Thursday, November 1, 2012

Not liking your friend's boyfriend

I even Googled "What to do when you hate your friend's boyfriend" to look for helpful tips. (Okay, maybe that was a bit dramatic, but I was trying to overcome my frustration with the whole thing.)

It is such an internal battle to ask the standard "How are you two?" questions while you are secretly cringing after saying the word "two" and hoping her answer will be something like: "Oh, I realized it wasn't working out and we aren't together anymore." And it's not because you want your friend to wind up a spinster with too many cats; it's simply because you love her and want someone better for her. But how can you possibly say that without putting your friendship in jeopardy?

I think this situation can go one of two ways if you aren't careful: not so well, and just not well--so you need to tread lightly. Always think before you speak, and maybe even run the scenario by a third party so you can gauge how rational you are (or aren't) before you pop your friend's love bubble. Today, for example, I called my mother instead of calling my friend, sparing her unsolicited advice about her boyfriend.

I plucked some important points from our conversation:
  • It is a personal choice who we date. And frankly, we don't want to hear it if anyone has an opinion.
  • If you do have an opinion--and feel the need to express it--watch your delivery. Make sure you aren't attacking your friend's boyfriend, because she will get defensive (and you'll probably look like the bad guy).
  • Listen. If your friends are afraid for you, hear them out. Maybe they are seeing something you are blind to.
  • Make sure your reason for disliking him is valid. (And "just not liking him" isn't a reason.)
  • Do you even know the guy? It's easy to pass judgement on someone you don't know. Ask to hang out as a group one day, and make it a point to get to know him.
  • Be respectful. Appreciate each other's opinions, but recognize that you don't have to share them. It is okay to agree to disagree. 
  • Support. Even though it's tough, you have to be there for her, regardless of her decision-making. 
What other tips can you think to add?

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