The key to making a friendship work is holding fast to it, even as time changes. And the fact of life is that new relationships (especially romantic ones) will often change the dynamics of  friendships. But you can help keep your friendship solid without putting pressure on your friend.

Love is a heady feeling, and sometimes, trying to understand why some people fall for the people they do will often leave you drawing blanks. But it’s our job as friends to support each other, so you need to figure out why you don’t like the person your friend is dating.
It’s not enough to just tell your friend you don’t like this person, because that will just make them pull away and assume you are jealous of their happiness.

Are You Truly Jealous?

For starters. Ask yourself: Am I just being jealous?

Jealousy could be one reason you resent this person, more so, because your friend now spends more time with him/her, and may have replaced you as the most important person in your friend’s life. It could even be that you desire to have what your friend has, but which you currently lack. Any of these scenarios will feel uncomfortable to you when your friend is having a great time with someone new.

When Your Friend Is Dating Someone Who Is Not a Positive Influence

If you feel that the person your friend is dating is actually harmful to her, then it’s time to speak up. Dangerous things to look for include:

⦁ Drug or alcohol use.
⦁ Controlling behaviour.
⦁ Encouraging your friend to slack off in school.
⦁ Name calling
⦁ Physical abuse.

Sometimes it’s easy to see what is wrong in someone a friend is dating, and sometimes it’s not. If you feel it’s absolutely worth speaking up about, it might be worth a discussion, but you need to be careful about how you bring it up. If you come on too strong, your friend will definitely feel the need to defend this person (because your criticism is also an attack on your friend’s pride and judgement, for being with that person in the first place), and that will drive an even bigger wedge between the two of you.

Tips for Confronting a Friend About Someone They are Dating

Be absolutely sure that you are not reading too much into a situation before you bring it up. When you are sure that you are just concerned as a good friend should be, go ahead and have a talk with your friend. When confronting a friend, be sure to use:

  1. Facts versus opinions. For example, “I have heard Lami call you B**ch several times,” as opposed to “Why does Lami ALWAYS use vulgar language?” See the difference?
  2. A concerned tone. For example, “I’m your friend, and if you are happy, I’m happy for you. I have some concerns about Lami’s behaviour, such as X, X, X. What do you think about this?” Let your friend explain, and then listen closely.
  3. The right time and place. Don’t bring up your concerns in a public place, or when your friend doesn’t have time to process the information.

Remaining Friends

If you have brought up the situation with your friend, he or she may be confused or angry. Try your best to let your friend know you are there for them. Say something like, “I’m sorry, I don’t mean to upset you. I am concerned about your happiness. Since you have told me you are happy, I will leave it alone. Just know you can always talk to me. What’s really important is that we stay friends.”

After you have had the discussion, don’t continue to harp on it, but let it go. Be there for your friend if he or she needs you down the road. If your friend’s relationship continues or not, be supportive either way.

See Also: How to Tell Your Friends the Truth Without Hurting Them