Aunt Izzie: My friends vs. my boyfriend
Dear Aunt Izzie,
I’m starting to worry that my friends don’t like my boyfriend. Their approval means a lot to me and if they don’t like him I’m not sure we should be together.
Seriously Questioning Boyfriend
Dear Seriously Questioning Boyfriend,
Are there any clear reasons your friends could be feeling this way? If your boyfriend isn’t entirely comfortable around them, he might be coming off as awkward or even rude, which doesn’t make for a great impression.
Assuming this is the case, give your friends and your boyfriend time to get to know each other. I’m sure your friends have incredibly high standards for anyone that gets to date you (and if they’re good friends they should!) and your boyfriend is nervously trying to impress them. Drag your boyfriend to weird hangout sessions with your friends and then “go to the bathroom” for an hour so they’re forced to get to know each other.
Or do something more normal, whatever.
If your friends already know your boyfriend and still aren’t big fans, this could be a red flag. Obviously you know a side of your boyfriend that others don’t, a perk of being in a relationship with him, but if the side others see is negative he could be negative as a whole.
Look at the way he treats you in public. Does he laugh at your jokes or just laugh at you? Does he listen when you contribute to conversations or does he interrupt and undermine you?
Your friends can often see things you are blind to. When you try on a new shirt and they all tell you it’s ugly, you’re probably not going to buy it anyway. Sure, you guys might have different taste in clothes, but a dud is a dud. Don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t flatter you.
Seriously, if your boyfriend doesn’t flatter you, keep shopping. For boyfriends. This metaphor has crumbled around me (boyfriends are not for sale, there are not boyfriend malls) but I hope the core message sinks in: you are too good to spend your time with someone who doesn’t deserve you. Your friends know that, and now hopefully you do too!
Aunt IzzieIzzie Gibson Penrose, class of 2016, has 19 years of advice to give. She loves telling people what to do (but doesn’t take offense if they don’t listen) and lives as strange a life as possible so she has plenty of anecdotes to share. Izzie also enjoys making jokes and baking cupcakes. Email her with questions, concerns, or anything LITERALLY ANYTHING that’s on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org. She promises to read every email she receives at least once, probably six times.