Don’t Let Friend’s Unhappy Relationship Ruin Your Friendship

Ask Demetria: You can’t fix your pal’s problems if she’s not willing to help herself.

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Stop her from talking about her problems and steer her toward action. If she asks what you think you should do, deflect the answer and put it back on her: “You’ve been talking about this for a while. I think you should do whatever will make you happy. What do you think that is?” Empower her to take control of her life or at least her decisions.

Ideally, your friend needs to accept her situation, take action to go after what she really wants—marriage—with someone else or stop complaining about it. If this doesn’t happen, you may have to accept that you have a toxic friendship that isn’t going to change. Your options are similar to your friend’s: Either take the situation for what it is or move on.

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor at The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life and the upcoming Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at

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