If I read one more tweet about how relationships are supposed to be easy, or how if a man really loves you he’ll never make you cry, or that arguing leads to the demise of a relationship I am going to lose it! Seriously who the hell came up with these naive and dare I say idiotic rules for relationships? I know who did…your friends, and their friends, and their friends, and so on. Yes, that’s right listening to our friends-or strangers who we call friends on Twitter or Facebook-can literally lead to you being dumped, cheated on, forgotten about, or avoided by the one you adore
Think about this…how often do we look to others for advice or direction on what to do in our relationships? How many times have you called up your girlfriends to tell them what your boyfriend did? And ladies we are not the only guilty parties in the bad advice pyramid scheme…Men are just as bad! And yes I referred to bad relationship advice as a pyramid scheme, because to me, it is!
Here is how the pyramid developed: There was this one man or woman who decided they had all the answers, so they went to their friends and told them all of the “answers” to life, which evolved into those answer loving recipients to continue spreading out the answers to life all over town, which eventually ended up being told to your mom or dad, who told them to your big brother or sister, who told them to you, and you tell them to your friends. See…see how easy it is to ride down the slippery pyramid scheme slope?
I am just as guilty of this as well. I remember going to someone for advice on every little aspect of my relationship with the Baseball Player. He and I fell for each other quick and hard. And instead of admitting that to one another, I discussed us with my advice giver, and he discussed us with his best friend who I’ll refer to as The Weasel. Oh yeah I said it…he was a weasel. Anyway the weasel had just gone through a bad break-up and the Baseball Player and I were doing so well that he had a typical case of jealousy and did everything in his power to tear us apart.
Now, my advice giver on the other hand was in a whole other state and married, so she was not trying to break us up, but looking back on it she definitely was not trying to steer me in the right direction either. I wouldn’t make a decision about the Baseball Player unless I went to my advice giver, or friends and over discussed, over commented, and over thunk every tiny, little, itty bitty detail of his behavior and our relationship. Let’s just say he and I quickly broke up, got back together, broke up again, and luckily have remained gogd friends to this day. He once told me, ‘You know I was in love with you. You are easy to love, but I was scared of how I felt and that’s why I screwed things up.’ And while my heart was swooning over his admission and honesty he also said this, ‘Remember that girl you would always talk to about me?’
Ladies we over analyze, over think, over wonder, and over question everything. It is almost in our nature to always need approval from others before we act. Why do we wonder if our friends will think our boyfriend is good looking, or like him as much as we do? Maybe for the same reason why guys want to date a girl they know there friends are attracted to. On some emotional level the approval from others is what we all crave. It is positive reinforcement that the decisions we are making for our lives are the correct ones.
I am not saying all advice is bad advice, because it is not. And often times our friends can see in someone what we cannot see for ourselves, because our eyes are covered with rose colored, I am so in love, he is the best thing that has ever happened to me glasses. Sometimes, that guy is a total jackass, or that girl is a kookoo bird and your friends or family members can recognize that. Not listening to a friends advice or family members warnings can lead to a whole other bag of horrible tricks you never want to learn. We have all been there…
When it comes to relationships, they are going to be hard, because they are work. And he is going to make you cry and it does not always have to be sad tears. You will argue and have ups and downs, and sometimes you may break-up and find your way back to each other, but these decisions have to be your own. A friend I know was dating a horrible guy and it was literally obvious to everyone within two minutes of being around him. I spoke up to her about it a few times, but instead of realizing his snake ways, she actually got mad at me for pointing them out! Crazy right?
At least I cared enough to be honest with her and not discuss it behind her back like her sister and other friends right? Wrong. Allowing someone to make their own mistakes, travel their own journey, and realize the good or bad aspects of their relationship is something we all must do. Unless this person is physically harming them which in any case you do all you can to help them…no matter what!
At times we all become a friends therapist…sometimes its at 3am after you left the bar and had a few drinks, other times it’s when you’re all sitting around a table reminiscing…But how many of us just listen without judgement or offering our two cents? I have made a lot of dating and relationship mistakes, but by far my biggest mistakes have been relying on others advice and allowing their opinions to dictate my actions or choices.
Its completely my fault because no matter how much advice someone gives you it is completely up to you whether or not you will take it with a grain or salt, or take it, write it down and turn it into your memoir. If you wanted to be a millionaire would you ask a homeless person for advice? If you wanted advice about marriage would you listen to your twice divorced friend? And if you wanted advice on how to love would you listen to your pessimistic, angry single friends? Be careful who you listen to. You may end up perpetually lonely because of it.
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