Why You Should Complain About Your Partner to Your Best Friend — NOT Your Mom

Both women would listen to my ranting and agree that I have every right to be super-mad. The similarities stop there.
Publish date:
March 16, 2016
boyfriends, best friends, Dating, partners, mothers, BFFs

Everyone needs to rant. Everyone has moments where they need to be irrational and vent about crazy things that their significant other has done. This is natural and healthy, but it's essential that you choose to vent to the right person.

I am begging you: for the sake of your happiness and the health of your relationship between your SO and your mother, please call your best friend for this one. Your mother is the right person to call about a lot of things, but not for this.

BFFs operate on what I like to call the Boyfriend/Husband Clause. The Boyfriend/Husband Clause means that whenever you are furious at your SO, your BFF will agree with you on all things. They will chime in with helpful remarks like "What a douche bag! He's lucky to have you," and "Seriously, what a freaking jerk. I'll totally punch him in the face for you."

They will ride the hate train with you for as long as you need them to, but when you make up with your SO and once again think they're the greatest, your BFF will pull the emergency brake on that hate train, slide off the tracks and do a full 180. Suddenly, she will agree that you two are perfect for each other. All previous missteps and mistakes your SO made will be systematically forgotten (or at least stored away for future rant sessions). She will not question your love or remind you of any of the unpleasantness that might have occurred as recently as yesterday, because today you love your SO, so your BFF does, too.

Your mother does not operate under the Boyfriend/Husband Clause.

No, not for her beautiful and perfect daughter. Not for the girl for whom she went through 24 hours of labor and passed all her youthful beauty onto. Nope. Moms remember everything.

Let me give you an example. The other day, I was incredibly crabby. I felt my boyfriend had wronged me in some way. I'm pretty sure he just spoke to me in a less-than-friendly tone, but that tone made me remember that he owed me $20 and didn't do the dishes that one time two weeks ago, and also always leaves dirty socks in weird places around the house, which I've never told him not to do but that I feel he should just inherently know not to do. So basically, my boyfriend was a terrible monster, and someone needed to know about it.

So who to call, my mom or my BFF? Both women would listen to my ranting and egg me on, they would agree that all these minuscule things are totally a big deal, and tell me that I have every right to be super-mad. They would both allow me to be irrational and crabby.

The similarities stop there.

My mother would absorb these things and store them away. She would put them on a mental list of reasons my boyfriend is a deadbeat who in no way deserves me. Slowly, over time, she will use these rant sessions to build her case against this guy who isn't even giving her grandchildren and who is clearly turning her daughter into an unhappy, pre-ballgown Cinderella who can never reach her full potential because of this heavy ball and chain that is her piece-of-garbage boyfriend.

Yep, she got all that from some stinky socks and dirty dishes.

You see, your mother simply cannot separate these rants from everything else. It doesn't matter how happy you are with your SO 95% of the time — all she can focus on is that 5% of fighting and unhappiness.

Every time you rant to her, you give her fuel for the fire that burns bright inside every mother. A fire that, if stoked and fed enough, will eventually burn the bridge between your mother and your SO. All that will be left is the bitter smoke that stings your eyes as you desperately try to convince your mother not to say passive-aggressive things to your husband over Thanksgiving dinner. Was the ranting really worth all of this madness? The constant justification of your relationship? I don't think so.

So next time you are ticked off at your significant other, please, do yourself a favor, and call your BFF instead.