How to Deal When You Can't Stand Your BFF's Significant Other

In our dream world where fairy godmothers are real and little birds bring us our clothes each morning, we would never hate our best friend's significant other. Sadly, though, we have to trek to our own closets every day, and occasionally, we run up against a BFF's BF we just can't get along with. It's not an easy sitch to deal with, but doing so with grace and tact is key -- especially if you're interested in keeping all relationships and emotions involved in good condition.

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It's too tricky for us to navigate ourselves, so we turned to the experts: Dating and relationship coach Hunt Ethridge talked us through dealing with that one annoying person you're stuck with because of your best friend's bad taste.

1. Tell them. Ethridge says it's a good idea to bring up your issues with your friend -- but just one time, and be sure to do it in a calm and thought-out manner.

"Sit them down once and let them know your concerns," Ethridge says. "Not that you just hate them, but that you are seeing an attitude that makes you worried for your friend -- whether it's being discourteous, dismissive, verbally abusive, or whatever. Don't attack, or their defenses will pop up."

2. Back off. "Once you've said your piece, back off a bit," Ethridge recommends. "Only give advice if it's asked for, and try not to get frustrated when it's the same advice over and over."

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3. Confirm that you're not alone. While you don't want to resort to pointless gossip, Ethridge did say that it's smart to see if your concerns are well-founded. 

"You can ask your other friends if they notice the same things you are," he said. "We're all bothered by different things. If none of their other friends seem to see anything, try and let it go."

4. Don't express your dislike to the S.O. themselves. That means no stink-eye in public, Ethridge says. 

"Treat them civilly -- as you would a professional coworker," he explains. "Everyone will notice if you don't, and it will make everyone uncomfortable."

5. Ask your friend how they feel. If she says she's happy, maybe that's a sign that you need to back off, Ethridge says.

6. Consider their relationship. "Remember that each relationship is different," Ethridge notes. "You don't see it from the inside and you can't judge it by your own morals."

7. Approach a bad situation cautiously. Ethridge says that if it is a dangerous or unhealthy situation, making your friend see this can be tricky. You can enlist outside (aka professional) help, or you can try to make them understand what their relationship looks like from the outside.

"Ask them what they would do if someone else came to them with the same relationship problems," Ethridge explains. "They need to hear themselves giving advice to this imaginary third party and see how it relates to their own life."

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8. Don't stage a coup. Ethridge says that trying to convince your other friends to corner the couple is a recipe for disaster. That'll just make you the bad guy, he says, and then you won't be in any position to help resolve the issue.

9. Don't say you told them so. As in, banish the phrase "I told you so" from your vocabulary. Don't use it, even if their relationship ends.

 

 

Image via iStock.com/Mixmike

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