Dating Advice: Attracted to "Bad Boys?" Here's Why.
Here’s the dating advice that you really don’t need from your friends
We love decoding a partner’s behaviour with our friends, but could their dating advice actually just be a way of projecting their own relationship fears?
Words by Anabel Maldonado
My friends and I are eating out at our favourite Italian. Our choice of dining venue has come to reflect the nature of topics up for discussion and tonight, only comforting pasta will do.
My relationship with Eric, who I was so sure was The One, is on its last legs. I’ve summoned the girls to help me make sense of it all. ‘He doesn’t deserve you. You’re gorgeous. You’re also the smartest person I know. He’s too immature to appreciate you,’ says Tess. I smile graciously but feel a knot of annoyance in my stomach.
The thing is, I’m not seeking reassurance about my positive qualities, and an explanation that is based on whimsical notions of people ‘deserving’ each other is deeply unsatisfying. I then immediately feel guilty. Tess is a long-standing loyal friend who is simply being supportive. Brooke mostly listens. She emphasizes, but admits she’s as confused as I am about why the relationship went awry.
I was desperate for an explanation. In fact, looking back. I realize that the greyer the relationship grew, the more dependent I became on my friends to decipher the meaning behind Eric’s behaviour. Walking home that evening I had an epiphany. My friends’ advice didn’t resonate because the ‘happy-go-lucky me’ they know and love is a different person to the tense, temperamental one Eric got to know.
Since we met, three months before, we’d been inseparable. Eric dominated my thoughts: what he was thinking, whether he felt the same and, most importantly – where was this going? Trying to be cool and carefree, while tearing myself apart with anxiety over the future led me to become increasingly neurotic and passive-aggressive. He slowly backed off. Tess, an advocate of dating bookThe Rules, insisted that if I wanted to keep him keen I would need to act aloof and have him make date arrangements several days in advance. But as a busy City boy, who was genuinely interested, this simply frustrated him – and not in a good way.
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