Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “I Don’t Like Hanging With my Best Friend’s Boyfriend”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

I’m from a small city where I grew up, attended college, and met my best friend, Leah. As amazing as she is, Leah makes poor choices in her relationships with men. One scary example is that she invited a creeper she met at a bar back to her home. I spent the evening trying to keep this guy away from her because she was wasted, and he was literally trying to lure her to his van. Still, she gave him her phone number and they hooked up the next day. This could have ended extremely badly for her, and I’m grateful nothing terrible happened. Since then, I have not trusted her judgment when it comes to men, and even distanced myself for a while because I couldn’t believe she would do something so dangerous.

Last year, Leah started dating Brian. From the beginning of their relationship, she always said that she could do better than him, and was only keeping him around for “fun.” Weeks after a party with a group of friends, Leah mentioned that Brian did not like me because he thought my career choice was made me stuck-up. I’m okay with Brian not liking me. I love what I do for a living, and am in school pursuing a graduate degree in my chosen field, so his opinion means squat. Leah also mentioned that Brian did not like her other best friend from high school, Diana, who was at the party too. Diana’s party foul was saying that she didn’t like cussing.

Fast forward to Halloween last year and Leah was on the verge of breaking it off with Brian. He had been flaking on her, didn’t want to commit, and was smoking pot. I told her that Brian was jerk who was using her, and that she could do better. She agreed, but the two later reconciled. Since then, Leah and Brain have been going strong.

This year, I finish graduate school. I also found out that I’m up for my dream job (Yay!) which is 1000 miles away from home. It starts at the end of this summer, so I may only have four months to enjoy being home. Outside of work and school, my only concern is to cherish the time I have left with my family and friends. Leah is trying to make me and Brian spend more time together, but between school and working 50 hours a week, I’m exhausted. Besides, I’m pretty sure Leah told Brian what I thought of him since he barely acknowledges me when we all do get together.

I’ve accepted that Leah and I are moving in different directions, but we’ll be friends no matter what life throws at us. Even though I’m limited on time, should I make an effort to get to know Brian for Leah’s sake? — Moving Away from a Friend

79 comments… add one
  • FireStar

    FireStar April 17, 2012, 9:10 am

    No. Why waste your time? Just spend time with Leah – tell her the next four months is going to be all about girls’ nights for you and to just let you know when she is free to join you.

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  • avatar

    Amanda April 17, 2012, 9:19 am

    Wait, I’m confused. Why do you have to hang out with your friend AND her boyfriend? Can’t you make plans to spend time with just her? Only make plans with her (or at a time that you know her boyfriend is busy) and that should solve your problem.

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    • avatar

      Muffy April 17, 2012, 1:28 pm

      That’s what I thought exactly. I rarely hang out with my good friends AND their boyfriends – it is possible to go to lunch, movies, drinks, dinner, lounge around, a weekend away with just Leah. Unless she’s inseparable from the guy. Which is just her mistake then. I would just be decent to him if he showed up to a group social setting but otherwise not bother getting to know him. That’s what I do when I don’t like a friend’s boyfriend. Just be decent.

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  • avatar

    Nadine April 17, 2012, 9:20 am

    Brian probably (hopefully) won’t be around forever, but Leah probably (hopefully) will. So hang out with her, or with both in a group. In a group, you and Brian can ignore each other.

    To be honest I think Leah telling you that Brian doesn’t like you, and also why, speaks more to her than it does to him. If my boyfriend didn’t like my best friend, I would sure as hell try not to let her find out. Why hurt her feelings?
    Now not only do you know that someone doesn’t like you, but its the someone with whom your best friend wants to spend all her time. why s this? Is she upset also that you are going away to your dream job and she is still in Hometown? Was this her way of passing on her own opinion of you, without the fallout? I’m not at all saying she doesn’t actually like you, but I would be on my guard for any disparaging comments about the new job.

    Enjoy her, go to your new city full of confidence, and see how your friendship evolves from there. Its amazing how living far away can whittle your friend group down into those people who are either very good communicators, or with whom you have lots in common. Leah may be both, or one or neither, but Brian won’t be. He has already said he doesn’t like you, and for the stupidest reason. Ignore him.

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    • JK

      JK April 17, 2012, 9:22 am

      Yep I thought that part was a bit weird, as well.

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    • caitie_didnt

      caitie_didnt April 17, 2012, 9:28 am

      yes, so weird that a “best friend” would tell the LW that her boyfriend doesn’t like her. That definitely deserves a little more parsing on the LW’s behalf.

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    • avatar

      EricaSwagger April 17, 2012, 9:29 am

      I’d like to assume Leah didn’t just blurt out “Heyyy BTW my BF hates you cuz you’re a snob!”

      I’d like to assume they were discussing Brian already, and the LW who clearly has a problem with Brian, mentioned something to Leah about disliking him. And, feeling attacked maybe, Leah reluctantly told the LW that Brian doesn’t really like her either.

      Obviously the LW is the only one who knows for sure, and her view of the conversation may be skewed so who knows.

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      • avatar

        Nadine April 17, 2012, 9:41 am

        But then, why did she throw in the fact that Brian hates the other friend as well? Seems like the conversation was more about Brians’ likes and dislikes. In my opinion.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy April 17, 2012, 10:27 am

        Yeah. Leah comes off as an instigator, and definitely prone to TMI. The LW should consider that what she’s been told about Brian may have been framed to evoke a response. He’s probably not the Devil.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle April 17, 2012, 11:00 am

        Maybe as a misguided attempted to make the LW feel less bad? Like, “Well, Brian hates Ashley too, so it’s not just you!”

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle April 17, 2012, 9:21 am

    You’re not obligated to get to know anyone you don’t want to, & even though Leah may be a dear friend, it seems like you have the perfect excuse NOT to make any effort with her boyfriend (you’re going to be crazy busy working 1000 miles away?)

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  • avatar

    bethany April 17, 2012, 9:22 am

    The short answer is No.

    From the info you presented in your letter, it sounds to me like your best friend isn’t going to be your best friend ‘no matter what life throws at you’. It sounds like you’re going to move away, and she’s going to keep hanging out with “loser guys’, and eventually you guys will drift off in different directions. Enjoy the last few months you have with your friend, and if you don’t like her boyfriends, then don’t hang out with them. She’s going to keep hanging out with these guys no matter what you say or do- no matter how big of a loser you might think they are. When it comes to getting involved in a friend’s relationship, a lesson I wish I’d learned earlier was that girls will 99% of time pick the guy, so it’s not worth getting involved.

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey April 17, 2012, 9:22 am

    Honestly, all of this is going to be irrelevant when you move 1,000 miles away. So you have two choices. Invite Leah to do activities with you before you leave that you KNOW Brian won’t want to do (Pedicures! Shopping! Wine tasting! Baking mini quiches! Whatever!), so that you can get some one-on-one time with your friend without *seeming* like you’re excluding him, or suck it up and hang out with both of them for the next few months. Maybe try to use the time you have left to be as much of a positive influence on Leah that you can…it sounds like she needs it.

    And I do hope that you stay in touch with Leah as your lives take different paths. She sounds like the kind of person who might one day wake up, realize she has horrible taste in men and bad judgment when it comes to relationships, and may want more for herself. It would help her to have someone in her life who’s stable and rational and mature, to help guide her through some of life’s tougher choices.

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    • Brad

      Brad April 17, 2012, 9:39 am

      Pedicures! Shopping! ughh. yeah that’d work on me. I’ll stay home and play video games or read or something else thanks.

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki April 17, 2012, 11:35 am

        I notice you didn’t exclude baking mini quiches… are you going to make us all some mini quiche??

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      • Brad

        Brad April 17, 2012, 12:57 pm

        No I don’t like quiches either. You’re on your own for one of those.

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      • Lili

        Lili April 17, 2012, 1:10 pm

        Don’t hate on quiches. They are super light fluffy buttery concoctions which go very well with mimosas. Can you tell I skipped breakfast today?!

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      • Brad

        Brad April 17, 2012, 1:21 pm

        Sorry but I’m not a fan of the squash family. But you can look at the bright side, more for you right?

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      • Lili

        Lili April 17, 2012, 1:26 pm

        I’ve actually never had squash in a quiche. Now thats something I am off to pinterest to find a recipe for!

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      • katie

        katie April 17, 2012, 6:08 pm

        a quiche is eggs and various other things (vegies, cheeses, cured meats) baked in a savory pie crust… no squash family is involved, unless you add it into the eggs, i guess.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 17, 2012, 6:18 pm

        Oh I must have been thinking of something else then. That sounds kinda like a chicken pot pie to me.

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      • katie

        katie April 17, 2012, 6:23 pm

        lol… well, its like literally if you were to make scrambled eggs, but instead of putting the raw eggs into a skillet you pour them into a pie shell and bake it. so, its not saucey and juicey like a pot pie is…. i dunno im not a huge fan of quiches, but some people love em!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 17, 2012, 4:41 pm

        You’ve never tried it then. Breakfast + Pie = Heaven.

        I second Lili’s mimosa suggestion. Not that anyone asked, but my birthday morning routine for over a decade now has been wake up, drink mimosas in bed, watch Dirty Dancing, take nap. I highly recommend. 🙂

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      • Brad

        Brad April 17, 2012, 4:45 pm

        I don’t really ever eat breakfast, but when I do I have baccon.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 17, 2012, 4:53 pm

        You don’t have to eat breakfast FOR breakfast. I never eat before noon.
        Baconnnnn!

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      • Brad

        Brad April 17, 2012, 6:17 pm

        bacon*

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    • avatar

      Natasia Rose April 17, 2012, 12:36 pm

      I think this is great advice! Some women don’t like to go to parties without their boyfriends or have ladies nights out, but every girl needs to shop and get manicures. And even if the guy is around when they bake, centering the meeting around a fun activity might result in them getting to know each other better.

      Either way, spending time with Leah alone and with the boyfriend is the right way to go. It doesn’t need to be a black and white choice between “Leah and her boyfriend” or “Just Leah.”

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  • Leroy

    Leroy April 17, 2012, 9:31 am

    Sounds like Leah enjoys stirring up animosities among her friends.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar April 17, 2012, 10:30 am

      Sounded like it to me too. The back and forth gossiping about who dislikes whom doesn’t make much sense otherwise.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy April 17, 2012, 11:38 am

        It may be that Leah is playing these two off of each other. So she goes to Brian and tells him that the LW thinks he’s a loser, and he responds by saying that the LW is being a snob, and then Leah tells the LW that Brian thinks she’s a snob – wash, rinse, repeat.

        There’s a certain type of person who will consistently date ‘assholes’ because they love the drama, and like to portray themselves as a victim. The male cognate is a guy who always dates women who are ‘crazy’. The common trait among the folks is that they want everyone to know about the drama, and they’re always the victim.

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      • FireStar

        FireStar April 17, 2012, 12:17 pm

        Just reading about it makes me tired.

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      • avatar

        Marta April 17, 2012, 2:21 pm

        I see that too. She poisoned the LW against him. Now it’s too late to take that back.

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  • IDreamofElectricSheep

    IDreamofElectricSheep April 17, 2012, 9:31 am

    I think if you didn’t have only four months left at home before moving 1000 miles away, it would be a different story. Since your time is limited, I would say your concentration should be in spending time with Leah and tolerate Brian. But I wouldn’t spend time to really get to know him. You don’t know what will happen down the road. What if they break up? I think, personally, I would then kind of regret that I spent a lot of my time getting to know Brian instead of cherishing the time I have with Leah and other friends.

    If Leah and Brian stay together for the longterm/get married, I would say that is when you revisit this issue, especially if you and Leah end up living in the same city or close to each other, since the proximity would mean you two may be spending a lot of time together. But I have plenty of friends whose husbands/wives I don’t know very well or even like very much. I simply act civilly and pleasant towards them and engage in discussions with them and everyone gets along (although I have to admit I never faced a situation where the SO is outright hostile or ignores me).

    Good luck with your new job, congrats!

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  • Kristina

    Kristina April 17, 2012, 9:43 am

    You don’t have to like your best friend’s boyfriend, you just have to be civil. And so I don’t think you have to make an effort to get to know the guy. You’re leaving soon enough, and honestly, it’s hard to remain friends with someone over distance and when he/she is heading in a different direction in life. Just spend time with your friend since you’re not that interested in getting to know her boyfriend.

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  • avatar

    amy April 17, 2012, 9:58 am

    definitely not. Brian sounds like a controlling jerk. It sounds like you have everything going for you. Try to spend time with your friend without Brian (if he “allows” it) and just move past it.

    People grow apart as well, Leah might not be your best friend anymore because you two are pursuing different interests. I say spend time with your friend without the boyfriend.

    To me, it sounds like the boyfriend is trying to cut your friend off from everyone she knows, which can be the start of an abusive relationship. However, you can talk unti you are blue in the face but she will not leave him unless she wants to. I wouldn’t even get into that with her at all.

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    • avatar

      niki April 17, 2012, 11:34 am

      I also got the impression that he was controlling. I hope the LW keeps in major contact with her friend after moving away because it sounds like she’s going to need her someday.

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  • Budj

    Budj April 17, 2012, 10:00 am

    The whole situation sounds petty. Especially the ignoring each other and the talking behind people’s backs. Brian doesn’t sound like a catch, but you can’t control your friends. Enjoy what time you have left if you choose, in whatever capacity you have to (with or without Bri-Bri) and see what the future holds. Make a point to talk to Brian too if he ends up insisting on being around (kind of weird…) as that will surely make him uncomfortable and make him seem even more petty if he handles it poorly.

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    • IDreamofElectricSheep

      IDreamofElectricSheep April 17, 2012, 10:30 am

      Ha! “Bri-Bri”. Love it!

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      • avatar

        Samantha April 17, 2012, 12:17 pm

        I love your name, IDreamofElectricSheep! Philip K. Dick is my favorite!

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  • avatar

    EricaSwagger April 17, 2012, 9:13 am

    If you love your friend (which I think you clearly do), then you should always try to make an effort to get to know the people in their lives. He may be a crappy guy, and you’re a great friend for realizing that and looking out for her. If Leah is smart enough to keep a wonderful friend like you around, then she’ll be smart enough (eventually) to realize that Brian isn’t right for her. You can’t make her come to that realization. She needs to reach it on her own.

    In the meantime, as much as he may get on your nerves, as much as he sucks as a person, as much as he’s not anyone you want to spend your time with… Leah is, and if spending time with her means Brian is there too, then that’s the reality.

    You don’t have to love the situation. You don’t have to even learn to like him ever. But for right now, you deal. Because you love your friend and that’s what matters.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones April 17, 2012, 10:19 am

    No. But let her know in some way you will always be there for her and be a supportive friend when they break up.

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    • avatar

      Sue Jones April 17, 2012, 10:19 am

      …without obviously saying that of course.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow April 17, 2012, 10:21 am

    Hmm. I might be going against the grain here. I’ve dated my fair share of jerks. There was one in particular who pretty much all of my friends hated, but instead of that being the eye-opener it should have been, I felt more estranged from my friends. I thought if only they spent more time with him or made an effort to get to know him, they would see that he’s a good guy. I think my stubborn reaction to their dislike of him made me closer to him, sadly. I don’t know if your friend feels the same way I do, but it might mean a lot to her if you at least put in the effort to tolerate him, and try to keep your opinion to yourself. She’ll come around eventually, and when they break up (again) she’ll probably want to be able to confide in you about it without fear that you’re going to say “I told you so.”

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    • Kristina

      Kristina April 17, 2012, 10:24 am

      Actually, I think I know what you mean. I felt similarly when I dated some jerks. One of my best friends has been dating this guy for around 2 years, and while we get along really well, I hate how he has treated her, but I do try to keep some of that to myself. And it’s not awkward when the 3 of us hang out together, so I guess I do think it’s worth to spend more time with the boyfriend.

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    • avatar

      SweetPea April 17, 2012, 11:14 am

      I agree CatsMeow.

      I definitely felt “estranged” from my friends when I dated a jerk. A lot of it was my fault. I guess the difference was that I was dating a guy who basically refused to hang out with my friends (he acted like he was way too cool for them). So, I stopped coming around because I hated to have to explain away his constant lack of attending events with me.

      I did have one friend who would make a huge effort to get to know him anyway and even though I think she knew how unhappy I was, she rarely lectured me. I am thankful to this day for that. And also thankful that the rest of my friends welcomed me “back” with open arms when I was finally through with him.

      Try to support your friend, without lecturing her. I know it makes it extra tough that this guy apparently doesn’t “like” you (agreed with everyone else that that was something Leah didn’t need to share). But, I think she will someday be thankful that you loved her anyway. You don’t need to bend over backwards to get to know this guy, but acting like he is a pariah is going to make her feel really shitty. Being in a bad relationship can be a very lonely place.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest April 17, 2012, 10:39 am

    What? Seriously can’t believe that was the question after reading the whole letter.
    Who gives a F? You will be lucky if your friendship with Leah lasts like you think it iwll, but regardless, this guy isn’t going to last, you don’t like him, and likely will never see him again come 4 months when you move? Don’t you have other things that need to get done and people you actually like that you want to see before you move away? Focus on them.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray April 17, 2012, 12:24 pm

      What lbh said!

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  • avatar

    ele4phant April 17, 2012, 11:00 am

    Leah, while making bad choices, is a grown-up and has the right to do so. I think we have an obligation to let our friends know if we have concerns for them or their choices. You’ve done that. Once that’s done, you have to stand back and let them live their own life (caveat: if you suspect Leah is being abused, involve the authorities).

    It sucks to see someone you care about repeatedly making bad choices and getting hurt, but that’s the way it goes. It sucks to drift apart because her dipshit boyfriend is pulling her away, but again, that’s the way it goes.

    I don’t think you have to get to make a special effort to know Brian because you want to stay close with your friend, but you should stay civil from here on out. Apparently, he’ll be around for a while.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary April 17, 2012, 1:05 pm

      Thank you! And Leah is young and presumably without kids. This is the time in her life to make bad choices or mistakes. Chances are she will eventually find the right path and be OK. Also, I want to say that Leah meeting a man at a bar and hooking up with him the next day is not that unusual nor is it automatically a “bad choice”. Women are allowed to have one night stands too!

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      • avatar

        Jiggs April 17, 2012, 1:35 pm

        Yeah, that part stood out to me too. Honestly the LW does kind of sound snobby. Looks down on her friend for “making bad relationship choices” (by her standards), distances herself from said friend for pursuing her choices, whereas she frames herself as this super successful go-getter who is all aces. Sounds like she’s used to viewing Leah as “the screw up” and herself as “the good one”.

        Maybe Brian really is The Worst, and not cool of Leah to tell LW about him not liking her, but the end game here is Leah’s life is her own and it’s not LW’s job to correct her or fix her. LW: Just tell her what you told us – you’re moving away soon and you really want to spend some alone time with her over the next few months to charge your Leah battery before you go. If Leah doesn’t want to spend alone time with you, that says more about your friendship than you might be willing to admit.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 17, 2012, 1:42 pm

        Yeah but it’s hard being friends with people who consistently make bad decisions. At that point it becomes apparent that you’re maturing at different rates. Maybe I’m projecting here but I have cut friends out of my life before for “living their life”. Because the person they were becoming – someone who makes the same mistakes over and over again – wasn’t someone I enjoyed being around. You can only listen to a friend complain about their lives so much and make the same mistakes before you just don’t care to listen.

        Although yeah the one night stand judgment was annoying. Girl was just getting her groove on. But maybe she shouldn’t have turned it into a relationship and just left it as a one night stand. Although some women feel the need to turn it into a relationship so that they can avoid the one night stand judgment. And the world keeps spinning ’round.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 17, 2012, 2:01 pm

        Totally agree. If your friends consistently make bad decisions, over and over again, and then complain about to you, its tiresome. I’ve cut out a few friends because I just couldn’t handle their drama anymore.

        But, its their choice to make whatever drama they want in their lives. To stay immature, to make bad decision after bad decision. I think we get one (well maybe a few) opportunities to tell our friends our opinion about their decisions, and then we need to shut it (or move on from the friendship) if they choice not to follow our advice.

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      • avatar

        cmarie April 17, 2012, 2:30 pm

        Brian wasn’t the one night stand. I actually totally support the LW in keeping the guy away from her friend when she was drunk. That’s a recipe for disaster. If I was the LW I would do the exact same thing (have done the same thing) and if I was Leah I’d be grateful to have a friend there to watch my back. What if the guy was looking for more than sex? What if this was something she would have regretted in the light of day (obviously not since she hooked up the next day but it could have been different if she had done is while wasted). When bad things happen to a girl after a night of partying, there’s always the friend wishing she had stuck by her or hadn’t let her get in the car.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 17, 2012, 4:45 pm

        Yup. Also, if they are making decisions you disagree with, that they used to not make, its likely they are turnign into someone you wouldn’t be friends with if you met them in the present. Letting old friends stay you friend just because of history can be a mistake sometimes.

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  • avatar

    Samantha April 17, 2012, 12:20 pm

    No, you’re not obligated to get to know him better.
    Just be pleasant and avoid the petty drama that seems to surround this dysfunctional couple. Hang out with Leah one-on-one, and, like almost everyone else is saying, be civil to Brian when you’re in a group together.
    Eventually/hopefully, their relationship will sputter to a halt, and if/when it does, be kind to Leah about the whole thing – no “I told you so”s.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark April 17, 2012, 1:50 pm

    Yes. If you want to hang with your friend, Brian is the price of admission.

    Interestingly, your reasons for not liking Brian seem almost as shallow as his for not liking you. I mean, I’m sorry but they simply aren’t very damning… Especially his reason for not like Diana. She doesn’t like cussing. Okay, sure. And how exactly was this said by her? Gee, let me guess. In a bitchy judgmental way after something Brian no doubt said. Newsflash, people don’t like being judged. And sadly, women often go out of their way NOT to like their friends beaus… (Men do this same thing in reverse. Why? I dunno. Maybe most people just suck and love to create unnecessary drama…)

    And as far as him thinking you are stuck up? Sweetie, you do seem a bit stuck from the very tone of this letter… Are you stuck up? Who knows? But it is VERY easy to come across that way, even when you aren’t. Especially when you have such a holier than thou attitude about your major and career choice. PS — If it’s so damn amazing, why not share it with us?

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  • avatar

    cmarie April 17, 2012, 2:42 pm

    I’ve been in the position of having a friend who I think is making a mistake with a guy too. My position is that it’s your right as a friend to express your concerns (in a respectful manner, of course) but then you drop it. If her life isn’t in danger, if she’s not being abused, joining a cult, going on a crime spree, etc with her chosen boyfriend, there’s not much you can much less should say. Treat the boyfriend with distant respect when you find yourself in the same place if you can’t force friendliness and don’t try to start fights. The best way to lose a friend to to hate on her partner in front of her. Even if you know she’s making a mistake and she knows she’s making a mistake, if she feels attacked, she’ll get defensive and often times end up staying with the guy longer than she would have to try and justify the relationship.
    I respect that you have all your ducks in a row. Definitely don’t be ashamed of your career choice if it’s something you love (as long as you’re not a professional assassin). Personally, I don’t feel like the LW sounded stuck-up. It sounded to me like she has her stuff pretty figured out and is working towards her goals and that’s nothing to sneeze at. I have a job I love and am getting ready to go back to school so I can continue to grow in it, does that make me snobby. If so, I’ll take it because I’d rather be snobby and set in life than “down-to-earth” and keep making the same mistakes.
    To answer your question, no, you don’t have to make friends with Brian. Just be honest with Leah that you’re time in the same town might be limited and you want to spend it one-on-one with your friends. Don’t apologize for not wanting to hang out with Brian, if I was leaving my friends I would want to spend time with them exclusively even if I liked their significant others. If she’s as good a friend as you think she is, she’ll understand and hopefully want to spend some quality bonding time with you.

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  • avatar

    Anna April 17, 2012, 3:19 pm

    My read on the situation is that you are jealous of Brian for taking Leah away from you, and you very well might have fun if you give him a chance. Mentally though, you can’t give him a chance because you’ve already convinced yourself that he’s a horrible pot-smoking loser that you could never get along with. He probably thinks you’re stuck up because you act stuck-up around him, like you are better than he is. No one wants to hang out with someone who clearly thinks their shit doesn’t stink.

    My advise would be to schedule girls-only time for you and Leah so that you can enjoy each other’s company before you go, but also give Brian a chance. If there’s a party or group event where you can all hang out, talk to him. Joke with him. Challenge him to pool. Hell, if he starts passing around a blunt, hit it! Maybe you will actually loosen up for once!! Life doesn’t all have to be boring and serious. I’d be willing to bet there is a lot to him that you haven’t seen because you can’t get past your mental block and just chill out. After all, you don’t get to choose who your friend dates. And what if Brian does commit and they get married and she asks you to be in the wedding? You don’t want animosity between you and her husband forever. It’s just not worth it.

    I know this isn’t going to be a popular opinion but it needs to be said. You may require a man who is super serious about everything and does only drugs that are acceptable to you (ie alcohol and caffeine) but not everyone is like that. Just because something would be a dealbreaker to you doesn’t make it a dealbreaker for everyone. *sigh* Sometimes I think I was supposed to live in the 60’s…peace! love! grass! Just chill out and love everyone!

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    • avatar

      cmarie April 17, 2012, 3:29 pm

      Seriously, your advice is to smoke some weed and “loosen up”? WTF kind of advice is that. Everyone is telling her to accept Leah the way she is, mistakes and all, and stop trying to make decisions for her but it’s ok to tell the LW that she just needs to get high and relax and she’ll like Brian. I agree that making an effort to get to know the guy might be a good idea but telling her to endanger her career is not. Most workplaces have drug testing, especially for new employees. Life doesn’t have to be all boring and serious all the time but it’s also not a joke. The LW shouldn’t try to control her friend but she also shouldn’t have to change to stay friends. There’s obviously something about her the Leah likes or they wouldn’t be friends for so long. Besides, if the only way for the LW to like Brian is to be high, then she shouldn’t be friends with him.

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      • JK

        JK April 17, 2012, 3:39 pm

        Wish I could like this 1000 times.

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      • avatar

        Anna April 17, 2012, 4:22 pm

        Weed leaves your system in way less than 4 months…besides, you totally missed my point. My point is the mental block/stick up the ass syndrome that seems to be going on here…it seems to be an epidemic in this generation and I just don’t understand it.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 17, 2012, 4:25 pm

        That’s half true. It won’t show up on a urine test after a few months but it can show up in your hair for up to 7 years. And I’ve heard they get hair samples from places other than your head.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 17, 2012, 4:35 pm

        True

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      • Lili

        Lili April 17, 2012, 4:51 pm

        Really?! Ew. And holy hell that sounds invasive! I’d rather give over some urine than have a hair (other than on my head hair) yanked out.

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      • avatar

        Anna April 17, 2012, 5:34 pm

        Yeah, tell me about it…but the only jobs I’ve ever heard of that hair test are like FBI, CIA, stuff like that. It is very much an invasion of privacy. If having some fun at a party 5 years ago bars me from working for you, I really don’t want to work for you anyway because clearly you have control issues. What’s next, showing up at my house in the evening and sitting on the couch next to me just to make sure I’m not having any fun? SMH. I am so sick of this fucking police state we live in.

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      • katie

        katie April 17, 2012, 6:14 pm

        i had to get a hair test to be a pastry lead at a country club… lol it was way weird. i dont know if it was what they required or if the testing place i went to just did it that way, but it was weird.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest April 17, 2012, 4:43 pm

    This got me thinking…what’s everyone’s stance on sharing info about fights with your SO, things you dislike about them, etc. I find its a slippery slope because you are most likely complaining when you are pissed, making things sound a little worse, then your friend dislikes your SO. I know I’ve really disliked some of my friends’ SOs because of things my friends have told me when they were pissed.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle April 17, 2012, 4:49 pm

      Yeah, this is a good question…I’ve been in the position where I’d complain about my S/O to one particular friend, because she was great at helping me sort out my feelings– but it got to the point where she really didn’t like him anymore! Also, it made me feel almost insincere bringing up anything good about him? Like, what, I’m going to gush about how I had a great dinner with the guy I was just freaking out about 2 days ago?

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    • Brad

      Brad April 17, 2012, 5:00 pm

      I don’t really like it when GF’s share details about fights/disagreements with friends. I’m a fairly private person so things like that I think are better if contained within. I think surface level things are OK to share but I think details should be kept private, and sometimes venting can be healthy, but I don’t think that venting should include stuff that my embarrass your SO. I’ve never told a GF that she wasn’t allowed to do it or anything like that mind you (and lets face it we know that wouldn’t work even if I tried). I just don’t like it mostly because I’m not there to defend myself. Her friend is getting her side of the story and will be forming judgements about me based on them and her opinion will already be formed before I get a chance to offer my side. And if it happens often enough they’ll potentially start encouraging her to break up with me which really annoys me.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 17, 2012, 5:03 pm

        Smart guy right here.
        I feel pretty much the same way, however, if its something I need advice on relating to an argument, I do have one very close, trusted friend (she’s older, a former co-worker) who I will talk to, but she knows no one in my circle and has only met my SO on a few occasions, so I feel a bit safer with that situation.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle April 17, 2012, 5:29 pm

        I understand that perspective. I guess it depends? In my circle, everyone pretty much knows that things are going to be shared, so it’s no big deal. My boyfriend will ask me (after a fight) like “Sooo what’d Leslie say about the whole thing?” and (similiarly) I’ll be like “Did you discuss it with so-and-so?” I mostly think sharing/complaining with an outside party is helpful, but there is that line you have to draw. If you’re in the middle of ranting to your friend, and then your friend starts making you feel like you have to switch into defensive mode (“Damn, he sounds like a passive aggressive prick!” “Um…well…he wasn’t THAT BAD”) then it’s gone too far.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy April 17, 2012, 11:39 pm

        I agree w/ that. There’s a fine line between confiding in a friend and betraying the trust of someone that you’re intimately involved with. I don’t relate intimate details of the lives of women I’ve dated to my friends because it seems like a violation of their privacy. And like Brad’s stated, this is going to cause people to form judgements on them, which are one-sided and may affect them in ways that I can’t control.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark April 17, 2012, 5:46 pm

      For some reason, many women play this dangerous game constantly. They blab and they blab and the blab. They endlessly talk shit about their significant others when in the midst of a fight and yet they then, somehow, always expect you to just magically forget all the smack were just talking about their significant other once things are all peachy keen again.

      It’s a decidedly odd move.

      And one that not only put their friends in horribly awkward positions, but makes the ventor look like a complete and total idiot… Because you as a good friend will now often spend month after month wondering why the fuck she ran back to somebody who was so freaking awful. Think about it. Even better is when they try to backtrack… “No, I was so exaggerating! He’s so NOT like that…” Which only makes me think: Oh. Okay. So she’ll totally lie to make her point. Good to know. And then I find I can’t really trust anything they ever say again about other people…

      So, yeah. Ladies. Just don’t do it. Keep your fights to yourself. Seriously.

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      • Brad

        Brad April 18, 2012, 12:06 am

        Part of it though Mark I think is that it’s just the one of the fundamental differences between men and women. I think that the average woman uses venting as the primary method of getting over anger/a fight more so than men do. I don’t think that’s necessarily a bad thing. As long as they don’t go far in revealing details I don’t have a problem with it. For me, I rarely get angry, but when I do I don’t normally vent/bitch about it to anyone. If you were around me you might hear a few muttered curse words, but I’ve found doing something to distract myself resets my anger/frustration bar the best. Such as playing a game (or a different game if the first game is the source of the frustration), going to get a drink, going to a movie by myself, going to the gym, etc. I think the most important thing, and it’s easier said than done, is to not fight when you’re angry. Fighting/arguing when in a highly aroused (not the sex kind) mental state is just not going to be productive. The other person is going to either shut down or get defensive and that’s just not going to solve the problem. Far better to recognize that ‘X’ has pissed you off and wait to cool down before bringing it up. I think the “pause” idea from how I met your mother is actually a pretty great idea.

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    • Kristina

      Kristina April 17, 2012, 10:22 pm

      I know about way too many details of my 4 best friends’ relationships (3 girls, 1 guy), but I don’t share nearly as much as them, because I feel like my romantic relationships are what I want to protect most. I think it’s part of being respectful to your partner. I wasn’t always like this, and I definitely learned from that. But my friends don’t need to know about every fight because that paints a boyfriend in the wrong light. Although not too long ago, one of my friends mentioned that my now ex is such an amazing boyfriend because he does x, y, and z for me. But that’s not the whole story, and I think there needs to be a balance of over-sharing and under-sharing.

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    • avatar

      ele4phant April 17, 2012, 11:08 pm

      Well, for a major blow-out where you are so emotionally wound up you can’t get perspective, it can be helpful to have a friend help you unpack it and serve as sounding board. This should be VERY infrequent. If you are having major fights like that on a regular basis, maybe your friend’s negative view of your relationship isn’t unfounded.

      But to bitch about every little annoyance or irritant, no. Keep it yourself (or better yet address it directly with your SO). To share every grievance isn’t fair to your partner, and it isn’t fair to your friend.

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  • avatar

    MiMi April 17, 2012, 7:40 pm

    Huh? If you like jerks, spend time with Brian. If you don’t like them, don’t spend time with Brian. You’re on your way out of town and probably out of the friendship with Leah too, seeing as you’ll be 1000 miles away for the foreseeable future, so why sweat it?

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  • christinalovesdogs

    christinalovesdogs April 18, 2012, 3:33 pm

    It seems to me that you need to just realize what is going on. People drift. If you want to hang out with your friend without her boyfriend then, by all means, do it. If she is trying to force you to like someone that you don’t then that is her problem. Get over her choice in men. People do what they want; in the end you really only have yourself. If everyone stopped trying to make others do what they think is right then maybe we could focus on our own issues and fix them.

    also- It seems very judgmental that you don’t trust your friend’s judgement just because she decided to hook up with someone. Maybe you should start worrying about your own choices.

    In my opinion you seem to have a huge ego by bragging about your dream job (yay!) and your education, when the letter is about your problem with your friend’s boyfriend.

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  • avatar

    Jo April 18, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I just find it unnecessary, and yes snobby, that she starts out with the story about what she believes is Leah’s poor judgment. So before she even meets Brian, we know that she automatically doesn’t like Leah’s choice in men. And it is my opinion that YES, you do have to accept him as part of Leah’s life. The writer said that Leah met him a year ago, so its not like this is just some short-lived fling. Her list of reasons also seems short for not liking Brian. She says he was “flaking” not committing and smoking pot. Wow, don’t most guys in their 20s have these issues (I assume that since she met Leah in colleges and is now finishing grad school the writer is in her mid 20s). She doesn’t actually give any real examples of what this guy did to Leah to make him so horrible, aside from the accusation that he doesn’t like a friend who told him she doesn’t like cussing.

    So to me the kicker is her last line “should I make an effort to get to know Brian for Leah’s sake?”. Brian has been dating her best friend for a year, and she admits that she doesn’t know him. Its not “do I have to hang out with Brian” or “get to know him better.” She has NO idea who this guy is, and is judging him based on one or two incidents from the past.

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