This is going against everything I’ve shared in regards to why I started this column, but hear me out. Asking friends for relationship advice is a no no. I agree it’s great to talk about things, especially taboo topics, and those topics that invite people to be more honest and shed light. I wish Dirty John had come out on Netflix before I met a psychopathic ex years ago. It could have saved me from the biggest mistake of my life. However, I don’t always think our friends advice is the right or best advice for us. What I’m saying is, at this point in our lives we should be able to trust our intuition and everything we know about relationships to make an intelligent decision for ourselves.
Throughout my life I’ve experienced times when I was afraid to pull the trigger. Maybe because if I chose something wrong on my own I would be the only one to blame. The fact is even if you take a friends advice you can still only blame yourself. When you make a decision that’s your choice. So why are we trusting our most intimate selves with friends? It’s not just the most important things like questioning if you are in the right marriage — or should get married. Small things like overanalyzing a first date, text message, or disagreement carry the same weight.
Anytime I went against my intuition and trusted a friends opinion it got me into more trouble. Why? Because the person I am dating is not my best friend. Their mind, reasoning, and any other deciphering factor isn’t the same as my friends — unless they are besties who talk regularly. So there is no real way of knowing why people do or act the way they do.
The best thing to do is man/woman up and ask someone straight out. Be transparent and tell them how you are feeling. One of the most attractive things that’s happened to me this year was a first call with a guy I’ve had a few dates with. Within ten minutes (on our three hour call) he told me straight out that he was looking for a wife and didn’t want to waste time with someone not in the same place in their life. Though that doesn’t mean we will or won’t get married one day, it means he’s a grown ass man. A huge thank you to him for answering the most important question I had so quickly. You saved me from weeks, possibly months, of beating around the bush trying to figure it out.
That person is teaching me a lot these days. Which I respect. His age plays a big part in his emotional stability and maturity, but the bigger factor is he doesn’t want the bullshit. Neither do I or anyone seriously looking for a real connection. So again, stop trusting your friends with your partners privacy. Trust your partner enough to be honest and upfront or get out. It’s okay to ask for a second opinion when you truly are at a loss for an explanation. It’s also okay to accept that people don’t need to explain themselves. That within itself is a sign and a red flag. Read peoples actions for exactly what they are. If they aren’t showing up for you then you don’t need your bff to clarify that. The writing is usually on the wall.
Know when your friend is doing you a service or disservice. Sometimes our friends are protective and see things we might not want to see. In which case talking to them is beneficial — but minimize the talk. Don’t share every detail. And always form your own judgements. Keep in mind we all have those friends in unhealthy situations who blame others for their reality and assume ours is the same. What I mean is if they recently had someone cheat on them and believe all people cheat they are probably not in their right mindset to give you relationship advice. Just because they were hurt by someone doesn’t mean you will be also. You can only know from your experience with someone how they will be with you.
I don’t believe friends are malicious and want to see us fail in life, but I do believe our friends don’t always know what’s best for us. Hell, it’s one of my best friends who convinced me to date a psychopath years ago. I made my bed and I lied in it. But I listened to her terrible advice. It was also another close friend who told me to have causal sex to fill any loneliness after my recent breakup. Can you imagine how much emptier I would feel now had I taken that advice. Thank God that’s not how I am. Sometimes our friends aren’t making their own good choices and have no room to help us make ours.
In matters of love and dating you really have to go with your gut. You have to trust yourself. You have to listen to your partner and their actions. If I had silenced the conversations I had with friends years ago and listened to myself I would have dated differently. Actually, I wouldn’t have gotten involved with some of the people I met over the last decade. Hindsight is 20/20. We can all look back and wish we could have done things differently. Or we can learn from our mistakes and grow into the best version of ourselves through them so when the right person comes along we don’t have to ask anyone because we will intuitively know.