Dear Street Sage,
How honest can friends and family be when they’re not crazy about someone’s significant other?
That is a great question and one that does not come with an easy answer. Ultimately we hope our friends and family are in happy, healthy relationships. If you have concerns that you want to express to a friend or family member about their significant other, it is important that you do it in a way that won’t push that person away from you. Often times when presented with concerns people react in a way to prove you wrong. Especially if they don’t see the issue. Try not to be fake about how you treat said person. If you are overly kind and friendly to the significant other, the one you are not fond of, you may throw your friend for a loop. This could cause a whole new issue. You know your friend or family member best so you should decide the approach, some options could be….
1. Be very out right and vocal about your concerns and don’t sugar coat the situation. I would suggest this option more so if there was an abusive relationship of any kind, emotional, sexual or physical.
2. Drop small hints or concerns at appropriate times. This option would be helpful when your friend has doubts.
3. Wait it out. Sometimes it is important for people to make their own mistakes and learn from them. Sometimes you can’t find what you want until you know what you don’t want.
One thing for sure, never be mean and never make them feel like you will not be around should they chose to stay with said person. Questions can often be helpful, “Are you happy?”, “Oh, you don’t seem to happy about…is everything ok?”, “I noticed you’ve been…that doesn’t seem like you, what changed?”.
Remember, people will always do what they are doing, until they can’t do it anymore. That goes for anything, what job you have, what friendships you keep and any kind of romantic relationship.
That’s just my opinion, good luck.
– Street Sage