Dear Dr. Rodman,
I’m 23 and I love your advice articles! Maybe you can help me. I’m emailing you because I recently met a nice, really sweet guy online and everything is going well. We get along and like a lot of the same things, and he is really nice to me. The problem is that my friends really don’t like him. He is not my usual type — he’s not as good looking or as outgoing, and they think he is “dorky” and “boring.” They keep rolling their eyes when I talk about him and have even acted rudely when he is around. This is making me rethink my own feelings about him, and I’m starting to wonder if I’m settling because I can’t find someone better. Then I switch gears and wonder why I care so much what they think.
What should I do?
-Confused in California
This just irritates me. Not your question, but the whole idea that your friends would not be supportive of you finding what you consider “a really sweet guy.” Sometimes, to be blunt, girls can be “bad weather friends.” By this I mean that girls seem to bond closely when a friend is unhappy and her life is going poorly, but then they kind of cool down and act distant when their friend is actually happy and doing well for herself. I wish this was not common, but it is. Especially in a case where your friends may be secretly jealous of how happy you are in your new relationship.
If you were my client, I would ask you the following questions:
- If your friends liked your boyfriend, would you still wonder if you were settling?
- Were you as happy with your previous boyfriends as with this guy?
- Do your friends really know your new boyfriend well, or are they making assumptions based on how he came off the first few times they met? (And keep in mind, if they were rolling their eyes and acting rude to him, he was likely made anxious by their actions and acted more awkward than usual.)
If your answers are mostly no’s, then I would wager that the right choice is to stay with your boyfriend and see how the relationship develops. But you need a game plan for how to deal with your rude friends. In my opinion, honesty is always best, as well as assertiveness, which is really just being direct about your feelings. So, maybe you could try talking to your friends. Start with something like the following:
“I’d like to talk about how you act around ‘Josh.’ I think you guys aren’t giving him a chance. I really like him, even if he does come off a little dorky and isn’t my usual type. My usual type wasn’t really working for me, which is why I was single when I met ‘Josh.’ It hurts my feelings that you guys can’t be happy for me and just be nice to him.”
If your friends are true friends, they will feel embarrassed over how they have been acting, especially once you call them out on it. They will likely say something like, “Yeah, sure, I guess he’s a nice guy.” They might even apologize. Either way, I doubt they will keep rolling their eyes. And if they do, maybe you can hang out with Josh’s friends a bit more, or make some new mutual friends.
For the record, one day you are going to turn around and all your friends who only date hot guys who drive Lexuses and who are the life of the party are going to be married to balding short guys with Toyota Camrys who are NICE. And when that happens, you don’t want to look back and wonder why you let them convince you to let a good guy go.
Till we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who Thinks Your Friends Secretly Want Their Own Sweet, Dorky Boyfriends.
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