How to tell a friend they’re dating a jerk

sazuna45 asks: I’m really confused. Two of my friends – close ones – are dating, but I know that the guy is hiding a lot from the girl. He told her he stopped drinking but in parties (when she’s not there) he gets drunk and flirts with other girls like a maniac. He even stole money from one of his friends and bought his girlfriend a bag. He’s on weed and he gets into fights against gangs and all. I know all this but I don’t know if I can tell, because she won’t believe me. What do I do?!

Hi sazuna45 –


Wow are you in a tough place with this question!  I have a few thoughts, but there’s no clear answer.


First – you say both of these are close friends of yours.  Are you sure you want to stay close friends with the boy?  He sounds like a lot of trouble to me.  When you mix drinking to excess, semi-cheating, stealing, drug use, and getting in fights…  Is this guy really one who can, to quote the old song “deserve you and be even worthy erv you”?!  Not to mention your girl friend, who he’s being way less than great to.


So one thing you can do is to confront him.  Tell him he’s being a jerk.  Tell him you don’t want to be his friend anymore unless he straightens himself out.  Maybe even threaten to tell her about him.  If he’s a good guy at all, he’ll probably hear you well enough to think about some of his choices.  And if he just changes a little, it might be enough.


But then, if that’s not a good idea, what about telling her?  You say she wouldn’t believe you, but isn’t that (to say it in the harshest way) her problem?  You’ll have done your duty as a friend.  And even if she doesn’t believe it at first, I imagine your words will echo around in her head enough for a while.  Maybe a day or two after you say these things to her, she’ll ask someone else, “Hey, you know that party you were at the other night?  How did my boyfriend act?”  Or maybe she’ll phone him one night to see how his voice sounds on the phone – drunk perhaps?  Or maybe she’ll manage to ‘accidentally’ show up somewhere unannounced, and see how he’s acting.


Now none of these actions are going to make you popular, sazuna45.  At least not right away.  That guy won’t like you telling him how to behave, and the girl won’t like you saying things about him.  So you could also just wait for them to find out on their own.  The problem is that if, for example, she finds out he’s been lying to her, and then later finds out you knew and didn’t tell her, she might be even madder at you than she is at him!


And that’s why I say you’re in a tough place.  There’s no easy answer.  This is really one of those cases where you have to step back and look at the overall picture, and ask a gigantic question:  “Who do I want to be?”  Do you want to be the friend who tries to change the boy, or the friend who tells the girl what she doesn’t want to hear, or the friend who keeps her mouth shut about all of it?  Or maybe there’s another alternative I haven’t thought of.  But since there’s no “right” answer, you just have to find the sazuna45 answer!


And to find it, just look deep into your heart, and ask yourself what you truly think is best.  One trick might be to imagine you’re in the girl’s situation, and ask yourself what you’d want a friend of yours to do.


And I’ll say it yet again – there is NO right answer here.  The situation stinks!  So just do the best you can, and learn what you can from it.


And then go out and have some ice cream.  Because you deserve SOMETHING good to happen on that day!


Good Luck my Friend!



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