My Best Friend is Dating a Total Douche. HELP!

4 Jan

Dear Losers,

My best friend is dating a total douchebag! What do I do??

Kate, 16

Dear Reader,

Ah yes. There is no way to avoid it. No matter how hard you try and surround yourself with quality people, or how successful you think you are at this venture, you will lose at least one great friend to douchedom. Yes, I think at least one out of six girlfriends is lost to a douchebag. And that is a conservative estimate based on no actual facts. So here’s the plan:

Step 1: Find a new best friend.

Step 2: Find that new best friend a boyfriend YOU like.

Not one that you like like, but one that you like enough to hang out with! And one that has cute friends.

Pretty simple right?

Wrong. UNFORTUNATELY, we can’t pick who our friends date. While friends are the family we pick for ourselves, friend’s boyfriends are not.

I know. Could life be more unfair?!?!

There are times I wish this weren’t true too.

Oh, excuse me, I’ve just been informed that all my friends read this blog in which case, I’m obviously not talking about your boyfriend, (insert friend’s name).

Back to my point. You’re friends are going to date SO many douches it will make your head spin. You will think, did I do something to deserve this? Did I raise them wrong? Was it something I said?!

But don’t forget, you’re someone’s friend too which means in a moment of weakness, you might have dated a douche or two yourself. Or even better, a raging douche may be somewhere in your near future! So don’t go getting high and mighty.

I think it’s helpful to hone in on why you don’t like your friend’s boyfriend. We’ll call him, Danny. Danny Douche. There are a few different classifications of douche, and the sooner you can differentiate between them the better.

The Stage 1 Douche:

Does he just annoy you a little bit (or a lot bit)? Then he is a Stage 1 Douche. He may not be considered a douche by anyone, but you. You might tell someone he is a douche and they will be like “WHAT?! Danny? Danny Douche?! I love him!”

What are ya gonna do.

Remember that because he’s dating your friend you are going to be more critical of him. You might even be overly critical and unfairly see him as a douche.

Or maybe you think he’s a douche because he’s just not your type.  Maybe he’s a metrosexual city guy, and you like a guy that can paint a house and chop down a tree.

Or he’s a jock and you prefer a theatre nerd.

If he’s not the type of boyfriend you would choose for yourself or your friend, that might be a good thing. We shouldn’t all like the same type of guy. That would be creepy. And problematic. And the plotline of most shows on the CW.

The Stage 3 Douche:

Is he, at times, mean or rude to your friend or to others? Incredibly obnoxious, stingy or inconsiderate of people’s feelings?  Lacking in a sense of humor, easily offended or always looking to start a fight?

This is a very legitimate reason to cry Douche. Stage 3 Douche to be exact. But remember, your friend likes him, so you can’t just speak freely about how lame he is like he is the weird gym teacher. He’s her boyfriend. Anything you say that insults him, may also insult her. You can’t just insert your true feelings into a normal lunch conversation like,

“Wow this pizza is GREASY! Oh and your boyfriend is a raging douche! Please pass the napkins.”

Interruption for PSA:  If you feel your friend is in some sort of danger, that her boyfriend is creepy in a criminal sort of way, speak up and step in. This may seem like common sense, but when you’re in a relationship, you don’t see the red flags like everyone else does. If she seems like she is being physically or emotionally abused, speak up immediately. I would call this a Stage 7 douche, but really this is just a dangerous person. “Douche” does not do someone like this justice. Back to your scheduled programming.

If he is just your standard, but authentic douche,  she will have problems with him sooner rather than later. And she will come to you to talk about it. Perfect! This is your opportunity to be honest about why you don’t like him for her. But don’t go off-topic, insulting his faux hawk, or high-pitched voice.

And especially don’t go calling him names like, I don’t know, Douche. That is a last resort, a worst-case scenario wake-up call. Stay on the topic of what she is complaining about. Emphasize that she does not deserve to be mistreated and that his (douchey) behavior is unacceptable.

If she doesn’t come crying to you, but you know he is a Stage 3 bad boyfriend then do talk to her about it. Friends don’t let friends date douchebags. Well, not without talking to them about it, anyway.

If you’re lucky, she will talk to him, he will shape up, and you will start to like him. If you’re luckier, they will break up!

The Stage 5 Douche:

If you are unlucky, nothing will change, they will date for years and you will end up the Lauren Conrad to their Heidi and Spencer relationship.

Or the Khloe to their Kourtney and Scott. And this is where a Stage 3 douche develops into a Stage 5. A Stage 5 douche is a chronic douche. His girlfriend has given him many chances to be a better boyfriend, but he  is no longer dabbling in douchiness, it’s now a full blown addiction. And against her better judgment, she sticks around. If that’s the case, it’s up to you. You can make it clear you don’t like the way he treats her and that it’s difficult to be around him, which could strain your relationship with your friend. You can even tell her you don’t know how to help her if she can’t help herself.

But just like you can’t pick your friend’s boyfriend, you can’t make him go away either. So take careful notes so you too don’t end up with a Stage 5 douche.


One Response to “My Best Friend is Dating a Total Douche. HELP!”

  1. Valerie January 4, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    As someone who dated a Stage 5 douche on and off for about a year, I can completely relate to this. One of my best friends last year (who Stage 5 douche ended up sleeping with behind my back, oddly enough) dated a Stage 3 douche for much of our freshman year of college, and as much as I disliked him personally, I had to try my best to be polite and welcoming. Because many of our other friends disliked her boyfriend, it caused a lot of anxiety for her — and none of us intended to do that to our friend. The point is, if he’s annoying but harmless, as friends we should be kind and supportive no matter what. 🙂

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