Point blank, I’m not a fan of my friend’s boyfriend. I feel like this old man kinda controls my friend, he’s 34 and she’s 23. Take for example the fact he tried to check her once about her hair. Apparently, he’s not a fan of braids, and let it be known by telling her that braids didn’t look nice on her and she shouldn’t get them anymore. Plus, she pays for almost everything in the relationship. Oh and since she started seeing this guy, she hates going to the club.
I know I shouldn’t get in the middle of someone’s relationship, but I felt I had to. I told her as nicely as I could to stop letting him control her, and she says he’s not. I didn’t want to push too hard because I’m nervous she would try to bail on me, but I want my friend back. What should I do here?
– King Kunta
Dear King Kunta,
Thanks for writing to me. I’m just going to go ahead and jump right in with my advice because while your letter is brief, you touched on a few topics I want to address. For starters, because I don’t know everything about your friend’s relationship, I don’t feel quite comfortable in saying this boyfriend is controlling your bestie. Even though there may be signs that could lead me into agreeing with you that he’s controlling, I’ll reserve judgment because I don’t have all the facts.
Look, when I was your friend’s age, I typically preferred to date older men as well (although, I had a cutoff of 13 years or older, but that’s a conversation for another day). And from my experience dating just two older men at that age, I did notice the older men tried to “son me.” I constantly felt like they wanted me to defer to their opinion on life choices because they “lived more” and “knew better.” I hated that, and those dating situations didn’t last long. I wouldn’t say these men were controlling, but just “settled in their own ways.”
With that said, sometimes as a partner, you may prefer your mate to have a certain hairstyle. For example, I typically prefer a man with a low cut and may let that be known if I’m asked. However, I wouldn’t necessarily tell a boyfriend he looks terrible with any other hairstyle, nor would I demand he get a “low cut Caesar’s with the deep waves.” As long as his hair is kept, I’m good. Heck, it’s his head. All in all though, it’s not that uncommon for a partner to express a preference for a particular style for their mate; but, the delivery of that expressed preference is important.
Now when it comes to your friend paying for more in the relationship than her boyfriend, I know that wouldn’t work for me necessarily because I want my partner and me to be as equal as possible. BUT, that’s me. What I prefer or what you prefer doesn’t matter, because neither of us is in this relationship. Besides, have you considered that your friend’s boyfriend could be providing your bestie with a level of support or something that equates to finances? Again, I don’t know all the dynamics of your friend’s relationship, but if spending more in the relationship works for her, that’s her business.
Let me wrap this up by saying one important fact. A relationship is between two people. What your friend has going on with her boyfriend is her business. Unless there is verbal or physical abuse going on, you have to let her learn her own lessons in love.
Suggestions going forward.
- I didn’t mention it before, but it’s not that uncommon for people to change some of their habits when they land a mate. Some people prefer not to club when they are in a relationship because they rather be at home with their boo late at night. Your friend’s desire not to club may not have anything to do with her boyfriend’s requests. In any case, if you miss hanging out with her, express that. You may find she goes with you to the club every now and then, or will meet you halfway with a happy hour.
As always nothing but love,