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The Other Man: How to Deal With Your Boyfriend's Best Friend

by Leah Campbell, studioD

Right up there with meeting the parents is meeting your new man’s closest friends. You want them to like you, and you strive to make a good impression knowing that their opinion of you matters. Sometimes, though, no matter how hard you try, you just won’t find yourself falling in love with his friends as you had hoped you would. This leaves you with a complicated dilemma: what do you do when you can’t stand your boyfriend’s best friend?

They Aren’t One and the Same

It is important to understand that your boyfriend’s friends aren’t necessarily a reflection of who he is, explains dating coach Evan Marc Katz, author of “Why You’re Still Single.” People create friendships at different points in their lives and for different reasons. Just as you likely have friends who don’t share all of your beliefs and mannerisms, your boyfriend is going to have connections who aren’t mirror images of him as well. Remember that his having a friend who seems to be a blatant womanizer or an old buddy who likes to burp the alphabet doesn’t have to be a mark against him. You don’t have to like his friends in order to feel confident in your feelings for him.

Try to Understand

If your man’s friend comes across as hostile or unwelcoming, there might be a reason according to psychologist Gerry Heisler. Perhaps, his best friend had his buddy as his wingman and is feeling left out, now that the two of you have paired up. Or, maybe he just went through a brutal breakup, making it painful for him to see others at the height of new relationship excitement. Whatever the reason, you are better off trying to understand where he is coming from than you are trying to fight it. Instead of matching his best friend in scathing comments and passive aggressive gestures, try to see things from his point of view and make it clear that you aren’t interested in stealing his buddy away from him.

Make an Effort

When it comes to getting along with your boyfriends friends, sometimes you have to be willing to make an effort, according to popular women’s magazine Glamour. This can include limiting texting and overly affectionate talk in front of his friends, while also attempting to ask questions and join in on the fun when they are around. Maybe his best friend isn’t someone you would typically choose to hang out with, and perhaps their go-to spots aren’t exactly your scene, but there is still something to be said for compromising and trying to bridge the divide. Remain friendly and interested in what your boyfriends friends have to say, joining in on the jokes when you can and proving that you are invested in getting to know the people he cares about the most.

Create Some Distance

If you truly can’t stand being around your boyfriend’s best friend, tell your man that you will be having girl’s nights with your friends when he and his bestie decide to get together, advises Katz. This shouldn’t be an ultimatum or threat, but rather a way of allowing him to still spend time with his friend, without putting you in a position you aren’t comfortable with. Remember that the goal is not to get him to dump his friend, but rather to show that you are supportive of the friendship, even if it isn’t one you necessarily want to be a part of. Avoid getting pouty or upset when he does decide to see his best friend, as that will only create unnecessary tension for everyone.

About the Author

Living in Alaska, Leah Campbell has traveled the world and written extensively on topics relating to infertility, dating, adoption and parenting. She recently released her first book, and holds a psychology degree (with an emphasis in child development and abnormal child psychology) from San Diego State University.

Photo Credits

  • Kane Skennar/Digital Vision/Getty Images