“The problem is my friends and family don’t like him.”
That is how I started a recent conversation with a client. Honestly, that is how I’ve started many conversations with clients. Here’s the rub, that really is a problem.
Now, I am all for independence and free thinking. I am always one to march to the beat of your own personal drummer. However, if your friends and family don’t like your beloved, that is quite likely a serious red flag. I know in my own personal life, I dated more then one guy who was not well liked by my loved ones. Heck, I married one. The reasons were varied, ranging from he’s just plain lazy to outright dangerous, but the over-riding theme was always the same. This guy isn’t good for you and you can do better.
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In the face of that, the easy answer always is, “But you don’t know him like I do.” You are probably right on there. They probably don’t know him like you do. That said, they do know you. Chances are if you are hearing voices of concern from your friends and family that they don’t like your significant other, what they are really seeing are changes in you they don’t like.
Back in the day I blatantly ignored the concerns of my friends and family as I went through a stream of failed relationships with men that ranged from plain old lazy to downright dangerous. I didn’t even bother to justify my reasoning. I simply ignored the concerns of the people in my life who had to be there for me time and time again to help me pick up the pieces. As I listened to their protests, most of the time in the pit of my heart, I was cringing. Not because I didn’t like what they had to say, but because I knew it was true.
I remember sitting around a late night fire with one of my most beloved friends the night before she got married. She told me she was sick and tired of people telling her not to go through with it. She felt like she was grown up enough to know what was best. More then one of her closest friends didn’t attend in protest. The beautiful thing about those friends is that they were there for her during the painful separation and divorce. She remembers that night too, and we have laughed about it several times since. At the time she was going through it though, it was anything but funny.
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I am not saying if your parents don’t like him, dump him. I am not saying if your best friend has issues that you should end it on the spot. I am saying that if your parents, your best friend, your sister, and your closest co-workers are saying there is an issue, there probably is an issue. When the consensus isn’t good, you might want to start asking questions and taking a look in the mirror. The people who love you most, and know you best, shouldn’t get a vote, but they certainly should get a good hearing.
The good news is it works both ways. When I met my husband, he was unanimously popular among my loved ones. He still is. David is good for me. It was easy to see how happy we were together. It was a relief to those around me to see me happy. At the end of the day, that’s what those who love you want - just to see you happy.