What to Do If You Don't Like Your Partner's Friends

Woman avoiding her partner's friends.

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No one said that liking your partner's friends would be easy. In fact, it can be downright impossible sometimes. But if you find yourself in a situation where you don't see eye-to-eye with your partner's friends, you'll likely want to know what to do about it.

The first step is to try and see things from their perspective. It's possible that you're simply misunderstanding their friends or that you're seeing them in a negative light because you're feeling insecure about your relationship. If you can manage to see things from a more objective perspective, it may help you to ease up on your dislike of them.

Of course, there are also times when your gut reaction is right and you really don't like your partner's friends for good reason. In that case, you'll need to have a talk with your partner about it. Be honest about how you're feeling and explain why you don't like their friends. If they're worth keeping as friends, your partner should be willing to make an effort to help you get along with them.

But if your partner doesn't seem to care about your feelings or they're constantly choosing their friends over you, then it's time to reevaluate things. It may be time to end the relationship if your partner is unwilling to let you in and make a compromise.

Below are some additional tips on how to deal with not liking your partner's friends.

Talk to Your Partner About Your Concerns

This is an important step because your partner needs to be aware of the issues you're having. They may not even realize that their friends are a problem for you. Once they know, they can be more mindful of the situation and try to help you feel more comfortable.

Set Boundaries

If being around their friends is too much for you, it's important to set some boundaries. Talk to your partner about how often you're willing to see their friends and stick to that plan. This way, you won't feel overwhelmed or like you're constantly having to be around people you don't like.

Get to Know Them Better

This one can be tricky, but it's worth a shot. Try to engage in conversation with them and get to know their interests. You may not end up being best friends, but at least you'll have a better understanding of who they are.

If you can find common ground with their friends, it will make the situation much easier. Maybe you have the same taste in music or movies. Or maybe you share a hobby. Whatever it is, try to connect with their friends on some level so that it's not just an uncomfortable association.

Agree to Disagree

Your partner's friends are likely important to them, and they're not going to just drop them because you don't like them.

So, try to be respectful and understanding of that. If you can't see eye-to-eye with their friends, agree to disagree and move on.

It's not worth ruining your relationship over something that isn't going to change. What's important is that you have a strong, healthy relationship with your partner.

Try to Not Let It Impact Your Relationship

It's important to remember that your partner is separate from their friends. Just because you don't like their friends doesn't mean you have to dislike your partner.

Keep the lines of communication open with your partner and try not to let the situation come between the two of you.

Seek Out Your Own Friends

If all of this is too much for you and you're struggling to deal with the situation, it's important to find your own support system. Research shows that having quality friendships can increase life satisfaction.

Spend time with your friends, do things that make you happy, and don't put all of your focus on your partner and their friends. Having balance in your life will help you keep perspective and not get too wrapped up in the situation.

Don't Gossip

If you're having a problem with one of your partner's friends, talk to your partner and/or the friend about it directly. Don't gossip or talk behind their back—this will only make the situation worse.

In fact, if you are looking for cooperation from your spouse or their friends, research has shown that gossip can actually make people less likely to cooperate. Instead, by communicating openly and honestly, you can try to resolve the issue and move on.

Keep an Open Mind

Your partner's friends may not be your cup of tea right now, but that doesn't mean they won't change over time.

People grow and change all the time, so it's possible that you could start to like their friends in the future. Keep an open mind and be willing to give them a chance.

Focus on the Positive

It's important to focus on the positive, even if you don't like your partner's friends. Try to find one thing that you do like or appreciate about them. Maybe they're really funny or they have a kind heart. Focusing on the good will make the situation more bearable and help you get through it.

Give Yourself Some Grace

Just because you don't like your partner's friends doesn't mean there's something wrong with you. It's normal to feel this way sometimes—after all, we're not always compatible with everyone we meet.

One study identified five factors underlying friendships and showed that reciprocal candor was important, or the ability to talk easily with someone.

If you have little in common with your partner's friends, it's possible that you will never get along. Don't beat yourself up over this and try to remember that it's OK to feel this way.

Don't Hang Out With Their Friends

If you simply can't get along with them, it's probably best to avoid social gatherings where they'll be in attendance.

You don't need to put yourself in a situation where you're uncomfortable or unhappy. If your partner wants to spend time with their friends, let them go without you. You can use the time to do something you enjoy or hang out with your friends or loved ones.

A Word From Verywell

If you've tried everything and you're still struggling to deal with the situation, it may be time to seek professional help. A therapist can help you work through any issues you're having and give you tools to deal with difficult situations. If your relationship is suffering because of the situation, they can also help you work on communication and conflict resolution skills.

If things still don't improve, it may be time to reconsider your relationship with your partner. No one wants to be in a relationship where they can't ever feel comfortable around their partner's friends. If this is the case, it may be best to end things before it gets too complicated.

3 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Amati V, Meggiolaro S, Rivellini G, Zaccarin S. Social relations and life satisfaction: the role of friendsGenus. 2018;74(1):7. doi:10.1186/s41118-018-0032-z

  2. Testori M, Hemelrijk CK, Beersma B. Gossip promotes cooperation only when it is pro-socially motivatedSci Rep. 2022;12(1):4790. Published 2022 Mar 21. doi:10.1038/s41598-022-08670-7

  3. Campbell K, Holderness N, Riggs M. Friendship chemistry: An examination of underlying factorsSoc Sci J. 2015;52(2):239-247. doi:10.1016/j.soscij.2015.01.005

By Arlin Cuncic, MA
Arlin Cuncic, MA, is the author of "Therapy in Focus: What to Expect from CBT for Social Anxiety Disorder" and "7 Weeks to Reduce Anxiety." She has a Master's degree in psychology.