We were having small talk when a scruffy-looking man with baggy jeans walked through the door. “Hey Té!” he chimed through crooked teeth. It was the slick-talking 30-something-year-old from around the way. He was jobless, and seemingly unmotivated. “That’s him,” my bestie confirmed. I’m not positive, but I’m pretty sure my mouth was on the floor. All I remember thinking was: is this real life? Had my girl gotten that desperate? I just didn’t understand why she had chosen him; she knew his reputation. I eventually asked her what was going on, pointed out his flaws (bad idea, by the way) and expressed that I didn’t see her gaining anything positive from their relationship. She always defended him by highlighting his potential. We went back-and-forth like this for an entire year until I finally gave up. Long story short: they’re still together and our relationship hasn’t been the same ever since. While I don’t regret being honest with her, I do wish I had handled the situation differently. Here’s a list of a few things to keep in mind if you ever find yourself in my situation.
Give the significant other a chance.
Although my suspicions were dead on, I should have given him a chance to prove me wrong; I literally denounced him within a week of knowing him. I appeared irrational, immature and gave him a terrible impression of me. She immediately dismissed my opinions of him, as a result. I assumed she never wanted to hear anything negative about him because she was “stupid in love,” but she probably didn’t view my opinion as valid. “You never gave him a chance,” she would remind me.
Don’t give unsolicited advice.
If you weren’t asked to give your opinion, don’t volunteer it. It’s that simple. I would even go as far as advising you not to give your opinions at all because at the end of the day your friend will do what she/he wants to do. Am I right? All you can do is be there when he/she needs a shoulder. It’s important for you to…
Listen to your friend.
Sometimes people just need someone to talk to; someone to listen to them complain about things. Sometimes when people reach out they’re not necessarily asking for help, they just want you to listen. Odds are, they already know what they need to do to change their negative situation to a positive.