One of the milestones that couples go through is introducing each other to their group of friends. It might not be as nerve-racking as meeting the parents, but for many people, it’s up there as a really big moment. You hope that everyone will have fun, get along, and think that this is a great relationship.
You never want to hear that your friends think that you could do better than this guy that you started dating. That’s the worst news ever. It’s just as bad as your mom and dad telling you that they’re not big fans of him.
So what do you do when your friends hate your boyfriend (besides wishing that they felt differently)? The following five things are necessary steps to take when you find yourself in this super awkward situation.
1.) Ask them why they feel this way
Everyone likes to feel heard and like their friends are really listening to them. If your friends hate your boyfriend, you should ask them why they feel this way. This doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them or dump him on the spot (and if you really love him and feel in your heart that this is right, then you definitely shouldn’t do that). It just means that you’re willing to hear what they have to say, which is your job as a friend.
They might not have reasons for hating him that make any sense, and you might really have a tough time during this conversation. That’s okay. It’s not going to be that enjoyable for you (or for your friends). What matters is that you’re listening and that you’re not just telling your friends that because they say that they hate your boyfriend, you’re never going to talk to them again.
Chances are, you don’t want to ruin your friendships over this. That would really be a shame. Remember that friends have different personalities and likes and dislikes. That’s what makes friendship so interesting. We don’t have to agree all of the time.
2.) Tell them that you love him and they need to accept that
If your friends hate your boyfriend, that doesn’t mean that you have to hate him and break up with him. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, right? It’s possible that they’re envious of you, especially if they’re single or not happy in their own relationship. They could be projecting their feelings onto you.
When you’re in this situation, here’s something that you should definitely do: tell your friends that you love your boyfriend and that they need to accept that. They might roll their eyes and say that they still don’t think that you should be dating him, but that’s okay. You don’t need to change their minds (and you most likely can’t since sometimes, when we have our minds made up about a friend’s boyfriend, that’s it).
It’s not ideal and you wish that they loved him as much as you do. You wish that they would say that they love seeing you so happy and that they understand exactly what you see in him. Unfortunately, that’s not what is happening, and it’s a good idea to remember that what matters is that you love him.
3.) At the same time, accept how they feel
You’re not going to want to do this. You’ll tell your boyfriend that it’s unfair and you think that your friends are being unreasonable and that it doesn’t make any sense. But when your friends hate your boyfriend, this is another thing that you can do: accept how they feel.
Think about whether you’ve found yourself in their shoes. You probably have, right? You’ve probably hated one of your friend’s boyfriends. This is actually a really common thing. It can be tough or even impossible to understand what someone sees in someone, especially if they are really different from you and you just have nothing in common. Just because you don’t care for your best friend’s fiancé doesn’t mean that they’re not meant to be together and that they shouldn’t get married.
Accept how your friends feel and they will accept how you feel as well. It’s a matter of mutual respect. You can call a kind of truce and say that, okay, you know how they feel and they know how you feel, and that’s the way that it is.
4.) Don’t mention him in conversations
Realizing that your friends hate your boyfriend is never going to be a good time. The last thing that you want to do is bring him up in conversations and have your friends say something mean about him or your relationship. That’s not the way to go if you care about maintaining your friendships, which you probably do.
Instead, don’t mention him in conversations. Saying that he’s got a great new job or you two just saw the best horror movie ever isn’t going to help matters. The truth is that your friends aren’t going to be polite and they don’t want to hear this kind of stuff.
Sure, it sucks that you can’t be honest and open about your relationship. It sucks that you can’t talk about the person that you love so much. But it’s an unfortunate reality of the situation that you find yourself in. It’s the only way to stay friends with these people, so if that matters to you, then it’s a good idea.
5.) Bring him to parties anyway
Yes, your friends hate your boyfriend, and yes, they would probably prefer that you didn’t bring him as your plus one when you’re invited to parties. But, hey, he’s your boyfriend. You’re in a serious and long-term relationship and there is no reason why he needs to sit home alone, wishing that you could bring him to your best friend’s party or a holiday party that your friend group always puts on every December.
You can bring him to parties anyway and ignore any weird looks that you get or any comments that your friends make to you. If they insist on saying something rude, you can say something like, “I know how you feel but please respect that he’s my boyfriend and I’m going to bring him.”
If they’re good friends, then they’ll be quiet and stop saying such mean things, and understand where you’re coming from. After all, you were nice and polite and mature enough to listen to their side of the story.
You definitely don’t want your friends to tell you that, sorry, they hate your boyfriend. They don’t think that you should be with him, they think that you should get back together with your ex, they want you to try online dating again – whatever it is, they’re just not on board. It’s a shame when the people that you care about just aren’t supportive.
Unfortunately, there’s not much that you can do if you want to stay friends with them. These five things are all that you can do to keep the peace and stay friends and still keep dating your boyfriend. Hopefully, with time your friends will come around, but in the meantime, you can focus on this great guy that you’re dating.