Q: I’m 24, and my boyfriend and I have been dating for five months. We are so in love, and we want to spend every moment we can together. Even though we have nasty fights, we always make up (and it’s true what they say about makeup sex!). I have never been happier, but my friends just won’t get on board. They say that he is controlling and that I never spend time with them anymore, but my boyfriend says that they are just jealous. I am stuck in the middle and I don’t know what to do. Help!
A: It sounds to me like there is a lot going on here. First, you and your new boyfriend are deep in attachment phase, meaning that there are all kinds of hormones impacting each of your moods and behaviors. It is an exciting time, but it can also be tumultuous. You mention that you have numerous fights and then amazing makeup sex, and it sounds like a pattern that many newly dating couples can relate to. However, it is a red flag that you describe the fights as “nasty” and that your friends aren’t on board with this new guy.
While arguments are natural in any relationship, no fight should ever escalate into threatening or violent territory. There are many different kinds of abuse, including emotional abuse: Name-calling, manipulation tactics, and demeaning language fall into that category. If arguments with your partner leave you feeling worthless, insecure, and completely alone, then that is a sign your fights could be more than just nasty. They could be abusive.
The fact that your friends aren’t on board with him could suggest that they see something that you don’t. Some abusive partners even use this as a tactic to further control and manipulate their significant others. By driving a wedge between a love interest and the friends and family, a controlling partner can ensure that his mate is completely isolated and his to control. Of course, that isn’t necessarily the issue here. You need to think it through. It could just be that your boyfriend and friends got off to a bad start and now they are reacting to one another’s negative energy.
The best thing you can do right now if you think things simply got off on the wrong foot is to try to help mend those fences. You can start by spending more time with your friends. You mention that you spend every waking moment with your partner, which can be frustrating for your friends, especially if you are blowing them off and missing special events like birthdays or graduations. And try to initiate a few group events as well so that they can see your boyfriend and you together as a couple. When they see how tight-knit and in love you are, they might come around and start to see what you see when you look at him.
Last but not least, make sure not to bad-mouth your boyfriend to your pals, or vice versa. If you are constantly sharing negative information about your boyfriend, your friends will likely have a hard time seeing any good in your new guy, and the same is true if you are always gossiping about your friends as well. Instead, talk them up and focus on the positive. Good luck!
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