There are times when you’ll get to a point in your relationship where you’ll be desperate for love advice. However, you need to be very careful about where you get your advice. The wrong opinion could end up making things a lot worse.
Relationship expert Evan Marc Katz says you’ll know you got bad advice if it doesn’t work. “There’s only one metric to determine whether advice is good: Does it work or not? Believe it or not, there are dozens of respected experts whose opinion will steer you in the complete opposite direction of your actual goals,” said Katz. Here are the people you should run away from if they try to give you relationship advice.
1. Anyone who is angry and bitter
Was your best friend a jilted bride or a groom who was stood up at the altar? Don’t ask friends or family with a chip on their shoulder how to win at love. If you hang around them long enough, their attitude could rub off on you. Then no one will want to date you because you have such a bad attitude. Don’t let someone else’s bad experiences warp how you see relationships.
Psychologist Randi Gunther says bitterness may temporarily protect you from experiencing painful feelings, but it will only hold you back from finding a fulfilling relationship in the long run. Gunther describes bitterness as emotional poison. “Bitterness hurts, emotionally, spiritually, and physically,” Gunther writes. “People appear to hold on to it to protect themselves from more pain. It does shield them from more hurt, but also from love as well. Cynical relationship seekers, bitter from the heartbreaks of the past, may not allow for a new and dangerous future. That engulfing sorrow holds open a painful wound of disappointed memories, even when the lovers who caused them are long gone.
2. Someone who hasn’t had a successful relationship
It’s possible you could learn a thing or two about what not to do, but that may not get you very far. When seeking quality love advice, go to someone who has actually had quality relationships. Personal development expert Michael Hyatt says it’s best to get advice from those who have the results you seek. “Here’s my rule of thumb, and it rarely fails me: Never take advice from people who aren’t getting the results you want to experience. If you don’t like what you see in the life of the messenger, it’s usually best to ignore the message,” Hyatt writes.
If you’re seeking advice from someone who thinks being in a relationship is a game, and quickly getting someone into bed means you’ve “won,” you’re looking in the wrong place. Steer clear of anyone who thinks of relationships simply as a way to pass the time.
Mari Ruti, associate professor of critical theory at the University of Toronto, explains those who are careless when it comes to love are only doing themselves a disservice. Focusing all of your energy on winning will lead you nowhere. “The trouble with the games of romance is that eventually the mask will have to come off. Eventually you’ll have to reveal who you actually are, and then what? The rules of love may allow you to hoodwink your partner for a while, but ultimately they’ll lead you to a dead end,” Ruti writes.
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