Meeting your boyfriend’s friends can be just as nerve-wracking as meeting his parents—sometimes even more so! You know how important they are to him and their opinion of you will matter to him, so making a good impression is crucial. But what if they’ve never really warmed to you or, no matter how hard you try, you are always just “that one chick” to them? Or, even worse, what if they are total idiots?
Whether they are loud, annoying, or are just not the type of people you would usually choose to spend time with, these guys are a part of your boyfriend’s life and you will have to accept them if you want your relationship to run smoothly. After all, most men say that excluding their friends is a major relationship deal breaker.
Acceptance or, at least, tolerance
Even if they aren’t your favorite people in the world, your boyfriend will truly appreciate it if you make an effort with his friends. Here are a few useful tips for learning to accept *or tolerate* them and getting them to accept you in return!
#1 Don’t exclude yourself completely. As much as you might want to, you can’t completely opt out of your boyfriend’s social life. If you are in a relationship with someone, you have to accept that their friends and family are part of the package, and that you are obligated to spend some time with them.
That being said, you don’t have to socialize with your guy’s friends every single time he suggests it; if you would rather do something else, be honest, and let him know in a respectful manner.
#2 Don’t force your boyfriend to make a tough decision. Even if you truly despise your partner’s friends, issuing a “them or me” ultimatum is the worst way to deal with the problem. Sure, you may get your way in the short term, but it will probably lead to resentment and will ultimately have a negative impact on your relationship. Ask yourself: how would you feel if he asked the same of you? As long as his friends haven’t done anything to you personally, your personal opinion of them doesn’t matter.
#3 Your boyfriend is still the same guy you fell for. You may be concerned that your boyfriend’s friends are complete and utter jerks, and might let your opinion of them affect the way you view your boyfriend. After all, people say that you are the company that you keep. In truth, this is often not the case. Your own friends aren’t all carbon copies of you—some might even be your complete opposite! Remember, you started dating your boyfriend for a reason and, luckily, it’s him you are with—not one of his friends! [Read: What you need to do if your boyfriend’s friends are a bad influence on him]
#4 Acknowledge the importance of giving him some space. A surefire way to put off your boyfriend and his friends is by appearing clingy and needy. Don’t pester him constantly by text, whine every time he wants to see his friends, or be overly possessive. The last thing your boyfriend wants is for his friends to think he’s “under the thumb.” Give him space to breathe and allow him to have some time to see his friends. [Read: 13 clingy girlfriend signs and how to avoid being one]
#5 Initiate a social gathering. If you’re not clicking with your boyfriend’s friends, then a bonding session may be the ideal solution. They might be nicer and easier to get along with than you think! As long as it’s not a romantic date, invite his friends along when you go to the cinema next time or go on a casual outing. You will also take some pressure off your boyfriend; now he won’t have to decide who to hang out with!
#6 Conversation is the key. The best way to get your partner’s friends on your side is to talk to them and get to know them. If you make an effort, they might not be as bad as you originally thought. Be outgoing, yet laid back. Keep the conversation light and try to pick up on common interests. Listen to your boyfriend when he talks about them, then use the information to ask them questions and engage them in conversation.
If you are really struggling to find common ground, remember that you are both fond of the same guy! Ask how long they’ve known each other and how they met, and you’re sure to get the conversation rolling. [Read: 30 facts about guys that’ll help you read their mind]
#7 Don’t treat the girls any differently. Your boyfriend’s female friends are going to be harder to accept. You’ll naturally feel jealous and feel as though you need to keep a close eye on their relationship. Try not to jump to conclusions or despise them automatically. As with any of your boyfriend’s mates, get to know them before passing judgment. You might be surprised by how quickly a friendly conversation will put your mind at rest, but be sure not to come across as fake or immediately try to become their BFF. [Read: Does your boyfriend have a flirty girl best friend?]
#8 Be consistent. Don’t just talk to your man’s friends when he is around. Be independent; wave, greet them, and be sincere every time you see them. If you only perform the social niceties in front of your guy, you will come across as fake and as though you are simply trying to impress him, rather than genuinely wanting them to like you.
#9 Be wary of boundaries and don’t cross them. Being friendly with your partner’s pals is sure to make your life easier and even make your relationship stronger, but be sure not to get too friendly; there are definite boundaries. Regardless of whether it’s completely innocent and harmless, expressing too much interest in one of your boyfriend’s friends will arouse suspicion.
Keep friendly gestures short and to the point, and remember that physical contact is probably a bad idea. If one of his friends makes you feel uncomfortable or gets too friendly with you, bring it up with your boyfriend immediately. If you leave it too late, he might hear his friends’ side of the story first and you won’t be able to guarantee it’s completely truthful! [Read: Your guy’s annoying friends and how to deal with them]
#10 Don’t neglect your individual social lives. Encourage your boyfriend to make time for his friends. If they don’t notice much of a change in the amount of guy time he has whilst you’re in a relationship with their mate, they’ll think of you as a cool, independent girlfriend with her own life. Take the opportunity to spend time with your own friends, making sure you don’t neglect them just because you’re in a relationship. Earn extra girlfriend points by baking cookies or getting pizzas delivered when they’re having a boys’ night.
#11 Be the best girlfriend you can be. The easiest and most obvious way to win over your boyfriend’s friends, and improve your relationship as a whole, is to be nice to your boyfriend and treat him well. Picking arguments with him in his friends’ presence, putting him down, or walking all over him will give them reason to badmouth you.
He might even heed their advice and break up with you! Instead, give him reason to brag about you, by being the awesome girlfriend you know you can be. Save any grievances for when the two of you are alone. [Read: How to be a good girlfriend – 10 things you HAVE to do]
#12 Keep your hands to yourself. Keep PDA to a minimum when you are hanging out with your boyfriend and his friends. Getting too romantic when you’re in their company will probably make them feel uncomfortable. Imagine how you’d feel if your best friend started getting touchy-feely with her partner… with you right there!
#13 Don’t forget whose friends they really are. Maybe you’ve been seriously successful and have really gotten his friends on your side. It’s important to remember that you won’t ever completely be one of the guys, and they will always be his friend over yours. There is no point asking them for insider information, or expecting them to dish the dirt if your boyfriend messes up; it’s not likely that they will part with your boyfriend’s secrets.
#14 Be sure your guy sticks up for you, if necessary. As much as you might want your boyfriend’s friends to like you, you shouldn’t sit back and take it if they are being rude to you. You should accept—and even encourage—a little friendly banter from time to time, as it is often a guy’s way of telling you that you’ve been accepted by the group.
If it is too frequent or personal, you should address it privately with your boyfriend. He should be the one to deal with it from there, because it will be taken more seriously coming from him, as their friend. Avoid getting overly angry at your boyfriend or the friend in question; no good comes from being a drama queen, and it may just be a misunderstanding. [Read: 22 early warning signs of a bad boyfriend]
#15 Form a girlfriend alliance. If your boyfriend’s friends have girlfriends, there is no harm in getting them on your side. In fact, your guy and his pals would probably be thrilled if you became friends with their other halves. You could hang out as a group, allowing them to share their time equally between their friends and girlfriends, or you could get together with the girls when the guys are doing their own thing.
Getting along with your boyfriend’s friends is truly as simple as being sociable, not hogging your guy’s time, and just being yourself. You don’t need to be their best friend—you just need to be friendly!
[Read: 15 easy ways to be likeable and loved by all instantly!]
Most importantly, if you make your man truly happy and treat him with respect, his friends will know that you are a keeper!
Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.
Get the very best of LovePanky straight to your inbox!