Auntie SparkNotes: My Friend Won't Shut Up About Her Boyfriend
I have this friend, "Joy." She's really sweet and innocent and sensitive. In fact, the first year she was in our group, she barely talked at all. Now she talks, but only about one thing.
HER F*$^*@% BOYFRIEND!!!!
Another friend of mine set Joy up with this guy, and they're really happy. But now, every day, we all have to sit through her talking about the hours they spend sitting on the couch calling each other "cute," or wondering if his mom remembered he doesn't like pineapple on his pizza. At first we tried to be subtle about telling her to shut up, but now we just tell her flat out. But she is still going on about him! Seriously at first it was just annoying, but now I think there's a bit more going on.
She seems to centre her entire life around this guy. It's creepy. Like, if she doesn't talk to him for one day, she'll beat herself up about it for a week. She'll spend all night on the phone with him if she ever stays over at my house, completely ignoring the rest of us. I've never met this guy (he goes to a different school) but I'm not sure he is good for her. But I don't want Joy to be unhappy either. Please help, I just want her to be safe.
Ha! Oh, Sparkler. You sneaky minx, you almost got me with that last line of yours. But let's be honest, now: when it comes to Joy's boyfriend-related behavior you don't "just want her to be safe."
You "just want her to stop already with the relentless stream of lovey-dovey verbal diarrhea, for the love of everything, lest your group begin to seriously consider a plan to throw her in a burlap sack with a bunch of cinderblocks and drop it into the ocean."
And that's okay! Being a witness to this kind of relentless schmoopiness is enough to make anyone murderous! But we'll solve your problem a whole lot quicker if you just admit, without trying to put an altruistic spin on it, that you're being irritated nearly to death. Because that's what this situation is: irritating, but not creepy or untoward, and not remotely unusual for a girl in the grips of her very first romance. (Or a guy, for that matter! You say that you haven't met the boyfriend, but if you did, you'd probably find that he's being just as schmoopy about all this as she is.) Joy isn't isolating herself from her friends, losing her confidence, or subsuming her identity into the relationship. She's just infatuated... and annoying, and boring, as so many infatuated people are.
Which brings us to the part where you take your friend aside, one-on-one, and say, "Sweetie, I know you're happy, and I'm happy for you, but we all need a break from hearing about Pookie and his pineapple pizza. Let's talk about something else, okay?" (Note: This is a very different thing from simply telling her to shut up, which can too easily come off as either a) a joke, or b) sour grapes. Give it a try.) And hopefully, a straightforward intervention will help her realize—in a way that "shut up" doesn't—just how out-of-control her mooning has gotten.
But if it doesn't? Well, hey: for some people, the thrill of first love is so overwhelming that they just literally can't shut up about it. All you can do is wait for the novelty to wear off, take the necessary measures to preserve your sanity, and strive to be as understanding as you can... because Joy might be the first of your friends to get bitten hard by the love bug, but chances are, she won't be the last. BEWARE.
Do you have a friend who drives you crazy with too much talk about her boo? Tell us in the comments! And to get advice from Auntie, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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