Could your friends be damaging your relationships?

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

It's a theme I have noticed coming up again and again recently in Coaching sessions. A woman will contact me wanting help to attract a guy back that she broke up with or that she pushed away in the heat of the moment, she may have a whole list of surface level reasons for this, such as him not texting enough, or being unable to express himself as she would like, or perhaps she feared he may still be dating others. Something he was doing was apparently bothering her... BUT when we get down to the bones of the situation it often emerges that actually the relationship wasn't bad at all, it perhaps was in early stages or she had found herself feeling a bit insecure, but the true damaging factor was actually her friends. Shocker right? It is natural that we want to talk to our friends when we are feeling vulnerable or when we are having a normal moment of uncertainty. The thing is our friends tend to be fiercely protective and have very high standards for us, but in actuality these women usually have no idea how damaging their "advice" can be. A woman may be perfectly content with her man, or perhaps she does have some fears, as is normal in relationships...she spends a girls evening with her friends and they all talk, they have questions/comments, for example: "What did he do for your birthday?" "Did he find a better job?" "He doesn't spend enough time with you" "He'd be great if he opened up more" The group ends up dissecting the relationship and adding their own "opinions" and by the end of the evening this woman is completely overwhelmed wondering if her relationship is actually worthless, her mind becomes filled with concern and paranoia that she is settling for less than she deserves, she is focused on all the things her friends say he "should" be doing instead of appreciating the unique way he has been expressing his desire for her. She then reaches out to him, picks a fight or quizzes him totally out of the blue. The guy is thrown off guard and has no idea what is going on, he either withdraws/ends the relationship or shuts down and gets defensive and then she ends it. A few days later this woman is in pieces emotionally realising she had a great situation and she threw it away because her pals filled her head with doubts. Or they gave her terrible advice on how to "handle him" advising her to immediately "lay down the law" or ignore him or play games. Which she then follows to her own detriment. You would be surprised how often this happens. Ladies please remember, no one will ever love you like your girlfriends, but nine times out of ten they are the blind leading the blind, they have no experience of psychology, counselling, or knowledge on how to build attraction and sustain it. Family members may do this also. Read: 15 Signs of a strong and emotionally healthy relationship Men do generally have a more difficult time with emotional confrontations and when he is confronted intensely out of the blue he's likely to feel like a deer caught in headlights and shut down. Even if the couple stay together, if this happens often enough it completely undermines the connection and leaves her looking unstable. This is why relationship coaching can be so valuable, it gives you a safe space to discuss your love life with someone impartial and experienced. To a degree at least we do take our friendships into our relationships and it is important to take note of how are they influencing our perception of the man. It is also worth being aware of the quality of their relationships and to even be willing to question if they are coming from pure bias, whether their input may be based on slight jealousy, or real love. I have seen emotionally insecure friends underhandedly sabotage a woman's relationships, especially if they feel they may "lose" that friend (even if they wont) This is one of the challenges I face daily as a coach I will have had a few wonderful sessions with a woman, she will see her love life improving and even be making huge progress then her family and friends butt in or get impatient and suddenly the same client is taking a wrecking ball to her own relationship. Of course any time we see a loved one in an abusive situation we absolutely should speak up, apart from that if a woman (or a male friend for that matter) is happy, leave her be, support and encourage her. Every relationship is unique, and a man should not be expected to fulfil a Rom-com style list of qualities in order qualify as a suitable partner.

Jade Kelly is a Certified Life Coach and Relationship Consultant based in the UK, She has over a decade of experience in helping women to build confidence in themselves and attraction with men. You can contact us now to book a session by phone, from the comfort of your own home or on the go!

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