Saving a Friend from a Bad Decision

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
My friend is 19 and dating a 27 year old. She is at a great 4 year university. He says he went to college but has been waiting tables for who knows how long. He also lives in a different city so she skips class and heads to visit him every weekend. She parties, drinks and does so many drugs with him, has so much sex, and comes back sometime later in the week.

Is it wrong for me to think that perhaps their relationship is ruining her future? If her grades are bad this semester she loses her scholarship and has to go back and live at home. Thats win win for him, cuz then she'll be closer to him and he'll just get more sex/drugs meanwhile she's lost a chance at a great education. Am I just being a snob or reasonable. Advice
It's nearly impossible to tell another person about who to love. Just think of all the well-meaning white families who tell their children "Don't date a black person! Don't date an Asian person! It'll be too hard!" Think of all the Christian families who tell their kids "Don't date an atheist! Don't date a Jewish person! It is too hard!" There are always problems in a relationship. Rich people date poor people. People who love to travel date people who hate to travel. But if those people LOVE each other they can be extremely happy together and get through anything.

He is giving her something right now that she thinks is important - attention, love. Sure in the long term drugs are really, really nasty, but people who take them generally aren't thinking long term. They're thinking about "how I feel now". In a few years when they feel *awful* it starts to sink it, but you can rarely try to "explain" that to someone. They have to experience it to know why it sucks. That's why so many teenagers / college kids do drugs - but very few adults. That's why teenagers and college kids go out and get drunk, but adults tend to take it easier. They know what happens when you overload, and it's not worth it.

In any case, the best you can do is be her friend. She's going to do what she wants to do and is in fact probably deliberately doing a lot of this to prove she can. Unfortunately for her she completely misunderstands what is GREAT about being an adult. You can do what is best for YOU. That does NOT mean you do the opposite of what others want for you just because!! That is being childish. That is proving that you care more about what others think than what you think - if you would deliberately do things just to "prove you can". Instead, the strongest proof of adulthood is doing what is best for you NO MATTER WHAT others say, for OR against what you are doing.

So she's going to keep rebelling, keep doing what others tell her not to do because she feels it proves she's a woman and that she's independent. And when she is stuck at home and dating a drug guy and has no degree and no hope for a real job, and starts getting older and looking at her life, she is really going to regret it. But you can't tell her that now. That is something she's going to have to learn for herself, and accept that it was her own fault for putting herself into that situation.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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