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How to cope when you can't *stand* your best friend's BF

We all want our best friends to be happy, but sometimes it's hard to set aside our own feelings about what's good for them, especially when they do the exact opposite of what we think is best. Say your bestie has never set foot in a gym...but suddenly she's pretending to be all about sports in front of her new, athletic boyfriend. Or maybe your friend is staying true to herself, but her new guy is still just a jerk. If you're struggling to accept the boyfriend in your BFF's life, here are some tips for staying sane.

1. Recognize that she's the one dating him, not you.
It can be tempting to let her know all the reasons why she can do so much better. This is a bad idea, because love defies all logic; if she truly has feelings for him, little is going to change that. (That doesn't mean she doesn't still care about you, however!) Put yourself in her shoes, and realize that if you don't want to hang out with her guy, you are under no obligation to do so. Tell your friend that you'd prefer to spend time with her alone, just the two of you. Or, if she absolutely refuses to be without him, even for just a couple hours, you can say that you want to invite a larger group of friends to the gathering, rather than be the third wheel.

2. Resist the temptation to gossip.
"Well," you might say, "if I can't tell my BFF that her boyfriend is annoying, can't I vent to a different friend about it?" That would be dangerous, because word travels fast. If the news gets around school that you were gossiping about their relationship, you could end up hurting your BFF's feelings, and damaging your relationship with her. If you absolutely *must* talk to someone about how you feel, try your mom or other family member, your guidance counselor, or the friend from outside of school that has never even met your bestie.

3. Evaluate *why* it is you don't like him.    
What exactly has he done or said that turned you off about him? Do you know him well? If the answer is no, and he hasn't done or said anything specific, it might be worth giving him another chance. If your answer is more general, like "he's so boring," or "he has such a weird sense of humor," recognize that much in life is subjective. What you find boring or weird, your friend could find fascinating.  

Have you seen him be controlling or aggressive with your friend? Does she complain about his jealousy? Have you seen him get irrationally angry when she hangs out with other boys? Is he generally unkind or a bully, either to you or your classmates? Do they argue constantly? These are red flags that could be very serious, and you should talk to a trustworthy adult about the situation immediately.

4. Spend some time with other friends, but don't cut ties.
If you hang out with different friends occasionally, it gives both of you an opportunity to have some space. She gets to enjoy her new relationship without feeling guilty, and you don't have to be around the guy you don't like. You could try joining a new club or team at school, or seek out opportunities to meet people. Are there hobbies you used to love, but stopped doing because your bestie didn't enjoy them? Try to pick them back up again. Make sure you don't neglect her, however; she's still your BFF, after all! Stay in contact, and if it's been a few days, give her a call to see how she's doing.

5. If they break up, don't say "I told you so!"
She's already hurting, and you don't want to make it worse. Take her to the movies, go out for some ice cream, or just sit with her and listen. While you might be happy that the dreaded guy is out of the picture, it's important to be sensitive to her feelings. Give lots of hugs and have tissues handy.   

Have you ever dealt with a bestie's bad BF? Tell us how you handled it below! 

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by Bridget Curley | 5/6/2017
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