If your friend is in a relationship, it makes sense that you want their partner to feel welcome around your squad. Especially if their partner is new to your group, you probably want to start getting to know them. If they make your friend happy, they’re worth the effort. So, to figure out how to get to know your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend, it may help to brainstorm a few questions in advance so you’ll be prepared the next time you see each other.
I enlisted the help of Julie Spira, online dating expert, to determine how to make this get-to-know you sesh as natural as possible. It’s not like you’re going up to your friend’s partner and shooting off a bunch of questions, interview-style. You just want to get a better feel for that person, and maybe even become friends, too.
When trying to get to know your friend’s partner better, it’s wisest to get to know them in the presence of your friend as well. Suggest the idea to your friend first, and see what their reaction is. If it’s good to go on their end, make it a group outing among you, your friend, and their partner.
"If your friend’s partner isn’t warming up to you, try inviting the two of them to an event, or meet for drinks," Spira tells Elite Daily. "When you take the focus off of your friend and ask questions to their S.O., it shows that you care about them as a person, and not just as part of the duo they share with your friend."
Be OK with the fact that you and your friend’s partner may not click right away – sometimes friendships take time to build, Spira says, so understand that it may take awhile before you and your friend’s partner feel at home around each other.
So what do you say to them once you’re spending more quality time with your friend and their partner?
"I believe you should look at it in the same way as if you were going on a first date with someone," Spira says. "Keep it light and simple. Ask questions about where they grew up, where they went to school, what type of workout they like to do, how they like their job, and be as kind and non-threatening as possible."
But of course, you’re not on an actual date. Maybe think more sorority recruitment, where you’re getting to know all of the potential new members.
"The goal isn’t to create a love triangle, but to show warmth and acceptance of your friend’s partner, because, you’re not going anywhere as a long-term friend," she says.
As for topics to avoid, do not bring up any relationship drama. Stay away from discussing your friend’s exes or anything they’ve confided in you about their relationship. That’s their business. And of course, your friend discussed those things in confidence, so you should absolutely steer clear of betraying their trust.
"You should always respect your friend’s relationship with their partner, so no matter how much your friend has confided in you about a bump on the road, a fight, or any doubts about the relationship, that needs to stay between you and your friend," Spira says. "Don’t pry on the relationship status, where they think it’s headed, or ask questions about their past relationship history. You’re not a therapist. [You’re] just a friend of their boyfriend or girlfriend, who is interested in getting to know them and accepting them as your friend’s current partner."
Hopefully, you will eventually get to a point where you and your friend’s partner are friendly enough where they fit in well with the rest of your gang.
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