Our friends’ partners: the ones we don’t like

Our friends' partners: the ones we don't like

Our closest friends are like our secret sibling whom we’ll forever be in a relationship with. We’ll always be the happiest people when they’re happy. But let’s be honest. Our close friends have partners whom we like, and those we never want to see.

For guys, disliking a friend’s girl won’t be an issue. It’s in a guy’s nature to be less assertive when it comes to these. In fact, even if a guy asks his best bud if his girl’s great, he’ll automatically say yes.

To be fair, I have a lot of friends who were once my (other) friends’ partners. It’s in my nature to be genuinely interested to know people; learning their backgrounds, their passion, their lives. (hmmm this sounds creepy)

LET’S FACE IT. There are usually two types of people we don’t like when it comes to this aspect.

“IT JUST FEELS WRONG”
1. People whom, for some reason, just don’t like because of their first impression — these are usually the snobs, the socially-paralyzed, the overly-touchy ones who seems to always think about drilling your friend, people whom we think aren’t a physical match to our friends, and people whose personalities are just too far from us. People we don’t understand.

“I KNOW ITS WRONG”
2. And there are those whom we know for a fact, are just so terribly wrong for our friends. People who don’t bring out the best in our dearest friends. People who are just clearly NOT MEANT for our friends (and everyone sees it, except you know who)

It’s a very sensitive topic. It’s always a hard place to be in, when you’ve realized that you don’t like your friend’s partner. Especially when you know that “this thing” makes them happy. I’m sure you would agree that when you’re in this situation, fake smiles and fake answers come in handy.

Friend: “Is he great or what!?”
Me: (puts a lot of effort for a smile) “yeeeah! He…is.”

So, the question is… WHAT DO YOU DO?

At some level, it’s a bit easier if your friend sincerely asks you for your opinion. Though I’m sure it’s gonna feel excruciating when you begin to share your thoughts. And even if you did, I’m sure your words already went through a 50-stage-screening process.

The harder version is when your friend doesn’t ask you for it. How would you deal with that? I’m sure a lot of us just resort to secretly rolling our eyes and whispering to ourselves while wearing those fake smiles.

I won’t say that I’m an expert on this. Through time, I have learned my lesson in a rather “hard way”. To ones whom I didn’t say a word, I’d eventually vomit the words once they break up; and they’d say: “WOW. Why didn’t you say that to me before??? I expected more from you!”. To those whom I failed to keep my mouth shut, I’d hear: “I guess I’ll just have to see for myself. Thanks for sharing, though. But I’m happy here.”

It seems to never help when we say these things to our friends, even if it has the best intention. They’re usually blinded by their emotions, unlike us. And either way, sharing these thoughts to them will always make them feel the opposite of what we want them to feel.

Here are my tips:

1. Think twice about sharing your thoughts to them when you’re not asked

2. If you think you still have threshold to give fake smiles, do it.

3. If you’re asked, don’t forget to remind them that these words are rooted from your unselfish care and love for them – and are not meant to “rain on their parade”

4. If you’re asked, go ahead and share your thoughts, but make sure these thoughts are objective. Lines like “It just doesn’t feel right” or “You’ll find someone more attractive” won’t help. Be specific on why you don’t like them, and say it in a good way: “I like that he’s always happy and stress-free but I think he’s too lax when it comes to his career plans. He’s the only one I know who is happily unemployed for 6 months”.

5. After you’ve shared, remember that this automatically puts your friend in a highly-emotional state. Don’t push him/her to agree with you, and never push them to act on what YOU think about their partners. Do not even suggest to them actions that are in-line with how you think/feel about their partners. Remember that the goal here is to open our friends’ eyes to what they can’t see, and NOT for them to act on what will make us feel better.

6. Lastly, suck it up. Once you’ve said your piece, remember that this is not your relationship. Whatever your friend decides to do, after the conversation, you should accept. Swallow it, sister! There will definitely be times where our friends will just go on and seem like they ignored what we said, but THAT ISN’T THE CASE. He/she heard you loud and clear, and his/her actions are based on their judgement. Just be there for them.

If our friend and his/her partner stay together longer, acknowledge that sometimes, there’s a big reason. And as their friends, we should eventually see what they see.

If they break up, then good. Your friend will love you more, knowing that you saw what was coming and spoke about it. And though you feel like you have all the right to gloat, don’t. You don’t need to say “I told you so”, because this reality was learned by your friend the hard way. But cheers to you, your friend is now back on track. 🙂

-P

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