If you’ve ever been head over heels in love with a guy, you’ll admit that that guy became your blind spot. And sometimes the only thing standing between us and a horrible heartache-waiting-to-happen kind of relationship is the vigilance of good friends.
When you’re in love with someone (or you fancy them a lot), your emotions cloud your judgement and you need to have good friends whose judgement you can depend on when your own judgement is compromised. It’s easier said than done.
Meeting a new person is great and when you really really like them – you want to make sure all the other important people in your life like him too. And what better way of making sure your friends approve of the new man in your life than to launch a massive marketing campaign in which you highlight how wonderful he is?
When they ask what he’s like, you’re going to be eager to paint a picture-perfect portrait of your newfound Romeo, and occasionally you may be tempted to oversell him. Because the truth is our real friends tend to be non-negotiable in our lives. We never want to find ourselves in a situation where we are forced to choose between our girlfriends and our new man.
So we are desperate to make sure the new man impresses our friends, charms and wins them over because their approval is like a badge we can proudly wear knowing that there are witnesses to our good fortune. We want to feel we’re lucky to have found this guy and we want our friends to validate our feelings.
And there is nothing inherently wrong with this, except in those times when we just happen to fall for the wrong guy or for the guy who’s just not right for you. You need your friends to have your back because they’ll be able to see what your blind spot prevents you from seeing. And to say what you don’t want to hear but what you may really NEED to hear.
Friends are good at looking out for us, especially when they know what’s going on with us. Here are few tips to help them spare you a little heartache. You’ll thank them one day.
1) Be frank. If you’re the one actively chasing him, you know there’s a problem right there but you can’t help your obsessiveness because you’re soooooo into him. Confess this to a friend and they’ll scold you out of acting so desperate.
2) Be vulnerable. The funny thing is we get very embarrassed to admit to our friends when we know there’s something dodgy about the guy we like because we know in their protectiveness our friends will work round the clock to pry our hearts out that man’s clutches. Have a little faith in your friends.
3) Don’t mislead. Lying to our friends is not cool so in instances where we feel the truth might not serve our purpose (i.e. marketing the new guy) we go for half-truths. We don’t tell the whole story because we want our friends to see what a great guy he is. Tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth because people’s true colours always get revealed eventually.
4) Don’t fake it. When we like a guy we over-exxagerate how great he is and how accomplished he is. We fake some social credentials to beef up his CV to our friends. Wrong move! Be vulnerable – your friends already know all the dumb shit you’ve ever done and they’ve watched you make a fool of yourself countless times so you can let your guard down. They can’t protect you if they’re ill-informed.
5) Confide. Don’t cover for him – its one of the worst judgement calls to make. Tell your friends what worries you about this guy. The things that just make you feel ill at ease. of course you’re welcome to pretend he is a saint but eventually you’re going to want complain about his faults anyway – you might as well come clean about the things you don’t like about him. Covering up for your man eventually leads to self-isolation and compromises your support system structure because no one really knows what’s going on with you and what you need them to help you through.
6) Trust. Your friends love you, they really care about you and your happiness is serious business to them. So don’t assume they will be out to diss your new man for the fun of it. Chances are they would all really rather see the good side of him for your sake. And they’ll make an effort to like him because you like him. Usually they’ll take your word about his character until they get know him for themselves and make independent (usually more balanced) judgements about him.
7) Don’t get defensive. Your friends know you and they will notice the change that new man brings in your life. They will see the transformations in your personality and priorities no matter how subtle they may be. And when the changes are good, they’ll be rooting for you and for him but if the changes are bad – don’t get defensive. Hear them out because they will never accuse him of being bad for you without the evidence to back it up.
Friends are good at gathering evidence and usually their main evidence is YOU and how you’ve changed. Every relationship changes you because every relationship requires some degree of behavioural modification that is specifically tailor-made for that particular new person who’s entered your life.
Not all friends will be able to look out for you because some of them don’t want to offend or hurt your feelings. And sometimes they just know you’re stubborn and figure the best way is to let you see for yourself what a loser this new guy is. But sometimes, friends do see a little clearer – trust their judgement. They may not know him like you do – but they sure as hell know YOU. They may not be authoritative sources when it comes to him but they are expert sources when it comes to YOU.