Do I have to like his friends? I’ve heard many women contemplate this question. In most cases, when you begin dating your significant other he already has a fixed group of people with whom he hangs. If you are not a fan of his group of friends or just one of his buddies, it can add a challenging element to your relationship.
Before I answer the contemplated question, it may be helpful to take a few steps back and ask yourself, why don’t you like his friends?
Do you feel his buddies are a bad influence on him? Do you feel when your guy is around his friends he acts differently? Do you think his friends are immature, misogynistic, or rude? Do you not like the amount of time and attention he gives his friends? Or do you just feel they dislike you?
Determining the cause of why you dislike them will provide clarity and understanding on the issue. Each of these reasons has important aspects to be noted and possible solutions.
Do you feel his buddies are a bad influence on him? Do you feel when your guy is around his friends he acts differently?
If either of these is the reason for your disliking of his friends, it is critical to keep in mind that your boyfriend cannot be forced to do anything or behave in any way that he doesn’t want to. He and he alone is responsible for the choices he makes. It is easier to blame his friends when your guy does things or behaves in ways you feel is inappropriate because it allows you to keep the unspoiled image of your boyfriend intact. However, it is unfair to blame his friends, and it allows your boyfriend to be unaccountable for his actions. One possible solution is to talk openly and honestly with your guy and explain how you’re feeling and ask questions to determine his motivation for behaving and acting the way he does when he is around his friends.
Do you think his friends are immature, misogynistic, or rude?
Depending on how many times you’ve been around them, maybe you just haven’t had enough time to get to know them or perhaps you’ve caught them on a bad day? If either of those options is not the case and his friends are immature, misogynistic, or rude, pointing this out to your boyfriend could potentially cause problems in your relationship. When you point out the negative qualities in his friends, whether he feels the same way or not, he may feel a need to defend them. If that occurs, you then become the villain. There is another risk in pointing out his friend’s negative qualities, your boyfriend could feel in a roundabout way that you are criticizing him, his choices, and that you feel he too exhibits those bad qualities. As long as your boyfriend doesn’t act the same as his friends, unfortunately, the only solution may be to grin and bear it.
Do you not like the amount of time and attention he gives his friends?
Again, this falls to your boyfriend’s choices. If he is choosing to go hang out with his friends over hanging out with you every time he is free, that is on him, and a serious conversation should occur between you and him about why he is making that choice. If you find yourself getting upset anytime, he hangs out with his friends, even if he spends the majority of his time with you, then that might be cause for some self-evaluation. One woman, I knew admitted that she didn’t have girlfriends so when her boyfriend went and hung out with his friends she was often left alone with no plans, and she disliked being by herself. After she had acknowledged that out loud, she said it made her realize she was being unreasonable to her boyfriend and needed to find ways to occupy her time when he wasn’t around.
Do you just feel they dislike you?
Many times when we feel this way it is our perception, not necessarily the truth. If we believe our perceptions enough we then feed into them, meaning if you think his friends dislike you, you may then begin to behave in such a way that makes you unlikeable. Maybe it’s not perception, and you made a bad first impression? The good news is there are always second chances to redeem yourself. It also could be they just haven’t gotten to know you well enough yet, if that is the case you could ask your boyfriend to assist in bridging the gap between you and his buddies.
Returning to the initial question, do I have to like his friends? No, you do not have to like his friends. However, you do have to accept them, because they are significant people in your boyfriend’s life. Not accepting them could cause tensions in your relationship, but it also would put your guy in the unfair position of choosing between his friends and you – a choice that could end up not in your favor.