It’s funny how many clues we actually have as to what kind of a romantic partner someone can be long before we even get serious with him. The insight is everywhere if we know where to look for it. A lot of people have this dangerous misunderstanding that a man lives his life in separate boxes. There is the relationship box, the career box, the friend box, and the family box, and how he is in each one has nothing to do with how he is in the others. That is the dangerous misconception. It is all related. Unless, of course, the guy is a sociopath capable of compartmentalizing his life and his personality. But, generally speaking, the way a man handles any part of his life tells you how he handles every part of his life.
If you really want a sense of what kind of partner a man could be, look at the way he handles his friendships. Look at the types of friends he has. Does he have any friends? How does he interact with them? Honestly, shouldn’t a healthy relationship consist of two best friends who are also sexually attracted to each other? And if a relationship does contain two friends, then how a man treats his platonic friends can tell you a lot about how he will treat his life partner. Don’t overlook this valuable information. Even if a man seems to treat you better than he treats his friends, that is probably only temporary until he gets tired of putting in the effort. How a man treats his friends tells you everything you need to know. Let’s look at that a bit more.
Does he have long-term friends?
Hopefully he has friends that he has known for at least five years, if not his entire life. If he only has friends he has known for a few months or maybe a year or two, he probably does something that pushes people away. Unless you really mishandle your friendships, you should have friends that have been around for a long time.
You may not be long-term
If he has no long-term friends, that speaks to his ability to maintain any sort of long-term relationship. Not having long-term friends usually means not being good at things like compromise and forgiveness and generosity. He probably failed in one of those areas with friends in the past and so they dropped off. He will also fail in those areas with you, and you will also leave.
Does he show up when he says he will?
When he makes plans with his friends, is he firm about it? Does he stick to his word and show up when he says he will? Or does he make vague plans so he has an excuse to get out if he feels like it? Does he bail because he is a little tired or just doesn’t feel like it?
He could bail on you too
Maybe right now in the beginning of the relationship he is very reliable and always keeps your plans. He is motivated by sex and by other things. But once he has you, he may become unreliable with you just as he is with his friends. He may start flaking on you when he is just a little bit tired or doesn’t feel like it.
Does he turn on them quickly?
If his friends make a small mistake or show a flaw, is he forgiving of them? Does he love them in spite of their small mistakes? Or is he quick to turn on a friend, deciding that friend is bad or worthless because of a small mistake? Will he say nasty things about a friend in an instant if they mess up?
You could be subject to the same judgment
If he is quick to turn on a friend, he will be quick to turn on you. The first time you prove to not be perfect, he will decide that you were terrible. The first time you make a small mistake, he will decide that that mistake is who you are.
Is he loyal to a core crew?
Does he have a small, core crew for whom he would do anything? Does he have perhaps not many friends but very good friends? There is loyalty and history there. They know each other very well and love to spend time together. Or, does he have lots of surface friends?
You could be one of many
If he seems to favor having quantity over quality when it comes to friends, he may favor having quantity of sexual partners over quality of one good relationship. He may not know how to appreciate a deep connection, and still be excited by novelty all of the time.
Is he helpful when it counts?
When your guy’s friend is moving, is he the first to jump in and ask how he can be of help? Does he insist on helping, giving up his Saturday to lift couches and pack boxes? Or does he make up excuses to get out of helping? Does he find a reason to not do it?
His laziness will spread to you
When you ask him to walk the dog because you are caught up at work, or pick you up from the airport, or help you help your parents move, he will treat you the way he treats his friends. If he lives to help his friends, he will live to help you. If he is self-serving and tries to get out of being helpful, that is how he will be towards you.
Does he handle conflict well?
What happens when one of his friends upsets him? Does he tell the friend, so that the friend has a chance to apologize, explain himself, and perhaps do something about it? Or does he keep his anger to himself, not tell the friend he is upset, and instead do things like not call that friend back for weeks or not invite the friend to his party?
He will fight with you the same way
If you see him be passive aggressive with friends, he will be that way with you when you upset him. He won’t tell you what is wrong. He will just be cold and irritable towards you. But, if he addresses issues head-on with his friends, he will do the same with you, so you can explain yourself, apologize, or fix it.
Does he take on their people?
His friends have other people in their life, like other friends, girlfriends, wives, roommates, and family. He may not like all of those people, but they come as part of the package deal with his good friend. How does he treat them? Does he do whatever he can to not invite them to something? Does he ignore them when they’re around? Does he show that he dislikes them?
He will treat your people the same way
Your partner will treat your friends and family the same way he treats those of his friends. If he is dismissive and rude to the ones he doesn’t like, that is how he will be towards your friends and family that he doesn’t like. If he makes an effort to be the bigger man and be kind and accommodating to the friends and family of his friends, that is how he will be to your friends and family.
Relationships are a skill
People are generally good at them, as a whole, or not good at them, as a whole. Those who know how to respect and maintain friendships generally know how to respect and maintain romantic relationships, too. It is very rare that you will find someone who is a bad friend and somehow miraculously a great boyfriend. You cannot disconnect those two parts of a man.