New York is too hot. Homesick.
Q: Dear Meredith,
I've been struggling with this for awhile, and don't know what to do. I am a very positive person who likes most people, but for the past two years, my best friend has been dating a guy I can't stand.
While I recognize he's not a bad guy, I know my friend is selling herself short. She has always hated being single, and because our other close friends and I have been involved in serious relationships, I worry that she got involved with him simply to not be alone.
This guy is in his late 30s, but acts like he's 20. He is divorced, didn't go to college, and has not had a full-time job since he moved to Boston three years ago. While he's currently temping, I know he's turned down job offers because they required being "on call" one weekend a month, and he said he couldn't give up going out and drinking with his buddies.
My friend on the other hand is well-educated, has a successful career at a great company, and even bought a condo last year (that he is now moving into). He makes her happy, and I know that's what matters most, but I don't know how to be a good friend to her when such a major part of her life drives me crazy.
I have really tried to give him a chance, but no matter how hard I try, he makes my skin crawl. I would never tell my friend how much I dislike him, because I know it would hurt our friendship. But I hate being around him, and I even hate hearing about him.
Anyway, I'd love to hear any advice you or the Love Letters readers have!
– Bad Friend in Boston
A: BFIB, I wouldn't say that you're a bad friend, but you are projecting something big. You're taking this guy's flaws very personally, as if they mean something about your own life.
You say that your friend is happy -- and yes, that's what matters most. Your job as her friend is to listen to her and support her happiness. I'm sure there have been times when your choices have made her squirm. Don't forget that there are probably a number of qualities that her boyfriend brings to the table that you don't even know about.
Perhaps this is about wanting credit for finding someone who doesn't have these flaws -- or maybe you fear that because your friend has chosen a different kind of partner, she'll drift away. I'm just throwing out guesses here, but the intensity of your distaste for your friend's boyfriend suggests that this is more about you than him. He's not abusing her. He's not doing anything horribly wrong. In fact, you seem to think he's a pretty good guy who's just a bit unmotivated.
Try to figure out why you're taking this so personally. And maybe spend some more time with him. I know, I know -- you don't want to. But maybe you'll see some things you like.
Readers? What is the problem here? Is she projecting? Should she talk to her friend about her dislike for the boyfriend? Is this about concern for her friend? Anyone been in a similar position? Discuss.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.