The opinions of others affect the way both men and women decide on who they should date, according to an Indiana University (IU) study reported by MedicalNewsToday.com. And it isn’t just friends and family—even the input of complete strangers is considered in the selection of a person’s mate.
In the study, 80 participants, half of which were male and half were female, were made to watch eight speed-dating interactions on video. The male participants’ interest in the female speed-daters significantly increased after they sensed interest on the part of the male speed-daters—even more so if the latter were equally or more good-looking than the participants themselves.
On the other hand, the female participants’ interest in the male speed-daters increased if the female speed-daters seemed to like them, and likewise decreased if the women seemed uninterested in their dates.
Both results are known as “mate choice copying,” or in other words, the condition where “an individual copies the mate selection of others,” as the article reports. As humans, we are social beings, which means that we not only want to be around others, but also that we share their preferences and tastes—however subconsciously—even when it comes to our future partners.
This situation doesn’t only apply to people who are single and still searching for their significant others. Many women who are already in committed relationships struggle with getting along with their boyfriend’s friends—and failure to do so can often lead to an unwanted rift with the number one pals of their number one man. And that isn’t something you can just ignore—after all, who influences your guy more than his guy friends?
For more details on this study, read the full article on MedicalNewsToday.com. To find out how much of a say your friends have when it comes to your decisions on who to date, take our quiz!
In truth, getting along with your man’s mates shouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do—as long as you put in the right effort. Click on the tips below or read on for a few simple suggestions on breaking the ice, and get ready to start your bromance with your amour’s amigos!
- Introduce yourself
- Think of them as your own friends
- Include them in your plans
- Respect boys' night
- Treat your man right
If you’re out and about and you see some of your boyfriend’s friends in the vicinity, introduce yourself—whether or not your guy is around. It may not seem like much, but making the effort to establish a relationship with these guys from the very beginning will go a long way—if you know how to work the situation to your advantage. Smile, make eye contact, listen to what they’re saying (even if it’s the usual small talk), and most importantly, don’t forget anybody’s name. Not only will this show them that you’re a cool, confident chick who just happens to be the perfect catch for their comrade, but it will also make them appreciate you for acknowledging their importance in their friend’s life. This Howtodothings.com article even shares that introducing yourself will put you on a “much more personal level” with these guys than waiting to be introduced by your man.
Want to make friends but too shy step out of your comfort zone? Check out our story on overcoming shyness.
(Photo source: morguefile.com)
THINK OF THEM AS YOUR OWN FRIENDS
Take the saying “What’s mine is yours, and what’s yours is mine” to heart, and treat your boyfriend’s buddies like you would your own. Now, we don’t mean you should invite them to sappy chick flicks or make joint appointments for mani-pedis. What we do mean is this: talk to them, find out what they like and don’t like, figure out what you have in common and what you agree and disagree on, and most of all, be yourself when you’re around them. Getting to know your guy’s friends the same way you know yours takes you one step closer to building a desirable rapport with them—plus, you get to show each other your true colors, which is always a good bonding experience.
INCLUDE THEM IN YOUR PLANS
You may feel like you and your boyfriend live in your own little world, but the truth is that life goes on outside your little bubble, whether or not you realize it. This means that his friends still expect him to spend time with them, like he’s always done, even with you in the picture. To make it easier on everybody, don’t hog your man all to yourself—this Ehow.com article cautions that doing so will only make his friends think that you are “taking him away from them,” thus making you the enemy. Instead, invite them along when you lovebirds go to the beach, throw a barbecue, or see a movie. It may seem like a simple gesture, but letting his pals participate in your plans will lead them to welcome you all the more into their circle.
RESPECT BOYS’ NIGHT
For guys, “boys’ night” is an untouchable event—even married men take the night off from their family lives to play a game of cards or sling back a couple of beers with the bros. So unless boys’ night seems to take place every single night of the week, don’t mess with the system. As much as your man loves you, he loves his friends too and needs to spend quality time with them once in a while. Accept his once-a-week get-together with the guys as a given, and don’t try to force an invitation or show up at the meeting place unannounced. Otherwise, you’ll always be known as the gate-crashing, party-pooping, Saran wrap-clinging significant other who just can’t respect the fact that guys need to bond.
To keep yourself occupied while your man is out with the boys, why not host your very own girls’ night? The simplest thing to do would be to invite your BFFs over for a chick flick marathon. Not sure what to watch? Check out these movie galleries:
- Chick Flick Favorites: 12 Movies You Never Get Tired of Seeing
- 20 More Chick Flick Favorites: FN Readers' Picks
- FN Flick Picks: 25 Magical Movie Musicals
TREAT YOUR MAN RIGHT
Word travels fast, so even if your man keeps your business between the two of you, his guy friends will be willing to gossip if they feel an ill wind blowing. Don’t give them a reason to talk behind your back—treat your boyfriend with love, understanding, kindness, acceptance, and respect, as all significant others were meant to be treated. If, for instance, you bicker with your boyfriend in public or insult him in front of his peers, you may end up emasculating him—and his friends may hate you for it. And many barkadas, especially longtime ones, are very protective units, with a "don't mess with our boy, or we'll mess with you" mentality. So skip all the drama and show his best buds just what a great girlfriend you are by being sweet-tempered, unselfish, and a whole lot of fun—who knows, they may end up wishing they had a girl just like you!
Need more tips on how to be a good girlfriend? Check out these stories:
- Talking Tips: How to Improve Communication in Your Relationships
- Relationship resolutions: Ten tips to refresh any romance
- 5 stupid things Pinays do in their relationships
(Photo source: sxc.hu)