Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Happy Tuesday everyone!
Here is a question of the day: How many of you care what other people think - be it friends or family, or society in general - about the person you date/love? This has been a topic of conversation between my friends and me for a little while now, so I thought I'd ask the blog how much influence others have on who you date, love, marry, etc.
It doesn't even have to be as deep as who you choose for a life partner. How many of you have been out on a date, ran into someone you knew and immediately tried to 1) HIDE! 2) size up your date to make sure he/she looked good enough to be introduced to your friend, or 3) wanted to flaunt your date cuz you knew he/she was hot like FIYA!? Whether consciously or subconsciously, I think we all have cared to an extent what others thought of our love choices.
I think women do it more so than men. When we tell our girls about a new guy we're dating or interested in, the usual questions typically follow. They want to know his stats - what does he do, what does he drive, where does he live, does he have kids, how many, how many baby mamas, etc. Rarely do my friends ask upfront if he makes me happy, rubs my feet, takes me to church, listens to me or if he's a good guy. While I know they want to make sure I'm taken care of, we don't normally get to THAT part of the conversation right away. They want to see a picture first to make sure he's FINE, and THEN (100 questions later) they ask me if he's good to his mother.
Men, I don't think they care what their friends think...as much. I'm sure they do to some degree - in the realm of what she looks like, if she's smart, has a job, no baby daddies and can fry up a mean steak. But for the most part, if their boy is happy, they're cool. Unless she's throwing bricks through his window or slashing tires...you know, the usual ;-)
Ultimately, I'm sure we can say that we care what our friends and family think in some way, shape or form. Some more than others - and there's nothing wrong with that. I value my close friends' opinions, because I know they have my best interest at heart. I trust anything my sister says, because she's always honest...to the point where it makes me uncomfortable to have to look at myself in the mirror and see that I just might be wrong, delusional, irrational, too sensitive, blind to what's in front of me or just plain trippin'. We all need that from time to time.
But then there are times where we care TOO MUCH what others think, to the point where we block our own happiness. You have to know the difference between someone giving you sincere advice, and someone simply hating on your happiness. There's a difference between genuine concern and someone being judgemental. It's up to us to be able to discern so that we don't live our lives for someone else.
At the end of the day, we're adults who can and will do whatever we want...so live your life for yourself. And if you put true love on hold because of how it looks to others, you’re sacrificing your own happiness for no real reason.
I know it's easier said than done when assessing the opinions of people you care about compared to your own desires, but someone who loves you will love your partner, too. Why? Because you love him/her and because he/she makes you happy. Anyone who can’t fall in line to support your choice in mate is putting their needs/desires/prejudices before what’s really important: your happiness.
So back to the question of the day: Have you ever ended a relationship because of what your friends and family thought? Not because they’re protecting you from a player/asshole/addict/violent/abusive person, but because they selfishly wanted you to marry someone just like you? Just like THEM? If so, how did you reconcile this?
Let's hear it!