Befriending your partner’s buddies is the key to a good relationship. Razi Sheikh scours the truth behind this statement
You’re out for an evening with your partner in tow but unlike the romantic dates that set off your relationship, this one isn’t going to be all that intimate. You walk into the restaurant, you spot them and you head over to the family size table. The only problem, you don’t see your family or your friends, you see a group of strangers all staring at you with eager eyes – turns out, these strangers are your partner’s friends.
If relationships are about acceptance and adjustments, then extended socialisation has to be a part of it. It’s not something most of us would welcome but if done right, it can do wonders for your relationship. But if messed up, it can cost you a headache you’d rather avoid.
Here’s a lowdown on socialising with your partner’s friends:
HOW SOCIAL ARE YOU?
If you’re not the social kind or someone not likely to be seen hanging around talking to people you barely know – this mandatory meeting your-partner’s-friends thing is going to be tough for you. But if you’re an extrovert, you’ll get around quite easily, at least the first time. However, if these meetings go from just the weekends to every single day of the week, it can get a little challenging especially if you consider them to be obligations. In such situations it is best to keep an open mind and take each day as it comes. You will soon learn to take your partner’s friends as your own.
MIX AND MINGLE
If I may, unlike relationships, friendships are known to last significantly longer. Your partner has known them for long; they’ve even been together way before you came along. If your partner is serious about you, chances are they will introduce you to their friends. There, you could take that as a sign of (maybe) a long-term relationship. Keeping that in mind, try your best to make their friends your friends. As much as you might dislike it, let’s just say this will do your relationship some real good.
BACK SHELF JUDGMENTS
Friends being great and all aside, what if your partner’s tribe of friends are a coterie of douche-bags? Of course, you cannot and should not divulge feelings like these to your partner as it might create problems in your relationship. Wait on it for a few weeks; it’s possible that you’re being judgmental and biased towards them. But there’s also a genuine case of you and them being socially incompatible. The only way out of such a situation would be to discuss it with your partner. Share with them your qualms; you will feel much better and you might also get a chance to clear out any kind of negativity or misunderstandings, if there might be any.
IS IT SUCH A BIG DEAL?
Dealing with your partner’s friends is an issue big enough to jeopardize both your emotional health and your relationship with your partner. Before delving into that area ask yourself if you’re genuinely trying or if it is just a social obligation. Mokshda Kaul says, “Personally, I think befriending your partner’s friends is a good thing. But there is a need to set some ground rules between you and your partner. As long as it is not interfering with the quality time that you two are supposed to spend with them, it’s alright. More than an obligation it might end up helping you get to know your partner better. Sometimes it even helps your partner; they might feel secure knowing that their significant other and his best buds get along and are close.” In a normal scenario, that’s how it should be. But there can always be a downside to it. She further adds, “However, it shouldn’t be eating away from the precious time between you and your partner. That would just be unfair.
For a WIN-WIN Deal
If you can’ t handle your partner’s friends, talk to your partner about it. See how you can limit the interactions with them, without pissing off your partner and their friends in the process.
They can be wonderful people to get to know your partner better. Think shopping for presents, you cannot ask for better people to assist you.
When you spend time with them, even if it is occasionally, more than the actual output, it’s the efforts that matter. It won’ t go unnoticed. Besides, it gives your partner a chance to be with the people he/she loves
In case of a conflict or a rough patch between you and your partner, they can help you patch up and get things back on track.