Relationships form a rather significant aspect of our lives. Because of this significance, it is often also the part of our life where we seem to get the highest amount of advice and opinions – both solicited and unsolicited.
While much of it is given out of sincerity and love with our best interests at heart, some of it may be coming from selfish interests such as jealousy, insecurities, fear of losing you, or simply a lack of common sense.
As close as the person giving you the advice may be to you, nobody knows your relationship in question better than you and your partner. So, when taking advice from someone external to the relationship, you may want to follow the quick guide below:
1. “You Deserve Better”
This is typical of our BFFs and our girlfriends. Because they care so much about us, they tend to put us on a pedestal and have high expectations from the person who is involved with us in a romantic relationship.
Unfortunately, many tend to expect someone who can offer us upward social mobility or a better quality of life, economically speaking.
Even if they do mean to say that we should look out for ourselves instead of giving up everything we know in the name of love, such calculated reasoning may take the joy out of the relationship.
Also, watch out for opinions stemming from jealousy, which would rather see you alone and unhappy instead of having you stay happy with what you have.
2. “You Are The Boss Of Them”
Listen to the person giving this sort of advice. Have they had bad experiences where they have been pushed around in relationships or dominated? Have they constantly found themselves being treated badly by others?
A lot of people give advice based on their own experiences, which is legitimate and acceptable. But while doing so, they tend to color other people’s experiences negatively as well. Because of long-term bad experiences, it is hard to expect anything positive from such people – even if it is for others.
3. “Romance, The Way You Expect It, Is The Only Way You Will Accept It”
Sure, everyone has a checklist for the person they expect to be with, but more often than not, when you do fall in love with someone, the checklist is thrown right out the window. The joy the person brings to you matters more than what you may have written down before you met them.
People experience and demonstrate love and romance differently. So instead of taking third-party advice, sit down and have an honest conversation with your partner about each other’s expectations from the relationship. Develop an understanding and ensure that you don’t nit-pick on how they demonstrate their love for you.
4. “Don’t Fight Back And Escalate The Argument”
This is most likely coming from a person who has been treated badly in relationships and is generally scared of people who dominate them.
Arguments and fights are inevitable in relationships, but being asked to not stand up for yourself because the fight may escalate is certainly not a good advice.
5. “Your Partner Does Not Have A Right To Privacy”
We can’t emphasize enough how bad this advice is. Often, you will hear friends and family advising people of their right to check their partner’s phones, e-mails, bank accounts, and other personal avenues for peace of mind. In reality, actual peace of mind comes from trusting your partner and respecting their right to privacy.
If you have concerns about your partner’s activities, bring it up in an open conversation. Under no circumstances is it okay to read their e-mails or texts without having their prior permission to do so.
6. “Bring Up Their Earnings The Next Time You Fight”
Finances are a fraught subject even under the best of circumstances, and being advised to bring up a partner’s financial position when the argument is about anything but finances is adding insult to injury.
If your partner does not bring in as much as you do or as much as you’d expect, it would be wise never to bring this up or even mention it to close contacts. Try and stick to the topic of the discussion or argument, but don’t try to gain the upper hand by belittling their earning potential.
7. “Learn From Us”
Sure, the person telling you this may be enjoying a really harmonious relationship, but no two relationships are alike! What floats their boat may not work for you at all.
It is good to observe other people’s mistakes and successes, but you need to analyze these from the context of your relationship. If you do not have as much money as they do, wouldn’t their advice of traveling twice a year abroad to broaden your horizons just land you in debt or create disharmony between you and your partner?
When the initial rosy, honeymoon period ends, relationships are only as good as the effort and investment that you make in them. By all means, take advice and discuss your relationship with your loved ones, but do be careful while you sift through the opinions pouring in and create boundaries in what you share with them as well.