We’ve all been there. In fact, I’ve been there multiple times. Your best friend, bouncing with excitement and beaming with happiness, brings her new boo to meet the larger friend group over dinner and drinks. You say to yourself, “Well of course I’m going to love new boo. If my bestie has hand-picked them among all the fish in the dating sea, this one has to be pretty special.
And then you meet them.
And they’re horrible.
They’re self-absorbed. They’re condescending. They are literally the worst person on the face of the earth. New boo’s pure indifference to getting to know anything about you (or any other friends in attendance) makes you want to leap over the table and toss a drink squarely in his or her smug face. But as much as your blood might be boiling, you have to play nice. Any animosity or questionable facial expressions would devastate your friend who a) was nervous enough bringing their new beau around and b) wants nothing more than for everyone to get along.
So despite a persistent urge to smother new boo, you grin and bear this delightful evening; you part ways with a little frustration and perhaps even the small hope that bestie figures out all on her own how much new boo sucks. But fast-forward several weeks later and she’s still with her new cuddle buddy. They are inseparable 90 percent of the time and so you’re forced to give them another shot if you ever hope to hang with your friend again. Who knows: Maybe you caught them on an off-day before. Maybe they’ll win you over this time around.
Yeah, it’s cute you were that optimistic, but no.
They are still as incorrigible as you remember. But as much as you want to stew and turn your fists toward the heavens to ask “why, oh, why” has your bestie set her sights on this awful, horrendous excuse for a human, you can’t. She cares about this person and it’s your duty as her friend to try your best to get along with new boo.
It’s not easy, but we do have some suggestions to come to terms with the new boo thorn in your side:
Try To See The Good In Them
No one actively pursues and subsequently dates someone who has absolutely no redeeming qualities. There is something there that attracted your friend (someone you love and respect) to their new significant other. So do whatever you can to uncover what that is. Even if it’s grabbing a bottle of wine and chatting with your bestie about what attracted them to so-and-so in the first place. Ask questions. Get to know them as much as possible to find that common ground that you can start to lay at least a foundation of mutual respect on.
Still Not Working? Be Strategic With Your Interactions
OK, so trying to see the good in them is not happening. Every word they utter makes your eyes roll into the back of your head and that’s certainly not a good look. You can’t make yourself like someone, so if they are here to stay in your friend’s life then perhaps choosing your interactions carefully is best. That doesn’t mean that you should avoid your friend just so you don’t have spend an inordinate amount of time with new boo. But it does mean that if you’re out in a group setting, be cordial but don’t force something that’s just not meant to happen. Spend some time exchanging pleasantries with new boo and then move on to other guests in attendance. The cordiality, combined with distance can at least make your friend feel like everything is copesthetic … even if it’s not.
If You Have Legit Concerns, Approach Your Bestie
This is one piece of advice that we wield with some hesitation. If you have serious, life-changing concerns about your friend’s significant other then by all means raise them in a productive, non-confrontational way. But if the root of your concern is more in the name of your own self-interest (i.e. you just don’t like him or her), then don’t even consider saying anything. As trite as it sounds, at the end of the day, if your friend is happy that’s all that matters.
While these are all useful pieces of advice and ones that I have employed on several occasions, butting heads with a bestie boo is tough. It will inherently change your relationship with your friend, if even in subtle ways. But when all is said and done, the priority is to make sure that your friend is happy. That they don’t harbor negative feelings toward you for not hitting it off with their significant other and that they don’t begin to doubt their relationship with their boo. So as much as it may pain you, suck it up and try your best to see the good in new boo. If things go well, they could become a mainstay in your friend’s life and you certainly don’t want to sacrifice your friendship for a conflict that can be navigated around with a little patience and a whole lot of woosah.