Do your friends have to like your man?

Feb 09, 2024
women friends

On a call I had a few months back, my client Nicola* explained her problem with dating.

She feels she can’t go for a guy who’s not especially good looking, or not completely sorted financially. And she says this is because she doesn’t want her friends to think she’s “given up”, and she doesn’t want to be embarrassed because they’re not impressed.

But do our friends have to like our man? Should you listen to what your friends think of your new guy?

Well of course we care what our friends think. They’re important to us and we want them to get along with our new man.

And we should bear in mind the research by Prof Robin Dunbar and his team at the University of Oxford showing that when we get romantically entangled with someone, we tend to lose at least one, if not two of our friends from our very close inner circle. It stands to reason – we simply don’t have the time or brain power to maintain a lot of close relationships. So we need to make sure the new guy is worth it and ideally, gets on with our friends, thus reducing the likelihood they’ll get pushed out.

But as I said to Nicola, true friends will be much more impressed if she's with a guy who treats her well and makes her happy than if she's with a gorgeous man who's got a great job but treats her like crap.

And really, when you first get together with a man, if you find you’re thinking about how awestruck your friends would be if you introduced him to them as your boyfriend – you’re probably off track.

That means you’re likely focussing on the flashy superficial things.

So beware of being too impressed with stuff like he’s tall, he has dazzling blue eyes, or he’s got an expensive sports car, or whatever. These might sound nice, but the important stuff – the stuff that really matters in terms of your long term happiness – is around whether he’s a good guy. Will he respond to your needs? Does he share your values? Is he kind, honest, reliable, considerate?

The fact that your man has a yacht parked in a marina in St Tropez might make you weak at the knees, but it doesn’t mean he’s going to make you happy.

The quality that will really impress your friends is how he’s properly got your back.

And if your friends have a chance to get to know the guy a bit, and especially if they see the pair of you interacting, they can give some valuable insights that you, yourself might not have.

The thing is, love really is blind.

When the Oxford uni research team mentioned above used a PET scanner on the brains of people ‘in love’, they found that while some bits of the brain light up like a Christmas tree, other parts stop working.

When we become besotted with someone at the start of a relationship, the researchers found that the mentalising part of the brain quietens down – the part that’s involved in figuring out someone’s intentions.

So this means that we’re not very good at noticing if our wonderful new guy is actually a manipulative narcissist or a control freak. We’re also more likely to overlook potential risks, because our amygdala – another part of the brain – isn’t working so well.

This change in brain function might be something that had to evolve to help us make the necessary effort to get a relationship started, but unfortunately it also means that while your friends can spot that the person you’re going out with is on the dodgy side – you often can’t.

So should you just accept your friends’ assessment of your man?

It depends…

If your friends DON’T like your new guy – think about WHY NOT.

If they say “You could do better” – what do they mean?

If they’re worried about how he treats you, if they think there’s something “off” about his intentions, then this is something to take note of. They might be picking up on stuff that you are unable to in your infatuated, brain-befuddled state.

But if they mean, you should be able to find someone better looking, less eccentric in sartorial choices, more solvent and more cool, then this may be a situation where you’re better off using your own judgement.

If you know your man has really good long-term qualities that your friends haven’t picked up on yet, they almost certainly will with time.

And if they’re true friends they’ll grow to like him a lot.


So what do YOU think?

Leave a comment and let me know if you’ve ever been in a situation where your friends haven’t liked a guy you were with? What did you do as a result and was that the right choice in the end?

I’d love to know what you think!



Whenever you’re ready for help with finding your man, feel free to book a complementary call with me. We’ll talk about your specific challenges, I’ll suggest some actions you can put into practice right away, and we’ll talk about the types of help we can provide for you at Dating Evolved going forwards.


*This name has been changed.