How To Tell Your Friends You're Dating & It's Serious
When your relationship with your new boo starts heating up, there are often a couple of "big talks" on the horizon. Spanning from, "So, what are we?" to "Are we deleting our Tinders?" establishing that you and bae are in it for the long haul can take a lot of work. Of course, after you DTR comes another big conversation — telling your besties you're boo'd up, and it's getting serious. Whether all your pals have signed a "Single Forever" pact, or your bff just got dumped, it can be tricky to know how to tell your friends you're dating.
When you're head over patterned ankle booties for your new boo, it's natural to want to share your happiness with your #girlgang /gang of all genders. If the sex is bomb, the dates are sweet, and your boo is making you feel all sorts of emotionally supported, it's no wonder you'd want to spill the gooey details. But knowing the time, place, and words to say you've DTR'd, can be confusing, even for a Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants level of friends.
I spoke with relationship and wellbeing coach, Shula Melamed MA MPH, about telling you're friends you've cuffed up and establishing healthy boundaries with your pals when sharing your love stories.
Keep it casual.
Just because you and your boo are no longer casual, doesn't mean telling your friends can't be. If you're all out for drinks or mani-pedis, and the conversation is flowing, it may be a good time to mention your relationship status.
"Just casually is probably fine," Melamed shares. "'You know so and so? Who I've been seeing for a while? I think its getting pretty serious.' Or if they ask how things are going — don't hold back and say 'Fine,' let them know this relationships deepening."
If you've mentioned your boo in passing, your friends may already suspect the relationship is heating up. If you've never told your friends about bae, it's OK to be explicit about how you feel about them.
What if your friends are not supportive?
When we tell our friends everything, like even the bad stuff everything like hat time your boo didn't text you for a week or when then out to dinner with their ex, our friends may have some reservations about things getting more serious with boo. They have your back, and they want to make sure your heart is protected. But a caring friend looking out for your best interest and a controlling pal that's being overbearing about your love life are not the same thing.
"Ask them what their reservations are about this person you are seeing. Is it because they are worried about your well being in this relationship? Do they have information about this person? Is it because they are dealing with their own feeling around wanting to be in something serious?" Melamed says. "If they are just being petty, it might just be an opportunity to evaluate those relationships."
If your friend knows your new flame is seriously sketchy, or if they know you're still in love with your ex, they may compassionately try to open up dialogue about your new relationship. If they're downing your happy for their own pettiness, it may because for a different conversation — one about your friendship and the support you expect.
And if it's clear your friends are jelly?
Telling your friends you're in love, lust, or whatever you're in, can be difficult when you sense some envy in the air. Though in an ideal world we're all endlessly supportive of everything our friends do, humans are humans, and sometimes the people that love you can get a little jelly of your new found bae. But if your friends are making you feel bad about your new happiness, it's kinda a them problem.
"If your friends are jealous of your happiness and your ability to connect with another person on a deeper level that is really their issue," Melamed says. "If we don't feel we can share when the good things are happening in our lives with our friends — you might want to examine those friendships."
Of course, a little jealousness here and there is natural. You're awesome (duh) and your friends probably want to make sure you'll still have time to hangout with them admits your roaring love affair. But if you feel like your friends are too jealous to be happy for you, it may be time for a check in.
How do you know how much talking about your new relationship is too much?
Your friends love you, but they may not have the emotionally capacity to hear every single amazing thing about your boo — especially if they're recently dumped or going through their own stuff. Of course, it's important your friends are supportive and celebratory, but it also can be good to have some healthy boundaries about talking about your boo.
"If people's eyes are glazing over or you find yourself saying 'Am I talking about this too much?' — then maybe you are! It is understandable that in the beginning of a grand new love that you will be excitedly sharing but do not forget to check in with the people around you," Melamed says. "Ask them questions about themselves and how they are doing. Exit the love bubble to check in on the people who mean the most to you."
Presumably, your friends were with you when you were single, when you got dumped last and could only eat ramen for a month, and when you first crept on your now boo's Instagram tagged pictures. Your pals see you through thick and thin, through Tinder and text message breakups. They want to be a part of your life — single or seriously taken.
When things between you and your partner start to get serious, knowing how to tell your friends can be hard! Try bringing up your new Taken status in a casual convo, or by mentioning your boo and then spilling the deets. If you find your friends are defensive or jelly, try talking to them about how they're feeling, and establishing the support you want and need. You deserve to be happy, and to share that happy with your loved ones — boo and besties included.