In an ideal dream world, when we fall for somebody, our friends and family become just as enamored with our significant others as we have, and we all ride off into the sunset together and live happily ever after in our love’s immortality.
Um… maybe not.
Romantic relationships can be a whirlwind of excitement and fireworks, but what happens when your family and friends just don’t dig him the same way you do? You can probably tell that I personally have been there and (spoiler alert!) didn’t handle it well.
In college, I dated a man several years older than I was and quickly became blinded by his flawless jawline and vintage guitar collection and, like, ability to abstain from actual employment. His lifestyle was nomadic and constantly changing, which brought excitement to my predictable school and work schedule. Our relationship moved quickly – so quickly that I decided to bring him with me to get drinks with my girlfriends a few days after we met, eager to show off my new catch and hear their feedback.
Things were going great, except for one glaring issue: my friends didn’t like him. At all. Throughout our night, he told jokes that fell flat with them; their expressions were beige, unimpressed, and the unavoidable awkwardness led to our night ending at 9:15 and me having my first ugly-cry in front of Mr. Flawless Jawline.
The following morning, I received a concerned email from one of my girlfriends that simply stated, “Yeah, we weren’t diggin’ James. We think you can do better.” She voiced her issue with his chronic unemployment, his apparent disinterest in seeing me exclusively, and how he was potentially just using my apartment as a place to crash.
So, I did what any emotionally refined woman would do and decided my friends were a huge problem and out to get me and mad jealous and like, eight other things that prove I was a terrible person at the time. Why couldn’t they see how cool he was? Doesn’t my happiness matter to them? They just didn’t know him the way I did. Over the next several months, our relationship was flourishing, but due to the rising tension I felt between James and my friends, I had to distinguish time with just him, and time with just them. They rarely asked me about him, and over time took note of and raised questions about his erratic behavior and how it made me feel.
It can be hard hearing this opinion from someone you love and trust, and I think a few of us have been there before and didn’t know what to say or do. Here’s what I wish I had done, and what you can do too if you find yourself in that sitch.