Relationship Advice: When To Listen To Your Friends And When To Ignore Them
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When you need a nice, smooth whiskey after the long work week or when your girlfriend has been stressing you out and you need to talk about anything — anything! — other than your relationship, your buddies are there for you. While you may not be tagging them in Instagram posts as you #besties, your guys know you best and they’re there for you when you need them, regardless of how serious or silly your ask may be.
“Most times, it’s generally a good idea to discuss your relationship with your friends,” founder of The Professional Wingman, Thomas Edwards says. “Your friends are some of the most supportive people in your life, know you well — sometimes, even better than your girlfriend — and will always give it to you straight, even if there’s tough love to give.”
But even though it’s healthy to seek the advice of those who know you the best, your buddies may not always be the best experts to turn to for wisdom, depending on the situation. Especially if you’re going through a rocky time in your relationship. Here are some good times to chat it out with your friends, and times when it’s not so good.
Good idea: If you’re thinking of taking the relationship to the next level.
“If you’re considering proposing to your girlfriend or asking her to move in together, talk to your coupled-up friends who have already been through the experience and can give candid, honest advice on how to make it work and do it right,” Edwards says. While taking your relationship to the next level is an exciting time — whether you’re putting a ring on it or giving it a key — it can also be a stressful time that forces you to really tackle some of your fears. By talking to your friends who have already been through it, you’ll be going into the situation with realistic expectations and prepared for any difficulties that could come your way.
Bad idea: If you just had a huge fight with your girlfriend.
Hey, arguments happen over important and ridiculous things, and though you may know it’s normal to not always get along with your partner, your temper or pride may get the best of you. Your first reaction may be to text a buddy to meet you for a beer so you can spew out all the reasons you’re right and she’s wrong, but Edwards says to take time to yourself to cool down instead. “Your negative bias will come through, unintentionally influencing the advice your friends might give as they try their best to support you and, inevitably, take your side,” he says.
Good idea: If your friend says he has genuine concerns.
No one wants to hear that their girlfriend is bad news, but if you’ve had a long term friendship with a buddy who’s been through it all with you, it’s not a bad idea to hear him out if he expresses actual concern for your happiness. Dating expert and matchmaker Sarah Patt says to note that he will always bat for your first, so listen to what he says but keep his bias in mind. Especially if what he’s concerned about is based on hearsay. “Just remember, everyone has a past and you don’t want to judge someone based on rumors. Everyone has their positives and negatives (no one is perfect), it’s deciding if what someone else thinks is a positive or negative is a positive or negative to you,” she notes.