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Winning a girl’s heart is one thing. Winning the heart of her friends, however, can pose an even more significant challenge. After all, they’re not blinded by love for you. Some of them might even be biased against you to begin with, thanks to how much they loved her ex – or how jealous they are of your relationship.
But assuming they don’t actually hate you, and are just a bit skeptical or underwhelmed, here are some simple ways to help them warm up to you. Who knows? They might help you stage your proposal (or at least pick out a birthday present) next time.
1. Let her enjoy “girl time” with her friends
If there’s one thing your girlfriend’s friends hate, it’s becoming a third wheel on what was supposed to be girl’s night. Do you really need to be there when she and the girls are drinking Moscato and gossiping about all their friends? No. Consider it a night off to do whatever you want, be it hosting a boy’s night, taking a nap, or perfecting your Chewbacca impression in the privacy of your home. You can call to check in, but don’t be too protective either.
2. Ask them about themselves and be interested in their lives
BE NICE TO HER FRIENDS. Sounds pretty basic, right? But ask any girl and she’ll tell you that she’s had to deal with guys who spent an entire party either sulking in a corner or sticking to his girlfriend like a snail on a damp sidewalk. Make an effort. If you end up joining her and her friends for dinner, you should initiate some conversation. Ask her friends what they do, how they all know your girlfriend, what they do for fun, whether they’ve seen any good movies lately – some basic things to break the ice until conversation can flow naturally.
3. Don’t be mean or rude to them, no matter how mean or rude they are to you
Is one of her friends super annoying? Keep that to yourself. Who knows, your girlfriend might have known this friend for so long, and love her so much, that she’s blind to her flaws (well, it shouldn’t be that hard since she can accept yours). Your girlfriend wants you to accept her for who she is, and that includes her choice of obnoxious friends. You don’t need to pretend to like them, but at least be classy when you’re in the same room.
4. Always sit next to her or hold her hand
Our alarm bells start ringing as soon as we meet a guy who treats his girlfriend like just a regular gal pal. Don’t show up for a group dinner and then sit at another table. Sit next to her! Hold or hand! Offer to split her dessert and help her get home at the end of the night. If us girls can take care of each other, then you should be able to take care of her.
5. Accept her for who she is
Does her girlfriend listen to Taylor Swift? Does she wear neon clothing? Does she prefer keeping her hair short? No matter how much we tease her, at the end of the day, we love her for all her attributes, and we’re going to feel a little worried if she suddenly starts wearing black, listening to death metal, and growing out her hair just to impress you.
6. Limit PDA to a minimum
Like we said, no one likes being a third wheel. Save the make-outs and leg-rubbing for when you’re alone. We know it’s a bit of a, er, “sacrifice”, but we appreciate someone who cares enough to make the people around him feel comfortable.
7. Let her speak for herself
There’s a time and place to be macho, and it’s not when we’re asking her a question. If one of us asks her where she wants to eat, don’t answer that she wants hamburgers. It comes across as a little controlling. She’s an adult! We feel a little weird seeing our friend infantilised when we know she’s capable of speaking for herself.
8. Don’t embarrass her in front of her friends
Dude, there is never a good time to tell everyone about the time she asked if Kazakhstan were a real country or the time she got diarrhoea in Phuket and had to do her business in the sand. Joke about those things privately. No matter how much we’ve grown to like you, we will never forgive you for entertaining us at her expense. If she wants those stories told, she will tell them herself.
9. Be tactful when trying to match-make her single friends with your single friends
We can tell when you sincerely think we’ll hit it off with someone. By all means, introduce us to your single friends if we’ve expressed interest in meeting new people, but don’t hook us up with any old single guy because you want us to get off your back. If you’re really think we’d get along with your awesome colleague, don’t force us to go on an awkward double date. Arrange a low-stress gathering (say, dinner with a few friends), where we can tactfully step aside if we’re not feelin’ it.
10. Be genuine and real
It’s impossible to get all of your girlfriend’s friends to like you, let alone love you. A few of us will always be on the fence. In that case, don’t get too worried. Your character will speak for itself. Sure, we will always have our differences. Most of them will be a little shallow. But at the end of the day, what matters most is that you love, accept, and take care of our friend properly. Being nice to us, even though we’re not close, is just a byproduct of that acceptance.