You don’t have to love my friends. You don’t have to become close with them. You don’t even have to remember all of their names. I just need you to get along with them. I need you to agree they are good people. I need you to understand why they are the ones I choose to spend my free time alongside when you are not available.
I cannot date someone who thinks my friends are annoying. I cannot date someone who refuses to hang out in a group on weekends. I cannot date someone who gets into arguments with the people who mean the most to me.
I don’t want to feel like a mediator every time we are all in the same room together. I don’t want to feel like I have to take sides by picking either you or the friends I have had since kindergarten. I’m not interested in that kind of drama — but it’s more than that.
My friends are a reflection of me. I know they are not perfect. I know they might say the wrong thing from time to time, but overall, they are good people. If you are unable to get along with them, then we shouldn’t be together because we clearly have different tastes and interests and values.
My friends want what is best for me. If they see how happy you make me, then they are going to be as nice to you as possible (even though they might interrogate you a little at first). I expect you to treat them with the same level of kindness. I expect you to care about their opinion of you because the people who matter to me should also matter to you.
When you date me, you’re dating my friends too. You are also dating my family. And my dog. And even my career.
I could never be with someone who looked down on what I do for a living. I need someone who respects my career choices. Someone who pushes me to achieve my dreams, who encourages me to work my ass off until I reach my own personal version of success.
I could never date someone who zones out when I start talking about my work. I could never spend my life alongside someone who believes I am wasting my time in a meaningless field.
If you don’t like my career, then you don’t like an entire side of me because my work means everything to me. My work has shaped me into the person I am today. I could not survive without my work — but I could survive without someone who judges me for it.
It might seem like I’m asking for a lot, but all I need is someone who accepts me exactly the way I am. I am not going to abandon friends for you. I am not going to cut out family for you. I am not going to quit my job for you. I am not going to change my entire personality in order to please you because you are supposed to like the real, authentic me.