Karen Fratti
June 21, 2017 2:25 pm
Jacob Ufkes/Unsplash

It’s so great when you finally meet someone you want to be in a relationship with. You want to show them off to the world. At the very least, you probably want all of your loved ones to meet the person you’re so into. But sometimes the big intro can go awfully wrong: For whatever reasons, your new partner and your crew just don’t get along. It’s one of the worst scenarios for the newly coupled. But fear not — there are ways to deal when your friends hate the person you’re dating.

First, do a gut check. Is there a reason your friends hate your new partner?

Friends and family want the best for you (or they should), so they might be the absolute pickiest when it comes to your love life. You have to consider: Are they seeing something you can’t? There are times when we get into a relationship with the wrong person and just don’t see it until it’s too late. So take a step back, and try to get a feel for the situation. Is it your partner? Is it you? Or are your friends just being sort of of ridiculous? Only you can figure that out and decide on the right move.

At the end of the day, your friends and your partner don’t have to get along. But if they all love and care about you, they won’t turn this into something that hurts you. You make comprises and sacrifices for your friends, right? They should do the same thing for you. As long you’re not being physically or emotionally abused by a partner, there’s a way to deal with your friends’ feelings about them.

Here’s a little checklist for how to deal when your friends and partner aren’t getting along.

1Hear your friends out.

Be real with yourself about who’ve you fallen for. Your friends *should* have your back, so do a gut check and give them the benefit of the doubt. Why don’t they like this person? Do they have a point, like you’re always fighting? Or is it something banal, like your partner tells boring jokes that you secretly adore?

2Take baby steps when it comes to gatherings.

If you plan on staying with your partner despite your friends not liking them, you have to be OK with possibly missing group hangs. Your life isn’t a reality TV show, so don’t create unnecessary drama that will lead to fights and tears with either your partner or your besties. If your partner doesn’t want to come to gatherings because of the vibe, let them skip without a fight.

3Talk to your partner.

Most likely, your partner has gotten the gist about how your squad isn’t into their presence. People tend to pick up on stuff like that. If not, let them know what’s going on, which is admittedly hard to do without hurting anyone’s feelings. If your partner isn’t a monster, they might have some good advice or suggestions about how to go forward. But if they’re only stirring the pot back, you might want to call a time-out with everyone involved.

4Find a neutral party to talk to.

If you can, seek out a friend or family member who knows both your friends and your new partner. When that’s not possible, find someone whose judgement you trust who doesn’t know any of them. Balancing your love life and your best friends is not easy, so you’re going to need someone with no stake in the game to vent to. Just for your own self-care.

5Set boundaries for your time.

If the situation escalates to a point where you are battling how and with whom you spend your free time, you need to speak up. Remember that isolating someone from their comfort zone is emotionally abusive behavior. It’s not just romantic partners who can do this — friends can do it, too.

6Ask them to respect your choices.

Your friends don’t have to like your partner, but they also don’t have to be mean to them. Depending on the situation, tell your friends to step off so your partner knows you have their back. You’d expect the same treatment, right?

7Bring them together.

Assuming that there isn’t some terrible thing your partner has done, and it’s just that your friends are a tough crowd, slowly being re-introducing them. Try hanging with your partner and just one or two of your friends at a time, or go on a double date.

Depending on the situation, you’re going to want to listen to your intuition about this uncomfortable situation. Deep down, you probably have a strong sense about whether your friends are being unreasonable, or if they are truly seeing something that you’re too love-struck to notice. As long as you’re happy and healthy with your partner, your friends’ issues aren’t important. That’s their own stuff.

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