Dear Best Friend: Once I Hate Your Boyfriend, There’s No Going Back

I try to be a supportive friend as much as possible. Regardless of what I think of what my friends do, if they’re happy and feel confident in their decisions, I’m there for them to listen, give feedback (when asked), and just offer them a bit of encouragement and comfort. However, there’s one thing I just can’t deal with, and that’s when my best friend starts telling me all the awful things her boyfriend does to her/terrible ways he treats her and then not only stays with him but expects me not to hate him. Uh, I don’t think so!

  1. It takes a lot for me to despise someone. I feel like I need to get this out of the way before anyone tries to claim that I automatically hate my best friend’s boyfriend just because she’s finally coupled up, but so am I, and I’m also not a hater and actually want her to be happy, so that’s dumb. It takes a lot for me to hate someone, so if I get to that point with my best friend’s boyfriend, you can assume it’s for a very good reason.
  2. I respect her even though he clearly doesn’t. If I get to the point of feeling hate for my best friend’s boyfriend, it’s likely down to the fact that he doesn’t respect her enough (or at all) to treat her with kindness, consideration, and love. However, I do treat her that way and I hold others to that expectation too. Once I know that he’s being a total douchebag, I automatically go off him and I can’t see him as anything but that.
  3. I’m very protective of my friends. Who isn’t? I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t go down swinging for their BFFs, and I’m no exception. I’ve been with my best friend through hell and high water for more than 15 years. I’ve seen her at her best and worst, celebrated some of the best things in life and mourned some of the worst right there by her side. I know what a wonderfully caring, thoughtful, brilliant person she is and I won’t easily tolerate anyone who doesn’t.
  4. I don’t think a tiger changes its stripes. Once I start to hate my best friend’s boyfriend, there’s pretty much zero way to rehabilitate him in my eyes because I don’t think he’ll ever change. You don’t treat someone like crap temporarily and then suddenly realize that you’re going to shape up and be a decent person. If he’s done some of the terrible things she tells me about once, he’ll keep on doing them until she finally comes to her senses and leaves him in the dust.
  5. He thinks he’s fooling me but he’s not. My best friend has already told me the crap her boyfriend pulls behind closed doors, but then when we go out in groups or I run into him somewhere, he’s on his best behavior and wants to act like Mr. Congeniality. He thinks he’s fooling me, that I’m buying the utter bull he’s selling, and he has no idea what I really think of him.
  6. My best friend deserves better than being with a jerk. This is what it boils down to. I know how special she is and how much she deserves, so to see her with someone who doesn’t treat her that way seriously kills me. I get that nobody’s perfect, not even my friend, and that people make mistakes. Like I say, I’m not unfairly judging the guy for no reason. However, seeing her with someone who’s so not on her level in any way and thinks he can get away with treating her like crap (because she kind of lets him, at least temporarily) boils my blood.
  7. If he hurts her, I’ll hurt him. Like I said, I’m fiercely protective of my friends. That means if he really stepped out of line in a way that could scare, harm, or damage my friend, I would get involved mighty quickly. I’ve called the police on friends’ abusive partners before and I’d do it again. I’ve also gotten in touch with moms about their awful sons and one time even had to reach out to a guy’s boss because of his behavior. I’d do it all again without hesitation.
  8. I have no reason to forgive him or forget. My best friend isn’t an idiot, if that’s what you’re thinking. If she ends up with a terrible guy, it’s not because she has no standards or self-respect. In fact, she literally just has the biggest heart ever and always wants to see the best in people, which leads her to give way too many chances. I, on the other hand, am not like that. I’m not dating the guy and I have no reason to stay on good terms with him, so if my best friend opens up about what a dipsh*t he is when they’re together (which she should), I’m obviously going to hate him and I have no reason to change that opinion.
  9. It takes all my strength not to call him out to his face. However, I realize that my friend has to come to the conclusion that he’s bad news in her own time. It’s not for me to step into their relationship and try to drive a wedge between them because he’ll do that all on his own. As long as she’s safe and (at least convincing herself she’s) happy, I’ll be by her side and keep my lips zipped until I have reason not to.
Scarlett is somewhat new to the writing world, having only graduated in May 2022 with a degree in journalism. She was the associate editor of her university's newspaper and hopes to expand into the publishing world with her articles on love and relationships.