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.