So you walk into the restaurant for your best friend’s birthday dinner and have to stifle an internal groan because you see her boyfriend lounging in the chair next to her. You knew that he was going to be there, but you still can’t force away that feeling of dread and resentment that has built its way up your spine. Maybe you don’t like him for all of the right reasons. Maybe he doesn’t treat her well, maybe you guys just seem to have nothing in common and that makes you resent him because you wonder how then could he possibly have anything in common with your best friend? Maybe he spends his afternoons tagging cars in the Honda Civic parking lot and you know that your best friend deserves Superman and nothing close to who she’s with now. Whether you think that your best friend’s significant other has bad style or is simply a jerk, here’s a guide on how to deal with them being in your best friend’s life until they break up or you realize that you have to muster up the patience to deal with them for the long term.
Don’t try to force them to break up
No, you cannot be Blair Waldorf from Gossip Girl. This is a no scheming zone. If you truly hate the guts of your best friend’s significant other, of course, it’s going to be tempting to reenact a scheme that you once saw in a romantic comedy. However, in real life, not only is that a lot of effort that you shouldn’t have to put yourself through, but you also run the risk of ruining your friendship if you’re caught. Try instead to create new boundaries in your friendship. Explain to your friend that sometimes you just want to be able to hang out just the two of you and cherish the spaces that you have where it’s just you and your best friend chilling out.
Make it clear that you support them, but you’re concerned
Okay so obviously there’s a good reason as to why you wouldn’t like your best friends’ new beau. One of the best reasons for resentment would be that they aren’t treating your friend like the royalty that you know they are. If this is the case, your friend is likely to approach you with a lot of complaints toward their significant other and in this case, it’s going to be very hard to not shout “break up!” It’s important to hear your friend out and give them honest advice. If they ask what you would do or if they’re implying that they want your honest opinion of this person then it is appropriate to calmly and carefully state that if it were you then you would break up with them, or that you think that it might be best for them to break up. Constantly telling your friend to break up with someone will only spark resentment between the two of you, and perhaps make your friend cling even harder to this person. Never lie to your friend or cover up how you feel, rather state your feelings in a way that won’t belittle your friend or sound like a command.
Don’t trash their significant other in front of them
Although extremely tempting, going off on your friend’s significant other (unless they did something directly to you, if that’s the case then feel free to go off) is going to prove extremely ineffective. Heated situations like this are going to make your friend feel as if they have to choose between you or them, and the person who likely put them in that situation in the first place is the person that they will probably let go of. Even if you have been friends for years, you would be surprised at what love, even if very new, can do to people. If their significant other is being disrespectful to them in front of you it is important to voice your concerns to them later in a way that won’t make them feel like you’re telling them what to do. Screaming and cursing at them is not going to help you get rid of them at all, it will only make your friend feel like they are stuck.
Try to see if it’s possible that you could mend your feelings toward their significant other
If you simply just don’t agree with their significant other then try to see if you both can find common ground with each other. If it’s a case where you feel that your friend is being extremely disrespected or their significant other is literally just a jerk to everyone then it is understandable to not want to reconcile things. However, if a small misunderstanding occurred between the two of you, or you just want them to stop a certain behavior toward you then it’s worth it to be the bigger person for your best friend and make an effort to reconcile things with them and carefully express how you’re feeling. Hopefully, if they care about your relationship with your friend enough they will hear you out and make efforts to be more considerate as well.
Think about why you don’t like them.
Make sure the reason that you don’t like them is valid. Don’t try to dissuade your friend from someone because of little things like the way they dress or how much money they make. Make sure that your true intentions are for your friend to be in a loving and healthy relationship.
Remember they will only break up if your friend wants them to
If your friend is in a horrible relationship and it feels like you’ve done everything that you can to warn and guide them, then all you can really do is sit back and wait. The only real way for this relationship to end is for your friend to realize themselves that they deserve better.
Overall it’s important that you support your friend even through the weird and detestable people that they date. If it’s a case of domestic abuse then more action needs to be taken, however, if they’re just dating a jerk then it’s important to hear them out and support them while also softly guiding them in the right direction. Hopefully, you are able to work things out with your friend’s partner, but if not refer to this guideline! Remember that you can’t break them up, only your friend can decide that for themselves.