Stop playing against the deadbeats

Possessive, manipulative, controlling, uber-macho men — why does this sound like dating material? (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Let’s face it, 90 percent of the people your friends date are complete losers or at least have major flaws. Maybe they have just come out of rehab (for the third time), maybe they are actors from the (s)hit television series “The Jersey Shore,” or maybe they are John Mayer fans (in my book, at least, a far greater offense than the other two.) Your friend is somehow oblivious and just so happy, and you do not want to be the reason their romantically induced dream ends. You want to support your friend, but at the same time, if there is a truly serious problem, you don’t want to see her suffer. How do you deal with this?

I had a friend, let’s call her Becky, who falls into a pattern of dating possessive, manipulative, controlling, uber-macho men. She knows she deserves better, and she is unhappy in these relationships, yet she continues to fall into the same pattern. Out of all the guys she has been with, there is one who was a real cut above the rest — by which I mean he also had out-of-control jealousy. Whenever she texted someone in his presence, he would demand to see her phone and get angry if she refused. He did not let her spend time with her male friends, and last New Years Eve called at 3 a.m. to see if my friend was staying at some random guy’s house.

Of course my friend started to feel it was a bad sign when he was not angry with her, because it was a “sign that he was cheating.”

You know it’s bad when somebody not getting angry is a sign of things going wrong.

Then she would get paranoid and try to figure out how to hack into her boyfriend’s Facebook account. Talk about lack of trust! Now she says the two of them are in a “good place” because she is out of school for the summer and therefore has more time to focus on the relationship. But will it go back to the same-old once school starts again? Or will I be pleasantly surprised?

The solution seems simple to me (and most people reading this): Dump the deadbeat.

I can’t quite express that to her face, of course, so instead my job is to sit and listen to her woes.

It’s like reading “Peanuts” strips in which Charlie Brown tries to kick that football and Lucy snatches it away as he runs up — that’s how I feel when I hear how miserable she is. As much as I want to yell “Don’t go for that football! You’ll never kick it!” from the sidelines, I know that I have to just sit on the sidelines with my first aid kit and wait for the damage and hope one day she figures out that going after the football is just not worth it.

Last week: Is it what to give up, or when to end it?

Next week: The ex communication

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