I’m sure there are many reasons you don’t like your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend. And I’m sure you are convinced that all your reasons are very, very good. However, despite what you want to think, your reasoning may not always be correct… and can, therefore, ruin some of your closest friendships for no good reason.
After you decide that you don’t like your friends significant other (SO), you need to first figure out if your reason is actually valid…
One of the most common reasons you don’t like your friend’s SO is simply because they are not you. This does not necessarily mean you want to romantically be with your friend… but it does mean that you want to be with your friend. You want to spend time with them like you used to. But now that they have this thing they have to hang out with, you are left feeling shut out and friendless.
How To Not Make This A Problem: 1. Don’t shut out your friend just because they have a BF or GF. I’m sure they still want to hang out with you and I’m sure they are still into going out. Don’t be afraid to ask your friend if they want to get dinner or go out… Just because they’re in a relationship doesn’t mean they are immune to the idea of hanging out with friends. 2. Make an effort to get to know the person your friend is dating. If you like your friend and your friend likes them, chances are you will like them too. I know no one likes to be the third wheel (or fifth wheel… or seventh wheel…), but try hanging out with your friend while he or she is with their significant other in a large group of people. If the couple continues to ignore you and only pays attention to each other, then maybe you need to start disliking your friend rather than their SO… However, regardless of what the case may be, 3. make sure you’re scheduling “single sex nights out” and 4. finding other people to hang out with. You shouldn’t just have one or two friends. And if “all your friends are in relationships except you,” don’t mope around whining about it… instead, 5. make some new friends.
Another (much better) reason is that your friend’s BF or GF is simply a controlling bitch and/or a rude asshole. Think of Stu’s GF from The Hangover. She was a bitch. We (the movie viewers) didn’t even know her and we hated her.
How To Not Make This A Problem: In this situation, we really need to put our judgmental tendencies aside and look at the real picture: Is our friend’s SO really a jerk? A lot of the time we decide they are jerks because 1. They’re “taking our friends away from us” and 2. We’re secretly jealous, but would never admit it (not even to ourselves). To cover up the fact that we are not okay with our friend being in any relationship (unless we are, too), we decide to hate on the SO just because. Do not do this. As I said, try to get to know the person or just be happy that your friend is happy (if your friend is happy).
Maybe, after you get to know the person, you will realize that your friend’s SO really is (or isn’t) an awful person or that the two of you just don’t get along. At least you now have an explanation when someone asks you why you don’t like him or her.
Now, if you don’t like the SO because of the way they “treat your friend,” that’s a whole different story. Obviously if your friend’s BF or GF is a mental (or physical) abuser, then all the power to you to hate on them. However, if you think you never see your friend anymore because their BF or GF “doesn’t let them do anything,” think again. If your friend wanted to hang out with you, they would (unless you’re the one not making plans or inviting your friend out)… And if your friend “stopped drinking” and “going out as much,” don’t solely blame this on the SO. Of course, they may have contributed to your friend’s change… but if they really wanted to go back to their old ways, they would – either by ditching the BF or GF… or by telling them how it’s going to be. You have two choices when your friend starts to change their ways: 1. Confront them about it. Tell your friend you feel like you never get to hang out anymore and ask if they would like to get dinner or go out together this weekend. Don’t say anything about their SO, though. or 2. Give up and lose a friend! Uhh, no thanks (right?)… If nothing good comes out of any of this, at least you tried!
After you decide whether or not you truly dislike your friend’s BF or GF, you need to figure out if your friend should also not like their SO… or if you should just keep your feelings to yourself, be happy for your friend, and not let your negative feelings affect your friendship.
Just because you don’t like your friend’s partner, doesn’t always mean that your friend shouldn’t either. It doesn’t mean that they treat your friend horribly. It doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t be dating them. It doesn’t mean they are all in all a bad person.
We are getting older. So naturally, people are going to spend more and more time with their significant others, and eventually move in with them… and then eventually get (yes, the dreaded word) married. This is what our twenties are for – changing immensely, growing up, and slowly weaning ourselves off of alcohol. So if a friend is starting to spend more time with a BF or GF that you don’t like, before you become angry and stop talking to your friend, pay attention to them. If your friend is negative all the time, unhappy, losing weight, gaining weight, not talking to anyone else anymore, etc then maybe their SO is the reason. But try and talk to your friend before jumping to any conclusions. Perhaps the sudden depression/change has something to do with work, family, money, etc… Maybe even try talking to the BF or GF and see if they have tried to do anything about it. If they reply that they “haven’t noticed” or just flat out “no – stay out of it,” then you definitely have yourself a problem. Now, if you have actually witnessed the SO treating your friend badly, you can ask your friend about it (if you don’t feel too awkward) – or you can let them figure it out for themselves. And if you have proof (not just a feeling) that the so-called faithful guy is cheating, definitely say something to your friend. However, even if cheating or abuse is involved, a lot of people become way too “in love with love” to admit that their relationship sucks, even though they know they are being treated poorly. So, unfortunately, your friend isn’t going to listen to you – even if they come to you for advice.
Sadly, this is a situation where you most likely can’t do anything to help out your friend. If your friend is unhappy, try to talk to them. But don’t tell your friend that you don’t like their BF or GF, and don’t attempt to convince your friend to end their own relationship. This will only make things worse, because (as I said) they won’t listen to you. For now, just support your friend. Do all that you can. And if they won’t take your advice or smarten up, at least you tried. Love makes people do crazy things – including date crazy people – and you can’t fight with love.
Now, if your friend is actually happy, let them be. Be happy for them. And if they just won’t hang out with you at all anymore, then so be it – they lost you as a friend. You didn’t lose them.