Some people, when in love, seem to momentarily forget that their partners come with a world of their own. You should try to remember, though, that they'll have friends, family, and colleagues, some of whom you may not like.
Maybe your partner's friends are sexist, drunken, or make demeaning jokes about you when they're around. You'd obviously like to get rid of these people, but then again, they're your partner's friends, and you want to give them a chance.
You don't necessarily have to accept your partner's friends, though. Sometimes, you just need to make peace with their existence while working on finding common ground.
Is it essential to know your partner's friends?
Knowing your partner's friends can undoubtedly bring you closer, but you should not try to insert yourself in their friend circles that they have from school or close-knit groups that they've been a part of for years.
Sure, if your partner is okay with it, welcome yourself in. However, also respect their decision if you feel that your partner does not like mixing their social circles. You should always know where to create or honor boundaries.
Of course, if your partner is being too secretive about their friendships or gets angry at you for merely asking about them, that's a red flag.
How to accept your partner's friends?
If you love your partner, you'd obviously want to be closer to their friends and family, as these people are important to them.
Sometimes, though, it can be hard to find your place as an outsider. At other times, accepting these friendships may be difficult, especially if your partner's friends aren't the most welcoming people.
You can try a few things to integrate them into your life.
Find common ground
Most friendships are built on common ground. If you have the same interests as someone, you're more likely to be comfortable around them.
When you meet your partner's friends, it's very easy to focus on their negative qualities, but you should focus on looking for things you have with them in common. Maybe they watch the same TV shows as you do, or you both went to the same college.
Sometimes, it's better to hang out with someone alone to understand them better. In a group, the pack mentality can keep you from learning about someone's true self.
Sure, you want your partner to be happy. You obviously want to be supportive, but don't overlook your own needs when doing this. In an attempt to make everyone happy, we often forget about our own needs.
Set healthy boundaries to make sure that your partner's friends are not disturbing your mental peace. For instance, say "No" to hangouts if you want to have a chill movie night at home by yourself.
You don't always have to socialize just because your partner's friends are outgoing people.
Don't give ultimatums
What do you do when you don't like your partner's friends? You certainly don't tell them to choose between you.
If your partner's annoying or toxic friends are driving you to the point of frustration, you may be tempted to give them an ultimatum: "Choose them or choose me!" This works in nobody's favor, though. If your partner chooses you, they'd still be miserable because they'd miss their friends. They may also feel that you made them abandon their source of enjoyment and their support system.
If they choose their friends, on the other hand, you won't have a relationship to begin with.
Approach the matter with maturity. Don't be too pushy or disrespectful. Talk to your partner about whatever is bothering you. You'll be surprised at how much a respectful and understanding conversation can accomplish.
Don't criticize them directly
While it's tempting to call people out for their immaturity right to their faces, it's not always the best thing to do. You put your partner in a difficult position where they have to choose between you and their closest friends.
You should speak up for yourself if someone is crossing the line, but don't attack someone's personality simply because you're upset.
Suppose your partner's friends don't pick up after themselves when they come over. Instead of confronting them, talk to your partner about it later. They'll communicate the message in a way that the group is accustomed to.
Know when to step away
Having unbearable friends is one thing, but if your partner's friends create a divide between you, you might want to reconsider the relationship. If your partner constantly sides with their friends, leaving you alone even when you're in the right, it may be time to walk away.
Mayo Clinic: "Improve your relationships with better communication."
NOBA: "The Psychology of Groups."
Violence Intervention and Prevention Center: "How to Create Healthy Boundaries."
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