In this article, we will examine why your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you and what you can do about it.
When you get into a relationship, you want your boyfriend to be your person. You commit yourself fully to him and want him to commit fully to you too.
So, having your boyfriend prioritize his friends over you will be hurting and frustrating.
Having your boyfriend with you all the time is good, but as your relationship progresses, you may create a co-dependency with your boyfriend, which may not be healthy in the long run.
That being said, you want your boyfriend to spend as much time as possible with you and prioritize you; however, if your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, you may feel like he doesn’t love you.
Reasons Your Boyfriend Prioritizes His Friends Over You
There are many reasons your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you. Some of the reasons include;
1. It’s His Nature
Your boyfriend prioritizing his friends over you is natural. According to research, young men get more emotional satisfaction from bromances than their romantic partners.
So, if your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, it is not your fault or his. He is going where his emotional needs are more satisfied.
With the acceptance of bromances in society, many young men are getting more attached to their friends than their romantic partners.
Moreover, the entertainment industry is promoting the bromance culture making it more appealing to many men to have hard-core friendships with other guys.
2. He Is Closer To His Friends
If your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, he could be closer to his friends than he is to you.
For instance, if you have just started dating, your boyfriend is still closer to his friends than you, and he will naturally prioritize the people he is closer to.
On the other hand, your boyfriend will prioritize his friends because he has known them longer than you and will have a better relationship with them than with you.
Additionally, it could be that he feels he can be more free talking to them than he can be with you.
3. His Friends Are Going Through Some Issues
Sometimes your boyfriend will prioritize his friends over you if his friends are going through a hard time.
Your boyfriend may prioritize his friends because they are going through some tough times.
For instance, if his friend is going through a breakup, your boyfriend will be with him through the healing journey.
On the other hand, his friends may be handling some family issues, and he will be there for them as you would be there for your friends if they were going through a hard time.
Therefore, asking your boyfriend why he is prioritizing his friends before jumping to conclusions is important. For all you know, the friend may have lost their job and need emotional support from his friends.
For example, I was laid off from my job once, and it took me to a dark place. It took my friends and a lot of willpower to pull myself from the rabbit hole.
So, if your boyfriend prioritizes his friends, he could be the lifeline the friend needs.
4. He Wants A Break
Sometimes your boyfriend may prioritize his friends over you because he needs a break. As much as we want to spend every waking hour with our partners, sometimes it can get overwhelming for some people, and they will need a break.
So, if your boyfriend prioritizes his friends, he may need a break from you. This doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you anymore; it just means he needs a little breathing space just to be a guy and play video games without you breathing down his neck.
Needing a break doesn’t mean your boyfriend doesn’t want to be with you; it only means he wants to do something out of his normal routine.
It’s the same way you get some ice cream once in a while to complement your diet.
5. He Has a Fear Of Missing Out
Your boyfriend may be prioritizing his friends because he has a fear of missing out (FOMO) on social events with his friends.
In this age, many people suffer from FOMO and will go to great lengths to ensure they do not miss out on what is happening in their social circles.
Dr. Andrea Bonior, a psychologist, and author of Detox Your Thoughts: Quit Negative Self-Talk for Good and Discover the Life You’ve Always Wanted, says, “FOMO can be a real psychological phenomenon, and it can lead to people prioritizing certain social events over other important commitments, including relationships.”
So, if your boyfriend always prioritizes his friends over spending time with you, they may have FOMO.
6. He Has Loyalty toward His Friends
Your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you because he is loyal to his friends. Naturally, we all want to be in a relationship with someone loyal to us.
However, if your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, you feel his loyalty is in the wrong place.
If your boyfriend is loyal to his friends, he will prioritize them, and you will feel neglected and your feelings disregarded.
Loyalty is a value that many people hold dear, and they may prioritize their friendships out of the sense of obligation and loyalty.
Moreover, if your boyfriend’s friends are loyal to him, he will be loyal to them out of obligation and prioritize them over you.
7. He Doesn’t Like You Anymore
If your boyfriend is falling out of love with you, he will prioritize his friends over you. When you are in love, you want to spend all your time with your partner or the person you have a crush on.
However, when you start falling out of love, you feel like the person is suffocating you, and you will not want to spend time with them.
So, if your boyfriend doesn’t like you anymore, he will not want to spend time with you and will prioritize his friends.
If your boyfriend has no friends, he will prioritize other things like work or playing video games rather than spend time with you.
8. He Feels You Spend Too Much Time With Your Friends
Your boyfriend may prioritize his friends over you if you spend too much time with your friends.
Sometimes you may take your boyfriend for granted and spend more time with your friends.
As a result, your boyfriend will feel lonely and have no choice but to prioritize his friends the same way you prioritize your friends.
Your boyfriend may feel disregarded when you spend too much time with your friend and will look for the emotional satisfaction he doesn’t get from you from his friends.
Some of these may be female friends, making you feel jealous or think he is cheating on you.
9. He Is Immature
Your boyfriend may prioritize his friends over you because he is immature and doesn’t understand the importance of balancing the relationship with his friendships.
As a cognitive therapist, Dr. Aaron Beck, says, “People who are emotionally immature may prioritize their friendship over romantic relationships because they don’t have the emotional intelligence to navigate the complexities of a romantic relationship.”
So, your boyfriend may be running to his friends because he doesn’t know how to handle the complexities in the relationship, especially if he doesn’t know how or want to talk about problems in the relationship.
10. He Has Unhealthy Friendships
Your boyfriend may prioritize his friends over you if he has unhealthy relationships. As much as we need friends, sometimes friendships can be unhealthy and toxic and require a lot of energy and attention.
Dr. Ramani Durvasula says, “People may prioritize their friendships over their romantic relationships when their friendships are unhealthy and dysfunctional and require a lot of attention and energy to maintain.”
For instance, if your boyfriend is in a codependent friendship with his friends, where one can’t do anything without the other, he will prioritize his friends because he feels his friends always need him.
What To Do If Your Boyfriend Prioritizes His Friends Over You
If your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, you need to take action before it causes strain in the relationship. Some of the things you can do include the following;
Communication is everything in a relationship, so it is vital to let your boyfriend know how you feel about his priorities.
Tell him politely how prioritizing his friends over you is generally affecting you and your relationship.
However, it is essential to remember not to use accusatory language when telling him how you feel.
You don’t want to blame him for your feelings. For all you know, your boyfriend may not even realize he is prioritizing his friends over you.
2. Set Boundaries
It is important to set healthy boundaries in a relationship. If your boyfriend prioritizes his friends, it may be time to discuss boundaries in the relationship.
Tell your boyfriend what you will tolerate in the relationship and what you will not compromise on.
According to Dr. John M. Grohol, a therapist and author of The Insider’s Guide to Mental Health Resources Online, “Boundaries are a way of communicating to others what you will and won’t tolerate in your relationship.”
So, if you can’t tolerate your boyfriend spending all his time with his friends, make it clear.
Do not blur the lines of your boundaries, as it can create problems in the relationship if something is a must-do or not. It should be so.
If things start falling through the cracks, you may never be able to reinforce the boundaries.
3. Plan Date Nights
If your boyfriend is prioritizing his friends over you, you should plan regular date nights to spend time alone with your boyfriend and do things you enjoy.
Date nights help you strengthen your bond and also give your boyfriend to prioritize the relationship.
I know you may worry that you don’t have the money to plan date nights often, but they do not have to be necessarily expensive.
You can plan a simple date night at home, cook together and eat a candle-lit dinner at home.
On the other hand, you can plan a drive or road trip once in a while. A leisurely walk under the moonlight is also a good idea for a date night, and it allows you to talk and catch up with your boyfriend.
If you are like me and prefer staying indoors, get a nice movie, cuddle on the couch, and watch together while munching on some snacks. Who knows where it may lead *wink*.
4. Make An Effort With His Friends
If your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, you may want to get close to his friends.
Building a relationship with your boyfriend’s friends is worth the effort because you will get to spend time with him even when he is with them.
According to psychologist DR. Jennice Vilhauer, when you show an interest in your partner’s friends, they will be more open to including you in their social events.
In addition to spending time with your boyfriend, you will make new friends.
5. Spend Time With Your Friends
If your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, he may not like you anymore. So instead of dwelling on this and driving yourself up a wall, you should spend more time with your friends too.
This is the time to catch up with those friends you haven’t seen in a while. Go out with them and have fun. That mani-pedi you have been postponing, it is time to get it.
6. Focus On Yourself
If your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, focus on yourself and what makes you happy. Do the things you didn’t have time to do.
For all we know, he could be prioritizing his friends because he wants to break up with you or wants a break.
This is the time to pamper yourself; if there is a project you wanted to do and didn’t have time to do, guess what? Your schedule just opened up. Do it.
Be the best version of you you can be; after all, no one can love you better than you.
As Miley Cyrus said in her song Flowers, you can buy yourself flowers, so go ahead, baby girl, get the flowers and do everything you wish he could have done for you.
7. Leave Him
If your boyfriend prioritizes his friends and doesn’t give you attention even after talking to him, it may be time to call it quits. You deserve someone who gives you his attention and is there for you.
Sometimes it’s about the things he didn’t do more than the things he did. As Carly Pearce says in her song What he didn’t Do, he didn’t hold on to your love like something he couldn’t stand to lose.
So, if he treats you like an option, remove yourself from the equation.
Related Reading: My Boyfriend Complains About Me To His Friends
Having a boyfriend who prioritizes his friends over you is frustrating because when in a relationship, you want your boyfriend to be your ride-or-die.
However, there are many reasons your boyfriend could be prioritizing his friends over you, including that he is loyal, wants a break, doesn’t like you, or has unhealthy friendships.
If your boyfriend prioritizes his friends over you, you should talk to him and set healthy boundaries.
You can also take an interest in his friends, focus on yourself or spend more time with your friends.
If all else fails, leave; you deserve someone who makes you a priority and is willing to be there for you.
Photo by kat wilcox on Pexels.com
Sarah Williams is an author at CandidHaven.com she is an expert in human psychology having graduated with an M.S. in Psychology.
Sarah has extensive experience in relationships and dating therapy having worked for over 6 years with different groups of people including teens, dating couples, and married people.
She is a lover of life, and self-development and believes everyone deserves to be in a fulfilling relationship. Sarah loves reading self-help books and doing research on human psychology.