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Marriage Manners Monday | Your Friends, My Friends, Our Friends

Being a couple is so much more than just your relationship with your partner. When two people’s lives intertwine, that affects also the relationships and friendships that are part of those circles. Add to that the friendships that began when two people come together, and it makes for an interesting potpourri of how-to’s and how-not-to’s.

When you genuinely like each other’s friends, and this happens more often than not, it’s a win-win situation for each of you and your friendships. the only downside is how to spend lots of time with all of your friends in their different capacities!

…but what happens when your partner has friends that you don’t really mesh with?

of course, since there’s no accounting for taste in this world, the chances are reasonably good – no matter how compatible you and your partner’s friends may be in general – that you wil lbe less than enamoured with at least one of his or her friends. They may be “a little rough around the edges” … or perhaps a certain individual is “a little wild and a little too much to handle”.

What do you do in situations like that?

  1. In scenarios like this, don’t automatically turn the situation into one of “my way or the highway”. Instead, try a few of these methods:
  2. 1. limit your encounters to levels that you’re comfortable with, like going to a movie instead of dinner
  3. 2. agree to see these friends at larger group activities, but limit direct contact with the two of you as a couple
  4. 3. agree on a signal that indicates that you’ve reached saturation point, and it’s time to call it an evening
  5. 4. make an effort to see in the person what your partner sees

It may take practise with certain friends, but if they are important to your partner, it’s important to make every effort to become friends with them too. We’re all a bunch of different flowers in this garden we call life, and it’s the variety of the flowers that make the garden interesting!

Photos: Graham Oliver, Cathy Yeulet, Andres Rodriguez

Above all, tolerance is the key to harmony in any relationship. Compromise and commitment sometimes have to trump personal feelings. When you connect with someone special, and you call him or her “my person”, you get the whol person, baggage and all. Unless friends are causing damage, either emotionally or physically, they need to be accommodated in one capacity or another.

Regardless of which approach you choose to embrace, the most important thing to remember is that clear and open communication is required to ensure that the two people key in the relationship are on the same page, always.

On this thoughtful Monday…