Comment: How much importance do you place on your man’s friends? I’ve been dating someone for 3 months. I recently had dinner with my guy and a couple of his friends and their wives/girlfriends. One of his friends spoke to his girlfriend in a very demeaning and condescending way. He joked with us, in front of her, how his girlfriend would never be able to put together a dinner like this for so many people because she probably doesn’t know where the kitchen is. She laughed at it but I think she was embarrassed. I would have been. On the way home I mentioned to my boyfriend that I thought his friend was rude and didn’t treat his girlfriend very well. He brushed it off and said he was only kidding and that he was a good guy. Does that mean that he agreed with how his friend treated his girlfriend or saw nothing wrong with it?
More than likely your guy was trying to avoid an uncomfortable conversation. I agree with you in that couples shouldn’t crack on each other in public. I think it’s disrespectful. I also think that it’s a sign of discontent in the relationship. Maybe the friend and his partner had a fight right before the dinner gathering. Maybe things are strained between them. Maybe this is how these two interact with each other. I know couples that snipe at each other in an “endearing” way. (At least they think it’s endearing.) It’s not pleasant to be around, of course, and I don’t blame you for being concerned.
However, just because he appeared to defend it doesn’t mean he didn’t have a problem with it. I think amongst men there’s a deeper sense of privacy and desire for distance. Some women think nothing of discussing their friend’s problems with their partners. I don’t think men do that. If anything, I think men prefer to ignore those things because they don’t want to get involved or know too much. Most men tend to keep their problems to themselves because they want to solve them on their own. If they tell another guy, the friend will offer advice on how to fix the problem, as men tend to do. Only when they’re truly ready to deal with the issue will a man want to discuss it. They’ll suck it up as long as is feasible if it means avoiding conflict or being the bad guy.
Should you judge the people you date on their friends? I do think that you can learn a lot about someone based on who they choose to befriend. This is another reason why I warn people who are older and maybe looking for new single friends to hang out with to be very, very choosey. Our friends, especially as we get older, are a reflection of us. What we tolerated at 25 or even 30 doesn’t fly at 35 or 40.
Somebody with a circle of friends that are often single or still partying, in my opinion, is going to be less likely to want to settle in to something serious or long term. The longer that goes on, the harder it is to give it up. Many men definitely pay attention to the types of friends that the woman he dates has. If they are women who struggle with their own relationships, the man knows that there’s a really good chance they’ll have strong opinions and will share them with their friend/the woman he is dating. I think women are prone to being influenced by their girlfriends. Men typically keep their mouths shut.
I think, for now since the relationship is still young, you’ll just have to brush this off. Right now, it’s a blip, not a trend. If your boyfriend starts talking to you that way, that’s when you speak up. But don’t assume that, because his friend treated his girlfriend that way, that that means your guy will copy that behavior.