What to Do When You Dislike Your Friend's Partner
We all want the best for our friends, but that can make certain situations feel particularly difficult to navigate.
In this case, we're talking about about the feeling when you simply don't like the person your friend is dating. It's tough—after all, they're their own person and have every right to date who they want, but that doesn't stop you from wanting what's best for them (especially when you have the inkling that what's best for them is not this person). It can lead to some fairly awkward situations if not handled properly, but thankfully we're here to help you figure out what to do when you just can't help but dislike your friend's partner.
Try to Figure Out Why You Don't Like This Person
Sometimes, a gut instinct is enough to spark your distaste for certain individuals. However, your friend probably won't hear "I don't know, I don't just don't like him/her" as a good enough reason to reevaluate their relationship with this person. So—whether you plan on voicing your dislike or not—you'll want to take the time to first turn inward and figure out why exactly you don't like this person. Is it that they make you feel uncomfortable or that they don't treat your friend right? Or is it just because they're suddenly taking up a lot more of your friend's time? It's okay to admit to a bit of jealousy, but be sure to get some clarity on what rubs you the wrong way about this person before taking any action one way or another.
Also read about: 4 Dating Clichés to Stop Believing
Determine Whether or Not It's Worth It to Say Anything
Honesty is always the best policy, especially with friends. But sometimes, a friend who doesn't want to hear the truth might just shut down when they do hear it—and shut you out in the process. If you think that the relationship is one that is a) worth talking about and b) allows your friend the space to process their thoughts and emotions normally, then it may be worth you speaking up when the opportunity presents itself. Some people are so deep in a relationship that they're unlikely to take in any opposing viewpoints, so they may end up "choosing" their relationship over you if they see the situation as being one that's you vs. their partner.
Also read about: 4 Dating Terms That Took Over in 2022
If You Do Speak Up, Do So Gently
Here are a few things you should not do when it comes to expressing that you dislike your friend's partner: Accuse their partner of anything right off the bat, approach the situation in a standoffish way, create an ultimatum or introduce the topic out of nowhere. Treat the topic of how you feel about this person as you would any other that you might have a differing opinion on than your friend, as that way you can lead into expressing how you feel in a gentler way that your friend is more likely to receive well. For example, if the person is being discussed already, you can ask your friend pointed questions like "how did you feel about that?" or "Did it make you feel weird that he/she said ____?" This might at least open the gates to further discussion, all without your friend feeling overly judged or looked down upon for their decisions.
Also read about: How to Talk to Your Friends About Problems in Their Relationship
At the end of the day, your friend's relationship is just that—theirs. Unless your truly worried about your friend's wellbeing, there's just not a lot you can do if you're not a fan of their partner and they don't want to hear any negative sentiments towards this person. So instead of acting bitter or making side comments at every opportunity, try to just stay supportive and offer all the help you can when it's needed (and when it's wanted). If your friend needs to vent, let them do so without immediately countering with criticism. If they decide to keep things going with this person after a rough patch, remind them that as long as they are happy, so are you. Whether things continue with their partner or not, at least they'll always have a good friend to fall back on.
And in the end, if things do end up, well, ending for your friend and their partner, being supportive during this time will matter most of all. For a bit more advice on this particular situation, click HERE for how to help your friend through a breakup.