When it comes to our love lives, our friends are our biggest supporters. They celebrate with us when we rock a first date, cry with us when a guy breaks our heart and take our side when the guy we like acts like a total jerk.
That’s why we don’t expect our friends––our biggest cheerleaders––to be the ones getting in the way of us finding that perfect guy. If your dating life is currently lackluster and loveless, your girlfriends just might be the culprits! Here are three ways that your friends may be ruining your chances at a relationship.
The Problem: You Always Go Out as a Big Group
After a long week of tests and homework, letting off some steam at a bar or a party with all your girlfriends is exactly what you need. The problem is that when you hit up the local bar with all 12 of your best female friends, you may be sending off a signal to suitable suitors that you’re not really interested in fraternizing with any member of the opposite sex.
When you’re clumped together in a giant group of girls, not only will it be harder for you to stand out, but guys may be super intimidated to come up and talk to you!
“If I see a cute girl at a bar or a party that I want to talk to but she’s in a big group of her friends, I’m always more hesitant to approach her,” says Brian, a junior at the University of Washington. “Getting up the nerve to go up and talk to a girl in general is hard enough, but when she’s surrounded by all her friends, it’s so much more intimidating. I don’t want her friends to make fun of me or possibly watch me get rejected.”
Your friends can often create an impenetrable force field around you that wards off any potential hottie who might be interested in talking to you. While it’s always fun to go out with all your girlfriends, it might deter those less-outgoing guys from approaching you.
How to Fix It
Whether you and your friends are grouped together on the dance floor or gossiping at a table on the side, you should definitely make an effort to break away from your friends for a little bit and do your own thing if you want to meet someone. When you separate yourself from your giant group of girlfriends, guys will be much less intimidated by the prospect of talking to you.
Try taking a solo trip to the dance floor instead of having five friends tag along with you, or sneak away to the bar to order yourself a drink. When you separate yourself from the group, you’ll give guys the go-ahead to come up and talk to you without all those intimidating girlfriends to hold him back.
“I’d definitely say I’m more likely to go up and talk to a girl if she’s by herself or with just one or two friends,” Brian says. “When she’s not in a huge group, there’s less at stake and it’s not as nerve-wracking.”
The Problem: All Your Friends Are Single
Sometimes when you find yourself in a group of solely single friends, you all adopt this “we’re all in this together” kind of mentality. If one of you is single, you’re all single, and you’re sticking together through this serious dating dry spell!
“My group of friends and I are all single right now, and we’re definitely wallowing in our own self-pity,” says Natalie, a sophomore at Seattle University. “We go to parties and bars, but we always end up just coming back to our dorms and putting in a movie or making cookies. We’re kind of stuck in a rut! None of us are making much of an effort to meet guys.”
Being in a group of single friends can lead to countless “girls’ night in” Fridays where you order (and eat) unimaginable amounts of pizza, watch endless rom-coms and complain about how much boys totally suck. It’s easy to channel your inner feminist and join in on the boy bashing whenever you’re surrounded by a bunch of like-minded females, but in the long run, it’s doing nothing for your love life.
Even if you and your friends aren’t stuck in a boy-hating rut, being surrounded by all your single girl friends at a party can bring a little bit of competition into the mix. When you and your friend are both single and on the hunt for a cute dude, you might find yourselves locked in a heated battle for the attention of the same guy.
“There’s been a few times where I’ll go to a party with one of my single friends and we’ll both end up talking to the same guy,” Natalie says. “It’s always awkward because I don’t want to hurt our friendship over some random guy we met at a party, so I usually just let her talk to him and move on.”
How to Fix It
You don’t always need to turn to your single friends whenever you want to go out and scope out a few parties or bars. Your friends with boyfriends can be just as fun to hit the town with, and they can even help you snag a hottie wherever you are! Friends with boyfriends are the perfect people to go to when you’re in serious need of a wingwoman because they definitely won’t be competing for his attention and they won’t feel any pressure to impress any guys wherever you two venture off to.
Of course, you never want to be that girl who ditches all her single friends, so it’s important to incorporate them, too. Having a good mixture of single friends and taken friends when you go out could be the key to fixing this friend-related love problem!
And if all else fails, have your taken friend set you up with the hot guy who lives in her boyfriend’s dorm or a total cutie on his soccer team. Friends’ boyfriends are the ultimate resource when it comes to finding yourself a guy.
The Problem: You Let Your Friends’ Opinions Get to You
Our friends are our friends for a reason: we trust them to always tell us the truth and value their opinions on everything from our outfits to our taste in music. That’s why whenever we start talking to a new guy we always go to our girls for their sage wisdom and overall opinions of him.
“I always keep my friends updated on what guy I’m into at the moment,” says Bailey, a sophomore at Gonzaga University. “If I’ve been texting with a guy or hanging out with him, I definitely ask my friends for their opinion. Sometimes I think I trust them to make decisions for me more than I trust myself!”
All too often we’re swayed by the opinions of our friends. You’ll be totally into a guy until your friend points out one fatal flaw that you were paying no attention to. If you didn’t notice that he posts way too many emotional subtweets before, your best friend will definitely point it out for you!
“I’ve definitely changed by opinion of a guy based on something one of my friends has said,” Bailey says. “When your friends don’t approve of a guy you like, sometimes that makes you rethink everything.”
After consulting with a friend over a guy you’re super into, you may question everything and take a second look at the guy you’ve been flirt-texting with for the past week. While sometimes your friend’s advice if totally valid, that doesn’t mean that they’re always pointing you in the right direction.
How to Fix It
Our friends will always give us their two cents in these kinds of situations. After all, they do have our best interests at heart and are just trying to look out for us. However, you may want to take their opinions and advice with a grain of salt. It’s important to follow your heart, and you shouldn’t let a small negative that your friend brought up out weigh out a whole lot of positives.
If he really isn’t worth your time, then you’ll figure it out. It’s important to take your friends’ opinions into consideration, but when it comes to the cute guy you’ve been hanging out with, only you know how well you guys mesh together.
If your friend makes a comment about his messy hair or his obsession with his Xbox, you might not want to take her criticisms too seriously. If she mentions that he’s treating you badly or he’s just not a nice guy in general, that’s when you should really take a moment to listen!
We love our friends to death and would be lost without them, but sometimes they can put a serious strain on our love lives. While we can lean on our friends for most of our troubles, make sure they’re not causing you any when it comes to your love life!