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Embracing Your Partner’s Community

by Anastasia Strgar

Remaining friends with your friends is just as important as being friends with your partner, which is why it is essential that these two parties meet and become acquainted with one another once it’s clear that you two are together. It’s been said that the friends you have are a good reflection of yourself, which is why getting to know your partner’s friends can actually give you really accurate information about who they really are. This is particularly nice if you haven’t known your partner for very long.

Arlo’s friends are a close group of four of guys who have all known each other since kindergarten. As an only child, these boys are the brothers Arlo never had. Arlo introduced me to his friends early on  when he invited me to a group bowling event. Needless to say, I was nervous, particularly knowing how close he was to all these people. It all went extremely well and over time, I’ve become increasingly welcomed into the group. These guys are all kind, caring, athletic, funny, familial, and a true reflection of Arlo’s character.

But I know it’s not always that easy. I’ve had experiences in the past that weren’t quite as savory- of partner’s friends whom I didn’t feel accepted by, or felt uncomfortable around or made me think- who is this guy I’m seeing? Although the friends are not a make-it-or-break-it kind of thing, it’s best when you can really embrace one another, as these are the people you want at your backs through both good times and bad. Although many believe that when you get together with someone, you’re just with that person, the reality is that you two often create a kind of community around you that’s made up of friends and family.

When you meet these friends, don’t abandon who you are as an individual and who you are when you’re with your partner one-on-one. Many people are unclear as to how to treat one another in front of friends, especially if the relationship isn’t technically established. Your partner’s friends are probably just as excited and nervous to meet you, as well, since your partner’s probably given some kind of indication that things are getting serious between the two of you.  Thus, be interested in what they have to say, observe how they all interact with each other and know that, if they’re really good friends, they want you in their circle. Remember that you’re building a community one person at a time.

Anastasia Strgar, a recent graduate from the University of Oregon with a B.A  in journalism, has been writing about love and relationships for several years. She has written short stories and romance novels, penned the love and sex column  in the  school newspaper and wrote several blogs. As the eldest of founder Wendy Strgar’s four children, she has been inspired by watching her parents’ marriage and strives to put those lessons to use in her own relationship. She believes that teaching her peers early on about how to maintain healthy relationships  is essential to creating a future generation of loving partnerships. She currently works as the Director of Public Relations and Magazine Editor at Good Clean Love.