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Their happiness is not my happiness

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MARCH 03, 2017

Dear Al Gore,

I hate my best friend’s boyfriend, too. I know that hate is a strong word, and that everyone is free to love whomever they wish, and that I’m just lashing out because I’m hangry, but it’s true. If I had the ability to Command-A then delete his existence, I probably would. I get that that’s a terrible thing to say, but I can’t help it.

I manage to find a reason to despise almost everything that he does. From his pesky habit of breathing to his dorky choice of hairstyle, nothing about him doesn’t piss me off. While this extremely justifiable contempt that boils within me can get a bit draining, I’ve somehow managed to maintain this bitter existence for almost eight months now. Because we seem to be in the same boat in this salty sea of suffering, I’ve got a few suggestions regarding what you can do with these record-breaking sodium levels.

For starters, it’s important that you don’t beat yourself up for not liking the killjoy that your friend has taken to dating. There’s no reason to feel guilty for your feelings of hatred. Just because your friend likes someone doesn’t mean you’re obliged to feel the same way.

My best friend thinks that, despite her badass smashing of the patriarchy and literal saving of China, Mulan isn’t the best Disney princess. While she’s clearly delusional, I don’t hold this poor judgment against her. Because, even though she’s comically incorrect, I accept that we think differently and don’t need to agree on everything and everyone.

To clarify, I’m not recommending that you take on your best friend’s significant other as an arch-nemesis for recreational purposes. I’m simply saying that battling to the death is a permissible thing to do if you feel that it’s necessary and plausible. Hating someone’s guts is a serious commitment that you should only invest in if you’re absolutely positive that you’ve got the time for another passion project.

Idealists will say that if your friend’s happy, you should be happy. It’s the classic “if you give a mouse a cookie” conundrum. If you love your friend, you want them to be happy. And if you want them to be happy, you’ll appreciate their significant other. And if you appreciate that their bonehead makes them happy, you should, theoretically, not want to cover their significant other’s fingertips in paper cuts and lemon juice. But that’s not the case.

You don’t have to support everything that they enjoy. This principle could be applied in a whole litany of different situations. For instance, in the event that your best friend develops a cocaine addiction, you shouldn’t encourage them to pursue their drug-induced nirvana as often as possible. While getting high will no doubt make them happy, their cocaine habit isn’t something you should get on board with.

People don’t always know what’s best for them. Just yesterday, I used a metal fork to fish my Pop-Tart out of the toaster after my friend advised against it. You don’t have to be Bill Nye the Science Guy to figure out what happened next. I should have listened to her advice; sometimes, the people closest to you know what’s best, whether you want to hear it or not.

So we’ve established that your feelings are valid; the question now lies in whether you have any right to actually voice them.

I get that telling a friend that someone they care about is a soggy cotton swab can be intimidating. … The way I see it, you really have no choice but to speak up. What else is there to do? Just smile and nod while your friend dates the human embodiment of vomit? I think not. It’s time to rise up! Rebel! Seize the means of production! Sorry, that got a little too Communist there.

My point is that you shouldn’t just sit on the sidelines and watch the snot-nosed loser that your best friend is dating ruin everything for everyone. In the interest of your dearly beloved’s quality of life, you should voice your concerns A$AP, Ferguson. Telling them will not only save them from wasting their precious youth on a parasite, but also strengthen your friendship.

If you keep quiet about this for too long, the constant strain of not being honest with your friend will eventually wear on the friendship more than the actual steaming pile of dog poo that they’re choosing to date already has.

On the off chance that they don’t absorb the fact that you think the love of their life is a vegan bacon strip, just be patient with them. So long as you’re honest and open, there’s not much they can be upset about because, as mentioned above, your opinion is entirely valid. If your friend really can’t handle you refusing to fangirl over their relationship, I advise you direct them to the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Allston Way, where they will find the local FedEx to satisfy all their shipping needs.

Amanda Chung writes the biweekly Clog column on the peaks and pitfalls of romance for today’s college students. Contact Amanda Chung at [email protected].

MARCH 02, 2017