What About Your Friends: Do You Care too Much What People Think of Your Man?

June 1, 2013  |  

When it comes to dating and choosing a mate, it’s only natural to want the approval of those closest to you. You know how it goes: You’re dating a great guy (or so you think) and you want to introduce him to your friends and family to get their take on the new person in your life. You hope they like him because you’ve already managed to fall for him. But what happens if, when that monumental moment happens, they hate him? Do you dump him or do you keep dating him because they obviously don’t see what you see? It can be a difficult choice, which brings me to this question: How many of you care what other people think – friends or family, or society in general – about the person you date/love? How much influence do others have on who you date, love or marry?

It doesn’t even have to be as deep as who you choose for a life partner. How many of you have been out on a date, ran into someone you knew and immediately tried to 1) HIDE! 2) size up your date to make sure he/she looked good enough to be introduced to your friend, or 3) wanted to flaunt your date because you knew he/she was hot like FIYA!? Whether consciously or subconsciously, I think we all have cared to an extent what others thought of our love choices.

I, sometimes, think women do it more so than men. When we tell our girls about a new guy we’re dating or interested in, the usual questions typically follow. They want to know his stats – what he does for a living, what he drives, where he lives, if he has kids, etc. Rarely do they friends ask upfront if he makes you happy, rubs your feet, takes you to church, listens or if he’s a good guy. While I know they want to make sure we’re taken care of, we don’t normally get to THAT part of the conversation right away. They want to see a picture first to make sure he’s FINE and then – 100 questions later – they ask if he’s good to his mother.

Men? I don’t think they care what their friends think as much. I’m sure they do to some degree – in the realm of what does she look like, if the sex is good, is she drama free, if she can cook, etc. But for the most part, if their boy is happy, they’re cool. Unless she’s throwing bricks through his window or slashing his tires, a man’s friends may keep their questions to a minimum and their opinions to themselves. Men truly care what their friends and family think when they’re looking to really settle down, but if they’re just dating it seems their friends don’t really get in too deep with the particulars of the woman their boy is spending time with. But maybe this is just my observation.

Ultimately, I’m sure we can say that we care what our friends and family think in some way, shape or form. Some more than others – and there’s nothing wrong with that. I value my close friends’ opinions because I know they have my best interest at heart. I trust anything my sister says because she’s always honest to the point where it makes me uncomfortable to have to look at myself in the mirror and realize that I might be seeing what I want to see and not what’s actually there. We all need that from time to time.

But then there are times when we care too much what others think – to the point where we block our own happiness. You have to know the difference between someone giving you sincere advice and someone simply hating on your happiness. There’s a difference between genuine concern and someone being judgmental. It’s up to us to be able to discern so that we don’t live our lives for someone else.

At the end of the day, we’re adults who can and will do whatever we want…so live your life for yourself. If you put true love on hold because of how it looks to others, you’re sacrificing your own happiness for no real reason.

I know it’s easier said than done when assessing the opinions of people you care about compared to your own desires, but someone who loves you will love your partner too. Why? Because you love him/her and they make you happy. Anyone who can’t fall in line to support your choice in a mate is putting their needs, desires and prejudices before what’s really important: your happiness.

So back to the question: Have you ever ended a relationship because of what your friends and family thought? Not because they’re protecting you from a player/jerk/addict/violent/abusive person, but because they selfishly wanted you to marry someone just like you? Just like THEM? If so, how did you reconcile this?

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