You just met your friend’s partner, and guess what? They’re an asshole.

Unfortunately, we’ve probably all been here. Maybe it’s your best friend, maybe you only kind of hate the person they’re dating, but in some manner you’ve likely had to deal with this.

It could be the sarcastic girlfriend who keeps making jokes that aren’t really funny. Sure, you might laugh at it the first time, but now you’re tired of it. In fact, the ‘jokes’ she makes about you and your friend are starting to rub you the wrong way. They’re actually kind of mean.

It could also be the sexist, asshole boyfriend. When you and your bestie talk to someone on the city street asking for food or money, he says: “What are you doing? Don’t engage with them. It’ll just encourage them to keep doing it.” He speaks in vague references here because he doesn’t mind dehumanizing the people he sees as less than himself. He makes inappropriate (read: rude or racist) jokes, has questionable political beliefs, and thinks he’s pretty awesome. He’s not. He’s just a fuckboy.

So what happens now? This person is the worst. You don’t want to hang out with them. You don’t want your friend dating them. But how much say do you really have?

This is behavior your friend has to be picking up on. Should you bring it up, though? Maybe your friend thinks their boyfriend is super sexy, so they’ve completely blocked out his abhorrent personality. Is saying something worth the risk to your friendship?

I think the answer to this depends on a few factors. Is this person really that bad, or are you just overly protective of your friend? Will saying anything make a difference? Will you regret not saying anything? If it’s just a difference in personality, it’s probably not worth bringing up. Sure you may hate him, but there could be good reasons your friend is dating him.

All that said, if this person is actually a bad person, then don’t you owe it to your friend to at least let them know their partner might not be that awesome. Maybe once you mention the mean, racist, or sexist comments he makes, your friend will start picking up on it too.

Don’t push too much, though. When you breach the topic, you’ll probably be able to tell pretty quickly if your bestie will be receptive to this disappointing news. If they push back, it’s probably best to just let it go. Love can be blind, so it may take a while for them to see the asshole they’re dating.

It can be hard to decide if you have the right to care about who your friend is dating, but you definitely do to a degree. You can’t pull that parental shit where you tell them they need to break up, but if it’s an unhealthy relationship, you at least owe it to your friend to address it.  If you care about them, and the relationship isn’t healthy, then it’s worth an uncomfortable conversation to help them out.

But, again, if it’s just a difference of opinion or personality, then it’s probably not worth the trouble to bring up. Maybe just try hanging out with your friend one-on-one. Or you could always approach the conversation from the perspective that there’s nothing wrong with the partner, but you two just don’t get along and then try explaining why. Maybe it’s even something the partner can work on and you can all happily hang out together.

Though in reality, you’ll probably still hate them, but if they’re not a bigot or a total asshole, maybe you should just try to get over it. Think about how you’d want your friend to respond in a similar situation.

Whatever you decide to do, good luck!

Author: Dani Howell

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