Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?


Dear Dharma,

I sure hope you can help me with this.  I have a good friend from high school that is still in my close circle.  We are both early 20’s, and semi started on our lives.  The problem is my younger brother, he is 18, and has a crush on my friend.  I am pretty sure she likes him too, but I wish she didn’t!

He is bad news, didn’t finish high school, does a lot of drugs, and (from what little I know) has been in some semi-serious brushes with the law.  I am pretty sure he cracked up a stolen car, but never got nailed for it.  All of this “bad boy” image crap is just icing on the cake for my friend.  She knows most of the story but is still attracted to him, maybe because of it.

I know that it will be a disaster for them to hook up, and our friendship won’t survive the crash!  How can I put the brakes on before it gets started?

Brother Can You Spare my Friend?

Dear Spare My Friend,

Sadly, your friend certainly won’t be the first girl in history to be dragged down by the notorious bad boy.  I don’t know what it is, some women just have it coded in their DNA, they can’t help it…

This situation sucks, but I honestly don’t think there is anything you can do to prevent it.  In trying to do so, you actually run the risk of a) pushing them even closer together, and b) doing further damage to your friendship.

If you start talking trash about your brother, and they do end up together, it’s almost guaranteed you will end up the odd man out.  And that will not be a fun place to be.

I’m not saying you need to encourage it, or double date with them, but I think your best bet is to play it cool, neutral.  That way she has someone to turn to when it starts to fall apart.  If she doesn’t feel judged by you, the likelihood of your friendship surviving increases substantially.

It may take a little while for it to all run its’ course.  You may have to install some boundaries on how much she shares as she gushes about her new found love – there’s nothing wrong in saying, “I’m sure you can understand I’m not entirely comfortable knowing about my little brother’s sex life, so maybe you can spare me the nitty gritty?” And you may have to smile and nod for a while.

Best case scenario is that maybe, just maybe (ahh, there’s the curse right there, non?  That “hopeful” DNA coding – “He just needs the right woman to turn him around!”) it will work out between them, and you can all be one big happy.  Worst case is that it’s the disaster you predict, but if you can mitigate some of the damage, it might just work itself out.



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1 Comment

  • not the Momma says:

    Gross! I can’t imagine my brother with any of my friends, but then he is a dweeb, not a “bad boy” in any sense!
    Have a heart to heart with your bff, make sure she knows what she is getting into. You would tell her if it wasn’t your bro, but some guy that you had the dirt on wouldn’t you?
    Then…she’s a grownup, and can make grownup mistakes. Be there to help pick up the pieces, and you know it will happen!

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