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How to tell my friend he's a douche (or realize I'm the pot)

I needed a gnome to post.I needed a gnome to post. gank so hardmotherfuckers wanna find meRegistered User regular
edited June 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
So my friend, he's a nice guy. Me and him go back a bit, met as teenagers, yada yada. Known each other for a while. We don't see eye to eye on everything, we have our differences of opinion, but we've gone through some shit together and we feel that we've got each other's backs. Now, lately, he's fallen head over heels for this girl, and they've been dating for a few months, right? I know, I know, it sounds like it's one of those problems, me and our other friends hanging back yelling "BROS BEFORE HOES DUDE", but it gets a bit more complicated than that.

See, I also dated said girl. For a year and a half. To say it was a messy relationship would be an understatement. It was passionate and emotional in the worst senses of the words, and kept alive longer than it should have been because of neuroses on both sides. Now, a bit less than a year after we broke up, she apparently loves my friend, whom she thought was an immature moron and didn't want me hanging out with the year before.

Now, she lives across the country. We live down near Vancouver, and she lives in Montreal, attending McGill. She was staying with her family here for a bit because she needed to sort out her life. Rather than see that as a blockade to the two of them pursuing a relationship, they instead saw it as a traversable obstacle: He intends to move across the country to be with her in roughly a month.

I do not think that is a good idea. For starters, it looks almost as though it's the relationship myself and the girl (We'll call her N for now, and my friend J) had, just on fast-forward. It's quite lovey-dovey on the surface, quite affectionate, and generally exudes the "Oh we are so in love!" air. I don't actually know what the relationship is like on the inside, owing largely to the fact that he's increasingly been blowing off get-togethers with "the guys". The fact that he drunkenly exclaimed "Y'know, bros before hoes is such a silly, high-school drama thing. I think we're mature enough to be past that." doesn't help.

He has never lived anywhere other than his parent's house thus far. He speaks no French. He knows no one in Montreal. It just does not seem like a sound idea in any regard.

I had a bad taste in my mouth when they first started hanging out and began to see one another more amorously, but I initially blew it off. I felt fairly certain that their personalities would really not result in a long-lasting relationship, and it would fall apart after a few weeks. I was content to let him make his own mistakes. Learning experiences, and all. As they approach the ride to Bad Decisionville though, I begin to worry that the personalities I felt would drive them apart would keep them unhealthily together. J has a tendency to say what he thinks people want him to say rather than what he feels, and N has a take-charge sort of attitude that can see her taking charge of people. Neither of them have a particularly good track record for healthy relationships - he's forced himself to stay in abusive relationships that saw him eventually need antidepressants for a time, and she stays due to a dedication to the fallacy of "I've put so much work in, I can't let it fall apart".

The main problem though, and what stops me from outright sitting him down and saying "You're being a douche, you're blowing people off, you're becoming addicted to passionate romance, and you're making bad life decisions." is that I'm very concerned that I may just be biased. My ego of feeling that I know both parties in the situation intimately (albeit in quite different ways) could be combined with the dissatisfaction I found with her and her character after our relationship to be blinding me to what is actually a healthy relationship between two grown adults. If I could just see it more often I might be able to judge it better, but I've only been able to get ahold of him 3 times over the last three months, which doesn't exactly make for a full picture. I know that I've also had a few bad neuroses that I've tried to get rid of, but which may be obscuring my ability to judge her character.

And even if I'm not being biased and am correct in my assessment, I don't know how to present what I know to him in a way in which his passionate loving self would be able to interpret as me not being biased. I'm heavily leaning towards being correct, though, and as such am faced with the task of "Hoooooow do I say it?" Part of me wants to just let him move and realize what a complete jackass he's been the hard way, but then there's the rest of the responsible part that says that as a friend I should really probably watch out for incredibly stupid decisions and try to stop them. It's mostly "How?" though. Mostly how.

tl;dr: friend dates ex, friend drops life for her, friend's a tool, do i need to powerpoint this for him or what

I needed a gnome to post. on
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Posts

  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited June 2009
    You need to let your friend make his own mistakes. You don't have to like it, you don't have to support it or give him your blessing, but he's going to do something dumb and it's not your job to save him. If you like this guy and want to do right by him, let him go now and make sure you're there for him when he realizes his mistake and comes back.

  • PeekingDuckPeekingDuck __BANNED USERS
    edited June 2009
    Stay out of it.

  • NotYouNotYou Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    yep, offer advice if you've gotta, but certainly dont push the matter. As far as mistakes go, this is hardly a life-ending one. Let him make it if he wants to.

  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited June 2009
    There's nothing you can do except say "I think this is a bad idea", but even that can blow up in your face pretty bad. If they get married, you'll be the one who tried to keep them down... what's more, he can say 'you're just jealous because it didn't work out between you two'. Then you say "you're the one who said bros before hos was stupid" and he whines because you're not being a good friend, and there's just nowhere really good that conversation can go.

    Look, maybe the relationship isn't as bad as it seems like it might be. Maybe they click in a way that you two never did. Or maybe this is the worst mistake he'll ever make and he'll come home lifeless and downtrodden. Either way, your best option is to send him off with a "I hope it works out, man," and mean it. If you can't mean it, maybe it's for the best you let him go.

    I've got my own life and I've got my own plans
    I hope you understand, and like the way that I am
  • seasleepyseasleepy Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    A) "Bros before hos" is a pretty high-school bullshit slogan. It's not a mantra to build your life around.

    B) If you tell your friend that you think his relationship with your ex is headed down the same path as your relationship with her, he's probably going to think you're projecting and ignore you. (And it is possible you are projecting.)

    It was amusing to have Massachusetts as part of our country, but now, of course, like so much of the coastal nation, it no longer qualifies as America.
  • TopweaselTopweasel Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    If its because you are upset that he is dating your ex you need to make sure he knows that. But if its just because he dating a "crazy" women that you think is going to destroy life, then you got to stay out of it. I have seen damn near best friends times and times again and almost complete destroy their friendships because of making big deals about lack of Bro's time due to new relationship. These core groups of friends are never going to be as close as they where before this round robin hater sessions started. Give the relationship time to work itself out and if you or your opinions matter you will end up spending more time with him. But remember that people are not going to be able to spend their whole lives hanging out every weekend. As relationships build up its inevitable that bro's time is going to diminish. Get used to it and find a way to enjoy the time you can spend with him.

  • I needed a gnome to post.I needed a gnome to post. gank so hard motherfuckers wanna find meRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    @Grid System, PeekingDuck, NotYou, ceres
    I was moderately concerned that simply standing back would be the wiser decision, in the end. The fact that I'd gone for this amount of time without coming up with an adequate way to broach the subject probably should've been the tip-off. I really just loathe how much it sucks that I have to (potentially) know exactly how he's fucking up and do nothing about it. I realize that ultimately if he goes without learning from the experience then he's just bound to repeat the same mistakes.

    I suppose I was more looking for the grim confirmation that I'd have to be a bystander for this.


    @seasleepy
    I do agree with the slogan being high school silliness. I probably wasn't very clear in why its denouncement was a particularly irking situation. When he feels he has to make up reasons for why he's ditching X, when it's clear he's just going to her, it feels sleazy and manipulative.

    It's the moving that has me genuinely worried. I'm confident that worst comes to worst he can get ahold of someone and get a ticket back home. It's like I'm watching him reach down to put his hand on a hot stove. I feel as though the idea that the stove is hot can be effectively communicated without him having to burn his hand.

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  • TopweaselTopweasel Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    @Grid System, PeekingDuck, NotYou, ceres
    I was moderately concerned that simply standing back would be the wiser decision, in the end. The fact that I'd gone for this amount of time without coming up with an adequate way to broach the subject probably should've been the tip-off. I really just loathe how much it sucks that I have to (potentially) know exactly how he's fucking up and do nothing about it. I realize that ultimately if he goes without learning from the experience then he's just bound to repeat the same mistakes.

    I suppose I was more looking for the grim confirmation that I'd have to be a bystander for this.


    @seasleepy
    I do agree with the slogan being high school silliness. I probably wasn't very clear in why its denouncement was a particularly irking situation. When he feels he has to make up reasons for why he's ditching X, when it's clear he's just going to her, it feels sleazy and manipulative.

    It's the moving that has me genuinely worried. I'm confident that worst comes to worst he can get ahold of someone and get a ticket back home. It's like I'm watching him reach down to put his hand on a hot stove. I feel as though the idea that the stove is hot can be effectively communicated without him having to burn his hand.

    You also need to register that even if he is doing exactly the same you did that he is his own guy and even minuscule differences could lead him down a different path or one he is willing to work within. Unless he kill's himself or others or gets her knocked up he isn't destroying his life he may just may be delaying the amount of time for him to find the "right one" if this chick isn't it.

    Think of it as him putting his hand one the stove but you don't know whether or not its lit. You might come off as being overbearing if it turns out the burner was off.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    seasleepy wrote: »
    A) "Bros before hos" is a pretty high-school bullshit slogan. It's not a mantra to build your life around.

    B) If you tell your friend that you think his relationship with your ex is headed down the same path as your relationship with her, he's probably going to think you're projecting and ignore you. (And it is possible you are projecting.)

    I agree 100% with this post.

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  • Cowboy BebopCowboy Bebop Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Just because your relationship with said girl went South doesn’t automatically mean every relationship she takes part in is destined that way. Like you said earlier you and your friend have different out looks on things, perhaps they are more compatible.

    Basically this is something that you really have no right to interfere in, unless you saw her cheating on your friend or something of that calibre.

  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    @Grid System, PeekingDuck, NotYou, ceres
    I was moderately concerned that simply standing back would be the wiser decision, in the end. The fact that I'd gone for this amount of time without coming up with an adequate way to broach the subject probably should've been the tip-off. I really just loathe how much it sucks that I have to (potentially) know exactly how he's fucking up and do nothing about it. I realize that ultimately if he goes without learning from the experience then he's just bound to repeat the same mistakes.

    I suppose I was more looking for the grim confirmation that I'd have to be a bystander for this.


    @seasleepy
    I do agree with the slogan being high school silliness. I probably wasn't very clear in why its denouncement was a particularly irking situation. When he feels he has to make up reasons for why he's ditching X, when it's clear he's just going to her, it feels sleazy and manipulative.

    It's the moving that has me genuinely worried. I'm confident that worst comes to worst he can get ahold of someone and get a ticket back home. It's like I'm watching him reach down to put his hand on a hot stove. I feel as though the idea that the stove is hot can be effectively communicated without him having to burn his hand.

    ceres and seasleepy are right.

    Either you are right and their relationship will be a catastrophe, or you are projecting, but it doesn't matter. Your protests will look self-serving. I guarantee you this. I am willing to bet they will be ignored too, even if you're willing to "altruistically" jump on the grenade. I personally think you are projecting though. Maybe I'm being overly judgmental here but I think your qualms have as much to do with protecting your friend as they do with the fact that you dated this girl for 18 months. Of course you are going to see things through the perspective of your own relationship with her. That doesn't mean it has any relevance to your friend's relationship with her. I mean unless you watch every bit of interaction they have together, you don't know their relationship as well as they do.

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  • TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I would just like to point out that not knowing french in Montreal isn't a big deal since it has the highest rate of bi-lingulism in the province as well as the most english speakers in Quebec.

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  • I needed a gnome to post.I needed a gnome to post. gank so hard motherfuckers wanna find meRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm certainly concerned that I'm projecting. And ultimately no matter how healthy the relationship seems I'm going to have a tainted view. I'm mostly filling the lack of information I actually have about the relationship with guesses based on my experience.

    @Trus
    Aye, I've been to Montreal several times, and my grasp of the language is very low. It certainly makes some things harder to NOT speak it, though, and given how little he actually seems to be going in there with, it's just one more brick on the pile.

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  • DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    I'm certainly concerned that I'm projecting. And ultimately no matter how healthy the relationship seems I'm going to have a tainted view. I'm mostly filling the lack of information I actually have about the relationship with guesses based on my experience.

    BING!

    Now that you've realized/admitted you are guesstimating their relationship through your own colored perspective, you should realize that "advising" him is not only a bad idea, it may even be a selfish one.

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  • Blake TBlake T Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Let me summarise what you wrote.
    . I don't actually know what the relationship is like on the inside,

    I was content to let him make his own mistakes.

    My ego of feeling that I know both parties in the situation intimately (albeit in quite different ways) could be combined with the dissatisfaction I found with her and her character after our relationship to be blinding me to what is actually a healthy relationship between two grown adults.

    You have a terrible case of sour grapes which is causing you to project horribly and you need to stop babying your best friend.

  • LoathingLoathing Registered User
    edited June 2009
    Give him fair warning, of your own experiences with said girl. Then leave him the hell alone.

    If it works out for him, all the better. If it leaves him in ruins, well, it was his decision and you did give him a heads up.

    gnodab wrote: »
    There is nothing quite like smashing a bullhorn so hard in the ass with a supersledge that its head explodes.
  • ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Anything coming from you is going to sound like sour grapes whether it is or not. You don't have to tell him you think it's a good idea, but you should generally keep your mouth shut, and wish him luck when he moves. And if it all blows up in his face, you should go out and have a few drinks with him while you both bitch about your ex.

  • ImprovoloneImprovolone Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    For what its worth, I'll wager that the majority of women had ridiculous over blown relatioships that ended poorly but were able to have strong healthy ones after that.

    Voice actor for hire. My time is free if your project is!
  • I needed a gnome to post.I needed a gnome to post. gank so hard motherfuckers wanna find meRegistered User regular
    edited June 2009
    Thanks for the help, all. :) It's been a bit impossible to get an unbiased opinion in my immediate circle of friends. Third party observations were exactly what I needed. I feel a lot more confident in things winding up OK now, regardless of what circumstances arise.

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  • HypatiaHypatia Registered User regular
    edited June 2009
    The important thing here is consider this: If you were head over heels in love with a girl and anyone (friend, relative, whatever) told you, "Hey man, this is a bad deal and you should cut it out with that chick", what would you do?

    My guess here is that 99.5% of the time you or anyone else would ignore them and do what you're going to do anyways. The only difference would be that you would either A) have doubts, B) be unhappy with that person for trying to enforce his/her opinion on you, and/or C) be more determined to be with the person.

    In other words, it never pays to try to tell people what to do with their romantic relationships. They'll do what they were gonna do anyways and at worst it'll screw up your relationship with them.

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