THE BLOG
08/25/2010 12:01 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Her friends say they're "just not that into him"

2010-08-25-love2.jpeg

QUESTION

Dear Irene,

Our best friend has been seeing this guy. She's really into him so she wanted us to spend some time together to get to know him. Unfortunately, both of us really dislike him. We find him arrogant and narcissistic, to the point of his putting us down to make himself look better.

Our friend has had boyfriends in the past, all of whom we've at least gotten along with, if not genuinely liked. This new guy is, in fact, the first one we hate. He offended us numerous times, both in front of and behind our friend's back. When he's not being pompous and condescending, he's just outright boring. The night we met, he interrupted our conversation many times to tell us unrelated, dull stories, which were boastful and pretentious.

The next day, we each separately approached our friend with our concerns and had a couple of civil conversations with her. However, she refuses to see our point of view and chooses to take his side, insinuating that we're jealous because we are single.

We don't know how to proceed without causing a rift in our friendship because she's spending increasingly more time with him. We can't bring ourselves to put up with him anymore so she's going to have to divide her time between him and us---no matter how much we love her. We've never been in such a position before and desperately need advice.

Thank you!

Abby and Alana

ANSWER

Dear Abby and Alana,

As you well understand, when people first fall in love, they can be blind to each other's foibles. You can warn someone that she is hitching her wagon to a loser until you are blue in the face, but she won't be able to hear you until she gains some insight on her own.

You've already hit on the right solution for your dilemma: Limit "everyone together time" and try to encourage your friend to regularly spend time with her gal pals. That way, you'll be able to cushion her fall when she needs you. If she asks, be honest about your feelings about her boyfriend but don't harangue her about her relationship.

Keep in mind: From time to time friends show bad judgment or make choices that seem self-destructive. Sometimes, our conclusions about them are premature and things don't actually turn out as badly as we thought they would.

It's always a challenge to communicate a balance of honesty, concern, and support to someone who appears to be a bad situation. I admire you for taking on this challenge and being such good friends.

Hope this helps.

Best,
Irene

Prior posts on The Friendship Blog that touch on similar issues:

Feeling used by a friend

Inseparable friends until...

Friends don't judge...or do they?

Watching a good friend make bad decisions