Communicating in Close Friendships


Individuals who communicate dislike to their friends’ romantic partners tend to do so with the purpose of protecting their friends’ well-being or want to protect their mandate of maintaining honesty to their friends. The failure to communicate the dislike, on the other hand, is mostly propagated by the avoidance to upset the friend, the prior perception that the friend won’t take concern on the comment or do so to avoid conflict. Additionally, friends do not communicate dislike to their friend’s romantic partners unless the issues are involved with the friend’s partner infidelity or seeing the friend experiencing emotional distress.  The research paper thus seeks to validate the truth of this hypothesis by involved participants drawn from different backgrounds.

Research Questions

RQ1: What reasons do individuals have for expressing or withholding dislike of a friend’s romantic partner?

This research question is aimed at unearthing the key reasons that can make an individual disclose to his or her friend on the things he or she doesn’t like about her friend romantic partner. Through this posed research question it is clear that the researcher is aware of the different reasons which exist among individuals to disclose their dislike for friend’s partner. These reasons vary thus explaining the need for this research.

RQ2: Do disclosers and non-disclosers differ in the types of dislike they had for their friends’ partners?

This research question is further aimed at getting the key characteristics of the different individuals who express dislike to their friend’s partners. Some are more prone to express their dislike while others tend to withhold their dislike probably to avoid upsetting their friends. That said, this research question aims at understanding if there are similar characteristics between those who disclose or withhold their dislike. The similarities to be unearthed are mostly on the dislikes each hold towards their friends’ partners.

RQ3: What impact does expressing dislike have on friends’ romantic relationships?

In this research question, the researcher or the research paper aims at analyzing the effects of communicating your dislike to the friends’ partners. In this case, the researcher is aware of how communicating your dislike to a friend’s partner may result in strained relationships. That said, under this question, the researcher seeks to understand the level of impact the expression of dislike has on the relationship. The effect can either be a more increased relationship or strain the relationship with a friend due to feelings of deception or upset by the disclosure.

RQ4: What impact does expressing dislike have on the friendship?

Just like the previous research question, the researcher in this research question narrows down to friends and their impact on disclosing the dislike. Communicating the dislike to a friend results to a harmed relationship between friends. The researcher thus is aware of the difference the impact has on friends and their friendship. Through addressing this question, the impact on friendship can be compared to the impact on the relationship thus drawing a meaningful conclusion on the same.


Thesis Statement

The disclosure on a particular dislike to a friend’s romantic partner is not always taken well. It has the capability of affecting the friendship outcome as well as the romantic relationship of the friend. This calls for an effective understanding of the best way in which dislike for certain aspects of the close friend partner can be well communicated.


The dislike for friend’s romantic partners is found to be a common occurrence. This result is deduced from the research findings of the sample where 90% of them express that they dislike their friend’s partners in some instances. Additionally, there are various reasons which are given for withholding or expressing dislike to friends’ partners. Similar reasons seem to be given on why an individual may withhold or express dislike to the partner. First, the most overarching reason given on withholding expression is the need to protect the friendship and maintain stability. It is evident that expressing your dislike to a friend’s lover is challenging. The friend may interpret it negatively thus resulting in a much-strained relationship. This is what most of those who withhold the expression is trying to avoid. Secondly, the reason for expressing the dislike is interestingly prompted by the same reason to protect the friendship. However, in this case, the protection is against external forces which may harm the friend. In most instances, the partner in is the external force. If the partner is showing signs of infidelity or he was caught red-handed cheating on the friend, then telling your friend on the same remains the best option to protect him or her from emotional distress in the future. Other reasons cited by the individuals in their withholding of the expressions is their need to avoid confrontations. The desire to remain uninvolved in the affairs of friends and avoid confrontation to a large extent boost the failure for expression to friends. This goes hand in hand with the fact that, conflict is rare among friends and the painting a relationship on a negative light may be a taboo.

Key Takeaway

From this research, it is evident that most individuals including you and I tend to value friendships, and we always want the best from them. Unfortunately, the definition of “what is best” varies among individuals. This is a clear indicator that friendships are guided by social norms which are socially constructed and in some instances this interpretation may have varied interpretations. An ideal friendship relationship is always expected to be open with one another but in a similar tone respect the privacy concerns which each of the individual’s values. This indicates the interactions which are within friendship where the need for honesty as well as protectiveness needs to be negotiated constantly. It is thus not surprising that the reason which was given for disclosing dislike was the perceived obligation for honesty and thus showing that honesty is a crucial aspect of friendship. This cement the fact that people tend to value friendships and always yearn for what is best for them.

We can further deduce that friendship is an ongoing and dynamic social achievement which involves the continued interconnection as well as a reciprocal influence of the multifaceted interpersonal, individual and social factors. It is how the friend navigates these factors which help in generating and constraining their options to withhold or express their dislike. The research thus perfectly explores the friends negotiating to liberate and negotiating forces which further help in the understanding of the complex affinity among friends especially in the communication for the dislike of the romantic partners of their friends.

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