It’s not easy having a best friend and hating her boyfriend. In fact, it’s super difficult. You wish you could scream at her to see the light and dump him already and get on with her life. But of course, you can’t really say that, because your friendship is more important than how you feel about her dating life. At the end of the day, you value having this person in your life, and if that means having to hear about how awful her BF is, well, then so be it. But the truth is that you can actually get an education in romance on your own by looking at how your best friend deals with her not-so-awesome relationship. Sure, you might not always like what you find out, but you can absolutely learn a few lessons along the way. Here are 15 ways to learn from your best friend’s bad relationship.
15Listen To Her
Your BFF is going to talk about her boyfriend. A lot. She might be super annoying and bring him up in every single conversation… and hopefully, that’s just a phase since it’s a shame to realize that one of your good friends has become one of those girls. But if you can make it a point to listen to her (and really listen without judging or freaking out), you just might learn something. Even if you just figure out how you don’t want to act in a relationship, or how you don’t want a guy to behave toward you, then that still counts. It’s kind of like doing some research before you fall in love next. Whatever helps, right? Relationships are tough enough so if you can live vicariously and figure some stuff out before, your future self is going to thank you. Just make sure you don’t let it slip that you’re kind of treating her like a research project…
Your best friend may or may not be super into the idea of receiving advice from you. If she’s unhappy with her relationship, she will definitely ask for advice… but whether or not she follows it is still probably up in the air. Best friends are like that, right? You try your best to be a good friend and to tell them what you would do in their situation. You want them to make the best choices and decisions so they can be happy and create the best possible future for themselves. You get really upset when they don’t do what you suggest or when they seem to be totally ignoring what you thought was awesome advice. But you will never, ever stop giving your BFF advice because that’s just part of the best friend deal. It’s in the unwritten contract and you wouldn’t have it any other way. If you keep giving your BFF advice, you can take your own advice when you’re in a relationship next. Pretty cool.
13Think About Opposites
You pretty much want to do the opposite of whatever your best friend is doing in her relationship. If she’s unhappy but refuses to break up with her boyfriend, then you want to remember that if you find yourself in that situation, you should dump your own BF so you can be happy again. If she’s always fighting with him but never solves any problems or figures out how to fix what’s going wrong, you can promise yourself that in your future relationship, you’re not going to let that happen. If you can basically think in terms of opposites and can do the opposite of what your beloved best friend does, you might find more happiness in your future relationship than she currently has in her own. You may not think this stuff is useful now but as soon as you find love again, you will absolutely learn from her actions.
12Think About Your Ideal BF
You have deal breakers like anyone else and things that you won’t accept in a relationship. But when you see your best friend with her current boyfriend, you can think about whether or not you would actually date this guy. Maybe there are certain qualities that you like about him, and maybe there really aren’t. Hey, no one can say why certain people date others and other people would never, ever go on a second date with them. It’s just the way that the world works and it’s what makes things so interesting. If you can look at your friend’s boyfriend and think about your ideal boyfriend, you might be able to figure out once and for all what kind of person you are really and truly looking for. That will save you a lot of time and help you feel more secure and confident when you’re looking for love since you’ll already know what you’re essentially searching for.
11Cut Him Some Slack
It’s super easy to judge your friend’s relationship because you’re on the outside looking in, right? You don’t know the intricate details of their relationship or what really goes on when they’re alone. Maybe this guy is super shy and so he seems like a jerk in public but he’s really a good person. You would never know, right? You probably only ever see him in group social situations like parties or celebrations. And even if you hang out with the two of them alone, you’re a total third wheel and he might be nervous or trying so hard to make a good impression on you that he totally messes it up and acts super silly. Hey, it happens. You can learn from your friend’s bad relationship by cutting this guy some slack sometimes. It will teach you how to be more tolerant of others and have some more compassion because not everything that a guy does means that you have to dump him, right? That would mean that you never stayed in any relationship at all.
10Solve Some Problems
When a friend asks you for advice, you are pretty much being asked to solve a problem that she’s dealing with. You get a huge education in this when she doesn’t listen to your advice (ugh) and just does what she wants anyway. Think about how cool it is that you’ve gone through this situation, though, because now you have a bunch of relationship issues and solutions in your brain. You can pretty much figure out how to solve anything that you and a future boyfriend would go through, which will definitely be a huge help in the future. If you pay enough attention, it’s like a crash course in a serious relationship, and that’s pretty awesome. But don’t worry, you’re still going to be super annoyed that your BFF isn’t actually listening to you and following your advice. You will always feel that way and you will never stop.
9Be Open Minded
Being open minded is always a good idea in life, whether you’re dealing with a work situation, changing something about your life, or thinking about relationships. If you know that your best friend is unhappy in her relationship, that doesn’t necessarily mean that her boyfriend is a jerk, right? He could be a decent person, just not the right guy for her. That definitely happens and that’s why people break up when on the outside, everything seemed totally perfect. Stay open minded and learn how not to sweat the small stuff. Your best friend might be upset because her boyfriend isn’t giving her something that she needs, but if you were in the same situation, maybe you would be fine with the way that things were. This is a great opportunity for you to figure out what you really care about and what you would never, ever want to deal with.
8Know Love Doesn’t Conquer All
You’ve probably heard the saying that love doesn’t conquer all. It’s a pretty sad thing to realize because hey, everyone wants to believe that love is enough. You want to think that when you do fall in love next, that person would be your best friend, boyfriend, and soulmate (and future husband too, let’s be real here). You don’t want to think that you might go through something difficult or have a massive problem that you just couldn’t ever solve. You want to think that you can get through anything. But sometimes, you’re just not the right person for this guy, and he’s not the right one for you, either. So you can learn from your friend’s bad relationship that sometimes you have to realize that being in love doesn’t solve it all. That’s a tough but great lesson to learn, and it’s so cool that you can learn it without having to be in a relationship yourself.
You may think that you know everything about your best friend and you probably do. You two have shared tons of stuff together but depending on how long you’ve known each other, maybe you need another perspective, too. Why not ask around and see if your views on her relationship are on the right track or not? Maybe you can ask a mutual friend, her sister if you guys are close, or even her mom. You never know what you could find out. Maybe you’re not seeing things as they really are and you’re just being super overprotective or acting like she should dump him so she can find someone better. Maybe you love her so much that you’re not seeing things clearly and that this guy really is good enough for her, but you want her to reach for the stars and the sky because you think so highly of her. Hey, you’re a great BFF, but maybe things aren’t as bad as you think.
Of course, you’re judging your friend and her boyfriend. Of course, you are. You pretty much think this is part of your job in her life. While that’s definitely true, you also shouldn’t become so judgmental that you let it color your friendship or even ruin it. Stop huddling her so much because you’ve definitely made mistakes when it comes to love in the past. You’ve dated people that you shouldn’t have (or you dated them longer than you should have — and probably both). You’ve ignored your friends’ advice while knowing deep down that they were right and you were wrong. If you can stop judging your friend and just let her make her own choices, that’s going to be much better for both of you. She will figure things out eventually. She really will. Being judgmental is not going to be helpful, it’s just going to upset you (and maybe her if you voice your opinions).
5Get All The Info
Before you jump to any conclusions, get all the information. Maybe you don’t have the full story, even if your best friend has been chatting about this guy forever and even if you think that you pretty much know all there is to know about their relationship. Ask her to really tell you everything so you can truly understand and even help her if that’s what she wants. Since you’re besties, she’s going to be into telling you all this since you’re probably her favorite person to talk to (about anything, but especially about matters of the heart). This will help you a ton since you will be better able to understand what’s going on, but you will also be used to knowing everything that you can before making a judgment call. That’s going to help when you find a relationship next. Whatever you can do to make sure you’re happy, right?
4Be A Third Wheel
You may hate being a third wheel because hey, no one really enjoys it. It makes you feel jealous, it makes you feel bad that you don’t have love in your own life, and it’s just never really as great as it seems like it would be. You usually would rather be left out than a third wheel, that’s for sure. But if you want to learn as much as you can from your friend’s experience, it’s not the worst idea in the world to third wheel it. Go to the movies with her and her boyfriend. Go for dinner. Go for a Sunday afternoon walk around your neighborhood or the park. Get to know him and try to see him for who he really is. Then you’ll really know whether this relationship is a good idea or not and you won’t only be relying on what she has told you. You will be better able to think about your perfect guy once you’ve done this.
When you see your best in a relationship, it’s easy to automatically compare yourself to her. You can think about if you’ve ever been in this situation before and how you acted and what you thought about it. Maybe you acted exactly the same way that she’s behaving now… or maybe the total opposite. Maybe you’ve ever experienced what she is right now, and that’s a true learning opportunity for you. It’s amazing when you realize how much you can benefit from the friendships in your life. Of course, you know that it’s super healthy to have close friends in your life. You get a ton of positive benefits from having social connections. But you also can learn from your friends and your BFF in particular because you can compare yourself. It’s a really good thing when you think about it. Just think how great it will be when you find yourself in the same relationship situation in the future and you will know exactly what to do.
2Have Some Faith
Sometimes relationships are tough (okay, they are tough all the time) and you do not always have to break up with someone just because you are going through something. You can absolutely get through it and come out even stronger. That is why so many couples seem to be better than ever before when they have had a really tough time. If you can learn from your friend’s bad relationship and have some faith that sometimes, you really can work things out with the person that you care about and things might be even happier and more lovely-dovey, that is pretty awesome. Just think how useful this information is. You might be able to make your next relationship work when before, you might have freaked out over something that was not 100 percent perfect. Think how happy and well-adjusted and calm you will be from now on.
The thing is that you’re going to want to be super honest with your best friend about her bad relationship, whether or not she wants to hear it. She may never really listen to you and make a positive change in her life. She might stay with this person forever and never really find happiness. But you will still be by her side because you love her and you’re super close and that’s just the way that it’s going to go. Go ahead and be as honest as you want to be (within reason, of course — you still want to have your BFF at the end of your conversation). This will teach you how to be super honest with any guy that you date from now on. You will just get used to talking seriously and openly about relationship problems, and that’s going to serve you super well. Don’t be afraid of honesty. Hopefully, your best friend will see the light and then that can be a huge friendship win. But in the meantime, you can learn something, right?