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Thursday, 17 March 2016

Friendly Advice



But is he really Superman?
When I first met my friend’s boyfriend, she didn’t ask me what I thought, so I didn’t tell her. If she didn’t ask, she didn’t want to know, right? Ten years later, she left the marriage. When we met for lunch and she delivered the news, it didn’t come as a complete surprise: I knew from the beginning that he wasn't right for her.

Another friend did ask what I thought of the man she was set to marry. It was an arranged situation, and I got a 3o-second look at him in my workplace parking lot. Kind of hard to make a judgment call, though I wasn’t a big fan of her parents choosing her mate. That marriage also ended in divorce.

I can’t say I really asked for advice in my own dating choices. Would I if I were going through the process again, knowing what I know now? You bet.

As you may recall, I’m happily married, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have benefited from the counsel of friends along the way. Like they could have benefited from mine. Do most women seek this advice, though, or are we afraid of what we might hear? We really want to believe the lies we tell ourselves – “no one knows him like I do,” “they don’t understand him,” “they probably just want to steal him away,” etc. I think women are really great at rationalizing. And when you’re too close to a situation, you just can’t see it for what it is. 

When I was dating my first serious boyfriend for example, one of his closest friends told me not to believe a word my boyfriend said. I discounted that advice as sour grapes – “he’s just jealous because he doesn’t have a girlfriend” – but the fact was that I’d heard my boyfriend play loose with the truth a lot. I just chose to ignore it.

My daughter has started dating, so the question of ‘friendly advice’ has been on my mind. Of course I would most like her to listen to the counsel of God and her parents (who else loves her as much or has as much invested in her?), but in lieu of, I’d be happy if she sought the advice of godly, trustworthy friends/ teachers/mentors. Unfortunately, I know she has some friends who always support her decisions without giving any thought to the rightness of them. It’s like they’re afraid of losing her friendship if they contradict. Well, so be it, say I. Better that than to be a yes-man (or woman).

So, here’s my question for you today: when you were dating, did you ask your friends what they thought of your guy? (I’m assuming I’m writing to the ladies here, but if you’re a guy who wants to chime in, please go ahead). If so, did their feedback change anything for you? If you didn’t ask, why not? (If you’re currently dating, please answer in the present tense.) Do you seek your friends’ opinions on other subjects? How important are their ideas? Inquiring minds want to know!

2 comments:

  1. I did not listen to friends too much, I did not always like what my family told me but I obeyed them. Looking back they were the ones who were trying to really help me.

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    Replies
    1. If only every young person could be as wise as you were... Unfortunately, too many have to learn the hard way.

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