So, You Hate Your BFF's New Partner - Here's How To Handle It

You and your BFF spend wild nights out together, act as each other's wing woman, and always offer updates on your most recent dates — or at least you did before they coupled up with their new partner. New relationships can sometimes impact our friendships in not-so-good ways. In fact, researcher Robin Dunbar revealed to BBC News that people tend to lose two friends each time they enter a new romantic relationship.


This is especially true if you don't get along with your bestie's new boo. "Friendships can be tested when you don't like a friend's partner," relationship therapist Rhian Kivits explained to Metro. "This scenario can result in you becoming distanced from each other – your friend may feel unsupported while you feel like they've chosen their partner over your friendship."

Thankfully, there are ways to maintain your bond, even if you hate your friend's significant other. But spoiler: You'll probably have to accept their relationship, regardless of how much you wished they'd just break up.

Identify why you don't like your friend's partner

Take a psych 101 class or pick up a book on human behavior, and you'll quickly realize there are a lot of reasons why people form the thoughts and opinions they do. When it comes to someone you dislike, your feelings might exist because you believe (whether accurately or not) that they don't like you. Or maybe they remind you of someone who hurt you in the past. Or perhaps their values are the polar opposite of yours.


With your BFF's new partner, it's important to observe your judgments about them and pinpoint exactly why they rub you the wrong way. As Michelle Lin, a social worker and relationship counselor, told ABC Everyday, your aversion could be rooted in your own problems or personal deal breakers — not your friend's. "Is it because of that honeymoon period, where your friend's partner is dominating their time? Is it that they work in a career that you don't agree with? Is it that awful concept of leagues, do you feel your friend's out of their partner's league? Do you not agree with their religion or their political beliefs?" Lin said. "Look into yourself about why, and if it is about you, then that's something you can control and process."


If you're not sure why your bestie's S.O. gives you the ick, consider spending more time with them. You might even find they're not as bad as you originally thought.

Approach your friend with curiosity

Even if you've taken a beat to identify exactly why you don't like your friend's new partner — and you're still convinced they're bad news — keep in mind that you're unable to see the situation from your BFF's point of view. So rather than unloading on them about how awful their S.O. is, choose to remain curious. This will allow you to understand your friend better and potentially diffuse any defensiveness. "The problem with confronting someone about their partner is that it forces them to think of reasons to justify why they are with that partner," David Bennett, a counselor and relationship expert with Double Trust Dating, shared with Bustle.


Stay open and neutral when they talk about their other half. Ask your BFF what they like about their partner or how they feel about their new relationship. If their explanation doesn't seem to add up, be empathetic — according to a 2017 study published in Psychological Science, hormones produced in romantic relationships might act as rose-colored glasses. In other words, your friend may be idealizing their new love, but give them a little time, and they might come to their senses.

One final point: Remember that relationships are intimate, and a lot happens behind closed doors. Many interactions and behaviors aren't visible from the outside, including positive ones. Notice when you might be jumping to conclusions based on limited information.


Be mindful when expressing how you feel

There might come a time when you have to let your friend know how you feel about their partner, like if they keep making an appearance at social functions or if you notice potentially abusive behavior. In these instances, speak up, though avoid diving straight into the trash-talk deep end. Dr. Linda Carroll, a psychotherapist, life coach, and relationship expert, told Repeller that it's best to let your friend know you have concerns about their partner and then ask for their permission before elaborating.


If they're receptive, open up about your observations, though keep your comments objective and non-judgmental. "You can say, 'I'm concerned about this behavior' or 'I feel uncomfortable when I see him do this. How does that impact you?'" Brandy Engler, a psychologist, explained to Time. "Use specific behavior examples rather than generalizations like, 'They're selfish.'"

Additionally, steer clear of any critical statements directed at your BFF, such as, "I don't know what you see in them" or, "Why are you wasting your time with someone like that?" Your friend might feel offended by your remarks — and, as a result, go running into the arms of their S.O. for support.

Spend time with your BFF without their partner

Your friend's new partner doesn't have to spoil your friendship, though it can feel that way if your friend seems attached to them 24/7. Even if your bestie is loading up their schedule with romantic outings, don't feel pressured to tag along, especially if you hate their significant other. Instead, make an effort to initiate friends-only hangs. "You don't have to make a big issue about it, just let your friend know how much your one-on-one time means together, and you'd love it if you can continue having that periodically," Eileen Purdy, a master of social work and anxiety therapist, revealed to Bustle. This gives you space to nurture your friendship without causing friction between you and your friend's partner.


If your BFF is still in the early stages of their relationship, be aware that they might not be as available as they were when they were single. You may feel resentful toward their partner for "stealing" your friend away from you, but communicating your needs to your bestie can put an end to those negative feelings. "It's OK to tell your friend you miss them and would like to be more intentional about spending time together," associate marriage and family therapist Ashley Marie Eckstein explained to HuffPost. "That conversation is healthy and does not require blaming the new partner."

Let your friend learn on their own

Whether you've known your BFF since you were in diapers or formed a tight bond overnight, you probably feel it's your duty to protect them. It's natural to want to swoop in and save your friend from a toxic relationship, but they may have to find out that their partner isn't a good fit on their own — without any pressure or ultimatums. "We all need to make our own mistakes, so whilst it's important to be honest with your friend, it's also key to make sure they understand that their choice of partner doesn't change the way you feel about your friendship and that you're not asking them to choose between you and their other half," Rhian Kivits told Metro.


This applies even if your bestie appears to be in an abusive relationship. One Love, a foundation helping to educate young people on healthy relationship practices, says to avoid giving unsolicited advice or demanding your friend to leave their partner. Instead, model healthy relationship behaviors by respecting their feelings and letting them make their own decisions.

However, this doesn't mean your only option is to wait. Offer solutions, such as providing a safe place to sleep. If you believe your friend is in danger, contact emergency services.

If you or someone you know is dealing with domestic abuse, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also find more information, resources, and support on their website.