Who you should or shouldn't listen to when it comes to relationships
When it comes to relationship advise, your buddies, siblings and coworkers can have enough influence on your decision to start a new romance
According to H. Colleen Sinclair, an associate professor of psychology at Mississippi State University, their opinions can shape your romantic destiny, Fox News reported.
“If you have the support of your friends and family, your relationship is more likely to survive,” Sinclair said.
Psychologists use the phrase “positive illusions.” Poets say love is blind. Your pals may wonder what you see in her but say nothing at first.
According to Benjamin Le, a psychology professor at Haverford College, research suggests that friends tend to be accurate judges of relationships.
When you’re in a relationship, you tend to view it - and your mate - in a positive light.
Friends measure it with an objective yardstick: your happiness.
If they think she makes you happy, they’ll approve, Le, cofounder of ScienceofRelationships.com said.
So if your bud rips on your girl, ask him why. He might reveal something that’s obvious to everyone but you.
When a pal goes negative on your girlfriend, maybe he’s just jealous that you’ve traded poker nights for nights with her.
One way to check: Compare the reactions of guys who are cheerfully committed with those of single men.
A happily married friend isn’t vying for your time.
If single friends are more negative, it could be jealousy.
In that case, feel free to ignore them-and see if they come around after your next weekend hangout.
Your girl’s closest friends are fortune-tellers. They’ll see the souring of a romance before she does, or before you or any of your pals do.
If her female friends are also your friends, you can ask them for advice - as long as it’s a question you wouldn’t hide from your girlfriend.
Ask them how you can be a better boyfriend, for example.
So if they blab about the conversation, she’ll see it as sweet, not behind-the-back.
Her pals’ opinions can become self-fulfilling prophecies.
For example, they may use every mistake you’ve ever made as fuel to encourage her to dump you.
How can you tell if your girlfriend’s friend is on your side? Listen.
If you announce that the two of you are moving in together, will the friend say, “Well, you guys will certainly save money!” instead of “I’m so happy you two are in love”? Not too romantic.
If all else fails, woo her with your good looks.
Researchers recently found out that there’s a particular shave that women love. Find out the shave she thinks is sexiest.
Your family also matters when it comes to influencing your love life.
Ever since prom, your parents have inspected your love interests in detail.
It’s evolution, we’re wired to pass on our genes.
So your folks are subconsciously assessing your gal as a suitable mother to their grandkids, Jacob Vigil, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of New Mexico, said.
They can help you take off the blinders of lust and home in on a mate with long-term potential.
Also, family members have a tendency to be too picky.
Their doubts can trigger second thoughts on your part.
If you’re sure about your relationship but your parents are still skeptical, ask them to explain their concerns so you can address them head-on, Scot Allgood, director of the marriage and family therapy program at Utah State University, said.
Often their misgivings will center on potential incompatibilities between you and your mate.
Your office holds a precious resource-a group of colleagues, many of whom have been coupled up longer than you have.
By then they’ve had plenty of experience with struggles and setbacks.
So solid relationship advice probably won’t come from your fantasy-football buddy-it’ll come from the 50-something guy down the hall who’s been married for 30 years, Allgood said.
He’ll offer perspective, stories-and good advice.
Sometimes you want advice from someone who doesn’t have a stake in your relationship.
A stranger’s take should never be a final verdict, but it can be a good place to start.
The mere act of spilling your guts to an impartial party can be therapeutic, Allgood said.
Just expressing the problem out loud and knowing that someone’s listening without becoming emotionally invested can help you think more clearly.
Plus, it’s easier to admit your failings to someone who won’t judge you.