Should You Tell Your Friend You Hate Her Boyfriend?
What are you supposed to do when you don’t like your good friend’s boyfriend? Alright, when you hate your good friend’s boyfriend? There may be no situation trickier or topic more fragile. You know your friend is protective of her relationship. You know how hard it was for her to meet someone. You were there to cheer her up after all of the terrible first dates, the relationships that barely got off the ground, and the multi-month flings that she really thought were going somewhere. So who are you to tell her to throw this one back? Besides, who knows how many things you’ve done of which she hasn’t approved. She never said anything. She didn’t want you to feel judged. She wanted you to feel supported. And you want her to feel that way. But you can’t stand being around her boyfriend. Should you say something? Here are things to consider.
Does he bother you on purpose?
Does this guy know that he bothers you? Do you think he picks up on the fact that his behavior rubs you the wrong way? And does he do it anyways? Does he perhaps seem to like that he bothers you? If any of that sounds true, then you should say something because a man who really loves your friend would never want to upset her friends.
Or, is it just his personality?
If you know this man has absolutely no idea what he’s doing, and has no clue the way his behavior affects you, then you can’t be too upset with him. Hey—the man your friend loves may not be someone you’d date. And he doesn’t have to be. If you know he’s just oblivious, but can tell that he’s kind enough to make changes if he did know, try not to hate the guy.
Is he a bad person?
Is he truly a bad person? Has he cheated on her? Have you seen him be violent, not with her but with others? Do you know of him stealing, embezzling, or being dishonest and criminal in some manner? If so, then tell your friend. She may be upset with the messenger at first, but any reasonable person will eventually realize you helped her dodge a bullet.
Or is he just not your cup of tea?
Maybe you can’t really find fault with the guy’s character. He doesn’t do things that are unethical or evil. If that’s the case, well, he may just not be your cup of tea. But to ask that all of your friends only date men who you love to hang out with too is unreasonable.
Does he mistreat her?
Do you feel that he’s abusive to her in any way? Maybe he talks down to her, or tries to control her. If you believe he mistreats her, then you should say something. Broaching this topic is sensitive and must be done in a very precise way, since your abused friend may not even yet see that there’s a problem. And nobody likes to view themselves as a victim.
Or, is it just not a relationship you’d want?
If you really can’t find any fault in the way he treats her, but maybe they don’t have the type of relationship you’d want aka they don’t speak in your preferred love languages, you can’t hate the guy. Maybe he’s not that physically affectionate or doesn’t give many words of affirmation, but he does a lot of acts of service and spends lots of time with her. You have to let them speak their own love languages without judgment.
Will she see it on her own?
Will your friend see what’s wrong with this guy on her own? Or, does she give people the benefit of the doubt too much, and make too many excuses for the poor behavior of others? If you know she’ll eventually pick up on his flaws by herself, you don’t need to say anything.
Do you think this could last?
If you really think this man is a neglectful or even abusive partner, ask yourself this: do you think this will last? Do you think your friend has the ability to live an entire life under such circumstances? Is she so blind? Or, is she so afraid of being alone? You know your friend. You know what she’ll put up with. If you fear that she’ll stay with this man if nobody speaks up, then you may have a responsibility to speak up.
Or do you think they’ll break up, either way?
Again, you know your friend. Maybe she has a low tolerance for BS. Maybe she’s very strong, and very sharp, and is bound to see the issues on her own. If you know they’ll likely break up eventually anyways, you don’t need to be the bearer of bad news. Just let it work itself out so you can remain a neutral party.
Will this ruin your friendship?
Would it ruin your friendship if you said something? You know your friend. Is she so proud or so stubborn that this would truly be the end of your friendship? And would you be okay with that? All over pointing out that her boyfriend sucks? Maybe you would be, if he’s really that terrible. But you have to ask yourself that.
Does she push for a lot of double dates?
How much does this guy really come into your life anyways? If your friend pushes for double dates weekly, then I can see how it’s a problem. Then not only is she bothering you with his presence, but she’s dragging your dude into it.
Or does she keep the friendship one-on-one?
If you really only have to see this guy a couple times a year at your friend’s birthday party and holiday party, it’s really not worth saying anything. Your friendship is with her after all, and you love her.
Did you ever date a piece of work?
Think back on your exes. Did you ever date someone who, in retrospect, you realize all of your friends hated and for good reason? Maybe they just as much as told you so after the breakup. You can’t expect a perfect dating track record from your friends if you don’t have one.
Does it affect the type of friend she is?
Does her relationship affect what sort of a friend she is to you? If you know she isn’t being mistreated in her relationship, and she’s still a wonderful friend to you, then you really just shouldn’t say anything. She’ll feel disrespected.
Who is this really for?
Ask yourself for whom you’re really saying this. Is it for your friend? Is it for her benefit? For her wellbeing? Or is it just for your convenience, because you’re a bit bothered by the guy? If it’s for the latter reason, then you’ll be a bad friend for saying something.