The Big Benefits Of Talking To Your Friends About Your Love Life
I'll be the first to proudly say it: I tell my friends everything about my dating life — well, almost everything. Why? Because they just get it: They’re there to rescue me from the disasters and there to celebrate when I meet someone special. And while some might suggest talking to your besties about your blunders and seeking their counsel isn’t always healthy, there are some real benefits to talking to your pals about your dating life.
“Despite what many assert, if we’re dating, we have to talk to our friends about it—who else can we go to for comfort, encouragement, and strategizing?” relationship expert Dr. Karin Anderson Abrell tells Bustle. "Be advised, however that our BFFs can only do so much for us and if our emotional needs become intense, we can’t expect them to serve as therapists. But in general, our besties provide imperative support as we navigate our way through the dating scene.”
They might not always know the most perfect thing to say and they may not have the same dating experiences that you’ve had, but the key is they know you — and ultimately, they just want you to be happy in love. Here are some reasons to call up your friend and chat about that amazing (or terrible) date you had last week:
1. They Can Help You Know If You’re Moving Too Fast
If you’re someone who goes from 0 to 100 when you’re really into someone (we see you pre-registering that wedding website and naming kids before you’ve even made it official) — your friends can be a good way to check yourself. “When it comes to questioning whether or not you’re moving too fast or whether or not a guy or girl is the right one for you, they will have great insight,” says dating expert and matchmaker Sarah Patt.
2. They'll Be Your Hope When You've Lost It
Between the swiping and boring dates that don’t get you excited, it can be difficult to keep on, keepin’ on when you just want to give up. “Friends encourage and engender hope when you feel like you’re at your wit’s end,” Dr. Abrell says. “Dating can be exhausting and demoralizing. It’s easy to get jaded but no one benefits from negative rants about issues we can’t control. Your friends can help you find ways to keep the subject matter positive.” (And if you sometimes want to say something snarky in response to their “you’ll find love, I promise!” comment — remember it’s coming from a good place. Take a breath.)
3. They Can Help You Think With Your Head And Feel With Your Heart
One time when I got excited about someone who quickly disappeared (where do they go?) — one of my best friends said something that I remind myself every single time I like someone: “Keep your heart open and your feet on the ground.”
Patt says a helpful benefit of discussing your dating dilemmas with besties is how they help you remember to think with your head and feel with your heart — not the other way around. Instead of overanalyzing and not letting yourself be vulnerable, they remind you that every answer you need — you already know!
But Make Sure You Don’t Only Share The Bad
While talking to your friends is recommended, one big thing to remember is to talk about it all. Especially if you’re in a relationship. “You don’t want your friends to dislike the person you are dating just because you’re in a slump or recently had fight. It is important for your friends to support and like the person you are dating,” Patt says. "Remember, once they have a glimpse into something negative in your relationship or about your partner, can they let this knowledge go if you are able to move forward? If they aren’t someone who can do that, it’s best not to include them in your dating conversations.”
So if you tend to only discuss your partner in a negative light because you think no one wants to hear about the mushy-gushy details, think again. Your friends want to hear a mix of both.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.