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What To Do When Your Friend Is Dating A Loser | Thought Catalog
What do you have to lose? There is a good chance your friend will ignore you (or, even worse, end your friendship), but you owe it to her to say something. Yes, she might get defensive, or it may damage your friendship. But think about it this way – if she does end up spending 4 years dating a sketchy guy, your friendship . I'm friends with a girl who's dating a loser. I wish there were a better way to put it than that, but: he's unemployed, lives with his parents (he's 35), sells pot as his main source of income, smokes copious amounts of pot and gets angry and. 25 Feb Staying mum until an epiphany hits is one way to support a friend who is dating someone you despise. But is honesty sometimes a better policy? Should friends not let friends date jerks? Deciding if and how to intervene in what you perceive to be a friend's toxic romance is a delicate dance, and people.
For two years, Landis Wiedner watched a girlfriend settle for what she thought was an "awful" relationship.
What To Do When Your Friend Is Dating A Loser
Other friends agreed that the boyfriend was no good. But except for one person who drunkenly voiced her disapproval one night — an outburst that did little but create tension, Wiedner said — everyone kept their mouths shut.
But think about it this way — if she does end up spending 4 years dating a sketchy guy, your friendship will most likely be impacted anyway. You've tried to like him, but frankly you're no magician and no matter what you do, you can't see him for the Ryan-Gosling-in-the- Notebook -like character she does. Give her a little bit of credit, too. How do you handle this?
Luckily, she was right. Finally fed up, her friend broke up with the guy, and Wiedner and her pals breathed a sigh of relief and confessed their long-simmering concerns. Three years later, the friend — who was baffled at herself for not getting out earlier but not angry at her buddies for letting her figure it out for herself — is happily dating someone new, Wiedner said. Staying mum until an epiphany hits is one way to support a friend who is dating someone you despise.
But is honesty sometimes a better policy?
Should friends not let friends date jerks? Deciding if and how to intervene in what you source to be a friend's toxic romance is a delicate dance, and people differ on how to approach the question. In a study that examined the behavior of college students who strongly approved or disapproved of a friend's relationship, two-thirds of those polled believed conveying their feelings influenced the course of the relationship, though most said it was a slight effect.
And sometimes it backfired.
Almost 15 percent of people who disapproved of their friend's relationship believed their reaction contributed to the relationship becoming stronger, known as the Romeo and Juliet effect, according to the study, published in in the journal Personal Relationships. Wiedner worried that expressing her reservations when she hadn't been asked would fall on deaf ears and cause her friend to clam up or hide her boyfriend's negative behavior.
Here thinks her friend might have suspected a lack of enthusiasm, anyway, as Wiedner wasn't going on about how much she liked the guy, which she normally would. In Weinstein's opinion, the foremost question driving the decision to intervene is whether the jerky behavior is simply distasteful, or actually harmful — such as physical or emotional abuse, sexist or racist comments, driving drunk and making passes at other people.
And hardest of all: Like the act of douching, a douche is someone who creates more bacteria, irritation, inflammation, and infection than it's worth. For example, if you are confused how your vivacious friend can be dating someone who is painfully awkward, you might compliment your friend on how good he or she handles those awkward moments, and see where the conversation leads, Van Epp said. He will exploit your weakness of loving him, and because you keep coming back for more, he never has to change. Other friends agreed that the boyfriend was no good.
If it's distasteful behavior, Weinstein would apply the ethics principle of respect for others and recommend keeping your opinion to yourself, because chances are the friend is aware of the behavior and is choosing to accept it. Weinstein emphasizes having solid evidence, which means not just hearsay or one example, but a pattern of behavior based in fact.
Catching your friend's mate at a bar with someone else might have an innocent back story, he said, and people should get the benefit of the doubt before you start sowing seeds of doubt. But other experts say friends should feel free to start a dialogue about even the smaller things that bug them, assuming the friendship is close and has a history of being open to discussing sensitive things.
John Van Epp, a Florida-based clinical counselor and author of "How to Avoid Falling in Love With a Jerk" McGraw-Hillthinks friends should err on the side of sharing their concerns because people making big life decisions need all the feedback they can get.
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He does not recommend giving uninvited input to married couples, who are past the selection process. Because dating has become so individualized, with little guidance from families or even social norms to help steer people through the confusing maze of romantic relationships, Van Epp believes singles more than ever need outside perspective, though it should be presented without judgment. For example, if you see more confused how your vivacious friend can be dating someone who is painfully awkward, you might compliment your friend see more how good he or she handles those awkward moments, and see where the conversation leads, Van Epp said.
Ask permission first to share your thoughts. Before saying anything, friends should think carefully about their motives, said Leslie Bell, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist based in Berkeley, Calif.
Or do you think this isn't best for your friend? Sometimes the discomfort is driven by a wish for things to return to how they used to be, or a sadness that a person's priorities are changing, but there are ways to talk about desiring general closeness without disparaging the partner, Bell said. If, however, you notice that your friend is neglecting his or her own needs, it could be worth expressing your concern, without confrontation.
Put yourself in your friend's shoes and consider if it is information you would want to have, Bell said. But avoid investing in what your friend will do with the information, she said, because what you say is unlikely to be the thing that changes his or What Do You Do When Your Friend Is Dating A Loser mind. O'Malley said his friends and family knew his college girlfriend was all wrong for him long before he did.
But the girl was cute and curvy and wore glasses his weakness. She was O'Malley's first girlfriend, and he liked the idea of having one, and he wasn't sure he could do any better. Yes, he would need to get her permission far in advance to hang out with his friends, and then sometimes she'd show up anyway and drag him away. Yes, their fights were ugly and often would end in manipulative tears. But O'Malley would push back against his loved ones' warnings with excuses for her behavior and assertions that there was a lot of good there too.
Eventually, after he graduated from Skidmore College and moved to Florida to study computer animation at Full Sail University, O'Malley realized for himself that the four-year-long relationship wasn't what he wanted, and broke it off. If you think you are justified in discussing your concerns with your friend, ethicist Bruce Weinstein recommends the "praise sandwich" technique of giving criticism, where you start and end with compliments.
When Your Best Friend Is Dating a Loser. . . | Tru Love Stories
Express how much you value the friendship, then express what troubles you, then reiterate how much you care. He thinks it's appropriate to follow up later to see if the person has any thoughts about what you said. Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Tribune Newspapers.