By Natasha Burton
Once you start dating someone, your friends might have all sorts of opinions about the relationship and whether or not the person you’re seeing is “good enough” for you. While you should more often than not take their musing with a grain of salt, sometimes your friends — your closest ones, at least — do know what they’re talking about. If your friends sit you down to tell you any of the four following statement about your relationship — you might want to listen up. (And while these parameters are written with women in mind, since they are typically the ones who talk to their friends about their love lives in detail, they can also apply to men.)
They tell you that they don’t like how he treats you.
Naturally, if your friends have spent zero face-time with your guy and this comment is based solely on your stories about him (relayed after you’d been fighting, most likely), then it carries little weight. But, if your pals have hung out with both of you and have had meaningful time to see the two of you interact, you may want to listen up. Behavior that might appear benign to you could actually be toxic: If your guy teases you about your driving skills, it could actually be belittling; if he makes friendly corrections in your grammar, it could be controlling — and just plain rude.
They tell you that you’re not yourself around him.
Your friends are, presumably, the people who know you best. They’ve seen you in your highest moments, your lowest, and everything in between. It can really hurt to hear that you’ve changed or that your relationship has made you different, but try to hear your friends out on this one. Perhaps you’ve given up your weekly pick-up soccer games to spend even more time with your new man — and they’re concerned that you’re losing your individualism. Maybe they notice that you’re quieter around him and less likely to join in the conversation. Listen to what they have to say and see if you like the person you’ve become in your relationship.
They tell you that you’re worse when you’re around him.
This is a more extreme version of the previous point: Maybe you haven’t just changed, you’re turned into a less awesome version of yourself since you’ve started dating your guy. If your friends tell you that you’ve become quicker to anger, more judgmental or another less-than-savory quality, you might want to take stock on how you’ve been acting since your relationship began and try to uncover what the reason might be for this change.
They tell you that they won’t hang out with you when he’s around.
If it comes down to having to make a choice between your friends and your boyfriend, then you really might want to reevaluate your relationship. Even if your friends muster the courage to come to you to tell you any of the above, they likely would still support your relationship, provided you can work with your partner to create a healthier one. When they say that can’t be around your guy, they might think you are too far gone to even listen to them anymore — and they’ve given up.