He Says She Says 23/09/10

This week: Friends, family and the love of your life. Do they really need to get on?

He Says:

Is it important for your friends and family to get on with your partner? I personally don't think it is. Why should it matter if your friends like your partner? They always say opposites attract! Usually, your friends are quite similar to yourself so it is puzzling why, if you like him or her, they too can't get along with your partner.

Obviously you don't want your friends to take an immediate love to your new partner as that would be slightly suspicious, but friendly communication would be acceptable.

Does it really matter though, I think to myself?

You can (if you have to) keep the relationships separate. Not every night out has to be with all your friends and family. It's similar to your friends getting on with your siblings or parents; they don't have to get on and like each other.

A lot of people strongly disagree with me. They think that it is one of the most important things in a relationship.

Really? How have your friends and family suddenly become a part of your personal relationship? When I first met my wife her Dad took an instant dislike towards me - standing there with my long hair and baggy black clothes. He even sent her a letter begging her her to break up with me and said, 'you don't have to be with him; there are always more fish in the sea.'

Even through that, we have stayed together for 17 years. And my father-in-law and I now get on like a house on fire.

So first impressions aren't always as important as they're made out to be.

She Says:

So how important is it for your friends to like your partner? Well for me it's vital. I see my friends here in Essex as my family because my actual family are so far away and therefore I spend a considerable amount of time with them at parties, dinners and days out.

So I have always wanted to meet someone who would fit in and get along well with my friends and their other halves.

It's also important that my partner likes my friends. It must be terrible if the person you start dating hates the people you have been hanging around with for years and, I'll be honest, it would be a deal breaker for me if they didn't want to spend time with them because as friends we do so much together.

I have always been keen to seek approval from my friends because they are the people that know me the best. They will be able to tell me if they think that we are a well suited couple if a potential partner is a nice person without being blinded by the excitement and newness of it all.

If I were to date someone who didn't get on with my friends or who my friends didn't like, it would make life very awkward and would probably result in me not spending as much time with my friends and therefore losing touch with them over time. I don't think anyone is worth that.

I like my life and my relationships to be as straightforward as possible.

I like everyone to get on and I am really lucky that my partner fits in well with my group of friends.

He even gets on with my best friend's boyfriend to the point now where they will go out together on their own, which is great to see.

I'm not saying that if my friends didn't like a boyfriend of mine that I would swiftly dump them, but when they haven't liked a potential partner, they have usually been right and therefore they haven't lasted. Need I say more?

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