Relationship advice from friendsYou’re dating someone new, and none of your friends approve. The independent thinker in you wants to believe you know what you’re doing, thank you very much. The rebel in you wants to tell your friends where they can stick their opinions. And the crowd-pleaser in you wants to dump him and move on. What should you do?

Listen to your friends.

True story: Lisa was engaged. She was excited, of course, but her friends were wary. None of them were particularly fond of David. In fact, every member of her bridal party told her so, asking her to call off the wedding. They were that sure she was making a huge mistake.

The wedding came and went. It was a beautiful day. Fast forward a few years, and Lisa and David are no longer married. Her friends were right. He wasn’t a good fit for her. In fact, she was unhappy long before they split.

You see, Lisa’s friends know her. They know what she likes and what she doesn’t. David wasn’t a bad guy. He didn’t cheat or anything. He just wasn’t a good fit for Lisa, and her friends knew it.

Somewhere in the back of your head you hear your mother’s voice right about now. “If all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you?”

Well, mom, that depends.

Of course, you should never try to tailor every aspect of your life to match your friends’ preferences over your own. Your friends may know you, but you know you, too. That said, if all your friends are jumping off a bridge because it’s about to collapse, you should probably jump, too.

When your friends give you feedback about the person you’re dating, you should always listen. And by “listen,” I mean hear them out and ask questions until you fully understand the nature of their concern. You may or may not follow their advice, but you should definitely see what their objections are.

What are they really saying?

If they’re saying they wouldn’t date him, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. But, if they’re saying they don’t think he’s right for you, that’s a red flag. Especially if you get the same feedback from several friends.

If Lisa had listened, she could have saved herself years of heartache. But, she didn’t.

Who you date is up to you. It’s your love life. The goal is for you to be happy and fulfilled. You’re not trying to win the approval of your entire social network, which is good because that’s rare!

This is all about you finding the partner who leaves you breathless.

Relationship advice from friendsBut your friends care about your happiness, too. When they warn you off, take the time to hear them out. Carefully consider their objections. Relationships can be confusing, especially when they’re new. It’s entirely possible your friends see something you don’t.

P.S. If you’re trying to avoid letting friends or family know who you have been seeing, ask yourself why. That’s a red flag you should not ignore.

Always in your side,

James

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