Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Unsolicited advice

Jon and I have been in a long distance relationship of the dating variety since December of 2007, and ever since we declared ourselves to be 'dating,' I've often found myself the receiver of a laundry list of advice. I've been told that my relationship is doomed for so many reasons, from the fact that we started out long distance (people magically ignore that we were friends for TWO YEARS before that) to the fact that he is my first boyfriend. I've been told that my relationship is doomed because of my behavior or because we struggle to agree to disagree.

I'm fed up. YES, I do tend to talk about my problems with Jon, but what relationship doesn't have flaws? You know WHY I talk about our issues, even when we are doing really well, having hit a groove I think most couples don't? Because of the damn naysayers. All the people who say we are doomed constantly push me to look at my relationship, to hold up all of the bad parts and go 'is this worth it?' and then I get told the same thing I was told before, forcing me to go back and go 'oh, hey, THIS is a problem, too.' This causes no end of stress for Jon and me, as I can suddenly lash out at him over something that was insignificant until, suddenly, it wasn't.

I'm getting better at letting these things roll off my back, at ignoring them or telling the person that is trying to impart their 'wisdom' on me that I'd rather not hear it, that I've heard this before, this is old news compadre. Some people are better at hearing this than others. I'm tempted to print up business cards, only something snarky, a reverse business card, to give to people when they do this:

"Hi! I don't need to put my name here, because, you know what, I'M JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE! I feel an irrepressible urge to share my opinion with you, even if I don't know you that well! Don't want to hear it? TOO BAD! I have to tell you that you can't ever behave in selfish or immature manner, that YOU are a bad person for ever being mean to your significant other, that S/HE would not act a certain way if you didn't prompt the behavior. PS you are not a saint, and the only way to have a successful long term relationship is to date as many people as possible before settling down."

Too wordy?

The funny thing is that most people are supportive. People who weren't when they first got to know me are, because, if nothing else, they've seen how I get around Jon, how I relax. But I'm really tired of the unsolicited advice, especially the insistence that my relationship is 'doomed' because it is my first, because I'm having to learn some of this stuff as I go. It is so frustrating to have people tell me that I am going to fail, because 'so many' before me have failed. Not everyone fails, but I imagine that those that do aren't helped by their 'helpful' friends and their advice.

1 comment:

Sonja said...

That's bunch of bologna. I know plenty of successful relationships (gone from dating, marriage and children) that are the people's firsts (but then again, I am an Engineer, he he) and my own marriage started out as a long distance thing and I really can't see how that is a bad thing. So you have my vote ;)