You're in a great relationship with a fantastic fellow, but there's just one little problem: his friend can't stand to be in the same room with you. You don't want to break up with your boyfriend, but this friend might be pressuring him to do just that. While it's not realistic to expect everyone to get along, if you don't find ways to cope with the situation, it's sure to bring you lots of grief.
Consider if the friend truly dislikes you or if it could possibly be your erroneous perception. You might interpret abruptness, distraction or indifference as dislike. Observe his friend's behavior when he's with you and others; you may discover he's openly hostile or rude to others, not just you. Unless this friend has confronted you directly about his dislike or your boyfriend has told you about a conversation he had with his friend, you may simply be misinterpreting the situation.
Be honest with your boyfriend and share your concerns with him. He'll probably be able to confirm his friend's dislike of you or reassure you that it was a misunderstanding.
Take comfort in knowing that his friend's dislike might not really be about you specifically. It might be aimed at any girl your boyfriend chooses. There's often rivalry, unresolved sexual tension and jealousy between a guy's female friends and his girlfriend. Even a male friend can become jealous and resentful of time your boyfriend now spends with you instead of cruising bars with him like he used to. Realizing that the dislike is not personal might make it more bearable.
Decide whether this friend's dislike is having a negative effect on your boyfriend's relationship with you. Some guys do not allow a friend's dislike of a girlfriend to affect the relationship with the girlfriend. But if your boyfriend seems to be influenced by his friend's low opinion of you, have an honest discussion about how you feel. Your boyfriend might be unaware he's allowed himself to be influenced. Drawing attention to this dynamic might help put an end to it. Don't speak to your boyfriend in anger, even if you are distressed. Choose a moment when you're calm to discuss the matter.
Make an attempt to correct some of the behaviors you've been told the friend dislikes about you, if you think they're legitimate. For example, if the friend thinks you're cheap because you never pay your own way, and this is true, pay the bill next time you go out.
Give your boyfriend enough space to allow him to maintain his relationship with his friend, but not when you're around. This might mean declining invitations if the friend will be there, but don't become resentful or vindictive toward your boyfriend if he goes without you. Be honest with your boyfriend about your desire to keep away from his hostile friend, but don't blame him. Avoid the ultimatum, "Choose him or me." In a healthy relationship, neither partner should have to give up on previous friendships -- but that doesn't mean you have to spend time with someone who clearly dislikes you.
Don't keep harping on the situation. If your boyfriend doesn't mention his friend, don't be the one to introduce his name into your conversations. It's probably unpleasant for your boyfriend to be caught in the middle, so it's best not to remind him.
Freddie Silver started writing newsletters for the Toronto District School Board in 1997. Her areas of expertise include staff management and professional development. She holds a master's degree in psychology from the University of Toronto and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, focusing on emotions and professional relationships.
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