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Dear Gay Best Friend,
I have a best friend who is currently in a relationship with an older man with children, one who is two years older than her. I have been deciding on whether or not I should just come out and tell her that I absolutely hate their relationship and that she should just leave him alone. Now most people would agree that it’s not my business to tell my friend who she can and can’t date but me and my friend are only eighteen years old and we just graduated from high school a couple of months ago together. From the things she has told me about this man I know that he is almost forty years old. He lives with his mother, has a minimum wage job, and buys and uses illegal drugs including meth and cocaine. She even told me he got her to try it once! Hearing this I was outraged and I immediately wanted to tell her to break up with him, but my friend is an extreme drama queen and she would have gotten upset to the point where it would’ve ruined our friendship.
To tell you about my friend, she is very foolish when it comes to men. She is lonely in her heart and used to constantly hook up and have sex with men she barely even knew only to form a week long relationship, break up with the guy, and start it all over again with someone else. I used to be able to keep her on track but I’m away at college in another city now and my priorities are with school and getting my degree, so I only get to see her on holiday breaks. My friend is not in college and has quit her current job because her new man said that he would “take care of her.”
From the way she talks about him she sounds like she has fallen in love and it’s starting to get serious. I can’t shake the feeling that this man is a player and is going to leave her for the next young girl that comes along and break her heart. I feel my friend has so much potential and is throwing her life away by being with this older guy. Please tell me what I should do because we have been friends since middle school and I love her like a sister and I don’t want to lose our friendship over the relationship she has with this man. Should I hold my tongue or should I tell her how I feel? And if I do tell her, how do I go about it?-Frustrated With My BFF
Dear Frustrated With My BFF,
Girl, I know exactly how you feel. We all have good friends we’ve grown up with, and they are like family to us, yet they do some dumb -ish that leave us scratching our heads. I know, sweetie, trust me I do. But, I do know one thing for sure, mind your business and leave other folks business alone!
Even though you love her, and you feel she may be in a dysfunctional relationship where she is being duped, manipulated, and deceived, but, Ms. Honey, there is nothing you can do about it. Because the more you try to convince her she is in an unhealthy relationship, and the man is no good for her, she will not see what you see. She is in “love.” And, she may think you are jealous, and envious of her.
Oh, yes, honey, I know the scenario. She is going to tell you that you don’t know him like she does. He is trying to be a better man. He’s different and you just got to get to know him. Honey, trust me, I know all the denial symptoms and the impact of what being in “love” with someone who is no good can do to someone.
Unfortunately, the more you speak out against her man, it will only reinforce her love for him. It will push her further into his arms. No matter what you say, she can’t hear you because she is caught up in him. How she views the relationship is different than you, and vice-versa. She is looking at the relationship from an insider’s perspective. She will see you, my darling, as an outsider butting in.
You’ve got to understand that she is young. She is going to make mistakes, and she has to learn, hopefully, from her mistakes. It seems you’ve been a positive reinforcement in her life. She sees what you’re doing, and it is impacting her life. She may not say anything to you, but know that people watch what you do, not what you say. And, I know it hurts you to see her in this situation, but it’s her life. She has to live it on her own terms. You can’t baby her and hold her hand. Hopefully she will grow and see the relationship, and her man, as you do. But until then, hold your tongue.
If you say something to her, don’t do it with a judging or opinionated tone. Don’t make him out to be the bad guy. Don’t make her wrong for her decisions. You’ve got to approach her lovingly and with love. If she is picking wrong men, and doing things destructively it may be a cry for help and attention. She may need some professional help that you can’t offer her. There may be some deeper issues underneath her behaviors. So, recommend some professional therapy and counseling. And, offer to go with her. Be a support system, not a nagging and overbearing motherly authority. She may resent it, and you.
So, Ms. Frustrated With My BFF, I strongly suggest you focus on school and doing what is good for you. Don’t get caught up with others and their lives, even if it is your BFF. Because I do know this, once you open your mouth and give your opinion, or share your dislike about him and the relationship, you will be seen as the enemy. She will run back and tell her boyfriend what you said, and it will cause a riff in your friendship because even though her loyalty is with you, her love is with him. And, you should check out my new book, STRAIGHT FROM YOUR GAY BEST FRIEND. There is a chapter in it called, Friend or Foe? Recognize Your Frenemies – Straight From Your Gay Best Friend
Make sure to get your copy of my new book, STRAIGHT FROM YOUR GAY BEST FRIEND – The Straight Up Truth About Relationships, Work, and Having A Fabulous Life (Agate/Bolden – October 2010; $15). It is available in bookstores everywhere, and on Amazon, HERE!