Couple Commandments: Stop Asking People For Relationship Advice

Everyone has an opinion on everything these days – especially when it comes to other people’s relationships. When you’re in a relationship, friends, relatives, and everyone on the Internet relishes in dispensing advice, whether you are asking them for help with a problem or general guidance, or even if you haven’t asked at all. More often than not, advice from outside sources leads you astray instead of guiding you back on the right track. Here are 10 reasons why you shouldn’t ask for outside sources for advice on love.

  1. They may not want what’s best for you. It doesn’t mean that whoever you’re talking to necessarily has malicious intent, but people’s own experiences sneak in and change their perception of what you should or shouldn’t be doing or how you should behave in a given situation.
  2. Their advice is colored by their own past. We’ve all had good and bad experiences in the love department and they all inform how we make choices in our present relationships. If you ask someone’s advice who’s been burned by men a few times, it’ll likely be bitter and curt. If someone has never had their heart broken, their pearls of wisdom will be entirely different. Trust yourself and don’t pay attention to what others say you should do. We’re all products of our past but you want to work on your future.
  3. Their advice only helps if you want a relationship like theirs. James Van Der Beek’s character in Varsity Blues had a line that always stuck with me. In his best (which really wasn’t so good) Texas accent, he said, “I don’t want your life.” This applies to relationships even more. If you ask someone advice about your relationship, they’re going to give you advice on how to handle relationship problems like they would, which would give you a similar kind of relationship. Chances are, you don’t want that.
  4. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors. You may be an open and honest person when you download to people about your relationship, but chances are, you don’t tell them everything. There are some things that are sacred and private in relationships, but they play a huge role relationship problems and how you should solve them. No one knows what it’s like to live inside your relationship other than you and your partner, so why would you trust someone else’s thoughts on how you should handle it?
  5. You have to trust your instincts. Instinct. Intuition. Gut. Call it whatever you want. You almost always have a first reaction to a situation and that’s your instinct and it’s often right. When you start to question yourself and go to others for advice, you’re following their instincts and that usually leads to more problems than solutions.
  6. Advice can confuse you even more. Sometimes even when we know how we want to handle a situation in a relationship, we look to outside people for validation. If their way of handling it differs from your original intentions, it can mess with your mind. You start to question and second guess yourself and wonder if you’re right. The best way to avoid this confusion is to stick to your guns and follow those lovely instincts from above.
  7. What’s meant to be will be. It doesn’t matter if you’re following the advice of a love guru or a friend – no matter what you do or say you can’t manipulate the way your partner feels based on your actions. Playing games gets you nowhere with men. You can follow everyone else’s “rules”, but your BF is going to react in his own way. You don’t need anyone else’s input because the situation and your relationship will play out however it’s meant to.
  8. There’s never a “right” answer. You can ask ten different people for advice on your relationship issue and chances are you’ll get at least five different answers. Now you’re probably even less sure what the “right” thing to do actually is. Here’s the thing: you don’t need other people’s advice because there is no “right” answer. You have to do whatever feels natural and comfortable for you. Wherever that choice leads your relationship is where it should be.
  9. You won’t know if you and your partner are compatible if you’re using someone else’s advice. If you’re always following someone else’s set of “rules” or doing what they think is right, how will you know if you and your partner are the right fit? For you to be able to determine if you’re a good match, you have to follow your own instincts. If you don’t you’ll fall into a pattern of reacting or behaving in an inauthentic way or when you finally do follow your own gut, it will be confusing to your partner when you do a 180 and it might end up hurting your relationship.
  10. There’s no such thing as a relationship without problems. If you are in a relationship where you don’t have problems, it’s likely that you or your partner (or both of you) aren’t being honest with the other. It’s impossible to be close and intimate with someone for a prolonged period of time and not have any issues arise. But that’s okay. Fighting can actually be important to a relationship. If you’re able to compromise and find a solution it can be a good test to see if you and your partner will make it in the long run. One benefit of having problems is it heightens your attention to when things are running seamlessly in your relationship and reminds you to live in the present and enjoy those moments.
Abby Stern grew up in New Orleans and is now an actress, screenwriter, and blogger (who isn't?) trying to keep it real in Los Angeles. She also writes for FabFitFun and contributes to various blogs detailing her unique perspective on dating and twenty-something life in Hollywood. Gwyneth Paltrow is her spirit animal and in her free time, Abby enjoys Bellinis and plotting to steal unattended Birkin bags. Follow her on Twitter: @abbystern