DEAR KELLY: My boyfriend’s best friend hates me. He’s so mean and rude to me, and I’ve never done anything to him. My boyfriend’s mom said that he’s jealous because they have been best friends since fourth grade and did everything together before. He walks away whenever I walk up at school and he talks badly about me. Recently, he posted a thing that said, “Whatever happened to bros before hoes?” I was really hurt that he acts like I changed my boyfriend, and now he’s not a good friend to him because of me. I feel like he’s blaming me for being the bad person. Am I wrong? My boyfriend thought it was funny and said I was overreacting when I told him his friend posted that. I’m upset and don’t know what to do. I want him to like me and no matter what I do, I don’t think he ever will.
What should I do?
DEAR GIRLFRIEND: My response would have been different than yours. So what if he thinks you changed your boyfriend? That’s his opinion and his feelings. He’s obviously hurt that his buddy isn’t around to be his wing man anymore and he lashed out on social media. Not wise and frankly it made him look bad.
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What I would have taken complete offense to being called a “hoe.” The disrespect in that word needs no explanation and it was not funny at all.
Your boyfriend missed the insult in his best friend’s post. To think it was funny is insensitive and thoughtless. I’m sure he is only hearing the phrase and not thinking about the words. He is just hearing his buddy say, “what happened to picking your buddies over your babe,” but that is not what was said. I’m sure his pal might say, “It’s just a saying,” but the reality is that it is insulting to you and any other friend of his who has a girlfriend.
Women are not hoes. People might say it’s just a word or slang term, but as a female I take complete offense to the word. I’m aware that entertainers and game designers who use the word often say and do things for shock value, but we need to remind young people that this is not reflective of the way most people feel and act. Some women might not represent themselves in a way that shows self-value or confidence, but this does not warrant the title of “hoe.” No woman, regardless of her choices, deserves to be degraded like that.
Is your boyfriend letting his friend off the hook by thinking his post was funny? Yes. Is he probably just trying to avoid conflict between his best friend and his girlfriend? Yes. Did he ignore what his friend posted to keep peace? Yes. Perhaps your issue needs to be more with your boyfriend than his best friend.
Your boyfriend is caught in the middle, and it’s probably a rough place to be. But this doesn’t mean it’s OK for his buddy to be rude and disrespectful to you. If he doesn’t speak up and tell his friend that it is not OK to treat you as he has, his silence is giving his friend permission to continue treating you that way.
Perhaps you ask his friend, “Are there any reasons you don’t like me besides the fact that I’m going out with your friend?” Maybe he thinks you don’t like him as well. Or someone told him something you said that wasn’t true. Or he can’t come up with anything you did wrong besides take away his friend and admits that he’s just jealous of you and the relationship you have with his best friend.
This won’t guarantee he is nice to you or happy you are dating his friend, but just asking the question might force him to look at why he’s so mad at you and realize the issue is with himself and not because of something you did.
Maybe this will open the lines of communication between you, and maybe not. At the very least you know you reached out and gave him a shot at connecting about what the problem is.
People don’t like change, and your boyfriend’s friend feels threatened by your relationship. He may see his friend changing or spending less time with him and his response to feeling hurt is to be angry with you. It’s normal to struggle with this, but not OK to take it out on you. Your boyfriend needs to tell his buddy that it is not OK to disrespect you both in person and on social media. And you need to defend yourself by telling him that you don’t appreciate how he treats you if you have never done anything to intentionally hurt him. Being rude to you and calling you a hoe is not acceptable.
Stop trying to make someone else like you. Like yourself – that’s enough. If someone doesn’t approve of you, that’s his problem. If he can’t get over that fact that his friend is in a relationship, that’s his struggle, not yours. Be yourself. Don’t let anyone talk down to you or make you feel bad when you did nothing wrong. Be confident in who you are and treat others kindly. If he can’t handle that, so be it.
Email Kelly Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org