Woe Is Me! “My Friends Can’t Stand My Boyfriend. How Do I Deal?”
Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.
I have a boyfriend who is extremely loving and we have a healthy relationship. But he sometimes gets rude to other people and is boastful of himself too. Hence, many people do not like him for this, including my friends. Will this thing affect our relationship in the long run? How to deal with this?
— An Impossible Choice
PB: You’ve mentioned how loving he is with you, but at the same time can come off as rude and boastful to others. Maybe there’s a way to show the personal, loving side of him to your friends — because a romantic relationship needs to co-exist well with your platonic ones. If he’s rude to your friends without reason, well, that just shouldn’t be allowed to fly. He needs to understand that how he treats the people you consider loved ones is just as important as how he treats you. Start a dialogue, voice these fears to both him and your friends. A healthy relationship talks about its problems and does its best to fix them — whether it be romantic or platonic.
DR: I’ll get straight to the point — yes, it will affect your relationship in the long term, but only if you’re trying to make everyone happy and want everyone to approve of your decision. Look, if you think you have a healthy relationship, then great! Your friends aren’t party to this relationship, you are. However, I want to ask here: do you have a history of falling head over heels in love with people, refusing to acknowledge toxic behavior from partners, or disregarding any bona fide advice that questions your relationship without even considering it? If that’s the case, you should perhaps evaluate the relationship — and also try to think if your experience with intimate relationships is why you care about what your friends think. If not, well, who cares what people not directly involved in something think about that thing?
Moreover, I’d like to add here that a lot of people are socially “inept.” They can come off as rude or arrogant without ever intending to. Maybe, they were trying to establish boundaries, or being honest, or trying to open up about themselves — it’s possible they were construed as something completely different, as per social standards. I don’t know if that’s what’s been happening — only your boyfriend, and maybe even you, can comment on that — but I just wanted to throw this possibility out there. Also, let’s say he’s insulting and boastful — no one’s going to be perfect, and you have to decide what kind of flaws in a partner you can deal with. If this bothers you, talk to him about it, or take a call on the future of your relationship; if not, well, continue dating him, I guess.
However, if you do choose to date him, disregarding what your friends have to say, and at some point, you decide the relationship isn’t working out, and you should end things, please don’t hesitate just because you think your friends will go all “I told you so” on you. Please remember that this is your journey, and you get to do what you want as long as you’re not hurting/harming people.
RN: If his behavior doesn’t bother you, you can ignore how your friends think and feel. But if your boyfriend and friends need to get along, and if your friends are reasonable about their feelings about him, it’s worth telling your boyfriend. It might be hard for him to hear, but it’s healthy to let him know what your worries are and be open with him. However, if you’re not keen on him getting along with your friends, why do their feelings about him matter? Having said that, if you say you have a loving and healthy relationship with him, think about whether it’ll remain that way if he’s caring and kind only to you and not to others. Would you love an unkind and boastful person? It could be an annoyance now, but it’s your feelings about who he is that is perhaps the right thing to focus on, not your friends’. They can maybe help you see him more objectively, but you should decide for yourself if you’re okay with him being the way he is.
BG: In my opinion, making sure my friends like the guy I am with is super important, and it will probably affect the relationship in the long run because life might put you in a position where you’d have to choose between the two, and that’s unfair. I suggest you talk to your boyfriend and explain to him that it’s essential for him to be kind to your friends and talk to your friends and see if they are rational with their feelings towards him.
PR: I wouldn’t like a friend’s partner to be too boastful and rude. However, if it is just his way of talking, and he does respect you and your friends, I guess you should work towards a middle ground. Maybe have a conversation with your friends and your boyfriend separately and ask them to have a chat to clear out things. Because if no one is willing to listen, this can get very emotionally taxing for you to keep people calm and maintain peace. I hope a conversation can lead to a middle ground!