Question number five: How do I protect a new relationship from judgemental friends?

Standard

Dear Louise,

My friends don’t like my boyfriend because he doesn’t meet their standards.  They say I can do better and laugh at the idea of us being together.  I love my boyfriend and think that he is the sweetest guy I ever met. I also love my friends. What should I do?

Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,

I don’t like the fact that your friends laughed at the idea of you being in a relationship with your boyfriend.  That is just rude!  You have the right to have friends and a boyfriend. However, if they are truly your friends, they love you and want the best for you.  Ideally, it would be great if everyone got along but sometimes that doesn’t happen even when all parties involved genuinely love each other (or in this case – you).  It’s during these moments  you need to lovingly but firmly clarify your boundaries through communication.  The following are some suggestions for you to do prayerfully…

1. Be clear about what you want 

You need to be clear about what you want in this situation.  Think about it.  What is it about your relationship that you love? Are you confident about where you stand in your relationship? Is that being expressed by you to the world? If you want to keep your boyfriend that is your decision and yours alone.  Others may express their opinions but they cannot force you to do anything without your permission. Also, ask yourself, ‘what kind of relationship do I want with my friends within the context of my love life?’ How much involvement will you allow?  Now you must understand that whatever behavior you expect from them you should expect give as well.  Whether you decided to stand your ground and stay in your relationship or breakup with your boyfriend then next thing you should do is this…

2. Re-enforce your boundaries

Once you make your decision stand by them unapologetically.  This is an issue of self-worth.  You should feel confident in your abilities to make a decision.  You also, want to be in a place where you are not bothered too much if your decision is not met with the full backing of your friends and loved ones.  I suggest you have a private conversation with your friends.  This situation might be resolved with a simple heart to heart conversation asking for support and respect. However, respectfully resolve yourself to live your life the way you decide if they choose not to deviate from their position.  When you are ok with yourself, the world tends to be ok with you. If not, you won’t notice, because it won’t matter.

3. Be open

It’s all about getting into a space where you can be open to think clearly and logically.  The truth is that there is a chance that  your friends might be right and your boyfriend is not worthy of your love.  If that is the case, these steps allows your mind to be clear enough to make rational observations and decisions.  When you reinforce your belief in your capabilities not only will you express yourself effectively, you will be able to listen effectively as well and appreciate it.  Your friends might point out some things that you haven’t noticed which may cause you to change your mind.

Please remember to engage with one another respectfully.  Remember that you love each other.  Come from a place of grace and understanding with the intention of resolving this issue.  I will leave you with this quote.

“Whenever, you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it.  That factor is attitude.”  William James

All the best,

Louise

I know that more can be said on this subject.  So come on!  What do you think? Do you have any comments, or advice?  Feel free to post them!  I just ask that you remain respectful in what you say.   If you have any questions for me send them to lifeaccordingtolouise1@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you!  Just remember, I am not a licensed therapist therefore not liable for any advice that is shared here. – Blessings!

 
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7 responses »

  1. This is great advice. My question to her would be, why are they criticizing? What is it about them that leads them to that behavior?? That is also something that I would personally like to be made aware of!

  2. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my cousin were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a book from our local library but I think I learned better from this post. I’m very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there…

  3. They say I can do better and laugh at the idea of us being together.

    What i would like to know, is why do they laugh. If I was going through a similar situation, i would think jealousy, but is their laughter justifiable?

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