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Your friends say you can do better -- are they right?

I edit a health care magazine and blog over at AOL's new women's site, Originally from New Jersey, I've been living in the Philadelphia area since 2000. I enjoy writing, reading, traveling, cooking, true crime, being outdo...

When to listen to your friends

When it comes to you and your man, your friends will either think you're a perfect match or a match made in hell. Do they say things like, 'He's not right for you' or 'You're different around him'? They could have your best interests at heart -- or they could just be jealous. Here's when you should listen to your sistahs' gripes about your significant other and when you should tell them to back off.

When to listen to your friends

When to fight back

"By the time someone is in their late 20s to early 30s, they should know which friends they can go to for specific kinds of help… So, I think that it's important to remember the source of the advice in order to know whose advice should be 'taken with a grain of salt,' vs. the person who is so loving and loyal that her advice and opinions are not just designed for her benefit," Dr. Bennett said.

Tell your pals thanks, but no thanks, when:


You feel comfortable and supported

He tells gross fart jokes -- and so do you. Your friends might find it nasty, but if you share a penchant for this type of humor, it's a sign you're well matched.

2They're single and bitter

Is she saying she never sees you and ask for one-on-one time, even after you just went to the mall with her last weekend? Your friend might be lonely or jealous because she wants what you have.

3They refuse to meet your partner

You can't pass judgment on someone you've never met. If your friend has nothing good to say when you relay stories about your guy, invite her to dinner with the two of you, so she can see what he's really like.

4They don't care about your needs and desires

We've all had friends or family members who want us to marry a certain type (usually tall dark and handsome, with a law or medical degree and a time share in the Caribbean). If your man doesn't fit their mold, they might gripe about how "you can do better." The bottom line: if he supports you, makes you feel good, challenges you in the right ways and lets you be yourself, tell your loved ones that you're happy and they should be happy for you.

More relationships advice

5 Signs to know if he likes you or not
Dating diary: What friends are for
5 Things never to be ashamed of

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