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You Asked: I Hate His Friends

Dear Sugar,

Things are really great between my boyfriend and I right now except for issues we're having surrounding his friends. We used to all be friends but when my boyfriend and I first started dating, they decided they didn't want to share him and blamed me for taking up all his free time. They would talk badly about me and whenever he and I were alone, they would send him text messages guilting him into hanging out with them. Eventually they convinced him that he wasn't happy and he broke up with me.

A few months later, he came begging for me back, saying he was wrong to have listened to them. He told me that if they weren't OK with us being together then he'd cut ties with them. According to him, his friends have come to accept us and have promised to be nice to me, but I just don't want to spend time with them! Why should I be friends with people who are only nice to me because someone made them be? I'm happy with my real friends but he gets upset that he spends so much time with my friends, and I don't spend time with his. What should I do?

—Not So Friendly Nat

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Dear Not So Friendly Nat,

First of all, I think it's important to recognize that while his friends may be a negative influence on your relationship, they did not force your boyfriend to break up with you. Notice how once he put his foot down, they started changing their ways. While often times it can seem like outside influences are causing issues in a relationship, it's often the problem between the couple that comes first.

That said, it certainly seems like your boyfriend is trying to change both himself and his friends. He's obviously told them how he expects them to act towards you, and he's made an effort to spend time with your friends, which are both steps in the right direction. I can understand why you're not thrilled at the prospect of hanging out with his friends, but I think you're hurting your relationship by not giving them a second chance.

Put your best face forward and try divvying up your time with both sets of friends. Do your best to be the bigger person and kill them with kindness. If their behavior hasn't changed, I don't think you should have to spend time with them, but before you make any rash decisions, try giving them one more chance. Good luck.


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