If I had listened to my friends' dating advice, I would have been pregnant at 16, married to a scammer with a body count well past a fifth grader's counting ability, or possibly – and I mean this in all seriousness – dead.
As much as our close girlfriends love and care about us, let's face it, sometimes they give pretty crappy dating advice.
Some of them are stuck in fairytale land and believe that every frog or f*#& boy has the potential to be a prince and we just need to hold on a little longer. While other friends are on the opposite end of the spectrum and try their hardest to convince us our man is no good after we tell them he forgot to take out the trash. Somewhere in between there is usually a sound minded happy medium friend, but you often realize you are that friend and the only advice you can trust is your own.
So, if you've ever taken advice from a friend that for some reason didn't sit right in your soul, chances are it may be one of the tips listed below.
1. "He's just playing hard to get, pursue him."
You know that guy. The one you are head over heels with. The one who treats you with indifference. The guy you don't know why you like and you know you shouldn't like him but you just can't stop liking. That guy. Your ego won't allow you to admit that you know he doesn't like you, not really – not enough to pursue you, to call you, to take the time to really get to know you. Yet, for some reason, his name is brought up in every conversation you have with your friends. The mere thought of him is enough to make you smile and you feel anxious and nervous around him. Your friend, bless her heart, is wrong on this one.
Men don't need you to chase them. When a man wants you, he is upfront with what he wants. Even if he is shy, he won't be sending you mixed messages and playing games with your emotions, that's child's play.
[Tweet "When a man wants you, he is upfront with what he wants."]
To your friend, you are an incredible, beautiful, amazing woman, which is why she can't understand why this man isn't behaving that way, but to him, you are not his dream girl, not someone he is willing to turn in his player card for, and ultimately not the one. Instead of wasting time figuring out what is it about you that he doesn't like or how to get him to like you, leave him and the situation alone. You don't need a friend to tell you how he feels about you because you already know it's up to you to use that knowledge to leave a situation that is going nowhere fast.
2. "If you don't, someone else will."
When I was 16, I liked this guy a lot. He asked me to be his girlfriend, I said yes. He wanted to have sex, I didn't. My friends told me he was a player and if I didn't oblige him, someone else will. I still didn't. The next day, I found out he had been dating a classmate of mine for quite some time and she, along with several other girls I'm sure, had all been sleeping with him. I promptly stopped talking to him and was so happy I didn't listen to my friends' horrible advice. It doesn't matter what it is your friends or anyone else feels like you have to do to keep a man, if you don't feel comfortable doing it, do not do it.
[Tweet "If it doesn't feel right in your soul, it isn't. Trust your gut, your instinct, & first mind."]
In the end, you can be mad at your friends all you want to, but ultimately the decision was yours to make, no one else's. If it doesn't feel right in your soul, it isn't. Trust your gut, your intuition, your first mind – whatever you want to call it, it's typically always right. Instead of further putting yourself in a bad situation, trust yourself, not your friends.
"If he did it before, he will do it again."
Your man got caught flirting with another woman, was disrespectful towards you, forgot to do that one thing he's been saying he would do for months now. In other words, he made a mistake, a mistake that he may or may not have made in the past. A mistake you may have made, or may be making currently. He did something wrong. That in no way should be overlooked or handled as if he did nothing, however does that mean he will continue to do it? No. Does that mean it will never happen again? Also no.
The key is knowing the person you are in a relationship with. If you know he felt horrible about whatever he did wrong and you truly believe him, why not forgive him? Why not give him the same courtesy you would want if you did the same thing? Humans are not perfect, period. That doesn't mean you stay and put up with whatever crap he hands you but you have to know what is worth fighting for and what isn't.
"Go through his phone, computer, sock drawer, pockets, wallets, mama's closet."
No, no, no! Girl, no. I'm not going to lie, I've done it. But how many times have you went through his stuff, found nothing then looked again until you did find something that could be something or could be nothing and stayed anyway? Your grandma was right when she said when you go looking, you find something. That doesn't mean that you should just live in ignorant bliss and be left in the dark about your husband having a whole family that lives in Kalamazoo, but sometimes when we do go looking for something, we easily misconstrue a whole lot of nothing and turn it into something.
When you truly trust your partner, you have no need to go through his belongings and when you don't, your communication should be strong enough that you should be able to verbalize why you are feeling a lack of trust towards him. Going through his stuff is not only detrimental to your own peace of mind, it's deceitful towards him and also illegal in a few states. Sis, don't go to jail trying to be nosey.
"Well my man did this, so yours will too."
First of all, your man is not Man-Man, not your friends man, not her ex-man, he's your man. You know your man, better than any of your friends. Just because someone one of your friends is dating or dated in the past was in a similar situation as the man you are with, does not mean he will behave the same as they did. Well my man cheated so yours will too…He didn't take me back after I did this… He left because I said that...This advice should never be taken to heart. Despite the saying “all men are the same" – surely given by someone who had not experienced all men – men, just like women, are complex creatures. I would argue women are a tad bit more complex, but I digress.
[Tweet "All men are not the same. Men, just like women, are complex creatures."]
All men are not the same, therefore, what worked or didn't work in your friend's situation may not apply to yours. Do what works best for your personal relationship based off the relationship you have and the type of man you are with. Regardless of what worked or didn't work for someone else, ultimately you know what works and what has worked or hasn't worked for you in the past.
As well-intentioned as our friends may be when they give advice, sometimes they clearly miss the mark. No one wants to be the one to tell you, you do look fat in that dress just like we don't want to tell you, he isn't that into you. But just like we know we look fat in that dress, we also know when that guy isn't really feeling us.
So, stick with your guns, wear a dress that makes you look and feel your most beautiful, and don't entertain guys that don't think you're still beautiful even when you wear that horrible dress.
Ashley Renee is a soul food enthusiast, sometimes vegetarian, writer and spoken word poet, who doesn't trust boxed macaroni or cats. keep up with her @ashleyreneepoet on Twitter & Instagram.