TBQH, I don’t know if I’ve ever liked any of my closest friends’ partners at first. Especially in the initial stages of their relationships, I have a hard time believing that anyone in the world could be good enough for them. My instinct has always been to put my walls up and make the partners I’ve met pass a series of complicated (read: somewhat realistic) tests before they enter my good graces. Sometimes they do, and sometimes they don’t. But that leaves me in a sticky situation. What do I do if they don’t pass the tests I’ve put them through to prove they are good enough for my besties? Am I supposed to just hate them but support their relationship anyway?
After a dramatic panic, I learned that there are ways to get over this slump, and if those don’t work, we have even more solutions for you so you don’t jeopardize your relationship with your friend or their relationship with their partner.
If you don’t want to lose your friend over a sh*tty partner, here’s what to do:
1. Figure out what you don’t like about them
Sometimes, you hate someone because of nothing at all. Maybe their essence is just off when you’re around or you can’t seem to figure out what makes them so special to your very special BFF. You might disagree with their political views. All of these, I hate to say, aren’t viable reasons to hate someone. Yeah, it’s normal to not jive with every single person you meet, but you can easily not click with your friend’s partner and not dislike them for no reason.
On the other hand, there are many reasons it makes sense that you wouldn’t like them from the get-go. Do they always show up late? Do they make you uncomfortable? Do they not respect boundaries? Are they rude to you or your friend? Do they seem like they’re love-bombing or gaslighting your BFF? If you have a valid reason to dislike them, keep reading. But otherwise, try to form a friendship and see where that goes before jumping into hating them.
2. Communicate your concerns to your BFF
Your BFF won’t know why you’re acting so weird around them if you don’t tell them why. If you’re at a point where you’re feeling really uncomfortable with the situation, it’s probably time to bring it up one-on-one.
But make sure that you’re doing this in a delicate way. If roles were reversed, it would be extremely uncomfortable and difficult to find out your new dreamy partner is not-so-dreamy to your best friend. Make sure to remind them that you care about them and are just looking out for their sake, but you trust that they know what they’re doing and trust their judgment.
3. Try to find common ground
The easiest way to get someone on your good side is to find something you can consistently talk about. Perhaps you like the same music and can bond over whoever throws a playlist on the aux. Or you both took a specific class in college that got you jazzed over horror movies. You never know what hobbies or interests you share with someone until you start chatting with them, so when you’re given the opportunity to get to know this new person in your friend group, take it and see where it leads.
4. Let it go
You can’t control your friend, and they have to make their own choices about who to date and spend their time with, just as you do. If you’ve done everything you can to get to know them and still don’t like them, it might be time to just let it go and accept that your friend is happy in a new relationship that you just might not agree with.
How to maintain your friendship even if you hate your best friend’s partner:
1. Hang out with your BFF individually
Especially if you’re also partnered, it can be easy to make everything a couple activity. Instead, make it a point to hang out with your friend alone sometimes. It’ll take you back to the roots of your friendship and remind you that there’s more to talk about than their sh*tty partner you hate.
And if your friend pulls the, “Oh, actually, can ____ come?,” put up a boundary and say no.
2. Never go the “I told you so” route
A time might come when your friend decides you were right and seeks advice about how to deal with something in their relationship or end it entirely. When that happens, don’t snicker and say, “I told you so.” Be there for your friend and give them advice like you would in any other scenario.
3. Only bring them up if your friend does
You never want to sit around sh*t talking your best friend’s partner all day, but I’ve also been there when you’re together, and it’s awkward when you bring them up. Instead, try to avoid talking about them or their relationship unless your friend brings it up.
Of course, you want to make it known that they can talk to you about anything, but protect yourself if you know that bringing up your friend’s partner all the time will get on your nerves.