Do You Hate Your Friend’s Mate?
You love your friend, but can’t stand his or her new love interest. How can you clear your conscience without ruining the friendship?
Scripting Your Relationship Advice
There are certain precarious situations where you must say something, Jaffe
says. In those cases, "It's a very tricky business [and] tact is
essential." Such situations include:
Bad behavior: Let's say your best friend's new man propositioned you
online or on the dance floor. Should you speak up?
"The thing about Internet dating is that it's right there in black and
white and not like at a party where they can always say, 'I was just
kidding,'" Daily says. "If this person has emailed you, just forward it
to your friend without comment and let her make her own decision," she
If it's some other type of bad behavior, you can ask questions that make
them think, says Alison Arnold, PhD, a therapist in Phoenix who is also known
as "Doc Ali," the life coach on the VH1 series Scott Baio Is 45 ...
and Single. For example, ask, "Did you feel comfortable with how he was
last night or with how much he is drinking?" she suggests. If they don't
want to talk about it, then you have to let it go.
No matter what action you take, "You still run the risk of losing the
friendship because your friend might know what's going on on some level and not
want to confront the problem," Jaffe says.
Personality clashes: Let's say your friend keeps pushing you and your
significant other to go on a double-date, but you just can't stand her new
This is a balancing act, Daily says. "You have to balance how obnoxious
this person is versus how important the friendship is to you," she says.
"If you are not sure the relationship is going to go the distance, you can
beg off of couples activities for now and instead say, 'We can't do next Friday
night, but maybe me and you could do lunch next week.'"
If your friend is in jeopardy: The stakes are raised if you feel that
your friend is in jeopardy because of his or her choice of companion.
"If you feel that your friend is in danger and there is something that
you can't keep your mouth closed about -- like he made a pass at another
friend, is ... using drugs, or you saw him on a child molester web site -- then
you owe it to your friend and the friendship to tell them what is going on
without making a judgment," Daily says.