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Picture it: Rather than clinking glasses to a rehearsal dinner toast, a bride's best friend and fiancé shoot one another the stink eye through out the night, speaking only to trade toddler-like jabs at one another when too much champagne has made its way from their flutes and into their stomachs. Ouch. When a bride's best friend and fiancé don't get along, it's painful for the bride — and anyone else in earshot.
"These are two important people in a bride's life, so it's natural she would want them to like each other," commiserates Irene S. Levine, psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the New York University Langone School of Medicine and author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend.
So if you find yourself in this situation, what can you do to prevent this nightmare scenario from coming to fruition? First, Levine says, you can't force a relationship between your best friend and fiancé. You must instead listen to both of them. "Be sensitive to what's going on, and spend some time analyzing the nature of the problem," she says. "In this way, you can talk to each of them, perhaps clearing up simple misunderstandings." You may find "it might simply takes time for them to appreciate each other," Levine says.
It's also important to preserve your friendship independent of your romantic relationship. Consider "meeting your friend once a week for a girls' night out," suggests Levine.
When you do invite your friend and fiancé to hang out in the same space, it's smart to plan group activities. "Arrange the setting so it's part of a larger group, with less intimate contact, or structure the time better so they are all engaged in something they enjoy doing, such as hiking or catching a movie," Levine says. The more positive interactions you can fit in before the wedding day, the better your chances of these people enjoying — or at least tolerating! — one another at the head table.