Almost everyone is guilty of dumping their friends during that new relationship period. Once the dates have gone well and you have stalked multiple law enforcement websites to make sure you aren’t dating a sex offender (maybe that’s just me) and you start leaping towards your phone every time their name shows up on the screen, you know you have fallen in love’s twisty and windy grip of infatuation.
Thankfully for some of us, my best friend happened to be studying abroad in Peru, climbing Machu Picchu and dancing the night away in the high-altitude city of Lima. Meanwhile, I was causing a ruckus with my brand new boyfriend while accidentally antagonizing my randomly selected new roommate in our almost Manhattan like dorm room.
Skype introductions are probably not the best way to introduce two people to each other especially when one of them is snoozing. My best friend was over the moon about her experiences and her most recent trip in the desert while I was trying to find a moment to break the news. She was a dutiful best friend and was patient while the webcam zoomed in on my sleeping boyfriend. We said our goodbyes and in another four months she would return.
The dislike did not happen automatically. They met and everything seemed fine until one fall day during our usual strolls around campus after class, she said to me: “I don’t think he’s right for you.” The key to hearing these demolishing words is to calm down, set the indignation aside and let them explain. She had her reasons, most of them rational. The problem wasn’t that my boyfriend was a bad person, more of, he was different than my best friend, so different that only very few things could bring them together. Whatever the argument is, it’s important to hear these words even if you’d rather run and flee. Only because the best way to find common ground is to listen attentively and acknowledge that their perception of your significant other may be very different than your own.
In order to proceed, it might not be the best idea to announce this new found fact to your boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s possible that they might have had an inkling already, but it can also be the case that their sixth sense is dormant and they thought your best friend really liked them.
Boundaries and comfort levels vary so it is essential that you communicate to your best friend about interactions with your significant other. After a couple trials and errors were made, I found that in social settings where both were to be present it was important to give a heads up to the most offended of the team. I’d let my best friend know that I was planning on my boyfriend being there but that I had rounded up some other people so that she would have options for conversation.
Every couple of months, I would check in with her about her feelings to see if anything had changed and the fervor of her emotions had mostly dimmed but some dislike resided deep within and although it sucked (you want your significant other to be liked by most people, especially your best friend) it was also important to keep both relationships flowing.
My best friend was like a sister to me and I wasn’t about to abandon ship just because she disliked my boyfriend. It wouldn’t be fair to our relationship and it is important to keep in mind that unless you live on a self-sustained island, it is possible to still keep that relationship and keep the significant other at bay. Best friends typically enjoy alone time. Go out with your buddy and have meals, do activities that you have always enjoyed and just make sure to make time for them.
Luckily, my boyfriend never disliked my best friend so I only had one person to contend with in terms of making sure their feelings were in check. Also, respect is paramount, it is almost never acceptable for either party to start a shouting match or call names. We are no longer in the sandbox era.
Although it does suck when your best friend gives the thumb down to this new person that you get along with so well, it is important to keep in mind that not everyone gets along. This time it might be your best friend, next time it might be your sister, cousin, or your dog. Never feel like you have to defend your choice in partner to anyone. As long as you are happy and healthy, simply communicate to those around you that you respect their opinion as long as they respect your choice to be happy and love freely.