“If you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friends.” Get along with would sound a little more appropriate when it comes to relationships, but I am in no place to correct the Spice Girls. No matter how it is phrased, I believe that being at least amicable with your significant other’s friends is key to having a successful relationship.
We have all seen the movies and television shows where someone starts dating a person all their friends hate. While obviously entertaining for viewing purposes, being in this situation is less than ideal. It creates tension between both you and your friends, and between you and your significant other and, in my opinion, is a very avoidable situation. When you love someone, you do not have to love all the people that come with them, but making an effort is all that really matters. These are often people who have been around your significant other longer than you, and the bonds that have developed are something to not only be acknowledged, but respected. I always knew that whoever I ended up dating would have to pass my friend test. My friends have always been a big part of my life and I knew that I could not be with someone who did not get along with my friends. I need good relationships between all of the people I love the most.
I also think it is important to understand the value of your friends, even when you are in a relationship. I always wanted to be sure I was not one of those people who lose themselves and abandon friends for a romantic relationship. I have unfortunately seen it before and lost a friend or two who got so involved in their relationship that they forgot their friends existed. It always hurts, because it makes you feel like you were just a placeholder until a boyfriend or girlfriend came along. I knew I would never be that person because while they are not romantic connections, I would not say that these relationships are any less important. My friends have been there to celebrate my successes and console me during my failures. Because of this, the person that I dated had to fit in with my inner circle, otherwise it would not work.
Seeing my boyfriend get along, laugh and joke with my friends is something that will never stop making me smile. While he is by no means obligated to do this, it shows me that he values the people that I value and is making an effort to get to know them. I make sure to return the favor, although I will admit it is not hard because he has surrounded himself with great people as well. If you are going to expect your significant other to get along with your friends, the same should be expected of you. You are now a major part of someone’s life, but that does not mean you are the only person. Understanding that friendships are equally as important, and making time for them, is something that will only make your own relationship stronger.