5 Things That Matter About Your Friends’ Partners

Sometimes I think that the most entertaining reading out there is websites and magazines for men with advice about women.

Today’s stupid topic of the day comes to us courtesy of AskMen.com, a favorite among websites that try to pass the paranoid delusional fears of men off as fact. This time, it’s a list of what women notice about our friends’ boyfriends (I’m turning this into “partners,” because the requirements are pretty much the same whether you get down with women or men or both). And to their credit, their list isn’t way off: they include things like your manners, and how big of a flirt you are.

But not to their credit, they also list finances, and how all over each other you guys are.

First of all, what women notice about our friends’ partners is a shitload more nuanced than this. But second of all, in my mind, any group of friends that worries too much about how much money their friends’ partners make or how much PDA they show isn’t concerned as much with her friend’s happiness as how their partner contributes to the image of their group. So here are a few things that actually matter when it comes to who your friends date:

  1. Treats everyone with respect. Whether or not your friend’s partner respects her is apparent in everything they do — listening to what she says, giving her a chance to talk instead of dominating the conversation, appreciating her opinion. This kind of respect should extend, in fact, to everyone in the group.
  2. Kindness and thoughtfulness. They should say thank you to the server, offer to get a round of drinks heading go to the bar, let us use your phone to make a call if ours dies.
  3. Being on time. Remember that SATC episode where Big was late to meet Carrie and her friends? Sure, she wound up marrying him, but let’s be honest: he was still a dickhead. If your friend’s partner is late to meet you for the first time — like, really late, say 30 minutes or more — and doesn’t have a good reason (or didn’t alert your friend in advance), it’s a major sign of disrespect to her and you.
  4. Has interests of their own, and talks about them. This is nothing more than a sign of confidence and being comfortable in who they are — and that means that whether it works in the long run or not, they’ll be able to support your friend in being who she is.
  5. Doesn’t pull shady shit. Shady shit can really involve any number of things — disappearing for an hour, talking on the phone all night, dropping a racist or sexist bomb, talking down to you or your friend, hitting on you or someone else. Shady shit is the kind of shit that makes your asshole-dar go off — something you should always pay attention to.

Unfortunately, if your friend’s new piece does — or doesn’t — conform to this list, there’s not really anything you can do. Hopefully we all know by now that friend code dictates S-ing TFU about who your friends date unless there is something seriously wrong happening, or risking losing your friend. But at least with this handy, pocket-sized list (feel free to print and laminate!) you can have your friends’ best interests at heart.

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