My sister is dating a guy who is just not good for her. She is in college and I don’t understand why she has to date a guy who is a high school drop out, runs with the wrong crowd and rude to service people! What should I do?
Dear Concerned Sister:
WOW! Okay, well first of all, I think she is very lucky to have a sister such as you that cares so much about her! You are clearly level-headed and future-minded, which is very lucky for your sister!
HOWEVER! Time for the TRUTH! The reality of the situation is… you can’t really convince anyone to do anything that they do not want to do. If your sister wants to see this guy, she will SEE THIS GUY UNTIL SHE IS READY NOT TO. No amount of pleading, criticizing, bargaining is going to work.
Blackmail and threats will only lead to the deterioration of your relationship with her. Locking her up in the bedroom and throwing away the key will only lead to a potentially ugly family lawsuit.
People don’t “come to their senses” from talks or even powerpoint presentations. For example, you can tell someone until you are blue in the face that there is nothing to see in Fresno, but some people just have to see for themselves. You tell them, “there is nothing to see there! Save your money and the time!” But some people must go see what is there (or isn’t there). Only once they have taken the bus to Fresno, seen the “downtown” (at which only 50 percent of the businesses are open… I was just there; hede my advice) and taken the greyhound bus back next to a woman carrying 14 cats, will they agree with you!
So while you do not have control over her behavior, you can control point of view on the situation and be more loving to your sister. Instead of criticizing her for her choices, you can try to be more understanding and see what she sees in the guy. He may be rude to service people but maybe he’s really nice to Uber drivers? You never know… and as long as you are stuck in the “he’s not good enough” mentality, you won’t be able to see the positive aspects in this fellow that your sister so dearly loves and that will be bad for your relationship with your sister. Do not underestimate the power of umm… attractive sexual appendages? When push comes to shove, if forced to make a decision, I know lots of girls and guys and GURLS for which the “Bros before Hoes” did not apply.
The best thing you can do is hold a space for her of love. Be the person that she can safely come to to discuss problems in her relationship. A non-judgmental ear, if you will. A person who will support her no matter what decision she makes. You can express your opinions and concerns, but I would urge you to avoid coming from a place of “I need to get her to see the error of her ways,” but instead from a place of “She is doing her best and I am here to help her figure out the best thing to do.” If you give her to freedom to figure it out for herself, it will bring you closer together and you guys will be closer for it.
Trust that she will make the right decision when she is ready.
“Dear Aidan” is a reoccurring advice column written by Aidan Park. Questions for Aidan can be submitted via social media or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Aidan on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter @AidanParkShow and check out his upcoming comedy shows on his website AidanPark.com