When you start dating someone friends sometimes fall by the wayside, it’s easy to forget to spend time with your pals when all you can think about is your new person and how amazing they are; but as time goes on and the relationship evolves you learn to better split time between your love and your friends. But no matter how great your friends are sometimes you simply have to choose your partner and you should at least you should if you’re serious about making a life with them.

I love my friends, more than just about anything, and fortunately the only guys I’ve dated that they all hated are long gone. For the most part my friends were right when they told me I needed to dump someone; I remember one night in second year when two of my best friends sat me down and told me that the guy I was seeing wouldn’t be allowed in our house any more. We sat there until 3AM talking about what I wanted; why they couldn’t watch me date him anymore and why they finally felt that they couldn’t live another day without saying something about it. I remember Jess looking me in the eye and saying, “Shan, he’s stealing your sparkle.” I’ve never forgotten that moment, not even for a second, because I don’t ever want to be in that situation again.

Now I’m happy and in love but some of Boyfriend’s closest pals aren’t totally enamored by my wit and charm and I’m trying to find a way to fix it but there’s a problem; I don’t like them either. Of the two that I see a real problem with both have a tendency to lean towards the sexist and one of them enjoys playing devil’s advocate even when there is nothing to advocate for. It’s difficult. I want to love Boyfriend’s friends and I want them to love me but I hate the idea of trying to force a friendship that would otherwise never happen.

Is it possible to love a man and not his friends? Can the relationship work if I can’t find a way to get along with them? I think it can. But first I think I need to make a real effort with them to see if this is something I absolutely can’t get past or if it’s something that can be solved over a couple of pints and a plate of wings.

I love Boyfriend and I owe it to him to at least try with his friends. If he can find something good in them I’m sure I can too. But if I can’t, then there will be a tough conversation about what we do next. I am going to try, really, really, try but there are some things that are integral to who I am that I’m not willing to let go of and if that means avoiding a couple of friends to maintain respect for myself that’s exactly what I’m going to do.

I’m choosing him but I need him to choose me too, again.

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