It can certainly seem like a small tragedy when your closest friend introduces you to her new beau, and you absolutely cannot stand him. Whether it’s that he lacks class, bores you to death, or possesses the qualities of a not-so-good guy, your opinion matters and should be voiced — right? Well, maybe, maybe not, or maybe not yet.
No girl wants her best friend walking down the aisle to — or even just being wined and dined by — the wrong guy. But that doesn’t mean that you should voice every opinion about every guy who attempts to win your friend’s heart. There are several instances in which you should simply hold your tongue and hope for the best (a.k.a. that your friend comes to her senses on her own).
It’s Not You, It’s Me
If the relationship is still young, and your friend seems head over heels, it’s best to remain silent for a time. Maybe it’s that you have your own biases (false gossip you’ve heard about him, the notion that all lacrosse players are jerks, etc.) or maybe you haven’t given yourself enough time to get to know the guy. So, before you say anything, take a step back, try to uncover his good qualities, and listen to what your friend has to say about him. Chances are, you’re not always right.
Before you say anything, take a step back, try to uncover his good qualities, and listen to what your friend has to say about him.
If the distaste continues even after giving the guy some time to win you over, figure out precisely why you don’t like him. Is it because he’s robbing you of quality time with your BFF? Or because the two of you have nothing in common? Or perhaps because you disagree with his stance on foreign affairs? If it’s for any reasons limited to your personal views or your relationship with him, then maybe it’s not valid ground for him to be considered an unsuitable match for your friend.
What To Do If He’s Bad News
If, however, you determine that your dislike lies in more serious matters that pertain to your best friend’s happiness and well-being, that is certainly valid. Maybe you see that the guy harbors some less-than-chivalrous views and tendencies. Maybe you worry that he will push your friend into uncomfortable physical situations. Or maybe you can just absolutely tell that their personalities are not compatible and the relationship is a dead end. If you truly have your friend’s best interests at heart (which you undoubtedly do), then these opinions are likely not baseless or unjustified. But when should you speak up?
In many cases, it’s still best for your friend to come to these realizations on her own. She may be blinded by love, and your comments may be regarded as insensitive, unmerited, and flat-out wrong. The last thing you want to do is ruin your friendship! So, there are a few things you should try first.
Listening to your friend’s thoughts on her significant other can also go a long way and there may be instances in the conversation when you can offer subtle advice.
If you’re in a good relationship, you and your man can be a good example. Show, rather than tell, your friend what true, selfless, and lasting love can and should look like. Secondly, listening to your friend’s thoughts on her significant other can also go a long way. You prove that you care about what she thinks and how she feels, and there may also be instances in the conversation when you can offer subtle advice.
Furthermore, asking your friend questions, both about her new relationship and about her values and aspirations, can set some wheels in motion. For example, ask her the slightly clichéd question, Where do you see yourself in five years? She may start to think seriously about the new guy’s presence in her life long-term. Or you can ask her, What do you most value in life? She may discover that her answer doesn’t line up with what his would likely be.
The Direct Approach
So, is there ever a time when you should choose the upfront approach? Yes! If you suspect physical or emotional abuse, you need to say something. Your friend’s safety, health, and happiness are the main priorities!
If you suspect physical or emotional abuse, you need to say something.
If the new boy has been rude to you or anyone else in the friend group, you also have legitimate grounds for speaking up. Chances are, your friend would want to know about it. If you have heard confirmed things that point to him being a bad hat, you should pass that info along to your friend. She doesn’t need to find out firsthand that his morals are skewed.
If you worry that things are getting too serious too quickly and none of the aforementioned subtler tactics have worked, it may be time to offer your opinions. The last thing you want is for your friend to waste her time or, worse, marry a total loser.
Chances are, a bad relationship will fizzle out, and it’s better if that happens without your direct involvement. There are plenty of ways in which you can point your friend in the right direction without just handing her a road map. If, however, you need to intervene, do so tactfully, remembering that your friendship is not worth losing over some guy. Trust that your friend will choose well in the end and continue to stand by her along the way.