The Luv Doc: Backseat Driver
The most exquisite intellectual torture imaginable
Dear Luv Doc,
My boyfriend lost his license because of a drunk driving conviction three months ago, so basically now I am his chauffeur. I don't mind driving him around. Actually I like driving, but when he is in the car he cannot help himself from telling me what to do. It is really getting on my last nerve. "Take this street. Get in that lane. Park there!" I have tried to talk to him about this but he can't seem to help himself. He's not terribly nice about it either. How can I get him to stop being such a front/backseat driver?
– Driving Me Crazy
If someone is gracious enough to give you a ride without being paid, then you really only have one job unless otherwise requested. That is to shut the fuck up about the driving and show some gratitude. Period. You bought the ticket, you take the ride.
I know some people are probably thinking, "But what if I know a quicker way?" You're right. You probably do. You probably know a far superior way that takes less than half the time and includes the most gorgeous scenery on planet Earth. Keeping that incredible knowledge to yourself must be the most exquisite intellectual torture imaginable, but you must be strong.
You must shut the fuck up.
Still others might be thinking, "But Luv Doc, what if the driver is tailgating the car in front of us at an obviously unsafe distance? Or swerving perilously close to the oncoming lane? Or updating his Facebook status while steering with his knees?" Hey, I get it. Safety is a huge concern and you would be remiss to point out instances where your safety or even your life is imperiled. And yet, even still, shut the fuck up ... or get out of the car and start walking. Nothing is safer than ambling along at 3 mph. If you have to mooch a ride from someone, you need to expect to ride a little bit dirty – or maybe a lot dirty. Complaining about safety is pretty ballsy when you're mooching a ride. Especially if you're mooching a ride because your license is suspended from a drunk driving conviction.
I truly hate being the one who is always telling people that their significant others are d-bags, but this fuggin' guy ... sounds like a real catch. My guess is that he feels free to voice his opinion on all kinds of other stuff where you're concerned. Now, I have nothing against a little constructive criticism. We all have areas for improvement, but when someone who has shown total incompetence/lack of judgment in something feels qualified to hand out criticism, that is a sure sign of a self-absorbed dick.
So the problem is not so much the backseat driving as it is the need for this guy to feel superior and in control. If that's the kind of relationship that works for you, who am I to criticize? Right? But if it's not, you need to let him know that sometimes, you're the driver, and when you're driving he needs to shut the fuck up or get out. If he's not, trust me, you're better off driving alone.