Dear Melissa, If your boyfriend’s friends are sexist and still like to “party” despite the fact that they’re in their 40’s now, can you ever really trust him around them or entirely respect him for choosing to associate with such people?
Hi Ulrika, Thanks so much for your question!
So your question boils down to: Can you trust and respect him?
And my answer for you is: It comes down to your values and your definition of trust and respect.
In other words: you know you can trust him if he meets your definition of being trustworthy and respectful.
Why We Experience Issues in Our Relationship
Anytime we experience issues in a relationship, it’s because a need or requirement of ours isn’t being met.
And our needs and requirements are based on our personal values — how we want to live our life.
His friends might find him trustworthy, but you’re finding him difficult to trust because his behavior is clashing with your values and with your definition of respect and trust in a relationship.
How to Tell If You Can Trust Him
So what I would encourage you to do is ask yourself: What is YOUR definition of trustworthiness and respect in a relationship?
What does it look like and feel like to you when someone is trustworthy and respectful in a
How would you know and discern that someone is trustworthy and respectful in a relationship?
And then the second thing I would do is observe his behavior or look back on your experience with him: Is he meeting that definition of trust and respect?
His friends might behave immaturely, but is your boyfriend behaving the same way?
Does he party and engage in their sexism?
And to what degree does he socialize with them?
It’s one thing to be friends with them and another to behave like them.
We’ve all had friends or been acquainted with people who aren’t entirely aligned with our values.
But just because we’re friends with them or spend time with them, doesn’t necessarily mean we share their values.
So just to recap:
- Get clear on your own definition of trust and respect in a relationship (what does trust and respect look like in a relationship to you? How would you know trust and respect when you see it?)
- Observe whether he is meeting that definition (Does he share his friend’s values? Does he behave like them?)
How You Can Tell If He’s a Good Long-Term Fit for You
In my coaching work, I help women get super clear on their own needs and requirements to help them make highly conscious decisions in their relationship.
This clarity helps you determine how you really feel about someone and whether they are a good long-term fit for you — whether the relationship is worth your time and heart to continue.
So getting clear on your needs and requirements is really key to balancing your heart with your head and assessing whether he’s a good long-term fit.
When He’s Broken Your Trust, Can You Trust Him Again?
And if he’s done something to break your trust, how do you know if he can be trusted again?
We’re human. We’re imperfect beings. We make mistakes sometimes. We have lapses in judgement. We’re not always conscious and intentional about every decision we make.
That being said, we’re also highly resilient. We can learn. We can grow. We can change our ways.
If he is willing to acknowledge his mistakes and take responsibility (rather than creating blame or making excuses), and is doing everything in his power to correct the problem so that it isn’t a problem anymore (not just paying lip service by “saying sorry;” observe a man’s ACTIONS, not just his words) — then I would say he is more sincere about regaining your trust and changing his ways.
But if he’s making excuses and blaming others or his circumstances for why he can’t take responsibility for his mistakes, that’s a huge red flag.
Because if he doesn’t take ownership of his mistakes, then he’s not going to take conscious action to correct them (why would he if doesn’t believe they were his mistakes in the first place?).
So you’re not looking for a perfect man, but a man who can admit his imperfections and take responsibility and action to not let them interfere with your relationship.
I know this is a lot to think about but I hope this guidance was helpful for you.
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