We have all seen this in our own lives: You meet somebody new, but your friends see red flags. Why do we never seem to heed the advice of our friends?
It's no different on reality television. The twins on ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise told their good friend Amanda Stanton to be wary of Josh Murray’s intentions and about the book that was written about him. They tell her to be careful in this developing relationship. Amanda approached Josh about the issue, but they remained together. On The Real Housewives of New York City on Bravo, Bethany warned Luann de Lesseps’ about her fiance and told Luann about the questionable text message and photo that she received. Likewise, the New York Housewives chimed in about Luann’s situation, but Luann decided to stay despite their concerns. We also saw a similar situation in The Real Housewives of Orange County when cast member Vicki Gunvalson dated a man named Brooks, who her friends had warned her about. They did not end up together, but not because of Vicki following her friend’s advice.
In all three cases, every woman continued to have a relationship with the men despite their friend’s warnings and advice. Now, of course we do not know how long these relationships will actually last or if they end up in marriage, and itis up to the individual to decide for themselves what is best for them. But the question is: Do your friends know better than you when negative signs arise in relationships because they are more objective? Well, I think the answer is possibly yes.
As a marriage and family therapist, I know that in order to tell if you are in a healthy and harmonious union you have to know yourself well. Knowing how to manage your wants and feelings and being able to realistically understand the other person’s actions is key. Being able to create a positive relationship together means knowing the difference between healthy and unhealthy behaviors. Part of that may come from being open to hearing the opinions of those who love you, because they want to help if they notice things that are not so great.
Sometimes, advice given by family or friends won't be what you want to hear, but it may be what you need to hear.
Often people have to learn for themselves if they made or did not make the right choice in their relationships. They will discover the answer to this as time progresses in the relationship. If you always seem to fall for the same problematic people, it might be time to seek therapy to figure out why these patterns occur for you.
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