She Cries about her Boyfriend on my Shoulder

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Male
I met a girl last summer and we have become really close over the last couple of months. I consider her to be my best friend and i know the feeling is mutual. I really like her a lot but she has a boyfriend who she is constantly fighting with. She always comes to me with her problems about her boyfriend and i always seem to help her out and make her feel better. She seems to be fighting with him at least once a week now and they always break up but get back together right away. As i said before i really like her a lot and i would love to start a relationship with her but because of her boyfriend i cant do that. Do i have a chance anytime soon and also since she is fighting so much with her boyfriend what advice can i give her because it seems like she just keeps gettin hurt by him and i dont like that? Advice
Wow, the classic heartbreaker. There are so many movies, novels and songs about this situation that I wouldn't be able to name them all. The girl has the best friend and sweet guy right there, already caring for her, but she doesn't even realize it while he's used and abused by her "loving boyfriend".

It's definitely very painful and not easy to handle, hence the many dramatic renderings. Not knowing her, I could only make wild guesses about why she is doing this. But one common reason is that she was raised on romance novels and fairy tales - that her "romantic lover" must be strong, powerful, forceful, a zorro type. So she sees these arguments as a sign of his passion. She greatly values your friendship but sees your caring and talking as being different from her "Zorro".

One of the most important things you can possibly learn in life is that your romantic partner NEEDS to be your best friend. He needs to be someone you can talk about anything with, that listens to you and respects your opinion, that does NOT yell at you. The happiest relationships are between two best friends who enjoy just being with each other, who can get through the many highs and lows that life throws at ALL of us while staying shoulder to shoulder. The fact that these guys fight constantly is a sure sign that their relationship isn't a healthy one.

But one of the biggest dangers is to try to pry someone away from what they think is right for them. If you start to say "He's bad for you!" it will probably cause her to cling to him out of loyalty or out of a "I won't be told what to do!" sort of mentality. On the other hand, mindlessly watching her be abused over and over again isn't much of a friendship activity either.

Take this the slow and steady way. Being yelled at and demeaned is a form of emotional abuse. HOPEFULLY she is NOT being physically abused at all - if she is then talk to an adult or teacher or someone immediately and get her out of that. But emotional abuse can be just as bad if not worse. So find small ways to bring that up in conversation, talk about a friend who was always yelled at and got out of the relationship. Talk about how a happy couple you know doesn't argue because they are able to talk through issues.

There are lots of movies out there involving women in harmful relationships that then realize their friend is the healthy choice. When Harry Met Sally. Bridget Jones Diary. My Best Friend's Wedding. The Wedding Singer. That's a hokey one but it might be perfect for you in fact. In any case, rent one and just have a fun movie night together. A lot of times if you watch a movie with someone, and share that experience together, it can really make you think about the topic.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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