Friends Sold Separately

Your new boyfriend is the greatest guy: He acknowledged your two-week anniversary, he adores your cat, Spencer, and he even washes the dishes. So why does he hang out with such losers?

By Elsa Simcik

ou like him. Can’t stand the friends. Don’t worry, you’re not the first person to experience this relationship debacle. You struggle with whether or not to tell him, but inevitably, it’ll come out.

He’ll say, “Hey, some people are going to have drinks after work. You wanna go?"

“Which people?" you’ll ask,
How many low-life friends does he hang out with?

“Oh, you know, Jimmy and Todd and Lenny,” he’ll reply.

“I suppose they’ll want to do shots and keg stands as if we’re at a frat party. Then you’ll join in, make a fool of yourself in front of your boss and end up getting fired all because of those guys and their childish behavior,” you’ll retort, blowing your cover.

Comments like that will make it clear where you stand on the issue of his friends. So now you’ve got a decision to make. Is he so great that it’s worth tolerating these barbarians? You’ve gotta dump him or put up with it.

Here’s a few guidelines to go by when making your decision:

1. Idiots come in groups
How many low-life friends does he hang out with? Less than three? More than ten? If it’s a large group — say eight or more — it’s probably unbearable. You can’t put up with a dozen drunken cave men eating all your groceries.

2. Every friend has a position
Consider this: Are these guys his primary or secondary friends? Does he
“Yes, he had a tiny criminal record but I could forgive him.”
hang out with them every weekend or just at weddings and birthdays? If they’re purely acquaintances, maybe you should give the guy a break.

3. You have to fit in somewhere
Speaking of positions, where do you stand on his list of important people? If you’re seventh behind six slobbering buffoons, maybe it’s time to rethink this relationship. As the saying goes, “If you lie down with dogs, you come up with fleas.”

He may not be the only one coming up with fleas. Often the female’s gang of pals can cause disruption in a relationship. Think about it: Girls can be conniving, jealous and emotional. And those are just your closest friends. If they don’t like him for some reason, they can make his life miserable.

“I dated a guy who my friends absolutely despised,” says Kate, 26, “Yes, he had a tiny criminal record but I could forgive him. I couldn’t see why they couldn’t.” Kate’s friends refused to attend any party with Kate’s boyfriend. When she mentioned him, they would barely say a word. Turned out her friends were just concerned for her safety and she ultimately chose them over the dude.

It’s a fine line to walk and the ideal situation is having a significant other who can get along with at least 70% of your friends. Introduce them in a neutral setting and find common interests between your babe and your buddies. Hey, they both like you. How different can they be? And if you’re the one who can’t seem to get along with his posse, you may just have to take the good with the bad. After all, it’s not often you find a guy who’s got it all… including a group of obnoxious friends.

Elsa K. Simcik is a freelance writer in Atlanta. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Dallas Morning News, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine and
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