Relationship Advice to Heed Vs. Relationship Advice to Ignore
Follow your own instinct
If there’s one thing everyone gives freely, it’s advice. But knowing what advice to listen to, and what to ignore, is crucial. Especially when it’s relationship advice.
“The best rule of thumb when it comes to relationship advice is how you respond when you hear it. If you have a positive response to it, then see what part of it you can adopt. If it strikes you as ridiculous or doesn't fit in some other way, then let it go, said Lesli Doares, a marriage consultant, coach and author.
“Not all advice works for everyone. You need to know yourself well enough to be able to identify the advice that fits for you,” she said.
Here is the combined advice of relationship experts from around the country as they suggest what you should listen to – and what you should ignore – from well-meaning friends and family.
Best advice to listen to
The best relationship advice to listen to is that which resonates within you. Most people have very good intuition, but don't list to their inner voice. They either need to turn up the volume, or resolve personal self-doubt, or raise self-esteem. If we all followed our instincts we would likely be in less turmoil, trouble, and therapy.
Listen to relationship advice from people who have the kinds of
relationships you want. Seek out people in the kinds of relationships you want and ask them how they attracted the attention of their partner and worked through misunderstandings.
Focus on strategies and behaviors that will serve you in the long-term, not quick fixes. If you want to have a relationship where you can work through disagreements with your partner, take the time to read a book such as “Non Violent Communication” by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg instead of doing a quick fix like surprising your spouse with an expensive gift to show your remorse. Reading such a book can give you tools to use in the future, while an expensive gift will most likely not improve the outcomes of future disagreements.
Communicate and talk about everything, there should be no secrets.
Everything isn't about you. Learn to be selfless, willing to compromise and think of others.
Always be the bigger person. Yes, sometimes you will get tired of it, but at the end of the day, you're growing and the person refusing to be the bigger person is remaining stagnant, stuck in their ways.
Never tell other people what's going on in your marriage unless it's life threatening. You don't need to share everything with everyone. If you have that one person who actually gives you wise, sound advise, then that's fine. But, you don't need to have everyone's opinion about your last argument in your head- it will prevent you from doing the right thing sometimes.
Lose your pride. If you want your relationship to work, humble yourself.
Embrace the concept of courage. This is rarely mentioned, but incredibly valuable. It helps to form the foundation of love - and that is built upon trust - and trust is developed by being truly open and vulnerable with each other - and being open and truly vulnerable helps us to feel more connected to one another - and more often than not it takes a degree of real courage to realize more love and acceptance.
Worst advice to listen to
Commiserate with people who have the same relationship problems as you. Many unhappily single ladies hang out together and reinforce each others' beliefs that men are untrustworthy, or that there are few eligible partners available for their age or demographic.
Invest a lot of energy into the chase. People who focus a lot on making their online profile receive more matches, or pickup artist strategies often later find they have a harder time forming long-term connections and relationships with people because they have put so much effort into the chase and not the connection. Even if you want a lot of casual dating or casual sex, focusing on being comfortable with yourself and better able to authentically connect with someone are going to increase your chances of having enjoyable casual dates.
Don't show any weakness or let them know how much you like them until you've been dating a long time. If you go in with this mindset, then you'll never end up in a long-term relationship. Part of what it takes to date successfully is to allow yourself to put down your walls and be vunerable and show your emotions.
Make them feel how you felt. Don’t let anyone get away with hurting you without giving them a taste of their own medicine.
They don't need to know everything. Every relationship has secrets, otherwise no one would ever get along with anyone.
Relationships are easy and shouldn't require hard work. While it is true that there are those rare couples who never seem to have much if any in the way of struggles, the rest of us mere mortals typically discover that one of the requirements to establishing, sustaining, and growing a relationship is work - and sometimes it is tremendously difficult. The flip side is this: if two people truly love one another they are going to invest their time and energy into their relationship.
It's all about you, they should compromise, not you, because if they value you, they’ll do what you want.
Sources: Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child, parenting, and relationship psychotherapist, author of The Self-Aware Parent, and co-star of Sex Box, WE tv; Regina, founder of Breakup Breakthrough; Tiffany Komba, author, speaker and blogger; and Gary Brown, Ph.D., licensed marriage and family therapist.