An email from a reader:

“Can you do a post on how to tell your best friend you hate her boyfriend? My friend is dating this guy, and nobody understands why. They don’t seem to like each other — she won’t even call him her boyfriend — and all they do is fight. He is sort of racist and sexist, so he not only pisses her off, but he pisses us off, too. I never feel like he follows any conversation I have with him, and I am a pretty low-brow kind of person. He’s cheap, and he makes my friend cook him dinner almost every night (even when she’s had a hellish day at work.) I know my friend can do way better. I want a guy to treat her well and I don’t want her to miss when the right guy comes along. Plus, I hate hanging out with him. Is there anything her friends can do or are we stuck until she figures this out on her own?”

 

Oh, my.

How do you tell your best friend that you hate her boyfriend?

You don’t.

The fact that your friend won’t even call him her boyfriend makes me think they aren’t that serious, and if they’re not that serious, what are you so worried about? She’ll probably figure this out on her own.

Yeah, your description doesn’t make him sound like the most appealing of guys. I certainly wouldn’t want to date him. But so many of the factors you’re bringing up have nothing to do with his relationship with your friend.

You want them to break up because he can’t follow your conversations?

Because he annoys you?

These reasons aren’t good enough.

But even if he was awful to her, like, patently, forgot her birthday, rude to her face, belittling, and discourteous, you should still never, ever, ever tell your best friend that you don’t like him. 

You can say that you think she deserves to be treated well, that sometimes you worry about all the fighting in her relationship, that you wonder if she’s truly happy. You can be annoyed and point it out to her. You can complain about specific behaviors. But don’t straight up say you don’t like him.

Because if she likes him? Then that should be enough for you, too.

And if they do end up together, forever, she doesn’t need the weight of knowing that you, her best friend, have never liked the love of her life.

So keep it to yourself, and save the litany of complaints for when and if they do break up.

I’m sorry her boyfriend obviously annoys the shit out of you. Having to put up with a friend’s horrific boyfriend is one of the most aggravating things ever, but also one of the cardinals of friendship.

Make sure you have a good person you can vent to, and keep a stiff upper lip.

Good luck!

 

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