Giving the Thumbs Down SignWhen someone you’re close to is dating, you most likely feel responsible for making sure that they’re with a person worthy of the relationship. After all, you’ve got your loved one’s back and you want the best for them. Sometimes your friend or family member falls in love with a person you don’t like. This can be a tough thing to deal with, especially if all signs point to an eventual marriage. As someone who cares, how do you handle this issue? Do you go to your loved one with a litany of reasons for a breakup, or do you just stay out of it? Here are some things to think about.

Know Your Reasons

One of the first things you should be clear on is why you don’t like this particular person. Is it due to a negative first impression or some other encounter that left you with a bad taste in your mouth? Does the future partner remind you of someone or something else negative? Maybe you just can’t stand the way that person laughs. Perhaps there’s a deeper concern at the root of your feelings. Do you notice that your friend acts differently around that person? Are you upset about the reduction in quality time with your friend? Before you talk to the bestie, it’s important to know the source of your discontent. Explore these feelings and see if the problem is with you or your loved one’s partner.

Put Your Loved One First

As you think critically about your feelings, don’t lose sight of your loved one’s well-being. That should be your motivation for making your feelings known. If this person makes your friend or family member happy, keep that in mind as you do more reflection. While you and your special person may be especially close, you can’t expect your connection to satisfy a need for romance, sex and all the things that come with dating and marriage. Many of us have these needs, and it’s important to remember that.

Look for the Good

As someone who truly cares, it’s important to look for the good qualities in a potential partner. If the individual is toxic or abusive, that shouldn’t be overlooked for the sake of keeping the peace. But otherwise, try to see the redeeming characteristics or positive traits that a person has. Think about what your friend or family member has told you about this significant other. If it seems like the discussion is always negative, that may be something worth pointing out, as it could be a red flag for a deeper, unresolved issue. At the very least, it might encourage your friend to be mindful about also mentioning the good times.

Shine a Light

Even with your nearest and dearest, sometimes you have to show them instead of telling them. You can show or be an example of what you would prefer to see in a healthy relationship. This is an opportunity to work on a relationship with your own partner. For example, if your friend’s partner is always making jokes at his or her expense, be intentional about uplifting and speaking positively to your own spouse or partner. This might inspire your loved one to take a hard look at interactions with a fiancé and seek changes.

Is there a way for you and this person to connect beyond care and concern for your friend? Are there shared interests or hobbies? Maybe you got off on the wrong foot and things can be smoothed over with an outing to watch the home team play.

Generosity in spirit means making space for others and the things they care about, or in this case, the people. Nobody’s perfect, and you can’t be faulted for wanting what’s best for the people you love. Focus on your loved one’s best interest when deciding how to move forward.

Category: Engagement

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