Six Ways to Deal with Unwanted Dating Advice
Six Ways to Deal with Unwanted Dating Advice
It is extremely difficult to deal with all the unwanted dating advice that comes your way when you are single. There is your mother, your aunt Claire, your best friend (or frenemy) who are all weighing in on what you should do or not do to find the one. “Go out to dinner with your cousin and his friends!” “Keto will take off those last few pounds—you have such a pretty face!” “You have to get out more—you’re home too much!” It is enough to make you want to stop talking to them completely!
But there are other, easier ways to handle unwanted dating advice. Where you don’t have to kill off the relationship in order to be around your well-meaning but sabotaging family and friends. So here are six powerful tips for dealing with unwanted dating advice.
Dealing with Unwanted Dating Advice Tip #1 Use the Therapist’s Secret.
When you’re facing unwanted dating advice, win by refusing to engage in a disagreement. Accept comments on your appearance, weight or being single or what you “should” be doing differently. In other words, criticisms that used to upset you now simply nod and say “That’s the way you see it.” This really throws them in a judo-like way without engaging them further and will save you from a lot of stress.
Dealing with Unwanted Dating Advice Tip #2 Take an Attitude of Positive Paranoia.
When your family or friends hit you with their usual unwanted dating advice, save yourself from suffering by focusing on how they love you and really want to help you. Rather than sabotaging you. Here’s what I mean: You know that the people in your posse love you and mean well but don’t always know how to show it. Often we do not focus on the love that is truly there for us. Instead, we focus on the surface interactions which are distractions. For example, we dwell on what a family member or friend is doing and saying in the moment. Comments or actions that can be quite dim-witted, unloving, or even unconsciously cruel. This puts us in a state of paranoia, where we suspect that the person may not care for us all that much.
Focus instead on how much the person at their core really does love you, and you will get more of their caring. Refocusing on the love that might not be evident in the moment is Positive Paranoia.
Dealing with Unwanted Dating Advice Tip #3 Think Positive Thoughts that Come from Positive Paranoia.
When someone gives you unwanted dating advice that seems unsupportive, negative, or pushy, think from a place of acknowledging love. Thoughts like, I bet Mom really thinks I’m a catch, even though she is making you’re-too-fat-remarks. Or My friend wants to help me succeed in dating even though she’s critical. See how that changes your relationship with these difficult people. You can tip the scales to the plus side and avoid suffering, as well as reap more positives from them by changing the focus of your own outlook.
Dealing with Unwanted Dating Advice Tip #4 Shape Your Frenemies’ Behavior so that It Becomes Helpful!
When you get unwanted dating advice, begin shaping your Frenemies’ behavior. This technique promotes more optimistic, supportive, and uplifting behavior. You will feel better—and, after they get the hang of it, they will, too! To accomplish this goal, you will use what I call Positive Shaping Talk: clearly and lovingly ask for exactly what you want and need.
Dealing with Unwanted Dating Advice Tip #5 Simply Say, “I would really love it if you said, ______!”
Simply fill in the blank with what you really want your relative or friend to say to you! For example, you could say “I love how much you love me, mom! I would love it if you said You are such an amazing catch!”
Dealing with Unwanted Dating Advice Tip #6 Build a Boundary Around Toxic People
Sometimes, close friends or family members fail to come through for you even though you have used Positive Paranoia and Positive Shaping Talk. In those instances, it’s time to put some distance between you. Move to a more cordial relationship where you do not discuss personal matters. This means you do not talk about your dating life at all. And if they bring it up, let them know you don’t want to discuss it. Or say you have to get going and get off the phone.
The Story of Joya
For example, Joya, one of our coaching clients, who was in her thirties, found a great new guy and as she discussed him with Kerry, a “best friend” Frenemy she found herself doubting that he would be able to be in a lasting, faithful relationship. Kerry was a very untrusting person. as she had chosen unfaithful men. So Kerry set about “protecting” Joya by putting fear into her mind with unwanted dating advice about the new hottie she was dating.
Joya’s coach suggested that she stop discussing her love life with Kerry. Things were going great. And then her boyfriend had sex with his ex in order to “see if it was over.” Joya wanted to call her Frenemy and dish about the crisis but she did not. Instead she handled it maturely and used Positive Shaping Talk to deepen her relationship with her new boyfriend. Here is how she describes the outcome:
Thank you for helping me to set boundaries with Kerry. If I had called her, I would have handled it in all the wrong ways. With lots of drama, rather than focusing on confronting him with the truth. Instead, I asked him to make it up to me. So that he could show me a clear choice, that he wants to be with me. I said: “I need to hear you say you love me.” So he came over and hugged me and said “I love you.”
I’m thrilled that I didn’t ruin the relationship and didn’t call my friends to whine and dramatize. I could have created more pain for myself. Healing the situation is much better than being taken over by drama.
For More on Unwanted Dating Advice
So there you have 6 tips for effectively dealing with unwanted dating advice. This blog is partially excerpted from Chapter 12, “Beware of Frenemies,” in Love in 90 Days. Just pick up a copy and learn how to create a lasting love.
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Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
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