Lucky you, collegiette – you have a great boyfriend who feels comfortable enough to have you hang out with him and his friends. The bad news? You HATE his friends! Whether they’re loud and annoying or they secretly hit on you when your guy’s not around, you just want them out. Unfortunately, these guys are a part of his life, and you have to handle being around them without making your boyfriend resent you. We talked to some collegiettes as well as Leslie Ackerman, a New Jersey couples therapy counselor, to help you out in this sticky situation.
Should I be worried that my boyfriend is friends with such jerks?
While it is a common assumption that we are the company that we keep, that’s not always the case. “Are all of your friends just like you? Most likely not, and his friend group is probably the same way,” Ackerman says.
Don’t let his friends change your opinion of your boyfriend—after all, you aren’t dating them! Kelly, a junior at Hofstra University, says, “It bothers me that my boyfriend doesn’t really see that some of the things his friend does is wrong, but I know that he wouldn’t do any of those things, so I just let it go.”
Try and get to know his friends. Ask his best friend what he thinks you should get your boyfriend for his birthday, or, if you’re in one of the same classes, talk to him about a recent assignment.
“I used to hate my boyfriends’ best friend, but one day I saw him running laps at the gym,” says Kelsey, a sophomore at the University of Michigan. “I challenged him and bet that I could beat him around the track, and even though he won, we bonded. It was something so small, but if you make the effort, you might realize his friends aren’t complete jerks after all!”
Should I make him choose between us?
No matter what your personal opinion of your boyfriend’s friends is, you do not have the right to make your guy choose between you and his friends. If he told you not to hang out with your girlfriends just because he didn’t like them, you wouldn’t do it (right?), so it’s not fair to ask that of him. “He will resent you if you try to make him choose,” Ackerman says. “You don’t want to become the couple that loses all their friends, and then ends up alone.”
Kelly says that although she doesn’t like one of her boyfriend’s friends, “…I don’t have a right to tell him he can’t be friends with him because the friend has never done anything to me personally. I know I wouldn’t want my boyfriend to tell me who I can and can’t be friends with, so I have to give him the same respect.”
The next time you invite your guy over for a movie, invite his friends over, too! If you and his friends don’t get along, a little bonding session with all of you might be just what you need. You’re also taking the pressure off your guy to pick whom to hang out with.
Should my boyfriend stick up for me when his friends are rude to me?
“It depends on how extreme the situation is,” Ackerman says. “A little lighthearted banter from time to time could probably be excused; they may be trying to make you feel like one of them! But if it is a frequent act, your boyfriend should put an end to it. But no matter what, if it bothers you, you need to address it to your boyfriend.” Your guy should be making sure that you are comfortable when you are with them.
If you find yourself getting insulted by his friends, bring it up to your boyfriend privately (don’t yell at him in front of all of his friends; being a drama queen won’t help the situation). When you have a moment alone with your guy, tell him that it hurts your feelings when he doesn’t defend you in front of his friends. We get that guys don’t want to defy their friends, but it’s not cool when it starts to hurt you!
Should I say something if they hit on me when he’s not around?
If your boyfriend’s friends make you feel uncomfortable in any way, such as touching you or saying something that crosses a line, you need to address it with your boyfriend immediately.
“You need to say something sooner rather than later, because if you wait, your word looks less authentic,” Ackerman says. “You don’t want it to become so delayed that by the time you speak up, he starts believing his friends over you.”
Tell your boyfriend! He needs to know. Make it clear that you aren’t trying to start drama and that his friends are making you uncomfortable.
We all know that guys can be jerks, and it’s definitely worse if they’re your boyfriends’ friends! Even if you’re not able to get along with them, if you make an effort to, your boyfriend will appreciate it.