Dear Di

The answer depends on whether or not you want me to sugarcoat it. Image: Rame Abdulkader

Dear Di,

I’ve been with my partner for a few months now but I’m not sure if I’m planning on committing to them further, partially because none of my friends like my partner. Should that be a factor I consider when it comes to making decisions about my relationship? Can I change their minds? Help!

— In Need of Friendly Support

Dear INOFS,

Although there are a hundred different reasons why your friends may dislike your partner, ranging from friendly jealousy to your partner actually just being a jerk, I’m going to focus on the two most likely scenarios. 

Scenario #1: Your partner is a great person and your friends are also great people, and they just haven’t had a good chance to recognize their mutual greatness. 

In this scenario, you probably fell victim to the classic, I-got-a-new-partner-so-I’m-going-to- blow-off-all-my-friends attitude that friends love so much. And since your friends are great people, they’re pinning the blame for their lack of you-time not on you, where it rightfully belongs, but on your partner, because they love you. 

How can you change their minds? Spend some one-on-one time with your friends, without your partner, to remind them you care about your relationships with them. Then, spend some time with them with your partner and make an active effort to bridge the gap and get them talking. 

Everyone will bask in the mutual greatness and you can finally run back to your partner’s arms knowing that they are your soulmate. And you’ll all live happily ever after.

If this sounds somewhat unlikely, that’s because it is. It’s possible, but I think Scenario #2 is probably your culprit. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Scenario #2: Your partner is an asshole, and you can’t see it because you’re hoping this is someone you’re meant to be with when it’s just not right. 

Your friends are your friends for a reason — presumably, they know you well, and you respect their opinion on all sorts of things. If you trust them to tell you if an outfit is cute or if the latest Tarantino movie was good, you should probably trust their analysis on your relationship, too.

It can be hard to see the toxic patterns or the personality flaws when you’re right in the thick of it, but your friends aren’t disillusioned by hollow apologies, corny gifts or good sex. Or maybe it’s nothing quite that sinister, but it’s just that your significant other is kind of a loser and you could do better. 

Either way, oftentimes our friends and family know us better than we know ourselves, and so if they hate your partner, it’s probably a red flag. In this scenario, there is a whole lot less sunshine and rainbows, probably because it’s closer to reality. And I think you know it, too. 

The proof is in the pudding — you said yourself that it’s been months and your friends still have not warmed up to your partner. If you loved this person and thought it was right, you would’ve already shown them all the things about your partner there are to love. And if it was truly meant to be, they probably would’ve fit into your life without the hassle to begin with. 

I think you’ve got your answer right there, but if I’m wrong, feel free to write back!

Love,

Di