Tuesday, 20 October 2009

“It’s not you….it’s them”

When I was 14 I dumped a guy because my best friend ‘apparently’ didn’t like him. Being all grown up I would like to say my friends opinions no longer count – but I’d just be lying.

Not that I want to scare any potential dates or ‘boyfriends’ away – but my exes don’t have a great track record with my friends. My first boyfriend was too quiet, my second was too insecure and the third, well lets just say my friends thought he batted for the other side.

And whenever I mention one guy I dated a while ago it’s as though it brings back horrible memories for my friends. They shake their heads in despair, give a little shudder or sometimes even a loud grunt – they may as well just say to me, ‘Honestly, what were you thinking??’

When you break up with someone it’s never good to hear your friends say, “There was always something not quite right about him” – it’s that kick in the teeth which makes you wonder how long they were ‘pretending’ to like him. So when they go one step further – like breaking open the bubbly, dancing round their office in sheer delight or shouting from the roof tops, “Hallelujah she’s finally come to her senses,” it leaves you a little scared about how they’ll judge the next one.

So when I’m dating it makes it that little bit harder, not only do I have to fancy them and think they’re potential boyfriend material but I also have to weigh out the pros and cons that my friends will no doubt be assessing when it comes to that possible introduction. Will they like his hair? Will they think his dress sense is on the ‘slightly gay’ side? Will they ‘get’ his personality or just brush it off as arrogance? And most importantly, will he have that likeability factor which has been the downfall for so many of my other exes.

Of course I’ve judged friend’s boyfriends in the past, sometimes a little too quickly, and other times with good reason. When a friend was smitten with an ‘I love myself’ model I just had that feeling that he was no good. Turns out I was right – he was an ‘I love myself’ model who liked to sleep with other women, while my poor friend’s heart broke into a million pieces.

And it’s not just me who waits for their friend’s approval on their latest squeeze. I’ve had friends go from not sure to falling head-over-heels with their boyfriend after friends gave him the thumbs up. Similarly there has been many a broken heart when the Mr Maybes just didn’t quite live up to our expectations. And seriously isn’t this one of the reasons facebook was invented? Whenever I so much as mention a date my friends flock to facebook to find out if he’s ‘my type’.

So I’m wondering if I should just introduce any potential ‘boyfriends’ to my friends on say, the second date? It may scare the s**t out of them and make them wonder if they’ve stepped into a scene from How to Lose a guy in 10 days but if they’re a no-no then at least I can get rid of them before anyone gets emotionally attached.

My friends can give me a wink or a nod if he’s a winner or just direct me to the nearest exit if it’s a big thumbs down. Dates may think that it’s the start of something beautiful, but if they so much as attempt a bad joke or an offer of getting a round isn’t mentioned, then a third date may fail to materialise.

You would think that, “Sorry it’s not you…it’s them,” isn’t really a valid reason for getting rid of him, but at least you’re being honest, and who wants to run the risk of upsetting the best friend because their man has wonky eyebrows that gives her the creeps?

So before you trust your own judgement and think, ‘Well he can’t be that bad if I like him’, then think again – remember, it’s not only you who you’re dating for, it’s those lovely friends of yours too.


  1. A very interesting article this. I wish I could have read it a few days ago. I admire that you know when to call it quits. I was put in a very awkward position on Saturday night. My best mates cousin took a shine to me awhile ago and while we have had some adult fun, I was assured by her that that was all it was. At Saturdays party she called me into the living room and told me that I needed to make my mind up. I asked about what. What followed was 15 minuts of bunny boiler drama that Meryl Streep would be find hard to replicate.
    I was warned by her cousin not to dump her. I tried to explain that you needed to be dating first to dump. I did the only thing I thought was appropriate, I giggled and left the room.
    She spent two days crying. I can't go to my best mates party cause she will be there with her extended circle of friends. They used to be my friends. One of them is her sister, I wanted a crack at that. Now that won't happen either.
    Halloween is up the shoot too. This girl is way too young for me, emotionaly uptight and more than a little loud. I'm cast as a bastard. I have tried being one before, it never works out. Had I listened to my conscience in the beginning instead of my mates I wouldn't feel so bad about the whole thing.
    She told me that she always gets what she wants. Well she won't this time, but then neither will I.
    Thanks for letting me rant. LDNgirl, you are my favourite tweeter. And a beaut to boot.

  2. For similar reasons I've held off introducing my boyfriend to my friends. But also, my friends were hesitatnt to meet my new boyfriend.

    "Why bother meeting him unless it's going to last?" remarked one of my friends, who refused to meet my boyfriend until our 6 month mark.

    You're right, it IS important what our friends think of our boyfriends. They only want the best for us, right?

    At the same time, if I'm with someone who makes me happy, then what everyone else thinks shouldn't matter.

    At least, that's what I keep telling myself...

  3. I have one for you... The lady I dated last year broke up with me telling me nothing more than, "It's not you it's me..." A few months later I was invited to her brother's Christmas eve party and had a friend of her's a few days later tell me it just felt right having me there... So it seems some guys manage to get the approval of friends and family but can't seem to win the lady :(

  4. Haha, nice blogging. You want to be careful your friends don't like your BFs too much...
    Consider yourself followed

  5. Love the blog but is it necessary to write "he batted for the other side" when you could have written "he was gay"? Why the need for a euphemism?

  6. Very funny - in my case,it's not only my friends the poor man has to win approval from but my nine year old daughter (who is a very harsh critic)!


  7. Hey good blogging and I agree finding someone friends like can be a nightmare.

    Kate x

  8. do you think that maybe holding off meeting the friends for about 2 months would do you any good? that way, if you guys broke up before that, you wouldn't have subjected your friends to THE HORROR! :)

    I've learned to keep my new guy under wraps for a few months before venturing out together to public functions. I really feel like an idiot when it doesn't work out 3 months down the line after showing him off.

  9. I agree that the opinions of those closest to you are incredibly important, and can even make or break a relationship. But rather than actually drag the poor guy to meet your friends and family too early on, I think it's best to have a quiet moment to yourself and think, "Would my best friend/mother/brother/housemate like this person?" If you have doubt, it's probably a big fat no. If you think they might, then definitely intro them and see if you were right.

    Great post, it was really interesting! And thanks for your comment on my blog :)

  10. i agree that sometimes you date for your friends / family. i remember it being rather stressful for my best friend when it was obvious that none of her friends or family much liked her ex (because honestly he was just bad to her and for her). and i do get a lil anxious when i introduce a new guy to my family and friends. you just want him to make a good impression. and if he does, he's such a relief, as if a validation of some sorts that whew you CAN choose a decent guy that they approve of.



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