Dear V: Boyfriend cramping clique’s style

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Dear V,

Over the last few months, I’ve been seeing a guy who’s in his late 30s and I’m a junior in college. I don’t usually go for older guys, but we hit it off and haven’t been able to get enough of each other since. Things are definitely heating up, as we’ve already met each other’s parents and went on a weekend trip. My friends were supportive at first, but now that we’re getting serious, they’ve changed their tune.

They keep saying an age gap that big isn’t practical and he’s going to have more in common with my parents than me. The last time I brought him along on a girls’ night out, my friends were cold and standoffish, barely even including him in the conversation. Driving home, my boyfriend asked me why my friends don’t like him – what am I supposed to say?

I’m trying to keep cool, but I wish they’d be nice when we’re all together. How can I help my friends be comfortable around my boyfriend?

Sincerely,

Mind the Gap

Dear Mind the Gap,

It’s not your boyfriend’s job to merge himself with your circle; it’s your friends’ job to welcome him. Sure, it’ll be awk at first and your guy may prefer to talk football with your dad than to dish gossip with your girls, but he’ll still appreciate the effort to include him.

The next time your crew is hesitant, have them put on a happy face – if you’ve fallen for this guy, there’s a reason you enjoy spending time with him, so they can, too. Try an activity you all enjoy, like a squad trip to the movies or a bite to eat at the bar.

If this doesn’t work, you might have to stand up to your friends. If there’s no true reason they don’t like him besides his age, they’re being shallow. However, you may find there’s a real reason they’re put off by him – they might have claimed it was the age gap to spare your feelings.

When you have feelings for someone, you sometimes ignore big “red flags” you wouldn’t normally overlook. Listen to what your friends have to say first – but if their qualm is truly only the number on his ID, you may have to ditch your friends for your guy once in a while.

Get the girls to let your boo into the crew. Maybe they’ll change their minds when they see how fun he is. Who knows, your guy could even set up one of your girls with one of his bros – that’ll really help make the clique “click.”

-V

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