9 Signs Your Friends Can't Stand Your Partner
Experts explain what to watch out for when the people around you hate your S.O.
Introducing your partner to your friends is an important step for every relationship. And whether they become close or not, it's natural to want all the people you love to get along. But if you've had trouble integrating your partner into your friend group, there may be a reason for that—and it could be that your friends can't stand them. If you're worried that's the case, we talked to experts to get insight on the behaviors you should be watching out for. Read on for nine signs that your friends hate your partner.
They start avoiding social gatherings where your partner will be present.
When you start dating someone, it's likely that you'll start bringing them along to certain places with you. But it's important to watch how your friends react to this new dynamic, according to Sanam Hafeez, PsyD, New York-based neuropsychologist and director of Comprehend the Mind.
"If your friends consistently make excuses to skip social events or gatherings where your partner will be present, it could be a sign of their discomfort," Hafeez warns.
Or they don't include your partner in their plans.
On the other hand, if your friends are the ones hosting the gatherings or sending out invites to events, pay attention if your partner is often being left out. If they're not a fan of your significant other, they will go out of their to not include them, Jennifer Kelman, LCSW, a therapist and relationship expert working with JustAnswer, says.
"For example, rather than have an inclusive social event, they will plan either an all-boys night, or a girls night out—which would naturally prevent the partner from being able to join," she shares.
They only minimally interact with your partner.
You should also take note of how your friends and your partner engage with one another when they are in the same place, Hafeez advises. If things never go beyond a simple "hello," that could be a bad sign—especially if you've been dating for a while.
"If your friends can't stand your partner, they may keep interactions with your partner to a minimum—such as only exchanging polite greetings," Hafeez notes. "They may avoid engaging in deeper conversations or spending one-on-one time with your partner."
Their humor changes when your partner is around.
Your friends' personalities may shift when they're around your significant other if there's tension, according to Hafeez.
If your friends used to share light-hearted jokes with you but have become noticeably less playful in your partner's presence, it could be a sign of discomfort," she says.
Or they start making fun of your partner.
But that's not the only way their humor might change. In fact, you may notice that their jokes are now directed at your partner, Kelman says.
"They will make fun of certain things about your partner, but quickly follow it up with something like 'I'm just kidding,'" she says. "They aren't kidding."
They display a lack of enthusiasm.
When you are happy, your friends are usually happy for you—and you should be able to see that easily. But if there is disdain for your partner from your friend, you will likely notice a clear lack of enthusiasm instead, Hafeez says.
"They may show little excitement or enthusiasm when your partner's name comes up in conversation," she explains.
They start withholding personal information from you.
If you friends can't stand your partner, they might also start treating your differently. Pay attention to see if they've started withholding personal information from you, Hafeez suggests.
"Friends wary of your partner may be cautious about sharing personal information or stories with you, especially if they fear it will be relayed to your partner and cause tension," she notes.
They do things that undermine your relationship.
Friends who dislike your partner might not have respect for your relationship—and in more extreme cases, they will do things to "undermine or sabotage" it, Kelman warns.
"For example, they may often suggest that you meet someone else or they try to fix you up with others," she says. "Or they 'find' reasons that you should end things."
They tell you directly.
While some people prefer the subtler route, others will come right out and share strong opinions about their friend's significant other, Kelman tells Best Life.
"They make it clear from the beginning that they don't like your partner and are not shy about listing the reasons why," she says.
If that's the case, it's important to communicate with your friends and try to understand the reasons behind their reservations, Hafeez adds.
"Start by having open and honest conversations with your friends," she advises. "Encourage them to express their concerns and feelings, and be prepared to listen attentively without becoming defensive."
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