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Monday, February 16, 2015

What to Do About Her Roommate's Bad Boyfriend?

Dear Bro Jo,

I go to BYU and one of my roommates is my best friend.

I'm concerned about her and I don't know what to do.

She met this guy over the summer (let's call him John).

So she and John have been talking every day for the past couple of months.

I'm really glad that she has a guy that she can talk to, but this guy is not the best influence.

He's not a member, and he has a drinking problem and he smokes.

She's on the phone with him at least 5 hours a day.

She stays up till about 3 every night talking to him and she neglects her school work and her relationships (especially with me and the other 4 girls in the apartment) for her relationship with this guy that lives in Michigan.

They've only met one time in person and the rest of their relationship has been over the phone.

She's talked to me about how she doesn't feel like she can get a guy here at BYU.

I'm afraid that she's settling for John because she doesn't think that she has a chance with any other guys.

She and John say they are in love and I don't want to tell her that that love is not real, because most likely it is, I'm just afraid that she's gonna end up getting hurt and I'll just have sat by and watched it all. I feel kinda silly getting involved because it's not any of my business.

But she's my best friend and I love her and want what's best for her and I definitely don't want her to get in a relationship with John that wouldn't be good for her.

So I guess I just want to know what I should do, if there is anything I can even do.

I don't want to talk to her and have her hate me but I feel like I need to do something.

Thanks!

- Concerned Roommate




Dear CR,

There's a really fine line between being one's "brother's keeper" and meddling . . . and it can be a very tough line to find.

Often I tell people that if people don't ask for our advice we shouldn't give it, but best friends and family have an obligation to step in sometimes, especially when someone may be about to make a big mistake.

The only way to do that is to talk to them in a loving way, and be very careful with what we say.

You could start with a "hey, can we talk about something kind of serious?" - typically over a cocoa or frozen yogurt is a good start.

Then build her up a little.

Tell her how much you care for her, and how great you think she is. 

Then express your concern.

Keep it short.

In fact, she should be doing most of the talking.

Simply state your case. "Look, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but I'm worried about you, about how late you've been staying up, and again, I hope you don't hate me for saying this, but I think you can do better; I picture you married to a worthy priesthood holder for Time and All Eternity".

And then let it go.

Let her talk.

If she asks you questions, give her loving and honest answers, but keep them short.

If she wants it dropped, then drop it.

Forever.

Unless she brings it up again.

You'll have said your bit.

Let it go.

If she wants to argue with her, don't get sucked in.

Listen.

Don't argue.

But don't change your tune, or agree with something just to make her feel better or go along.

Simply repeat "I love you, and I'm worried about you, and I just thought I should tell you how I feel".
Good luck.

And make sure you pray first.

These types of conversations are hard enough without asking the Spirit for help.

Let me know how it goes!

- Bro Jo

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