First, congratulations on your wonderful taste. Out of all the internet’s reading material, you’ve selected the cream of the crop. But, your taste in women or men may not be as excellent as your taste in magazines. Never fear, because at Woof, we recognize that some of you may lack our charm, good looks and keen insight into the human condition. So this week, allow us to share a bit with you. We’re going to talk about relationships, and how to navigate the minefield that is your significant other’s friends and family! Read on and let the wisdom wash over you.
By Liam Synan
It’s finally happened, you’re dating someone and things have gotten serious. For argument’s sake, let’s call her Stacy. That’s wonderful, and your friends and family are probably glad there’s finally someone to take you off their hands from time to time. But here’s the catch: you’re actually dating lots of people now. You’ve got Stacy, and again, that’s just wonderful. But wait, there’s more! By extension, you’ve got her friends and family too, and that’ll be no pleasure cruise. Additionally, in this particular case study, Stacy’s mom does not have it going on, so for those of you keeping score at home, that is not a potential upside.
If you’re sitting there smugly because she has absolutely no friends or family, back away slowly. Once you’ve reached a safe distance, start running. Fast. Being someone’s first and only human connection is not in the dating job description. It’ll be cute for a few hours, maybe a few days. Then, it may dawn on you that every hour of every day is a lot of time to spend together, and the “let’s just chat” phone calls at three AM on a Tuesday are a lot less fun than sleeping. Bro time and “me time” are essential to the maintenance of your sanity, and when you’re her “everything”, her “world”, and her “reason for living,” you’ll have precious little of either. So bear that in mind as we move forward here. The friends may be annoying, but not as annoying as she will be without them!
So, like it or not, it’s a partnership. A tense and uncomfortable US-USSR kind of partnership? Well yes, probably something like that. But they’re a package deal, and you’ll have even less luck unbundling Stacy, Sally and Steph than you would with the Comcast phone, internet and cable trifecta. So don’t bother. They could even be girls you’d be friends with otherwise, but when they’re hers first, they’re just the worst. Unless you’re already sharing custody of most friends (and that’s another can of worms entirely) the first few forays into her social group will be uncomfortable.
Because they don’t like you. Not even a little bit. You’re an interloper, a direct threat to their way of life. Fortunately, there’s an uncomfortable truce to be had, if you can work it out! It goes like this: They want their girl time, you want your bro time. Or time to yourselves, time to go play with your pets, whatever. Ever talk about your day with someone whom you spent the entire day with? It’s not so fun.
The important takeaway piece is that the whole relationship actually works a lot better when you both have other friends. So when one of Stacy’s friends get dumped, calls an emergency girls’ night and ruins your plan for a romantic evening with Stacy, don’t try to fight it. If you make the girlfriends actively dislike you, you’re just swimming against a stronger current. Added bonus, if you were unwise enough to date a girl with a birthday during playoff season, when her special day interferes with game day, you can call quid pro quo. A buddy has a four quarter crisis, and you have no choice but to impress upon Stacy that your duty as a friend is to be with him in his time of trial. If you’ve given her some space, she ought to return the favor. If not, you might have bigger problems than just a mutual dislike of each others’ friends.
By Morgan Weadock
One of the best things in life is when you go on a couple of first dates that are actually enjoyable and realize that you have finally found a great guy to start a relationship with. However, a major factor in a new relationship, one that could also potentially make or break it, is meeting his friends. You see, even if you and this dream guy have tons of things in common, even if he looks at you like you are the greatest thing on Earth, his friends have to like you. Reaching this goal is often a tedious process for a girl that requires a lot of patience and tongue–biting.
First, it is a good idea to realize that though this guy may tell you that he loves you or complains about each of his friends at one time or another, you will always have to share him equally with his friends. Guys’ night? Non–negotiable. New Call of Duty came out? Non–negotiable. Football Sundays? Definitely non–negotiable.
The main reason that reaching these conclusions are essential to the entire process of impressing his friends is that if you do not, your reputation with the guys is ruined. If you complain about any of those aforementioned events at all, you are automatically deemed the whiny, clingy, obsessive, annoying girlfriend that has stolen your guy’s sense of freedom. Any time your boyfriend is asked to hang out, he will be teased about getting your permission. Any time your boyfriend is with you, he will be teased for being whipped. A little melodramatic? I know. However, your guy probably won’t see it that way and probably won’t like it very much.
The annoying part is that even though their ‘dates’ aren’t usually negotiable, often your dates become very negotiable. When it is your turn to pick the movie on movie night, and you happen to pick 10 Things I Hate About You because the last three times he picked consisted of Die Hard and a few of its 30 other sequels, he happens to cut out early since you “already spent so much time together and he hasn’t seen the guys all day”.
Guys claim girl’s friends are more annoying in a relationship, but her friends will never get on his case about spending time with her. They would only confront her about it and leave him out of it. A girl will always be in a tug-a-war with his friends for him though.
Liam Synan is a freshman math major from the great state of New Hampshire. In his sophomore year of high school he wandered into the school newspaper meeting, started eating their free donuts and then realized he was in the wrong place. Too embarrassed to leave, he picked up a column and promptly decided writing was almost as much fun as calculus. Before you wonder what he’s doing on a magazine staff, remember that he’s a nerd and thinks of calculus as the most fun you can have with your clothes on. When he’s not being sassy in student publications, you can find him hunkered down with his math textbooks in the library. On the rare occasion he escapes, he keeps running until he finds himself biking, skiing or camping.