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Is it OK to say if you don't like a friend's new partner?

tension

Posted by John Aiken, dating and relationship expert on

We've all been confronted with this sticky situation at some time or another. You've got a really close friend who you love spending time with and you're both currently out on the dating scene. Your friend then meets a new love interest and becomes totally smitten. The only problem is - you don't like their new partner!!! What do you do? Speak up or keep your opinions to yourself?

Good strong friendships can survive many things. Intense arguments, major disappointments, and large-scale hurts. But when it comes to this situation, you're on very shaky ground if you're thinking of saying something unless it's based on a history of serious issues such as violence, addiction, gambling or infidelity.

The reason why it's such a delicate and potentially friendship-ending decision to voice your personal and subjective dislike, is that you're not talking to a rational close friend at this point in time. Instead, you're talking to a love drunk, head over heels, besotted person whose brain is flooded with feel good chemicals (e.g. dopamine, noradrenaline).

In this state (called 'limerence'), your friend is skipping around being obsessed with their new partner. They long to spend all their time with them, they constantly fantasise about them and their future together, and all they see is their amazing character traits.

So if you think that speaking up and telling your friend that you simply don't like their new partner will make a difference - it won't. They're not going to listen. They're not able to. You'll lose to the chemicals every time!

Not only that, because your friend is now totally 'lovesick' with this new person, they're not going to appreciate your honesty or point of view. Instead, they're going to take this very, very personally indeed. They'll defend their new lover, become angry and hurt by your words and 100% disagree with you. And this may change your friendship forever.

So if you think it's going to get them to break-up with their new love interest - think again. It will simply push them closer to this person and further away from you.

So my advice would be AVOID telling them that you don't like their new partner. Instead, create some space and give them distance. Avoid catching up with them together. See your friend separately if possible, and essentially turn your focus to your other friends.

Let your friend come to the realisation that it's not going to work - rather than you trying to tell them.

Be civil and polite when you're around them both, but keep your thoughts to yourself. If they really are bad together - it will fizzle out. And if by some miracle they manage to make it work, then you haven't ruined your friendship, and you're in a position to deal with them both moving forward anyway you like.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, seen regularly on Ch 7's the Morning show, and author of the new book Making Couples Happy (www.johnaiken.com.au)

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116 comments

Comments


LadyLikesToDance
LadyLikesToDance
Ahh MrPymble,

Thou doth quote moi, I'm flattered.

Had hoped to have had the pleasure of meeting you at our Sydney bloggers meet late last year. If I recollect correctly, there was interest expressed.
pymble
pymble
I disagree, John - the basis of true friendship is honesty. I'm not saying that all my friends love me all the time, but they know they can count on me to be both honest and available if needed, as I do them. As one of the regular commentators here once said, lovers may come and go............
LadyLikesToDance
LadyLikesToDance
AGD,

Have NYE ball to get through on Monday night, then officially the seasons festivities are over.

Have booked two tables, plenty of mates to dance with :)


MsKiss, sexy, sultry new pic lovie!
AGREATDATE
AGREATDATE
LLTD, on your marks, get ready, it's one for the money, two for the show.......have a great festive season!
LadyLikesToDance
LadyLikesToDance
Funny you should mention the crossbow AGD, a favoured weapon of my namesake, the Goddess if the Hunt!

How apt.

I stand proud and ready, good hunting...let the games begin!
AGREATDATE
AGREATDATE
LLTD, the son of venus is blindfolded when armed with his bow and arrows, so cupid needs no laser eye surgery, just for someone to stand in front of his aim and willing to take the arrow, so maybe the arrow has to go in smoothly.
looks like the crossbow will be put to the side.
ItsAllAboutTheKiss
ItsAllAboutTheKiss
Amalia. You have me there. Ok I surrender. I mean.. give up....control. :p
LadyLikesToDance
LadyLikesToDance
AGD my heart is pretty big, hard to miss, would have thought.

Maybe Cupid should investigate some laser eye surgery?
AGREATDATE
AGREATDATE
LLTD, cupid needs to find the target, so the big red dot over the heart needs to be exposed. Bullseye says cupid with delight.
EuroFemme
EuroFemme
LLTD,

Sounds great...I worry a bit about the 'intoxicated' bit though....one does silly things when one is 'intoxicated' by vino or lurve.....agree with AR... I also prefer to 'surrender' not lose control x
EuroFemme
EuroFemme
AR,

you are welcome. I like Sydney...SydneyNSWlady was just a bit of a mouthful... and 'Sydney' was taken as a RSVP name.
LadyLikesToDance
LadyLikesToDance
My wish is for all of us to loose control, to have cupid arrow smack bang in the middle of our hearts, to be intoxicated beyond reason with a new love interest.

My thinking is if one has not lost control, one has not truly lived.
amaliarose
amaliarose
Sydney,

I hope you do not mind if I continue to call you Sydney. If you do I will refrain but I think it suits you. I have a thing for names.

MissKiss

There is only one place or one situation that I willingly give up control. And boy, do I love that! I think your 'surrender' and my 'giving up control' will be the same thing. 'Surrender' just sounds like that it is something against your will when I have never done anything against my will. Good or bad, no one else to blame but me.

Amaliarose
CroquetTragic
CroquetTragic
Oh dear, what am I reading these posts for, it sounds like my mum has got a each of you aside and given you something to work on that I have not done yet, oh dear.
ItsAllAboutTheKiss
ItsAllAboutTheKiss
Pax, you are making me do that head tilt to the side thing again. :p

Amalia,
I can relate to you with not wishing to lose control of yourself but ok with losing it to the situation. :)
I think losing a sense of control might differ to actually surrendering it. Hmm its complex to explain here and what I have to say will never be allowed through.

MissKiss
LadyLikesToDance
LadyLikesToDance
MsEuro, indeed, ditto.
amaliarose
amaliarose
Sydney,

I encourage mine in their careers too. Hopefully they will move back out again soon. The worse is the pile of dirty washing in their room but they will wash only one outfit at a time when they need it. Five items in a seven and a half kilo washing machine. When they were smaller than me it was much easier.

How I dream of a housekeeper.

Amaliarose.
EuroFemme
EuroFemme
AR,

I know what you mean...I have not succeeded in teaching my younger daughter to be tidy...might have something to do with generation Ys??? I have given up too....hopefully when she has her own place she will be more inclined to be be tidy... however as a contingency, I have encouraged her with her career so she can afford a housekeeper one day.....
amaliarose
amaliarose
LLTD.

I don't have a need to control my environment. I have been failing for years to get my boys to even put the new toilet roll on the holder.

MissKiss
I have a serious aversion to being not in control of myself. I have no problem with thing out of my control. I, do not surrender but assume the appearance thereof. The few times I have not been in control, have been the most unpleasant of my life.

Amaliarose.
LadyLikesToDance
LadyLikesToDance
We all have degrees of control we exert over our world.

Tis normal to function with some semblance of order, routine and habit. I read a gents profile where he stated that he would change the position of the toilet roll anywhere, everywhere if it didn't resemble the waterfall position!

Now, I could read into that a lot more, as I'm prone to do.

Could it be that we get more rigid within our environment as a coping mechanism against those out of our control?

I wonder, your thoughts?

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