Introducing someone you’re dating to your friends can be a really nerve-wracking experience — especially if you’re really into this new person. I’ve been in situations where my friends instantly took a dislike to the person I was dating (they usually ended up being right about them, by the way) and it was an all-around stressful situation. When you’re dating someone your friends don’t like, it can feel like you have to compartmentalize your life, and like you’re always playing interference between the two parties — trying to keep the peace and make everyone happy. So, yeah, not great.
While this scenario is far from ideal, Connell Barrett, founder of Dating Transformation and executive dating coach, tells Elite Daily it’s not uncommon. “It would be great if all your friends liked your romantic partner, but that’s not how people are wired. Some of us just don’t jive with others. And chances are you haven’t liked everyone that they’ve dated either. You can’t please everyone all of the time, and that includes your BFFs,” he says. Here’s what the experts suggest you keep in mind if you’re newly dating someone your friends just do not like, no matter how hard you try to get them to vibe.
1. REMEMBER: YOUR OPINION OF YOUR PARTNER IS THE ONE THAT COUNTS THE MOST.
While your friends’ input does matter, Erica Gordon, millennial dating expert, founder of The Babe Report, and author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This?, tells Elite Daily it’s important not to let your feelings get lost in the mix. “Remember that the most important opinion about your partner is your own. You’re the one who knows your partner best, not your friends. You’re the one who will have the best instincts regarding your partner,” she explains.
Barrett agrees, saying you shouldn’t feel like you can only date people your friends approve of. “Your friends are entitled to their feelings, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop dating your new significant other. You can agree to disagree while staying great friends. And hey, it’s not their job to love your partner. That’s your job,” he says. “You’re the one dating this person, not them. If your new partner makes you happy and treats you well, that’s the most important thing.”
2. THEY MAY SEE SOMETHING YOU’RE NOT SEEING.
While your opinion about the person you’re dating is the most important, it doesn’t hurt to take their feelings into consideration, says Barrett. After all, they have a unique perspective on the relationship. “They might have good reasons for not liking your SO. Listen and see if they have a point. It doesn’t mean you have to dump the person,” he explains. “But new love can blind us from people’s faults. Maybe your friends think you’re not being treated well enough, or that your new partner could improve their behavior in some way.”
Diana Dorell, intuitive dating coach and author of The Dating Mirror: Trust Again, Love Again, tells Elite Daily there’s a good chance you may not like what they have to say. After all, who wants to hear negative things about someone they like? However, Dorell says it’s important to keep an open mind and try not to be be defensive until you’ve heard them out. “Find out why your friends don’t like your new [partner] — come from a space of receptivity and listen, even though it may seem really hard to listen objectively,” she advises.
3. REMEMBER HOW YOU MAY BE CONTRIBUTING TO THE WAY YOUR FRIENDS FEEL ABOUT THEM.
If you’re not sure why your friends don’t like the person you’re dating, Gordon says to consider if you’ve had a role in shaping their perception of them. “Remember that sometimes, the reason friends don’t like your partner is because you vent to them a lot anytime you have an argument with your partner, or anytime your partner does something that bothers you,” she explains. “This can paint an negative picture of your partner in your friends’ minds, and if you don’t want to do that, be sure to remember to talk about your partner’s good qualities when discussing him or her to your friends as well.”
4. REMEMBER TO TREAT YOUR FRIENDS WITH LOVE AND RESPECT.
It can be frustrating when your friends don’t like the person you’re dating, but Barrett says it’s important to remember that your relationship with them is also important, and that they likely have your best interests at heart. “You want to guard against feeling defensive or angry, which can hurt your friendships. Rather, be grateful that your BFFs are looking out for you,” explains Barrett. “Part of the deal of having close friends is receiving advice and feedback about your dating life. Even if you don’t agree with them, they mean well. Don’t let resentment creep in. It will only hurt your friendships,” he warns.
5. REMEMBER TO ALWAYS CONSIDER THE SOURCE.
While ideally your friends’ issues with the person you’re dating are coming from a good place, friendships can be complicated, so Dorrell warns you take the source into consideration. “Friends who have issues with the person may be coming from a place of envy or jealousy and you can have a conversation with them about why specifically they don’t like the person,” she suggests. “That could give them space to share and also for you to see if their comments are coming from a warranted space.”
6. REMEMBER TO TRUST YOUR GUT.
Ultimately, Gordon says the most important thing is to trust your own instincts — they are your best guides in this situation. “If you know in your heart that you are head-over-heels for your partner, don’t let the opinions of friends sway you. Don’t let them get in your head, because you shouldn’t let anyone interfere with your relationship or with your feelings,” she says.
Hopefully, you’ll never be in a situation were you find yourself stuck between your friends and the person you’re dating. If you do, however, Barrett closes with a final bit of advice: “Be respectful of [your friends’] feelings and understand that their misgivings are coming from a good place. At the same time, you can’t live your life according to their blueprint for you. You have to follow your own path.”
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