Dear Magic 8 Ball Team:
I have trouble and I hope you all can help. I have started dating this guy a little while ago and my friends do not approve. One of my very good friends is actually not talking to me because of it. They don't have a good reason for this. It's not like he is a bad guy, has a bad reputation, or anything like that. They have all known him for a while. I don't know what to do. I don't want to lose my friends but I don't want to break up with him either. What now? I want to try to fix it before it is too late.
Signed, Fearing Being Friendless
BLAH. I definitely feel your pain. I have had this happen. Once, I totally deserved it. The guy was a world-class fucking jackass. My friend ultimately couldn't stand to watch me self-destruct. She was direct with me and told me exactly what her concerns were and while I understood her points and largely agreed with her, I in fact chose him. After I finally got out of the situation, I did manage to resurrect the friendship eventually, but it was really difficult.
Now, I have also been in this situation where I didn't deserve it. I started seeing this guy and we were keeping it fairly quiet. As it became more and more obvious, certain people started getting tense. There were kind of a lot of rumors flying around and it seemed to somehow create a scandal and I'm not exactly sure why. Like your situation, there is not some huge giant red flag about him. In fact, they all liked him.
It's clear you want to attempt to salvage your friendships and keep the guy. You're going to have be direct. Sit down with your friend, one on one, and use a lot of "I" language. For example, "I feel like since I started seeing J that you have been more distant. I am concerned that you disapprove of the relationship. I feel that way because <insert concrete examples here.>" By putting the focus on your feelings instead of throwing out accusations ("You never call me anymore!"), you put yourself in a position for a better conversation that doesn't degrade into a fight.
Now, granted. Your friend may not cooperate. You may get a denial, you may get accusations, or you may get shut down completely. However, go into it with the right attitude, one of reconciliation and communication, and you will probably get that result. And hell, you have to try. You will be really unhappy with yourself if you don't.
Good luck! We love updates... Let us know what happens.
Like most women, I've been in this situation too. Heck, I think we ALL have. In my case, I got engaged to one of these guys. Up to that point, every-single-one of my friends had given me the "what are you thinking" talk or look. My standard response: "You don't know him like I do." I defended him. Like you guys said, he hadn't really DONE anything wrong (at that point). You know what... THEY WERE RIGHT!
When you're IN a relationship, you CAN'T see things clearly. Maybe it's chemistry or whatever, but your world is filled with rainbows and unicorn dust. Your friends and family on the other hand, know you... and they CAN see clearly. At this point in my life, after A LOT of f-ed up dating stuff, if I start to hear from more than one friend "Really Austin?" (or if just about anything comes from my brother questioning my choice), then the guy is gone... or at least he gets moved to friend zone. I have learned my lesson on this one the hard way!
Friends and family can see things that you can't... and all they want for you is the best... AND THERE ARE MORE MEN IN YOUR FUTURE (this I promise)! So... if you're hearing this from more than person, you need to stop and listen... and MOVE ON. My favorite dating phrase: N E X T.