friends over at the same time as your guy, it’ll help you cope and stay distracted.
5. Avoid them if you need to.
If you feel like you’ve tried everything and you just can’t take it anymore – why be fake? Just be honest with your beau and tell him you’ll find something else to do with your own friends (without making him feel bad, of course).
6. Take a valium.
“When it comes right down to it, you need to trust your man,” says Moffit. “Relationships are all about trust, and if your partner is doing things counter-productive to your relationship, then trust me, you can’t blame his friends – he made those choices all on his own.”
Have you ever let your sig-o’s friends cause relationship problems?
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Image: Lara Cores