If Your Friends Don't Trust Your Partner, Here's How To Navigate The Conflict
You're in a new relationship, and you're really excited about it. Finally, someone who doesn't need the plot of Westworld explained! There's just one problem — your friends have their doubts. It's not that they think your partner isn't fun or attractive: It's that they think your new beau isn't trustworthy. You love and value your friends, so it's important to know how to act if your friends don't trust your partner. I spoke to several relationship experts on how to navigate the terrifying waters of a friend-lover conflict.
If your friends don't trust your partner, you should be willing to listen to their concerns. Try not to shut them out because you don't like what they're saying. "When you first fall in love, we see a decrease in the Ventromedial prefrontal cortex. That's the part of the brain that judges the other person. In other words, love decreases your ability to see the other person," Dawn Masler, Author of Men Chase, Women Choose, tells Elite Daily. That means your opinions of your partner might be clouded by love, and you could ignore warning signs. Your friends are there to back you up if your partner actually has done something untrustworthy, and even if your partner has never tested your trust, you should account for your friends' opinions.
Trusting your friends is particularly important if you've been hurt in relationships before. "If your friends know your relationship history and patterns, they might see things that you don't. Be selective about who you trust and confide in, but also be able to have a real conversation if you know you have a pattern of bad choices," Matchmaking and Dating Expert Stef Safran tells Elite Daily. Your friends could be the second layer of safety you need to stop yourself from getting hurt, so be sure to account for their opinions if you know you're susceptible to being tricked in a relationship. That doesn't mean your current partner is untrustworthy, it just means your friends know to be on the lookout for any warning signs, and it's great to have a second (or third or fourth or fifth) set of eyes.
You should also take into account how many of your friends don't trust your partner. If it's just one friend, that doesn't mean you should ignore their opinion, but it does mean there might be other forces at play, such as a bad breakup they're going through that clouds their perception. If many of your friends don't trust your partner, that could be a bigger cause for concern. "It’s pretty difficult to not listen and strongly consider the views of a wider group of friends when they pretty much share the same opinion. This is particularly true if there is a general consensus that they don’t trust your partner," Dr. Gary Brown, a prominent couples therapist in Los Angeles, tells Elite Daily. "If more than one is seeing red flags that perhaps you are not seeing, then it would be good to give them a standing invitation to speak up if they are worried," Dr. Brown says. Each of your friends' opinions matters, so if a bunch of them have the same opinion, you should be willing to look honestly at your own partner.
Fortunately, it's very possible to have a successful relationship with someone your friends don't trust. "This is your relationship and you need to use your very best judgment based upon your experiences with the person you are with," Dr. Brown says. You know intimate details about your partner that you haven't divulged to your friends, and you're not obligated to tell them. Furthermore, I've had relationships where the beginning was rocky, so I complained to my friends about my partner a lot and highlighted their negative qualities. However, I was deliberately not telling my friends about my role in the rockiness or my partner's attempts to make peace, so they struggled to trust my partner later on. I knew the whole story, so I was able to have a successful relationship anyway, and you can do the same.
At the end of the day, it's your relationship, and you get to choose how to move forward. If you've heard your friends' concerns, you can tell them you'd like to stop discussing your relationship with them. "You are absolutely allowed to say you don't want your friends' opinion. A true friend will still be there," Masler says. Make sure you understand why they don't trust your partner and evaluate for yourself if their reasons are important to you. You know your partner better than your friends do, and you get to tell your friends when the relationship-talk is over.
It can be tough when your friends don't trust your partner. You love your friends, but you want a healthy relationship as well. You value their opinion — your friends for a reason, beyond a shared love of Cheez Whiz — but it's your relationship. So be open to hearing their concerns, but also be willing to make your own choices about your relationship. A good friend will always be there, so don't worry about losing them because of your romantic life.