WINNER WINNER, CHICKEN DINNER!
You’ve won! You’ve won! You have the best family, the best friends, have your life as together as you want to and now you finally found the one. Game over! Time to start the last part of your happily ever after.
But wait…something isn’t right. Your S.O., as wonderful as (s)he is, enjoys your family and participates with your friend-events for the most part, but…(s)he isn’t the hugest fan of some of them. Which isn’t a huge deal, except those few friends are ones you’ve known and loved forever, their S.O.s are a part of the ‘group’ you have. Your boo not wanting to be a part of that has thrown you for a loop. Can you still have your friends, and your forever?
The short answer…yes! Of course you can. We would all prefer that the most important people in our lives get along and love each other the same way we love them all individually. But sometimes that doesn’t happen, and that’s okay. It just takes a little expectation adjustment! I helped JoAnne with a similar situation here, but let’s expand on that a bit.
BUT WHYYYYYY DON’T THEY GET ALONG?
Short answer: we’re all humans. Some of us click right away while some of us can’t find anything to connect on. Even if it seems like two people ‘should’ click but don’t. It all depends! And that’s okay. It definitely makes it a bit harder when different people you jive with don’t jive with each other, but it’s still manageable. And, it’s possible to find out why. How? Keep reading…
If you wonder why your partner doesn’t love your friends the way you do, ask! And be ready to fully listen without defenses ready to retort. That part can be hard. But in my experience, there could be quite a few reasons your boo isn’t as down with your crew as you are. The options are endless, but a few that have shown up for me and friends I know are:
- Your partner feels overwhelmed in a large group of friends
- Your partner feels insecure, even though your friends accept him
- Your partner feels excluded because they don’t know your inside jokes
- Your partner doesn’t see them as his friends yet
Find out why your [wo]man isn’t a fan. If the reasons can be explained, then they can most likely be fixed, or at least addressed with some sort of solution.
IF YOU MUST, ADJUST
The list of steps to take that I offered JoAnne is here, and while they are the reverse situation, they might apply to your situation if you find yourself in one like this. But beyond that, once you talk with your partner about why they aren’t a huge fan of some of your friends, it might be time to make some adjustments. Or, compromises. What are the things you can change or agree to that will:
- Keep you and your forever-love intact,
- Keep you and your friendships intact, and
- Give you peace of mind that your S.O. and your friends can co-exist peacefully without a lot of stress on your end
Once you find out the reason(s) behind the lukewarm welcome towards your friends, figure out what you and your partner can agree on to make sure the above list happens. Think about the following:
- What are your significant other’s limits with your group of friends? Maybe they can handle a nighttime event or a brunch, but they can’t do an all-day affair with them. So, the limit becomes one normal-timed event at a time. Perhaps your partner is good with a long amount of time with your friends, but only once every two weeks. Learn their limitations! It’s better to know them and then solve around them rather than continuously plan ‘the things’ that trigger your boo the most.
- What can (s)he make more effort on? This has to be something your partner agrees to. What can they do to participate more, act more kindly, or whatever you feel you would like to see from them? Maybe they agree to engage in conversations more. Or it could be that (s)he works to build more of a bond with your friends’ S.O.s. Perhaps it just means showing up physically to more friend time! Decide – together.
- What can you concede on? Yes, you will have some concessions. If your partner doesn’t want to be BFF with your friends, you cannot force them to be. So, what can you lower your expectations around, especially when your boo is going to increase their effort in certain areas? Know what’s most important for you to have out of your love with your friends, and be less expectant around the things that aren’t as important.
ADAPTATION & EXPECTATIONS
After you and your boo talk about why (s)he just isn’t that into a few of your friends, and you discuss their limits, their areas to try harder and your areas of less expectation, you have your winning formula. You get to keep your forever (yay!) and you get to keep your friends (double yay!). There’s no need to choose between the two. You can have both; it will just take some adapting and changing expectations.
There are many people who want the win-win outcome but aren’t willing to do the work to get there. In this case, the work is the conversation and the tweaking of expectations on the part of both you and your boo. It’s hard to change expectations and it’s hard to compromise. I have been there and I know it’s not always easy. But those two things can be keys to successful relationships, when used at the right time by both parties.
When we find special people who enrich our lives, it’s important to nurture those relationships and keep them. That goes for friends, lovers, and others in between. When particular people don’t share the same bond with each other that you do with them, it’s also important to find a compromise so you don’t have to say any goodbyes. Can you have your friends, and your forever? If you’re willing to do the big C-word, then the answer is: ABSOLUTELY.