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What do you do when your best friend dislikes the person you’re dating?

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What do you do when your best friend dislikes the person you’re dating?—Academy Girl, 15, NC


Shayna Answers:

Dear Academy Girl,

First, let me say that the editors of Insight wish to encourage readers to wait to date until college or later. But since you haven’t chosen to do that, hopefully the following advice will be helpful to you.
 
Ideally we want our friends to like the people we’re dating, so that everyone gets along. Sometimes it takes a little work to accomplish this, though.
 
If you haven’t yet talked to your best friend about why she might dislike your boyfriend, you should. 
 
Oftentimes our friends are able to offer valuable insights about our behavior, because they comment from an objective position.
 
It’s possible that your best friend sees something negative about your boyfriend that you don’t. This is why she may express dislike toward him without taking the time to tell you specifically what she doesn’t like. Is there something about the way he talks to you? the way he interacts with other people? something he said to her?
 
Asking your friend why she dislikes your boy-friend will give her an 
opportunity to voice the concerns that she has without feeling meddlesome. It also reminds her that her opinion is valuable to you.
 
In some cases a statement of dislike may just be masking something else that your best friend is trying to communicate. For example, your best friend may not dislike your boyfriend because of who he is, but she may dislike the amount of time he takes you away from her. She may be feeling the strain of the new guy in your life and may be indirectly asking you to acknowledge her friendship a little more or to make more time for her.
 
If this is the case, when you talk to her, don’t get upset or assign blame. Ask her, “Why do you feel like I spend too much time with my boyfriend?” Then listen to what she says.
 
No matter the reason why your best friend dislikes your boyfriend, it’s important to talk openly about the situation. Listen to her side of the story, then gently explain yours to her.
 
Consider the valid points that your friend makes, and be willing to compromise. For example, instead of always hanging out with your boyfriend solo, try inviting several mutual friends along every now and then—including your best friend. In addition to preventing your relationship from getting too serious, you’ll also be able to spend time with your other friends.
 
Also, listen to your friend’s advice. Whether or not you choose to follow it, Proverbs 12:15 reminds us that a wise man heeds advice.
 
Friends, especially best friends, are valuable cornerstones in our lives. They’re usually there for us through thick and thin, and often as boyfriends come and go. Romans 12:18 says that if it’s possible, live peaceably with everyone. So even if your friend is wrong in anything she says, forgive her and do your best to love her anyway.
 


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