Relationships

Your Friends Vs. Hers: Who Do You Hang Out With More?

Your first year of marriage will be a wild ride packed with fresh experiences, unexpected challenges and serious compromises. Some things will be small (“I’ll do laundry this week”), some will be big (“Why can’t we visit my parents for the holidays?”), some will be weird (“You don’t have to love my lizards like I do, but I insist that you respect them”).

But whose friends are you going to hang out with more? It might not have occured to you that this is even an issue. You think you’ll hang out with them equally, right? But your social life will be evolving just as fast as your love life, and you may have to put more energy into seeing certain people.

Before you start penciling in your social calendar, we’ve got some pros, cons and hard-won wisdom to share. We’ve been down this road before and taken plenty of wrong turns, so learn from our mistakes and your journey will hopefully be more smooth than bumpy.

Hanging Out With Your Friends More

PROS: Your friends are awesome—that’s why they’re your friends. Hanging with your crew creates a major comfort zone where you can totally be yourself and your wife will love seeing this side of you. More importantly, socializing with your friends more often will give her the chance to become more relaxed with them. Before you know it, she’ll be more popular than you are. It happens to the best of us. Plus, she’ll get to hear all the embarrassing stories about you, including what you did that one St. Patrick’s Day—you sick monkey.

CONS: Hanging with your friends too often could be overwhelming or just boring for your wife. This situation creates a strange social imbalance where she might feel outnumbered and excluded. While everyone is sharing old stories, you’ll need to constantly explain your friends’ obscure references and inside jokes (“His nickname isn’t Cheeto Dick because of any anatomical abnormalities. It all started with a bottle of Everclear…”).

Hanging  Out With Her Friends More

PROS: Take a deep breath. Can you smell that? That’s the refreshing air of spending more time with your wife’s friends and taking a little break from Cheeto Dick. Whether men want to admit it or not, hanging out with our wives’ friends is healthy for our relationships and our own well-being. Meeting new people with different perspectives and backgrounds will make you a better man and a better husband. Your wife will appreciate it and her friends will love getting to know you better.

CONS: You feel awkward. You’re not acting like yourself. You feel like everyone is judging you. You miss Cheeto Dick. Well…get over it, dude. Try to be patient, outgoing and open-minded. It might suck at first but the more you hang with her friends, the more you’ll want to hang with her friends.

The Big Question: Who Wants To Hang Out With You?

We’ve been so concerned about who gets the privilege of your company, we haven’t stopped to consider: Does anyone really want to hang out with you? There’s only one way to find out. Invite your friends and her friends over to your place or a favorite bar and see who shows up.  You’ll have to do this several times to get a good read on your popularity level but you’ll soon discover who is down to be part of your new life and who is just down for the count.

The best part of bringing everyone together is that the wall between your two social scenes will start to break down and you’ll end up with an awesome community of new and old friends. Plus, who knows, if one of your wife’s friends plays her cards right, she could end up as Mrs. Cheeto Dick.

—Chris Knoll

Bottom Line

During the first year of your marriage, you can spend plenty of time with your buddies but you should spend more time with your wife’s friends—at least until you think of them as your friends too.

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