It all started out so well. It was like you were meant for each other. You connected on so many levels and then came the day you met the friends. ‘You’ll get on really well, I’m sure of it. They’re all dying to meet you.’ And so full of optimism, if a little nervous, you take the plunge.
After the meet and greet you slowly come to realize the person you thought you knew is different. How can they possibly like these idiots? What the hell are they all laughing at?
By the end of the evening you wonder what’s hit you but you’re still in love and you don’t want to cause offence. They say, ‘Well, what do you think? I told you it would be fine.’ And so you smile, but in your head you’re thinking, OMG please don’t make me go through that again.
Why is it so Hard?
Why is what so hard? Oh this would be the part where you wonder if it’s better just to come out with it and tell the truth. Look if you think his or her friends were rude, bigoted, narcissistic, idiotic, immature, or any other number of similar qualities, keep something in mind. First, you’re the new person. These friends might have been around a great many years. You are new but they have history.
You may not see these qualities in your partner but their friends may be compensating for something they lack, or like, or want more of. When people go back a long time it can be hard to recall what you see in them. Usually you have a lot of shared experiences and this alone cements many relationships.
Think about where your negative observations might lead. If you set an ultimatum – ‘it’s them or me’ – you’re putting your partner in a really difficult position. Why should they have to choose? If they do choose you, do you really want to be the person they could end up resenting.
More Positive Alternatives
Perspective. Your relationship is bound to be different to that of his or her friends. Accept the fact that you may not like all of the friends and this will make life a lot easier. It’s probably no less than you do in other situations. We have to work or study alongside people we may normally prefer to avoid but we learn to accept and tolerate them.
Your Friends. If you feel a bit uneasy about being showcased to a bunch of strangers one way to ease the strain is to bring along one, or more, of your own friends. This helps you relax and may even help your partner to relax. Your partner won’t then feel pulled about paying you attention all the time if they know you’ve a friend you can turn to.
You Don’t Have To. The fact that you both have friends is a good thing. It’s probably best that you allow each other time to see your own friends without feeling you need to include your partner. The down side of always bringing your partner along is that is does put a strain on the usual dynamics of the group. It’s hard to make inroads into a new group and even if they are accepting the fact remains that it takes time for friends to bond. For the friendship group to remain solid outsiders aren’t always that good an idea.
New Friends. Why not set about making new acquaintances as a couple? If there’s some activity you both enjoy maybe join a club or organization where other people enjoy the same thing (art, dance, music, cookery, driving, travel)?