The man you met through a black online dating site seems great, but are your friends getting in the way of this new relationship?
It’s true that our friends and family are there to support us during hard times. But occasionally, do you listen to their advice when you wish you hadn’t? Unfortunately, they don’t always know what’s best for us, and can sometimes steer us in the wrong direction when it comes to love – mostly because they don’t want us repeating their mistakes.
But every relationship is different, which is why it’s important to know what’s right for you without input from everyone else. Sometimes this can be hard to do. Let’s look at an example.
The scenario: You’ve met a great guy from the new black online dating site you joined last month. You’ve been dating a few weeks, and already your friends are giving you advice about what to do, even if you didn’t ask:
“Don’t call and text him so much. Let him come to you.”
“Is he taking you out to nice places? He has to treat you right.”
“Are you sure about him? He seems too good to be true. Something must be wrong with him.”
“You always go for the players. Is this guy being honest with you and not seeing other women?”
Or it could be the reverse. For example, your friends are really trying to encourage you to date more people, so they might say things like:
“Put yourself out there more – don’t just date this one guy.”
“The last guy you went out with was hot! I don’t know why you didn’t want to keep dating him. He was perfect for you.”
“Did you know your ex is dating so-and-so? You need a rebound man.”
While they are often trying to help, friends tend to take their own belief systems and experiences and place them on you. So if your friend was treated badly by a past love, or if her boyfriend isn’t very honest, she’ll usually bring up these problems with your love life, even if they don’t apply.
Instead of giving in and listening to every bit of love advice friends and family may give you, it’s important to listen to your own heart and to put up boundaries. Following are some tips to keep a healthy distance and be true to yourself:
Does it feel true? Sometimes friends and family can see the relationship better because they are outside of it. Other times, when you start doubting yourself and your choices, friends can jump to conclusions that your new love isn’t right for you. If it feels like you’re starting to pick fights with your man just because your friends are questioning things, it’s probably time to take a step back and assess things for yourself. Are there real red flags, or just areas of conflict that need compromise? Don’t jump to conclusions – trust your instincts.
Don’t over-share. One of the main reasons others insert themselves into your love life is because you’re telling them too much. Parents and friends want to be protective, so they will latch on to the bad things without seeing the good. Instead, take your time and be discerning about what you will and won’t share. They don’t need all the details.
Give it time. Sometimes we jump to conclusions about someone before we’ve given the relationship a real chance. Instead of getting caught in this trap, take things slowly. Get to really know each other before looking at all the potential pitfalls. You could be surprised.