Each time I was single — in my 20s and recently after divorce — I was offered advice from friends, family, even strangers! Why does being single attract so much unsolicited advice?
Some of it was helpful, some not so much.
Here are 5 pieces of advice that did more harm than good:
Side note: Here's the worst advice Mamamia employees had ever given. Post continues below.
“You need to get married to get out of the rut.”
In the middle of studying and working out what you want to do with your life you can have moments of feeling like you’re in a rut. It can feel like you’ve stalled. You’re not going anywhere.
I knew in my early 20s I wanted to get married and have children and it felt like I needed that to move my life forward. Other people will tell you that’s what you need too. The next level of adulting is getting married, getting a home, having kids.
It’s not true.
If your life feels like it’s stalled, it’s an opportunity to figure out what you want. Marriage doesn’t get you out of a rut. Changing careers can. Starting a new hobby can. Travel can. Get passionate about life rather than getting passionate about the first person who comes along.
“They’re the one – I can tell.”
People who love us want us the best for us. When you introduce your new partner they get excited about what it could mean for you. They want to be supportive. They want you to be happy. They want you to find love.
It’s so easy to meet someone a few times and think they’re perfect. In my 20s my good friend met my new boyfriend once, took me aside and whispered, “Yes, he’s definitely the one!” At the time, I wasn’t so sure but I respected my friend’s opinion. Perhaps he is the one then, I thought. It certainly influenced my decision to get engaged a few months later.
Maybe they tick boxes your friend or family member has: tall, wealthy, polite. That doesn’t mean they’re right for you. Our loved ones' opinions matter to us and we can be very influenced by them. Be careful how influenced you are when it comes to something as important as choosing your partner.
“Attraction doesn’t matter.”
Aren’t you being shallow judging a potential partner on their looks? People will tell you attraction grows. Yes, it can. They’ll tell you chemistry fades anyway. Again, that’s true. We all lose our looks eventually, right? Even with all our creams and potions, yes.
So it’s what’s inside that counts when you’re looking for a partner?
Of course, that’s true, but attraction still matters. Your partner doesn’t need to be a supermodel for you to look across at them and feel like they have the cutest smile you’ve seen. You want someone you adore and part of that is finding them physically attractive.