centered image

centered image

Dating advice: Who you should and shouldn't listen to

Discussion in 'Psychiatry' started by Egyptian Doctor, May 20, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

    Mar 21, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Practicing medicine in:

    Test audiences watch movies before release and tell the studio what they think.

    That's how "Pretty Woman" ended up with a feel-good ending and why "Fatal Attraction" wasn't even darker than it was. Your relationship has a test panel too - buddies, brothers, coworkers.

    And their opinions can shape your romantic destiny, H. Colleen Sinclair, an associate professor of psychology at Mississippi State University, said.
    "If you have the support of your friends and family, your relationship is more likely to survive," Sinclair said. So do you take their advice, or stick to your original screenplay? Let's listen in.


    The Benefit: Straight talk
    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, said Le, cofounder of So if your bud rips on your girl, ask him why. He might reveal something that's obvious to everyone but you.

    The Risk: He's jealous

    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 all friends, regardless of their relationship status, give similar negative evaluations, then it's not likely to be due to jealousy," Le said. But 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.


    The Benefit: Priceless intel

    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.

    "This may be because they have more influence in the relationship or because they are especially tuned in and insightful," Le said.

    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.

    The Risk: Sabotage

    Her pals' opinions can become self-fulfilling prophecies.

    "The friends may end up doing things that facilitate the relationship's demise," Sinclair said.

    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.



    Add Reply

Share This Page