Dating someone can be complicated, especially when their friends are involved. You know the person you like, but knowing their friends is another story. You can become friends with your partner’s friends, but it does not mean that everything will always work out the way you want it to.
Some people have friends who have less than agreeable personalities. This is especially true when you just started seeing someone, and then found out that their friends were bad influences. If you encounter those, there’s not much you can do. I repeat, not much you can do, but I’m sure we can find something to ease your woes.
The people you wish he wasn’t friends with
Before you decide to do something drastic like “ask” your boyfriend to find new friends, you need to familiarize yourself with the problem and the people who are causing said problem. This is a list of the usual suspects in a guy’s life and what they are capable of.
#1 The enabler. This is the first one to look out for. Every group of guys has one. He leads a charmed life that most of his friends are jealous of. His experiences are the basis of everybody else’s goals in Guy World. The problem, however, is that he is very territorial when it comes to his friends.
Once a girl gets into the picture, he starts to feel like the dynamics of the group are being messed with – thus, he will do everything in his power to make his friends, including your boyfriend, step over your established boundaries just to prove that you do not hold any power over their boy. He will urge your guy to cheat, stay out late, not reply to your texts and will do so using misogynistic, passive-aggressive and just downright annoying tactics just to get what he wants. [Read: 18 ingenious ways to catch a cheating partner]
#2 Pseudo-alcoholic. This guy is either always having a “bad day” or a really “good day.” Either way, he will want to commemorate each one with a pint of beer, followed by an unlimited round of shots from an open tab at the bar. In order to justify his penchant for ordering a nightcap in the middle of the day, he needs someone else to be present and drinking as excessively as he is.
That’s where your nice, loving boyfriend comes in. Having a girlfriend makes him the most tempting prospect, because that’s just how life goes. At the end of the day, your boyfriend made the choice to get drunk before happy hour, but that’s the price of being a really good friend.
#3 The down-on-his-luck guy. Admittedly, helping other people is a very noble trait. However, if said helpless person starts to rely on your boyfriend for anything and everything, you might just start to get a wrinkle on your forehead. There is a limit to what a person can do, but letting someone else move in indefinitely with you and your guy just might be pushing it.
Letting his friend borrow half your savings is also a bit much. If you notice his friend being too comfortable with asking for “help” and never doing anything to fix his situation, I’d say you have a really big problem on your hands.
#4 The handsy one. Girl, you are hot and your boyfriend knows that. Unfortunately, some of his friends might be thinking the same thing and the worst part would be when they’re not shy about showing it. Some call them “players,” while some are just “desperate.”
Either way, when their hands start assessing your merchandise with a little too much enthusiasm, you’re in trouble. Not only is it hard to catch this guy in the act, he’s probably very good at turning the tables on you once you do start to complain.
#5 The badass. This guy is everyone’s Will Ferrell, Batman and Regina George all rolled into one. He could be the best guy on Earth, or else he could be your worst nightmare. Sometimes, he even manifests as all the other guys that were mentioned above. The bad news is that your boyfriend probably worships him and will do anything that he asks. The good news is – wait, there’s no good news.
[Read: 10 toxic friends that will only ruin everything]
What can you do about them?
Before you came into the picture, these friends were already there. Even if you came before them, you don’t have any control over who your guy meets when you’re not around. If you do make a fuss about it, there is a chance that you might come out looking like a nightmare girlfriend.
Remember, however, that you should not be so controlling that you fail to see the good in the people that he is friends with. Sometimes, they just have problems that you don’t know about. Still, it’s not so hard to believe that you want the best for your partner, and that includes the friends that they keep. So, what’s the solution to your problem?
#1 Get to know them better. Initially, you have to assess whether the problem really lies with his friends. There might be times when you’re putting the blame on someone who’s not at fault. Find out why his friends are the way that they are. Just make sure that you keep your distance, lest they start to think that you’re being too comfy with them.
#2 Acknowledge that they have problems. Even if you don’t find out too much about them when you meet them, you can still ask your partner about his friends. Not only will he appreciate your interest in his life, you can also learn about what makes them tick, so you can find a solution to the problems that arise because of their friendship.
#3 Talk about it with your partner. Before you start to point fingers and assume the worst out of his friends, you should discuss your thoughts with your partner first. You won’t know how things turned out the way they did unless you ask.
The best part about it is that your partner will know that you have issues about his friends. This will make it easier for him to explain the situation to you, and it will also give him an idea that he should be involved in finding a way to alleviate your concerns.
#4 Don’t make him cut his ties. Friends are friends. You know that very well. You can’t expect your boyfriend to just end his friendships, just because you think it’s the right thing to do. He has to come to that decision on his own, but it won’t hurt for you to point out why he should start entertaining the idea.
Show him how his friends might be affecting his work and personal life. Explain to him why it’s important to you and why you feel it’s necessary for him to cut back on the things that he does with his friends that make you upset. [Read: 6 quick ways to stop being a possessive girlfriend]
#5 Let his friends know that you don’t like the way things are and give them a second chance. You can be the bigger person and talk to your boyfriend’s friends while he is present. There may be a chance that the whole thing could build up to a confrontation, but it will be good for you to put things out in the open.
Once his friends understand that you have issues about what they do when they’re together, they might be open to changing their ways just to ease the tension and not risk losing their friend in the process. Just remember to watch your words. Make sure that you don’t sound condescending or high-handed. That happens easily, especially when you’re dealing with unpleasant people. Be calm and magnanimous. And whatever you do, don’t nag the friend. [Read: 10 ways to deal with difficult people]
#6 Put your foot down. When all else fails, you need to ask yourself whether this is something that you can put up with. You may think that your boyfriend’s friends are the problem, but you need to look at the bigger picture.
Seeing as your boyfriend is pretty much involved in everything that’s been discussed, it’s not so surprising to think that he has to make the right decisions for your relationship. If you cannot change the situation or even deal with it, just give your man an ultimatum. If you don’t see eye to eye on the subject at this point, you probably never will.
People in relationships will face difficult issues at some point or another. One of these issues tends to be yours and your partner’s friends. You might have problems with his friends and he might have problems with your friends.
[Read: 13 signs your friends are ruining your relationship]
In the end, you must work with your guy to ensure that his friends aren’t negatively affecting your relationship. You have to communicate these issues with each other to reach some sort of compromise. If that doesn’t work, then you can just leave the guy with his friends and find someone else who would value the fact that you’re looking out for him.
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