Love, Lindsay

'Is It Worth Telling My Friend That I Don't Like Her Boyfriend?'

All your relationship questions answered — right here, right now.

Lindsay here, A Plus's resident relationship guru/columnist. While I may not know everything, I do know a lil something about love and our seemingly endless pursuit of it. Having written dozens of A Plus articles about dating, relationships, and sex, I'm ready and willing to investigate all of your romantically-inclined questions (submit here!) — because I've asked them myself. What I hope to bring to A Plus's readers is a sex-positive, body-positive, and most importantly, you-positive perspective on modern love. Consider Love, Lindsay your digital Cupid. 

Dear Lindsay,

My best friend has been dating this guy for a little over two years now. He doesn't really hang out with us much, but when he does, I'm just not that impressed. She's very much in love with this guy (they've talked about marriage in the past), but I really believe that she could do so much better. Recently, he's become less available and supportive of her, and she's been texting me about how alone she feels in her relationship. 

I'll always be there for my friend and will continue to support her and this relationship if that's what makes her happy, but is it worth telling my friend that I don't like her boyfriend?

- Molly

Hi Molly,

While you clearly have your friend's best interest at heart, there are a few reasons you should keep mum about her romantic relationship so long as you know for sure it's not an emotionally or physically abusive one. First of all, I firmly believe we can never know what actually goes on in someone else's relationship. 

For many people, their significant other is one of their best friends and closest confidantes, so their relationship is most likely much more than what you're seeing as an outside observer, no matter how invested you are in your friend's happiness. 

Because she sees every dimension of him — including, yes, the positive ones you perhaps don't — that, ironically, may be why she's now drawing your attention to him being less available and supportive of her. That also may be why, she's consequently leaning more on you. The best thing you can do for her in this situation is to provide the emotional reassurance her boyfriend isn't... without disparaging him in the process, as tempting as that may be.  

Even if/when she's complaining about her boyfriend, you should avoid jumping in and adding your own opinion because (1) it's not going to be the deciding factor of whether she continues dating him, and (2) if/when their relationship improves from this rough patch, she'll remember your negative opinion of him and may be reluctant to share this part of her life with you.

The key here is to be supportive without overstepping boundaries because, when it comes down to it, the only person who will be able to tell your friend whether or not she should stay with her boyfriend is her. 

Many people have been in relationships with people their friends and family didn't exactly love (myself included). But here's the thing, many people find out these negative opinions only after they've broken up with their lackluster S.O. And while they may wish someone had told them earlier that their ex was a dud, it probably wouldn't have changed the relationship trajectory all that much. What it almost certainly would've changed, however, is their perception of their relationship with that friend or family member. 

If — and only if — she broaches the breakup topic to you, and directly asks for your opinion, can you say you're not his biggest fan. Still, I wouldn't go into detail unless she asks you to explain your opinion. The time for that isn't when the guy is still in the picture. Wait until if/when he's out of it, and definitely not coming back in, and then you two can go crazy over a shared bottle of wine. After all, what are best friends for if not that? 

Love, Lindsay 

If you liked this article, you'll love submitting to and reading Love, Lindsay. And if you didn't, my name is Jenny, and I'll be your cruise director... 

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