Heard It from A Friend who…

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.

But 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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21 thoughts on “Heard It from A Friend who…

  1. PHILLISTINE said:

    I concur; very simply, and for the extremely real fact that my mother and my best friend does know me and quite obviously saw something that I just did not see or know, for sure. My mother and she specifically informed me to just leave him alone (or that I should) and all those people alone and then to just do my school work and simply get up out of there. But then I was basically just continuing to say nice things about him, and thinking all positive and everything and just trying to look at the bright side of everything as i have always tried to do….. But it turned out that yet and still and in the ever loving end….. My mother dear and my best friend were exactly right. My best friend saw him and knew who he was but my mother never even saw them, ever…. but then said and told me to just simply leave all those people alone and to just focus on my work and assignments and just to then come home when I was finished. But no, I just felt that I was a grown woman and that I could handle my own business myself, and i really do not like for anybody to intervene in my affairs. It is just like you said James and that is that just because they would not get involved with somebody that that simply should not be a sufficient enough answer why I cannot nor should not continue my relationship with that person; but now if they simply felt that something was just not right or that they maybe can see, or can feel, or even sense that something is just not right with us being together (for reasons unknown at that point and time… it simply does not matter “why”… just very simply that I should have without questioning any further, but just simply should have listened to them and immediately ended my VERY, VERY, VERY REAL AND FAITHFUL AND LOYAL INTEREST IN HIM. (mind you, that we had never even gotten together physically in no way, shape, fashion, nor form… I JUST SIMPLY REALLY LIKED HIM AS what I suspected was a good and TRULY SINCERE and a kind of good man, so I thought at that time, for sure…. BUT MY MOTHER AND MY BEST FRIEND KNOWS JUST HOW PROFOUNDLY SINCERE, TRULY FAITHFUL, LOYAL AND SIMPLY DEDICATED TO “ONLY ONE MAN” THAT I SIMPLY AM and they saw something that i did not and just did not want to see me IN ANY PAIN NOR EVER BE HURT BY ANYBODY and especially some TRULY NO GOOD GUY WHO OBVIOUSLY DID NOT CARE ABOUT ANYBODY BUT HIMSELF or something to that effect anyway….. But I sincerely DO GET AND DEEPLY COMPREHEND WHAT MY MOTHER AND MY BEST FRIEND WAS TRYING TO AVOID IN MY LIFE AND VERY, VERY, VERY SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY LOVED ME AND CARED ABOUT MY FEELINGS …. and especially if they saw something in that guy that I obviously did not see or maybe that I just did not want to see it …..hhmmmmmm, well, I am just being really honest…. and not that I thought anything like that I could change them either… shucks, that never crossed my mind…… JUST KNOW THAT I VERY, VERY, VERY SIMPLY JUST LIKED THAT MAN…. POINT. BLANK….. and that is what time that was/is. That is simply all) But what makes it all so, so, so truly bad is that my very, very, very, honest, true, faithful, and quite loyal anticipation of who I thought and felt was a real good, together, and charming man (again, so I thought then…. but now NOT!!!!!!! But it is okay, because that situation was obviously meant to happen to me so that I could learn from it and God knows that “I did”, (I JUST THANK MY FATHER GOD THAT LIFE SIMPLY GOES ON, AND NOW IN A TRULY BEAUTIFUL AND DEEPLY LOVING DIRECTION…. HOPEFULLY FOR SURE THIS TIME….. Well, all that we can truly do IS TO ALWAYS TRY, TRY, AND THEN TRY AGAIN…. UNTIL WE FINALLY FIND, MEET, AND COME TOGETHER WITH THAT TRULY AWESOME SPECIAL SOMEONE IN OUR LIVES….. I MEAN HONESTLY, ALTHOUGH IT MAY HURT US SOMETIMES…. BUT THAT IS ALWAYS WHERE JESUS ALWAYS AND FOREVER COMES IN …. WELL, IT IS UP TO US TO LET HIM IN SO THAT OUR PAINS WILL NOT BE SO UNBEARABLE, FOR SURE… I JUST ALWAYS SAY SIMPLY, “THANK YOU JESUS”…. Because He is THE ONLY ONE who can get me through times such as these….) although I did absolutely nothing “THAT” wrong nor bad in my eyes to get the kind of treatment that I did from truly SOMEBODY WHOM I DEEPLY THOUGHT WAS QUITE SPECIAL TO AND/OR FOR ME…. but like Oprah said, “When we know better we do better”… “How” I learned the TRUTH really floored me, and I mean that I was flabberghasted, because I would have never, ever, never and truly ever thought that they would have just did me like that and then for absolutely “NO REAL REASON WHATSOEVER”. A lot of people think and feel that just because they are in a high and nice position that they can just treat people any ole’ kind of way, but I got some news for those jokers….. and that being that “GOD IS” and Plus, God said that Revenge is HIS and that HE shall repay”… and I already know that GOD CAN AND WILL do a much better job (ALL DAY LONG) than I ever could…. plus, we would only end up hurting ourselves in an attempt of trying to be vindictive, for sure…… therefore, it is truly not worth it. Also my mother has drilled into our minds for many years that SOMETIMES we simply just HAVE TO “LET GO AND LET GOD” handle the situation for us… because it is truly beyond our own control… BUT ALSO THAT WE SIMPLY HAVE TO “GET IT” AND THAT IS THAT OUR OMNIPOTENT HEAVENLY FATHER IS TRULY OUR MASTER and as this is HIS WORLD and we belong to HIM and ALL THEREIN…..OUR FATHER GOD also told us that when our burdens get too heavy for us to bear to simply TAKE THEM TO HIM IN PRAYER BECAUSE IT IS SIMPLY JUST “TOO MUCH” FOR US (as only measly little humans down here on this particular vast planet that we reside on at this present time) TO BARE…. (AS THAT NOTORIOUS POEM “FOOTPRINTS (IN THE SAND)” IMPLIES… which is simply because those awesome footprints belong to Jesus, who is carrying us because our burdens are too heave for us to bare, very simply…. wow, beautiful JESUS…. US thanking God FOREVER is still not enough nor will ever be enough THANK YOUS that we can say to HIM FOR ALL THAT HE HAS DONE FOR US, STILL DO FOR US, AND WILL EVER DO FOR US… Also as it says in our Holy Bible and that is that GOD HAS WORKED MIRACLES AND STILL HAS GREAT WONDERS TO PERFORM….. “MY, MY, MY”, what a beautiful day that will be, for sure, AGAIN….. “HA” JUST WATCH GOD WORK) BUT ALSO and especially when I was simply so, so, so very very, very sincere to that person whom I thought was that “SPECIAL SOMEONE” to and for me and in my(our) life and for our life.) and I really at this time very profoundly wish that I would have, seriously and very simply listened to them as I would not be feeling so, so, so freakin’ badly for my sincere actions of BASICALLY PHYSICALLY JUST WAITING FOR HIS AWESOME AND QUITE CHARMING APPROACH TO ME…… NO MATTER HOW UPSET I WAS OR WHATEVER AT HIM…… It just feels so, so, so bad that I had invested so, so, so much of MY PRECIOUS LIFE INTO THAT SO I THOUGHT “SPECIAL SOMEONE” honestly, truly, and seriously)….
    James you are “EXACTLY RIGHT” and we should listen to our friends, family, or people whom “we know” just know us well (enough to know in the various situations that we may find ourselves) and basically know how we are or know what we like in our lives. But especially once we have questioned them as to why they feel or felt that way and then they elaborated on their exact point….. now, at which point and time if their answer is simply that they would not get involved with him, again, that is not reason enough for anybody to call off a relationship that could be really nice in the end. For the simple fact that just like NO TWO PEOPLE ARE THE SAME also NO TWO RELATIONSHIPS ARE THE SAME….. “To Each His Own And Everybody’s Got Their Own Thing ALSO For Different Folks There (Truly) Are Different Strokes…. So therefore, that “special someone” who is truly happy with one person may very well not be so happy with nor for anybody else. But then if my friend or family member tells me anything to the affect that there is just something about that guy that just does not sit too well with me, and that also that something just does not feel right with me about that guy, or that they may sense, or simply perceives something that I obviously CANNOT NOR DO NOT SEE AT THAT TIME that i am all happy and about to get married, and looking to have a nice life and all with my AWESOME FUTURE HUSBAND….. I normally, and most of the time listen to my mother especially, and believe me be….. every single time when I DO NOT…. IT HAS ALWAYS AND FOREVER TURNED OUT THAT MY MOTHER WAS EXACTLY RIGHT….. That’s why I should have known better….. But I guess that it just goes to show that I had really liked that man, and I just refused to let anyone intervene in any form….. Although I should have AGAIN, known better….. WHEN MY MOTHER SAYS SOMETHING …… WE HAVE REALLY LEARNED TO LISTEN TO HER…… BECAUSE MOTHER DEAR WILL NOT PURPOSEFULLY INFORM NOR DIRECT US WRONG…. AND THIS WE KNOW, FOR SURE…… AGAIN, I ALREADY KNOW WHAT TIME IT WAS, AND THAT IS/WAS THAT I SIMPLY REALLY, HONESTLY, TRULY, AND SERIOUSLY LIKED THAT GUY……But it is okay, because now I know and have obviously learned the hard way, for sure…… But again, it is okay, because there is this AWESOME, GLORIOUS, SPLENDID, WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL, OMNIPOTENT ETC., ETC., ETC., SUPREME BEING CALLED GOD…… and NOBODY CAN NEVER, EVER get anything by HIM…… Because believe me be ….. Come JUDGEMENT DAY …… WE WILL ALL ANSWER TO HIM AND NOT MAN….. Therefore, I very well know that my Father God is still on the throne and that HE WILL take care of me ….. and any of His children who puts HIM FIRST AS HE ASKS US TO DO …… Which is one of the TEN (10) COMMANDMENTS and that is that “THOU SHALT NOT HAVE ANY OTHER GODS BEFORE ME” …… Therefore and in other words God is simply saying TO “PUT (AND MAKE) HIM FIRST IN OUR LIVES AND THAT ALL OTHER THINGS SHALL BE ADDED UNTO US” ….. That is also in THE HOLY BIBLE and was what God was telling us to do… Our Father God Will Take Care Of Us, For Sure……. Also another saying that my mother had instilled in our minds is that “WE HAVE TO MAKE THAT ONE STEP AND THEN GOD WILL MAKE TWO”.

    P. S. There may be a few mistakes in “ALL” (I could have shared a great deal more but I am truly not trying to write no novel up in here, for sure) that I had to say; but, I just simply hope that you will still comprehend my main point(s). These are just some real “sayings and mottos” to feast on throughout ones walk in their life ……. Just as I do…. (something to pull up when one may need a little bit of encouragement or inspiration) and that is exactly why I felt a need to simply share some of what I know and live by, for sure. There are times in my life also when I could use some words of wisdom or some kind of words to also lift my spirits as well…. and that is why I just thank God that I know how to simply just call on JESUS through a prayer or two to calm me as i may be upset in some situation that I undoubtedly encountered in my walk through life….. and Just as my Father God said, “PEACE BE STILL” TO THE OCEAN AND THE OCEAN WENT TO CALM….. MY FATHER GOD also says to me when i turn to him in prayer due to the toils, problems, and drama, and always trying to do the right things in life, as well, but then it does not always end as well as I envisioned, but that is okay because I know that God has my back if no one else ever does ….. My Father God says to me in spirit, “JUST BE STILL MY CHILD BECAUSE I GOT THIS”………. and I already know that’s right. Thank you Jesus!!!!!!!

    I have to commence closing my reply now because I will be up for days or even weeks trying to share all that my father who is a preacher and especially my mother dear has instilled in our minds to help us to deal with things in life better and to be able to cope with situations such as this, for sure….but remember that it is okay, because KNOW THAT GOD WILL HANDLE IT ALL AND HE WILL PUT EVERYTHING IN THE PROPER PERSPECTIVE BUT ALL IN HIS OWN TIME WHICH IS TRULY THE BEST TIME OF ALL, FOR SURE….. We just have to CONTINUE TO KEEP THE FAITH IN OUR FATHER GOD, TRUST IN HIM, AND ALSO TO CONTINUE TO PROFOUNDLY BELIEVE THAT HE WILL TAKE CARE OF US THROUGH HIS GRACE AND MERCY…. FOR EVER, FOR ALWAYS, AND FOR LOVE.

    “Take care, Have a very cheerful and pleasant weekend, God bless, and truly “PEACE” to you and yours”.

    Very Respectfully,

    • Maame said:

      Hi Phillistine I’m Maame and I would like to know you personally. I’m really inspired by your story. How can I get in touch with you? Maybe your email address would be fine or I can send you mine. Thanks

      • James Bauer said:

        Just remember this is a public forum, so private info exchange may not be wise.

        • Maame said:

          Hi James,

          Please help me out with this. I’m 20 years and I’m dating this guy who is about 6 years older than me. We started dating recently. He’s caring and loving. He’s a serious person and wants commitment but sometimes I’m not too sure of him because he’s the out-going type of person, chilling with friends, going to the pub and sometimes club. He tells me anytime he’s going to the pub but he knows I don’t like that idea but he still goes. I’m not that kind of person too. I’m kind of the opposite of him but I like him anyways.He’s open to me and all that but I don’t like the fact that he likes having fun too much. I’m not so sure of his spiritual life too. He’s a good guy though but I always think of the other side and it’s like my parents don’t really like the idea that the two of us roll together, maybe because of the kind of friends he has. A few friends who know him well too told me to be careful of him. I really like him but the thought of us being together for life sometimes scares me because I’ve always wanted a man who is God-fearing, cool, kinda like me. I’ve never thought of marrying someone who likes having fun too much but he’s that type and I like him too.He shows concern about my life and he’s serious about our future. I don’t mind an out-going type who’s spiritual life is strong. But with my issue I’m not so sure. I don’t want to hurt his feelings too but I’m not sure if we can go far. What do I do? Should I hold on to him? Please help.

          Thanks,
          Liz.

        • Maame said:

          Hi James,

          Please help me out with this. I’m 20 years and I’m dating this guy who is about 6 years older than me. We started dating recently. He’s caring and loving. He’s a serious person and wants commitment but sometimes I’m not too sure of him because he’s the out-going type of person, chilling with friends, going to the pub and sometimes club. He tells me anytime he’s going to the pub but he knows I don’t like that idea but he still goes. I’m not that kind of person too. I’m kind of the opposite of him but I like him anyways.He’s open to me and all that but I don’t like the fact that he likes having fun too much. I’m not so sure of his spiritual life too. He’s a good guy though but I always think of the other side and it’s like my parents don’t really like the idea that the two of us roll together, maybe because of the kind of friends he has. A few friends who know him well too told me to be careful of him. I really like him but the thought of us being together for life sometimes scares me because I’ve always wanted a man who is God-fearing, cool, kinda like me. I’ve never thought of marrying someone who likes having fun too much but he’s that type and I like him too.He shows concern about my life and he’s serious about our future. I don’t mind an out-going type who’s spiritual life is strong. But with my issue I’m not so sure. I don’t want to hurt his feelings too but I’m not sure if we can go far. What do I do? Should I hold on to him? Please help.

          Thanks,
          Maame.

          • James Bauer said:

            Because you are looking for a lifetime partner, it is important that you only pursue a man you are comfortable fusing your life with. If some of his beliefs or lifestyle choices do not mesh well with yours, I advise you against believing you will one day change him. If you are a true introvert, and he is a true extrovert, you can enjoy a good life together, but your patterns of socializing will always be different. If you are okay with that, I see no reason why you cannot continue a relationship with a man who has some significant differences. If you are not okay with that now, do not believe you will become okay with it later just because you love him. The same basic reasoning would apply to his choice to socialize in pubs with the use of alcohol as a primary hub for his social activity.

    • Tamara said:

      Wow that msg from Philistine was the longest reply I have ever seen and kinda neurotic.

  2. Maame said:

    So James does it mean even if we get married he’ll still go to pubs to socialize like he does now? ( from what you’re saying)

    • James Bauer said:

      That seems likely to me. Never marry someone expecting them to be someone other than who they are now. That’s not to say he can’t change. If he is motivated to change, he can do anything. But my guess is his basic personality will motivate him to continue in his current way of socializing.

      • Maame said:

        Hey James,
        Thanks for the advice. Right now I’ve made up my mind to take my time to consider the kind of person I want in my life. I’m pretty sure he won’t change and I can’t imagine my life with someone who likes going to pub a lot (not to say its bad but I’m not that type who likes a lot of outing). Indirectly we’ve broken up and it hurts, I know with time I’ll get over it. He’s acting strange all of a sudden. He says he has lost trust in me and that I have betrayed him. I really felt bad when he told me this. The thing is, he has two phone numbers but he doesn’t give one of them out to some people and mistakenly I gave it out to a friend thereby concluding I have betrayed him. Now he’s saying he doesn’t trust me again but honestly I didn’t intentionally give that number out. I’ve tried apologizing and telling him I didn’t do it on purpose but he won’t listen. He’s behaving like I’ve cheated on him. Should I leave him to do whatever he wants to do? coz I don’t want him thinking I’m not trustworthy and he won’t listen to me too? Please help me 🙁

        • James Bauer said:

          Hi Maame. That’s a decision for you and you only. It seems to me that you are thinking clearly about what you want and need, which makes me happy. Taking action is always the difficult part. Go toward what you do want, not away from what you don’t want. Pondering that may bring additional clarity about what action steps to take next.

          • Maame said:

            Thank you James

  3. Dee Dee said:

    James, as usual, you are right on. However I would also advise to trust your instincts no matter how much you are feeling for the guy. I went through the process of introducing my guy to my family and friends through a “get to know him” party. Everyone kept telling me, at my age (73), he was a great catch and I should hang on to him with all my worth. Even my 2 best friends. Everyone except my older sister. And she was right, cause she knows me best.
    He pressed me to either live together or get married, after knowing him only 2 months. We married after 3 months. He later admitted to me that he pressured me because I might not like him after I got to know him better. It has been 6 months since we were married and I can honestly say that I wish I listened to my sister and my instincts. He put on an act for me; after marriage I found that he has a bi-polar personality and is a couch potato and alcoholic. He is controlling and insists I must agree with his opinions and beliefs because he has a higher education than me, and he is secretive with his bank accounts, emails, and other personal things.
    He can be sweet, kind, caring when he feels like it, but go against him and the controlling monster comes out. He is not physically abusive but is demeaning and verbally abusive about 50% of the
    time.
    I am getting ready to get Christian counseling to try and stay in this marriage, but I doubt it will be a lasting relationship. So in conclusion, I say “if you doubt, DON’T!” Even my friends and most family members encouraged me to marry him, and they were duped by him too. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts; there probably is something wrong with the guy and trust is very important in a relationship.
    Thanks again James and of all the “advisors” on line, I trust your judgment and take to heart your suggestions.

    • James Bauer said:

      I wish it had turned out better for you, Dee Dee. You are right to remind us of the power of intuition when making decisions about relationships (and many other things).

      James

  4. Jengi said:

    Hi James,

    This is good! What hits at me is not to take offense at my friends when they don’t feel he’s right for me and then use that as a pivot point of proving my independence. I appreciate your advice on asking them more questions to see where they are coming from. Sometimes when friends care about you they care hard and I know I can take it personal on occasion. This has given me a better perspective! I like it!!

    Thanks!

  5. Carol said:

    I concur that it’s a good idea to listen to the people closest to you. But my issue with what you’re saying is that it robs the person of learning and most likley some inner growth that needs to happen by being with this person who others may feel is “wrong.” Every relationship is just a mirror in some way. Every relationship is a chance for growth. Doesn’t mean you stay with someone hell or high water when it’s become clear to you it no longer works. But until that point (when it becomes clear to YOU) there is a reason for being in it and each person can only know that for themselves. And those months or years is not “wasted” at all, as long as you grew from the experience and became a better you.

    If your gut tells you it’s wrong and you don’t listen that is on you, but even at is a learning experience. If you feel like you’re with someone who is wrong for you but but you still feel pulled into it, that is something for you to question and look at about yourself. Is it a pull from the ego? Is it fear of being alone? Etc. It could be a huge and valuable lesson for something or someone else that is to come later. But if you just bolt because others told you to before you’ve had the chance to understand these things I feel you are stunting your own growth and potential.

    And it is also possible that there is just a connection that nobody else can understand because they are not in it.

    Every moment in life is a precious gift. Every person that comes into our life is there for a reason. I think learning to be true to yourself is ultimately much more valuable

    • James Bauer said:

      Hmm, you make me think. I like your balancing comments on this topic. Thanks.

      James

  6. Carol said:

    Thanks James!

    BTW, I read all of your emails/blog posts and I think you are very wise. This is the first time I’ve felt like I didn’t agree or my point of view was different. 🙂

    I love getting your emails. keep ’em coming!

  7. God's daugther said:

    I’m had read your article for awhile. I’m found out that you had the good positive energy to give reality wisdom advice to influence people mindset and thinking for whose wants to choose for their own relationships. Please continues using the works of your hands to bless more people in their life. 🙂 , like the way of your positive energy thinking.

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