Friends are great. They’re there for you, you’re there for them. Once you enter into a relationship, however, things can get complicated. Nobody wants to bore a friend to death with the minute details of their relationships, but there is definitely something to be said for having someone to confide in. Your friends (in theory) have your best interests at heart, but could their seemingly well-meaning advice be holding you back?
The problem with relationship advice is that has a different idea of what a “good” relationship entails. For some people it sounds more like a fairytale. For others, it’s a “friends first, lovers second” mentality. Regardless of their current relationship status, everyone has their own opinion. So, when people start to weigh in on your own problems, they bring with them their own experiences.
There’s a major downside to that sort of advice; namely that they aren’t you. They haven’t experienced the things you’ve experienced with your significant other, and they don’t know how you truly feel, because they just can’t. Your friends’ advice is very important, but the most important opinion of all is your own. In the end, the truth is that being successful at dating requires a hell of a lot of confidence in yourself and reliance on your own ability to judge situations. You’re the only one who knows how you feel and what you want.
Yes, this is a problem, but it’s not all bad. Other people’s opinions are valuable, even if we don’t agree with them. They help us shape our own opinions and figure out how to deal with things, both in relationships and in life in general. So, don’t automatically discount and refuse to hear anything people try to tell you about your relationship just because you don’t agree with what they’re saying. You have to find some kind of equilibrium. A good way to do this is to pay attention to patterns. If lots of trusted people in your life are telling you the same thing about your significant other, make it a point to seriously evaluate what they’re saying, because there’s a good chance they’re on to something.
Above all else, trust your instincts. You know how you feel and how much you can trust someone, and at the end of the day, your opinion is what’s final.
Melissa Messer is a blogger, writer, musician, and dork with Midwestern roots. She is currently a freelance contributor to The Dating Site and a full-time college student.