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How important is it for your significant other to integrate into your friend group?

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Old 13th March 2019, 2:55 PM   #1
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How important is it for your significant other to integrate into your friend group?

I've been with my boyfriend for 9 months now, he's 35 I'm 29. I've never been this happy with someone in my whole life. He's kind, considerate, and just a really old school gentleman, the opens the door and flowers just because kind of guy. I could see myself marrying this man, we get along so well it feels like I've known him my whole life. The only thing that I see that could be a con down the road at some point is that he doesn't really fit in with my friends.

We've gone on a few double dates with some of my coupled up friends and that has been great, but my main group of friends from university I have only brought him out once with for my big birthday celebration. I'm studying for a major exam in june, so lately it's not an issue because I haven't seen much of my friends since I'm so busy. But after that exam I'm worried if this might develop into a problem when they expect me to spend more time with them.

They don't hate him or anything, and he has not issues with them, it just doesn't seem like there is much common ground. My friends are my age or younger, so there is a bit of an age gap there, and on top of that they are all kind of "partiers". They like to go to bars and concerts and drink all night and have a good time. Where as my boyfriend is non-drinker (just doesn't like it, but says he doesn't mind if other people drink), and prefers quieter evenings or more intimate settings. We spend most of dates doing things outdoors, cooking together, or going to stand up comedy. He is also pretty serious and professional (Unless it's just us then he can be silly with me) and kind reserved. Where as my friends, while they all have professional jobs and lives, are a little more rowdy and definitely like to let loose and party on their spare time.

Again, this hasn't been a problem yet, given that I'm so occupied and studying and haven't spent as much time with that group of people. But I worry that eventually it could be? I don't mind going to events with them on my own, but my best friend keeps trying to tell me its "unhealthy" if he can't integrate into my friend group. I'm not sure if I agree with that though. Do you tend to think that your partner needs to be part of your friend group? Or do you think it's fine to have your relationship and friends separate? Again it's not like they hate eachother, the personalities just don't seem to blend that well. Issue or irrelevant?
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Old 13th March 2019, 3:05 PM   #2
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We have some friends where we both like them and are willing to do things together, whichever one of us originally developed the friendship. We have several other friends where there is little or no connection or interest in socializing all together, so we see those people on our own.
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Old 13th March 2019, 3:17 PM   #3
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Has nothing to due with age, but personality, and lifestyle. When I was 35 I was in the clubs with my girlies every weekend getting bombed. My husband played in a band so there were those nights too and he is 6 years younger than me. I partied more than he did.

So this is where there is just going to be times when you both go and do your own thing, with your own friends. BUT there is nothing wrong with getting your guy to see a concert, or enjoy a festival, or head out to a pub to watch a game. I think you should just loosen the worries a bit and let him navigate your social circle on his own. You can mix things up, by inviting your friends over for drinks n pizza and play board games. I'm sure he can enjoy that.

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Old 13th March 2019, 3:48 PM   #4
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Friend groups change as people age, get attached, move for jobs, have kids, etc. He may not be super compatible with your friend group as it is now, but in 5 years when they've settled down more, or when you've made new friends through work, neighborhood, your relationship with him, etc. that could change. At your age it is way more important that you gel with your boyfriend, not that your boyfriend gels with your friends.
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Old 13th March 2019, 4:08 PM   #5
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I think you're probably overthinking this. If he had conflicts with many of them it could be a red flag, but if everyone's getting along but just not particularly close, its not an issue at all IMO.

H and I have some mutual friends, but also some non mutual friends. Friends also change as you progress through life.
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Old 13th March 2019, 4:53 PM   #6
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I don't think there's anything wrong with you going out just you with your girlfriends. I mean, he shouldn't care as long as you let him know where you're going and come home when you say you will. I do think he should, as you've been doing, endure an occasional visit with your friends, but I think most of them would be happier if they had you to themselves probably, like they're used to. Why? So they can talk more openly. They don't know him and he's a man and they're not going to want to do "girl talk" in front of him
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Old 13th March 2019, 5:26 PM   #7
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If they can peacefully co-exist & spend some time together or be OK with you seeing the other without them, so neither the SO or the friends are complaining, "I never see you" then it's all good. they all don't have to be together all the time.
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Old 13th March 2019, 9:28 PM   #8
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Before your boyfriend, you used to go out with your friends to concerts and parties when you had free time, right? Did you also get partied up with them or are you more sober?
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:52 PM   #9
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To answer the heading question specifically, not important at all to me. I've never socialised with a girl's friends or her with mine. There's nothing wrong with keeping worlds separate.

Friends are fickle and will all drop off over time anyway. If you married this dude, you won't see any of them beyond your wedding anyway. It's just the way things go.
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Old 13th March 2019, 10:54 PM   #10
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He's past that point where the college partying scene interests him, if it ever did. He just can't relate to them because he's mature and has a serious nature. The only thing that would concern me is that if your friends and family didn't like him for a good reason. That doesn't seem to be the issue here.

However, you need to keep in touch with your friends throughout your life. Isolating yourself with only your bf or spouse will become problematic for both of you. Relationships become stale if the couple doesn't extend themselves to others.

Your bf, overall, sounds like a great guy. I don't think there's reason to be concerned.
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Old 13th March 2019, 11:05 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by emeraldgreen View Post
Friends are fickle and will all drop off over time anyway. If you married this dude, you won't see any of them beyond your wedding anyway. It's just the way things go.
100% Agree...

I was dating this woman and I thought things were going along OK, but she dumped me out of the blue. Not that I cared, but she told me that her friends didn't like me and I didn't click with them. I told her that I don't let my friends decide who I should date. I also told her that within in 2 years all of those great & wonderful friends will all be gone. 18 months later she called me and told me all of the friends were gone, as her finances had changed and she couldn't "treat" them anymore. She then asked to get back together with me.
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Old 13th March 2019, 11:20 PM   #12
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as long as both sides are polite and courteous regardless of liking or disliking your bf then it would not be an issue.....i think if both sides show respect for the relationship you are in with your bf
and in turn you and your bf show respect and understanding to them....then it wont cause problems ...just agree to disagree and spend time with your friends as long as they respect your relationship and are supportive of what truly makes you happy which is being in a relationship with your bf hopefully.....deb
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Old 14th March 2019, 9:52 AM   #13
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Depends. We have many common friends but he also have many that I never met and vice versa. With friend groups I find it more like activity based thing - if we have something to do together, why not? But if it is something that he and a particular group of friends enjoy and I don't, I have no issues with him meeting them on his own.

I think it will be red flag if one 1)actively avoids introducing you to any of his friends or 2)if all of the friends he has and you met, you dislike. 1) would suggest double life, and 2) - serious incompatibility (friends are like us).
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Old 14th March 2019, 11:12 AM   #14
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From the sounds of it, your bf is just in a different life stage than your friends, who are ~6-8 years younger. Likely they will mature and give up some of their partying ways by the time they're his age. Even if they don't, from what you've written, your bf has the qualities to be a good life partner. I would think long and hard before considering giving that up.
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Old 14th March 2019, 10:43 PM   #15
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My relationship with my partner is not influenced at all by my friends. I have different groups of friends, not just one group. I don't participate in "group think" in any way. I value my partner too much to care what anyone else thinks. A few friends have met him in passing and my brother met him, but our dates are primarily just the two of us. We may do a sports activity with one group that consists of friends I know from a former workplace, but it would never occur to me to care what they think of him. I like all of them and I adore him, and my friends are mature people who are very respectful of friends' partners. End of story.

The guy you are dating sounds like he is pretty mature and that is a great thing.
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