There are many big deal breakers in a relationship: Can the two of you make each other laugh, do you like going to the same movies, do you have the same stance on eating breakfast for dinner, and can you get along with your partner's friends. While not being OK scarfing down flap jacks at nine in the evening can do a lot to make or break a relationship, not being accepted by their friends can do equally as much damage. Your mates hold a lot of weight when it comes to who you share your life with (even if it's just for half a year,) so getting off on the wrong foot with them can create a lot of unnecessarily tension during your honeymoon stage.
On top of that, your beau is friends with them for a reason — chances are they're awesome people and he or she sees their own character in them — so making an effort to join the group is absolutely necessary. But how exactly do you win them over? Well that's the thing: You don't need to do any winning. You just have to be your usual amazing self, and keep an open mind even if they might not necessary be the type of people you'd like to grab brunch with on your own. This is totally doable — below are seven tips on how to get along with your partner's friends.
1. Make Your Partner Help You Join The Group
We can all get a little shy meeting new people, but when these people are your partner's closest and favorite friends, the pressure is so much more. So if you're having a hard time connecting or are way too nervous to pull off a suave hang out, ask your partner to help pave the road a little for you.
Lifestyle writer Joanna Goddard at Glamour explained, "Enlist your boyfriend as your partner-in-crime. If your boyfriend knows that you're nervous, he can help you out by including you in conversations." For example, if they're all talking about their latest hiking trip, your hunnie can mention, "Sarah actually camped in the Grand Canyon last year." And boom, you now have everyone's interest.
2. Don't Cling To Your Partner Like A Life Raft
No one likes that couple that turns from a "you and me" into a "we." While seeing two people happy is sweet, watching them cling to each other every time you hang out is downright annoying. So if you actually want to be pals with his or her set of friends, detach from your beau and act like your own entity. You're interesting all on your own — you don't just have to be this two dimensional character that pops up because you're dating their friend.
Lifestyle writer Michelle Toglia at Seventeen pointed out, "Everyone hates the couple that acts too lovey-dovey in a big group. Save the mush for later, and make sure everyone feels comfortable. It's fine to stick to your guys side in the beginning, but don't attach yourself to his hip all night long." Leave the hand holding for later.
3. Show A Real Interest In Them
People know when someone is just trying to put on an act to be liked, so come into meeting your partner's friends with an actual interest to meet them. Forget about making a good first impression and, instead, come excited to hear some interesting stories and get to know some great people.
Toglia advised, "Don't wait for them to ask you questions, jump right in and start a conversation. Mention something your boyfriend has mentioned about them. If Jimmy likes music, ask him what his favorite band is and what concerts he's attended." Treat it like you would any other hang out — be social, be invested, and show an interest in what everyone is up to.
4. Act Like An Actual Friend: Invite Them To Things
If you don't want to forever be known as "Our Pal's Partner," then take the first step in turning your casual acquaintanceship into an actual friendship: Invite them out to places. Whether it's with you and your beau or with a bigger group that includes your own friends, actually treating them as people you'd like to spend a Friday night with will go a long way in terms of making you seem like someone they can get along with.
Lifestyle writer Caitlin Corsetti at lifestyle site Gurl pointed out, "Your boo's friends should feel comfortable around your friends as well so make sure you invite them to tag along." Start sending out them invites!
5. Don't Meet All Of Them At Once
It can be super overwhelming meeting the whole gang in one go, and chances are when they'll all be together, the newbie will get elbowed out when inside jokes and reminiscing inevitably happens. To avoid that, ask if you can get to know his or her friends in smaller hangouts, with just a couple of them at a time.
Goddard offered, "Hang out in smaller groups for a while...That way, instead of feeling like a fish out of water in a giant group, you can ease into it by hanging out with a few of his friends at a time." Seems pretty manageable, and then you can really get to know them all.
6. Invite Them Over To Your Place
It's one thing if you go out with your partner to a bar and become chummy over drinks, but it's a completely other if you go the extra mile and invite them over to your place. The move takes you from a situation where you're just your partner's plus one, to you actually wanting to be their friends, too. You're hosting them, which means you enjoy having their company and want to show them a good time.
Goddard pitched, "Invite people over to your house. If you throw a little gathering, you'll be in your comfort zone, and people will naturally talk to you more, since they'll want the recipe for your yummy brownies, compliment your pretty house and ask about the photos on your wall." Get the dinner party napkins ready — this is happening.
7. Remind Them To Respect Their Relationships
When you're in the cozy bubble of love, it can be hard to break away from each other and go do activities that don't involve holding hands and Netflix-and-chillin. But if you really want to get along with their friends, hold your partner accountable for their relationships. Neither of you want to become that person that ditches all their friends as soon as they have someone to make out with.
Lifestyle writer Isaac Huss at lifestyle site Verily explained, "We all know what it means when our best friend finds the love of his life: We’re being replaced. We’re probably not going to live together anymore, we won't be able to hang out in our underwear all the time, and we may not be able to count on a wingman every weekend. But we’re mostly OK with it. What we’re not OK with is losing a friend completely." If you encourage your other half to see their friends regularly and make time for them in between you two being on a honeymoon, then you won't be seen as the threat and you'll be welcomed with opened arms.
So the takeaway from this? Just be a decent person that is interested with the people they meet, and you'll slip right into the gang.