What to Do if Your Partner’s Friends Don’t Like You (43 Ways)

Imagine this: You’re absolutely smitten with your partner, but there’s just one hitch—their friends don’t seem to warm up to you. This can feel like a tough hurdle in your love story. But don’t fret!

By understanding, communicating, and showing respect, you can navigate this tricky territory and possibly turn those cold shoulders into warm embraces.

Table of Contents

Understanding and Communication

1. Understanding Their Perspective

Start by seeking to understand the perspective of your partner’s friends. Put yourself in their shoes and try to comprehend the reasoning behind their feelings.

Why might they feel the way they do about you?

The answer may be rooted in their loyalty towards your partner or misunderstandings they might have about you. Knowing this can help you address the situation in a more targeted manner.

2. Communicate with Your Partner

It’s vital to express your feelings to your partner and work together to improve the situation. They know their friends better and can provide you with insight or advice. Let them know that their friends’ negative attitude towards you is causing you stress, and ask for their support.

Practical example: You might say, "I feel like your friends aren't very fond of me, and it's causing me some distress. Can we talk about it and find ways to improve the situation?"

3. Avoid Making Negative Assumptions

Avoid assuming that your partner’s friends’ opinions are set in stone. People’s views can change over time, especially when new information or experiences contradict their previous beliefs. Instead, see their current dislike as a temporary hurdle that can be overcome.

4. Clarify Misconceptions

Don’t shy away from speaking up to clear any misconceptions your partner’s friends might have about you. This could be based on some misinformation or misunderstanding they may have had. It’s best to address these issues directly but politely.

Tip: Remain patient and calm when clarifying misconceptions, as the other person may not immediately accept your explanation.

5. Get Advice From Mutual Friends

Mutual friends can provide helpful insights or tips on how to handle the situation. They might have a better understanding of why your partner’s friends are acting the way they are and could provide you with some advice on how to improve the relationship.

Behavior and Attitude

6. Keeping Your Cool

Maintain patience and react maturely, as feelings and perceptions can change over time. Responding angrily or defensively might reinforce their negative opinion of you. Instead, try to demonstrate your maturity by staying composed, even if they provoke you.

Tip: Practice deep-breathing exercises when you start feeling overwhelmed.

7. Show Empathy

Remember, your partner’s friends might feel conflicted about their loyalty to your partner and their feelings toward you. Show understanding and respect for these feelings. This can go a long way in establishing a positive relationship.

Practical example: If a friend says, "I'm just looking out for [partner's name]," you can reply, "I understand you care a lot about [partner's name], and I appreciate that. I care about them too, and I want what's best for them as well."

8. Show Optimism

Positivity can change the mood and perspective of your interactions. Even when situations are tough, maintaining a positive attitude can help reduce tension and might lead your partner’s friends to view you in a more favorable light.

Tip: Always greet them with a smile and try to find common ground.

9. Act Responsibly

Demonstrate your reliability and trustworthiness in your actions. Show your partner’s friends that you’re someone who can be counted on. This may help them view you as a suitable partner for their friend.

10. Avoid Trying Too Hard to Impress

Remember, authenticity trumps fabrication. While it’s normal to want to be liked, avoid going overboard in your efforts to impress. Being genuine in your interactions is more likely to earn their respect and acceptance.

11. Mind Your Language

Your expressions and the way you communicate can make a big difference. Be mindful of your language, try to maintain a polite and respectful tone, and avoid derogatory or confrontational words.

Fact: The way we communicate affects how others perceive us and respond to us (Burgoon, 1991).

12. Avoid Arguing

While it’s important to stand your ground, it’s equally crucial to maintain peace. Value their viewpoints and agree to disagree when necessary. This shows that you respect their opinions, even if you don’t agree with them.

Respect and Space

13. Respect Boundaries

One of the foundations of healthy relationships is respecting boundaries. It’s important to understand that your partner’s friends have a relationship with them that is separate from yours.

Respecting their independence can go a long way in smoothing any tension and showing them that you value their friendship with your partner.

Practical example: If your partner's friends have a regular meetup that they've been doing for years, don't insist on always tagging along.

Related: How to Respect Your Partner’s Boundaries (10 Tips)

14. Postpone Sensitive Topics

If there are topics that tend to stir up conflict, it may be best to avoid them for now. This doesn’t mean you’re ignoring the issues but instead waiting for a more appropriate time to discuss them once your relationship with your partner’s friends has strengthened.

Practical example: If politics is a sensitive topic, steer clear from it during casual conversations.

Actions and Demonstrations

15. Find Common Ground

Finding shared hobbies or interests can help bridge gaps and foster understanding. It provides a base for more positive interactions and shared experiences, which can help improve their opinion of you.

Fact: Shared interests foster camaraderie and understanding (McPherson, Smith-Lovin, & Cook, 2001).

16. Avoid PDAs around Them

While it’s natural to want to show affection to your partner, it’s crucial to maintain a level of decorum to prevent discomfort or awkwardness. This is particularly important in the early stages of your relationship with your partner’s friends.

17. Listening Skills

Earn their respect by showing genuine interest in their ideas and opinions. Active listening goes beyond just hearing words; it involves understanding the speaker’s thoughts, feelings, and intentions.

“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”

– Stephen R. Covey

Related: 50+ Reasons Why Listening Is Important

18. Turn to a Mediator

If the situation doesn’t seem to be improving, consider bringing in a trusted third party for an unbiased perspective. This person can help facilitate a discussion and provide insights that may not be visible to you or your partner’s friends.

19. Be Sociable

Inviting them for a meal or a casual outing can help break the ice and show them that you’re willing to make an effort. This allows for more relaxed and personal interaction outside the usual group setting.

Tip: Choose a casual and neutral setting to help everyone feel more comfortable.

20. Provide Assurance

Let them know that your relationship with your partner does not threaten their friendship. Assure them that you respect their existing bond and have no intention of coming between them and your partner.

21. Attend Important Occasions

Showing up at important events and celebrations signifies that you’re not just there for your partner but for them as well. It signifies that you respect their friendship and want to be a part of their lives.

Tip: Show genuine interest and participate actively in these occasions.

22. Practice Good Body Language

Positive non-verbal cues can imply trust, understanding, and respect. A friendly smile, open body language, and maintaining eye contact can signal that you’re open and trustworthy.

Building Relationships

23. Don’t Force Intimacy

It’s important to let relationships with your partner’s friends grow at a natural pace. Pushing too hard for closeness can backfire and make people uncomfortable. Try to keep things casual and take your time getting to know them.

Tip: Be patient and give them time to adjust to you being part of their friend's life.

24. Show Genuine Consideration

Showing interest in their lives and values and engaging with them politely can create a positive impression. Remember, genuine consideration doesn’t mean intrusive curiosity but rather respectful engagement.

Practical example: If they mention they love gardening, ask them about their favorite plants or gardening tips.

25. Be Yourself

There’s a lot of truth in the saying, “Just be yourself.” People appreciate authenticity and can usually detect when someone is not being genuine. Embrace who you are and let them get to know the real you.

Fact: Authenticity is a key component of meaningful relationships (Gillath, Sesko, Shaver, & Chun, 2010).

26. Keep Conversations Light

A friendly and easygoing approach makes interactions more enjoyable. This doesn’t mean you should avoid serious topics completely, but focusing on lighter topics can help create a relaxed atmosphere.

27. Make Them Feel Valued

Convey to your partner’s friends that you acknowledge and respect the importance of their bond with your partner, highlighting that their relationship is not just crucial for your partner but also matters to you.

By doing so and by actively contributing to maintaining their rapport with your partner, you’ll not only show them respect but also establish an atmosphere of mutual understanding and cooperation.

28. Go on Group Dates

Spending more casual time together can foster better understanding. This could be going to a movie, a picnic, or any activity that allows for more interaction and less pressure.

29. Create Positive Experiences

Show them your good side by involving them in activities that you excel in. This could be anything from cooking a great meal to organizing a game night. It gives them a chance to see you in your element.

Fact: Shared experiences can enhance bonding (Reis, Capobianco, & Tsai, 2002).

Acceptance and Assurance

30. Ease Out the Pressure

Make sure your partner feels supported by you, not stuck in the middle. Assure them you understand their difficult position and won’t hold their friends’ feelings against them.

31. Be Apologetic When Necessary

In case there’s a miscommunication or a mistake on your part, being apologetic when necessary can play a significant role in easing the situation. Offering a sincere apology not only defuses the existing tension but also exhibits your maturity and willingness to maintain harmonious relations.

This gesture can be instrumental in building bridges and fostering better understanding between you and your partner’s friends.

Related: How to Apologize to Someone You Hurt Deeply? (8 Steps)

32. Let Go of Expectations

Acceptance may come slowly or not at all, but that’s okay. The important thing is to maintain respect and understanding. Don’t stress yourself out about winning them over.

33. Reassure Your Partner

Assure your partner that their friends’ disapproval doesn’t affect your bond with them. This shows that you’re secure in your relationship and won’t let external factors strain it.

34. Accept that Not Everyone Will Like You

Coming to terms with the reality that not everyone will like you is crucial in handling situations where your partner’s friends might not warm up to you. The key is not to obsess over gaining their approval or affection but to maintain an environment of mutual respect and civility.

In essence, while forming close bonds with them could be ideal, your goal should primarily be about promoting peaceful coexistence rather than forced friendships.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

– Dita Von Teese

35. Educate Yourself

Learning about their culture, traditions, or interests can foster mutual respect and understanding. This shows that you’re willing to take the extra step to understand them better.

Tip: Ask them about their cultural traditions or interests in a respectful and genuine way.

Relationship Maintenance

36. Show Consistency

Being consistent with your good nature and intentions can help foster a cordial relationship. It’s easy to be kind and considerate in the beginning, but maintaining that behavior over time can make a lasting positive impression.

37. Invite Them for One-on-One Time

If comfortable, consider inviting your partner’s friends for one-on-one interactions. This can foster better understanding and break down any preconceived notions.

Practical example: Invite them out for coffee or a meal, showing a desire to get to know them better.

38. Avoid Gossip

Steer clear from badmouthing your partner’s friends, no matter how much they upset you. Giving in to the urge to vent your negative feelings can not only breed conflict, but it can also erode trust within your relationship. In such a scenario, it’s better to choose your words carefully to prevent escalating the situation.

Tip: Find a neutral party to talk to if you need to express your feelings.

39. Maintain a Positive Attitude

Keeping a positive outlook can help diffuse tension and improve interactions. This doesn’t mean you should ignore genuine issues but try to approach them with a positive, problem-solving attitude.

Tip: Try to find the silver lining in difficult situations.

Cultural Understanding and Engagement

40. Show Adaptability

Being flexible and open-minded demonstrates that you respect their way of life. This can help bridge the gap between cultural differences or diverging viewpoints.

Conflict Resolution and Control

41. Avoid Control

Demonstrate to your partner’s friends that you aren’t trying to control your partner’s time or friendships. Respect their existing bonds and ensure that your actions don’t come across as monopolizing.

42. Express Your Feelings Respectfully

If you need to express your feelings about their behavior towards you, do so calmly and without aggression. This respectful approach can help keep the conversation constructive and avoid unnecessary conflict.

For example: "I feel hurt when you ignore me, and I'd appreciate if we could communicate more openly."

Acceptance and Understanding

43. Accept the Situation

Acceptance is key, even if it means tolerating discomfort for your partner’s sake. Not every situation can be resolved perfectly; learning to cope with that can ease some of the stress.

Fact: Acceptance can lead to better mental health and relationship satisfaction (Shallcross, Troy, Boland, & Mauss, 2010).

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important that my partner’s friends like me?

While it’s not crucial for your partner’s friends to be your best buddies, having a cordial relationship with them can create a more harmonious environment.

This is because your partner’s friends are a part of their social circle and play a role in their life. It helps to have them as allies rather than opponents.

However, remember, it’s your relationship with your partner that’s most important.

How can I improve my relationship with my partner’s friends?

There are several ways to enhance your relationship with your partner’s friends:

Find common ground: Shared interests or hobbies can help foster a bond.

Be sociable: Invite them for casual outings or meals to break the ice.

Attend important occasions: Being a part of their lives shows your commitment and desire to belong.

What if my partner’s friends still don’t like me, despite my efforts?

It’s important to remember that you can’t control other people’s feelings. If you’ve made a genuine effort and they still don’t warm up to you, you may need to accept the situation.

Focus on maintaining a positive relationship with your partner. It’s essential that their friends’ disapproval doesn’t affect your bond with your partner.

Should I ask my partner to choose between me and their friends?

It’s not fair or healthy to force your partner into such a position. It can strain your relationship and possibly breed resentment. Instead, try to manage the situation maturely by addressing the issue and working towards a solution together.


Navigating a relationship is challenging enough, and when your partner’s friends aren’t on your side, it might seem even harder. However, with a little patience, understanding, and positive action, you can work towards a better rapport.

Remember, the journey might be a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t lose heart, and keep focusing on what matters most — your relationship with your partner. After all, love is not just about sailing smooth seas but also about weathering the storms together.

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Brenda Calisaan

Brenda Calisaan is a psychology graduate who strongly desires to impact society positively. She aspires to spread awareness and knowledge about mental health, its importance, and its impact on individuals and society.

She also has a passion for working with children and hopes to dedicate her career to positively impacting their lives.

Outside of work, Brenda is an avid traveler and enjoys exploring new experiences. She is also a music enthusiast and loves to listen to a variety of genres. When she's not on the road or working, Brenda can often be found watching interesting YouTube videos, such as Ted-Ed content.