When Your Best Friend's Mr. Right Is Mr. Wrong

Love & Relationships

I've cried over plenty of men. My text messages have been referred to as scriptures.

I have tried to rationalize why what is happening is okay, even if I feel like sh-t. Most importantly, I've done it more than once. Sometimes it seems like I have never learned the lesson despite how much time has passed. Knowing this truth about myself makes it much easier to not look down on or feel indifferent to other women struggling with the same thing.

But goddamn, have you ever been peacefully chilling after a long day and then BAM, here comes Stacy ready to talk your ear off for an hour via phone call about her dude? The worst part? You knew that's what she was calling for when the phone rang because this is nothing new. I've definitely been there and if you have "that" friend, I'm here to tell you it's okay to feel bothered. And it's definitely okay to want to tell her, girl, leave him or me alone.

Even in the 6th grade, I was sitting on three-way phone calls listening to my best friends and their significant others fight and make up. On my friendship resume, you can find "third wheel" under my skill set after "virgin until after high school." While my best friend and her boyfriend were having sex on the couch next to me, I was simply enjoying ice cream and reruns.

Unfortunately, when you ride or die for your girlfriends, that isn't always the most viable response. So we sit through, follow along, and get emotionally invested in their dramas. In turn, we usually end up secretly hating their partner (if not them). I had to make peace with this being a part of my friendships with people in relationships. Especially since, in retrospect, I too find myself venting about my relatively dry love and sex life, which is sometimes on baby daddy repeat.

So I've compiled a few thoughts and recommendations about ways to deal with your friends or family members who always come to you to talk about their relationships.

You Can Take A Rain Check

In an effort to put yourself first, know that it's okay to tell your friends that you're just not up to taking on anything other than yourself for the day. It's especially easier to do this if all they want to talk about is the same thing they always talk about. Do take caution here and use proper discretion as to not leave someone who REALLY needs someone there hanging. Just know that not responding, answering the phone, or rescheduling for a brunch or dinner does not make you an awful person- it means you care as much about yourself as you do anyone else.

Lend A Quiet Shoulder

There really is nothing worse than offering advice to someone who wants to argue with you about why your advice doesn't make sense for THEIR situation. Sis, nine times out of ten, as a single person, I don't think your situation makes sense at all but whatever. Depending on the kind of friend you're dealing with, they might not want any advice and just need to blow off steam. This is also totally fine, just try to suppress your urge to scream "ABANDON SHIP" and "RUN B-TCH" as often as possible.

It's Okay To Say "I Don't Know"

It's flattering having a friend that wants your advice and values your opinion, but you can only do it so many times. After you've given the same advice upwards of three times, it's time to throw in the towel. Having no advice at all is ok and "I don't even know girl" is my go-to line for these situations. Eventually, they will pick up on the idea that you no longer have much to say about it and will stop asking for your input. They might even stop venting altogether.

Keep It Judgement-Free

If someone in your life is coming to you with their most vulnerable frustrations it means they trust you and deserve to be treated with love and respect. The best way to maintain that is to keep it a judgment-free zone. We can sit around and talk about how we think we would never do this or that, but until you're in that situation you never really know. Give your friends the same safe space you might need when you try to make things work with your baby daddy for the 27th time- not me...I'm just saying.

Always Be Supportive - She's Grown

You ever listen to your girl cry for a few hours on the phone the night prior to waking up and seeing her dude as her MCM? It happens all of the time. My number one rule for this is plain and simple - if she is not in any imminent danger or suffering from some form of abuse that was disclosed to me, then it's just not my business. Everyone is an adult and everyone gets to make their own decisions pertaining to how they want to spend their lives. All you can do is be supportive of your friend and refrain from any "I told you so" verbiage if they circle back to your line a week later.

Relationships may come and go, but sisterhood SHOULD be forever. Try your very best to establish boundaries for your girlfriends, as well as yourself in order to maintain healthy long-lasting friendships.

It's important to stay gentle, but remain true to what you're feeling and things will eventually balance out for you.

Whether you're on the receiving end, or the one doing the venting, keep in mind that the most important thing is that you love each other. Know your limits, advise only when asked, support your friends no matter what, but be ready with a bat when they are finally ready to tear his car up.

Featured image by Getty Images

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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Featured image by Shutterstock

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