I get hassled because I often tell people that women should not take advice from their girlfriends. I need to qualify that statement: MOST women should not take advice from MOST of their girlfriends. My friends should take advice from me, for sure!
I’ll tell you a story about my best friend, Sunshine. She is just that, a ray of sunshine in my life and in the world. She is super tall and long and super blonde (naturally) and light and smiley and full of positive cheer. She swishes into a room, almost floating, and everything changes. I love being next to her. If we were in kindergarten, I would tell everyone we were twins, but opposite.
She was raised in the south by rich, white, Christians (my description, not hers!) – a southern belle of sorts. She had an idyllic childhood, marrying once after college and is still happily married to the same man. She’s never worked outside the home since having kids and is a total domestic diva.
I am tall and tan with dark hair and dark eyes. I was raised in the Portland rain by poor hippies. I had a nerve-wracking childhood and was a bit of a wreck in my 20s and had been married twice by age 30.
Sunshine’s perfect-on-paper husband is hot, but he’s not my type. She loves my fiance but he’s not her type at all. And when it comes to dating, while we want the same things (I call it the white picket fence) we are so different and respond to people so differently that how could she tell me what to do?
She would never try and she is immensely understanding and non-judgemental, but when I dated a total d*ck, she didn’t really say anything until it ended because I really liked him. She wanted me to be happy and she didn’t want to be in the middle had it all worked out.
Good friends are unreliable because they are fiercely protective or fiercely competitive or sometimes completely clueless. Friends are supposed to love you unconditionally and support you relentlessly – especially girlfriends. I believe so strongly in the sisterhood of women. But I also believe that we all have blind spots and the more comfortable we are with people, the easier it is to let our biases lead.
Our friends maybe do not understand the technology, or the opposite sex, or our true desires and how they might show up in a mate. We want our friends and family to approve. We would do just about anything to get that approval. It’s human nature. But it’s not good for business. And you know where I am going with this… blame it on my MBA, but I know match-making takes both the art of human interaction and the science of experience to work.
Now, if your best friend has a great marriage, ask for her advice. If she has had similar experiences, learn from her experiences. If she is a therapist, she probably has good insight. But if you are serious about dating well, ask an expert.