No, not "Friends."
My longest running friendship is with my friend Buddy---I've known him since I was 4 1/2 years old. We went to elementary school together, albeit in different classes, different tracks in middle school, part of our high school time together, I dated a girl at his college 250 miles away, and we've stayed in contact ever since. It's a very long time, and he knows most of my secrets, most of my quirks, we speak the same language and the same shorthand.
About 20 years ago he got married, and I knew she wasn't the right woman for him. I didn't particularly care for her, She didn't care for her, but we kept our mouths shut, out of respect and out of love, because he was getting on in years, and needed a mate, needed the company, needed to share his life with someone else. Five or six years ago, their relationship has disintegrated to such a point that I felt he needed to get divorced, and soon, and I told him so. It took infinite amounts of courage on my part, I felt, to tell him his wife was horrible to him, that his son would withstand the trauma of a separation and a divorce, and to tell my oldest friend in the world how to manage his own life. But that's what friends are for.
I have a new friend, someone who seems to operate on the same wavelength that I do, someone that I care for and about, and I think the new friend may be making a mistake, may be heading down a dangerous or perhaps destructive path. And I've only known this new friend for about four or perhaps five months...how do I let this information out without deepsixing the friendship? Can I tell this new friend, who alternates between being tough as nails and fragile as an eggshell, what I really think, without kissing the friendship goodbye?
My therapist and I work all the time on my communication skills, which are fine here, but woefully insufficient up close and personal...I'd be diving into a fairly shallow pool here with not much margin for error, and little space to turn the bus around once it starts to go downhill.
And we all know what a New York quickmouth I am.