He Said, She Said
Published: Monday, February 17, 2014
Updated: Monday, February 17, 2014 00:02
As a true friend, you are obliged to guide your friends in the right direction and warn them of any impending heartbreaks. College students are prone to falling in love with all the wrong people at all the wrong times. It is up to their friends and family to coach them through such difficult periods. I highly doubt that your friends would accuse you of jealousy if you approach the topic of their love lives—the subject of romance and guy-girl relations lies at the crux of most young adult conversations. As long as you do not have a reputation for behaving in an envious manner, then your friends should have no reason to suspect you of jealousy. If you remain visibly sensitive to your friends’ feelings, they should be able to detect your sincerity.
It is also important, however, to recognize that many college students willingly choose to participate in a university’s hook-up culture—perhaps your friends are not interested in developing emotional attachments with their foreign partners. Regardless of their reasons for getting involved with the abroad students, it would not hurt to make an effort to understand their points of view. Make the conversation about them. Ask how they feel about their partners and if they are going to be hurt once they part ways. I often discover that if you approach sensitive topics by displaying genuine interest in the other person’s views and beliefs, you can get your point across with ease. I advise that you begin the conversation by stating how happy you are for your friends and then allude to the unavoidable end-of-the-year split.
In short, you can’t.
Congratulations! You get to watch your friends make (what you consider) bad decisions that potentially affect your living space—and there’s nothing you can do about it.
In the midst of midterms, internship searches, and general life goals, there’s a phrase I’ve found myself saying a lot lately: Let yourself be 20 (or 18, or 19, or whatever age you are). Your roommates may not be making the wisest, long-term choices in the love department—but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t take the chance. And, while you have legitimate, valid concern for their emotional well-being, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t support them. Maybe your friends won’t end up heartbroken—but they probably will. That doesn’t change the fact that, right here, right now, your friends are excited and happy and taking chances. Let them.
They say hindsight is 20/20. Eventually, your friends will look back and reflect on their experience—maybe they’ll see then what you see now. Maybe they won’t. Truth be told, it doesn’t really matter either way. Being a good friend doesn’t mean agreeing on everything or saying “I told you so” when things fall apart. Being a good friend means being there no matter what happens. So at the end of the semester, when the people who are currently most important to them leave, be there. People will go in and out of all of your lives in the next few years—including yours. The ones who stay through it all are the ones that count.