How to Tell Your Friend You Don't Like Their Significant Other
By Thao Nguyen
It’s pretty easy to be cynical about dating. And our wariness about dating is heightened even more when it comes to the people our friends go out with. These are the people that we love. Their happiness is just as important to us as our own. It’s natural to want the best for them and to feel disappointed when they settle for less or are in bad relationships. As their friends, we have to be an objective observer and know when it’s right to speak up. But telling your friend that you don’t like their significant other or that their relationship may be unhealthy is difficult. It’s an awkward situation to be in, especially if it’s a long term relationship or if this person is someone they really have strong feelings for.
Before telling your friend that you aren’t a fan of their significant other, be absolutely sure of what you’re feeling. Know exactly what it is that makes you uneasy and why it makes you uneasy. Sometimes a red flag isn’t actually a red flag. Once you’re completely confident about what it is you’re feeling, it’ll be easier to get your thoughts together and your words in place.
Being able to voice what you’re feeling without getting convoluted is important. Even more important is speaking to your friend with kindness and understanding. They’re obviously dating this person for a reason, and will probably misinterpret what you’re saying as attack on them. Choose your words carefully. Be patient and show them that you’re speaking from a place of love.
Remind them of what they’re worth.
One way to show a friend that they’re being mistreated is reminding them of why they deserve the best. Nobody’s perfect, but everyone deserves to be treated correctly and with love and respect. If you can show your friend how wonderful they are and what they are worthy of, it can start to plant those seeds of discontent in their mind.
Put them in your shoes.
Ask them how they would feel if they were in your situation. This could help them see your point of view and help to keep the friendship from falling apart. If they can see where it is you are coming from it won’t be as easy for them to hold it against you. Knowing that they have such a good and caring friend in you can also make it easier for them to leave their bad relationship.
Be ready to face a wall.
Chances are, your friend is not going to want to hear what you have to say. They’re going to be stubborn. They’re gonna make excuses and defend their SO, but you have to stand firm. Don’t give up on them. Continue to show them in anyway you can that you love them and support them and you only have your best interests in mind. It can take some time, but be who their significant other can’t be by always wanting and doing what’s best for them.