06/10/2010 10:26 am ET Updated Nov 17, 2011

Should You Tell Your Friend Their Relationship Is Doomed?

One of your best friends is dating a guy that you can't stand. Someone within your family has hooked up with a girl that the rest of the clan is weary of. Your sister is smitten with a guy who you know is wrong and whichever way you slice it, it's just bad news. You foresee a slam-dunk, crash and burn in her future -- what do you do? What do you do in any of these kinds of scenarios? Do you simply smile and mind your own business? Do you convince yourself that its their life and they can do whatever they want? Or would you step in with an unsolicited opinion, advice or -- better yet -- tell them the truth?

I am of the opinion that you should tell the ones you love and care for the most that the current flame or beau is like a neon sign that screams "trouble" from a mile away. They deserve to hear your honest input especially when you see the red flags and they do not. Some may choose not to get involved and retreat from the group altogether as a way of sending a clear message that this new person infiltrating their circle is questionable. Others will go out on a limb and alert the person about the potential disaster waiting to happen if the relationship goes any further.

I think if you truly are with the right person then the dynamic of choosing your beloved over your friends/family will not come into play. If they do create such a dynamic -- then you need to step back and evaluate the choice you are making. If on the other hand you resist, get angry, become defensive, or choose to distance yourself from them and keep them out of the loop -- just bear in mind that chemistry, need, want, and desperation have set in, which will obscure the truth from you until you are so knee deep in the mud that no one can save you.

Such emotional states do not make a relationship; in fact, they help to destroy it. Once your feet have hit the ground -- who do you think will be there for you? Your friends and family -- guaranteed. That's why their opinion and advice matters.

Why would you expect the people around you to love and accept somebody who mistreats you, dumps on you, uses you, deliberately manipulates you, is disrespectful, temperamental, lazy, sleazy or plain annoying and then act as if they are the enemy for not liking him or her?

Who knows you better than your friends or family? Consider that they may hate your new boyfriend/girlfriend because they have a sense of what you want and what you're looking for or what you're worth. They may see, no matter how much fun you may be having or how much you are enjoying the delights of cupid's arrow, that your relationship is going nowhere fast. They also see that time spent with this person may do you more harm than good. If your friends and family reveal feelings of dislike towards your new love, rather than getting angry, appreciate their honesty as a sign of their deep affection for you. No one wants to sit by the sidelines and watch you crash and burn, especially when they see it coming and you do not. Life is littered with unhappy and failed relationships and your loved ones don't want you to become a statistic. While everyone has a right to learn and live on his or her terms, we need to keep an open mind to the feedback from those near and dear to us.

No doubt, we all want the people around us to like the person we have chosen as a potential love interest, because it makes social events and celebrations with friends and family that much more fun rather than having tensions run high every time there is a gathering. If you are a part of a close knit family, then having a person within your midst that you do not like or approve of is uncomfortable and aggravating. This in time creates distance within the family unit. How long can you pretend before you decide its not worth it anymore? We all have a breaking point.

If an outsider doesn't care about keeping your circle intact, they are too busy stacking the deck in their favor. This is why when a new person is introduced into the circle, a united front is so crucial. The new person needs to respect the group dynamic. A boundary such as this will repel the one who has questionable intentions.

In the movie "Valentine's Day", Ashton Kutcher's character proposes to his love interest, played by Jessica Alba. When he first pops the question, she hesitates for a moment before accepting. As the movie progresses, she gets cold feet and eventually admits that she doesn't want to get married. He's devastated -- heartbroken. At a critical point in the movie, he asks his best friend, played by Jennifer Garner, if the woman he was going to marry was right for him. She hesitates. He insists. She tells the truth. Dumbfounded by the revelation, he vents his frustrations to his buddy, played by George Lopez, and rightly declares, "I wish someone had the guts to tell me." Very appropriate, considering no one bothered to tell him that she wasn't right for him. Wouldn't you feel the same if you found out after the fact that everyone around knew it was doomed from the get go?

Recently, a friend of mine began dating a guy that no one likes. He is the opposite of everything she likes in a man. He is self-absorbed, arrogant and narcissistic. In other words, he comes with a lot of baggage. The red flags have been pointed out to her and whether she listens or not, only time will tell. Situations like these always bring to mind one of the great quotes by Maya Angelou: "When someone shows you who they are, believe them."

What do you think? Would you tell your friend or family member that the guy/girl they are dating is all wrong for them? Or would you choose to keep silent?

What has your experience been?