Couples therapy is always a good idea. It’s now about 75% of participants find it effective. What may make it work is that the couple is willing to work through the issues.
However, this doesn’t mean that all types of expert advice you’ll get is helpful. Sometimes, it can be dangerous to your relationship.
How so? Keep on reading why you should be wary of all pieces of relationship advice you get.
1. Bad Relationship Advice is Harmful
Relationship advice comes from anywhere - thousands of articles ready to inform you of “red flags,” your friends and relatives who are quick to offer one, strangers on internet forums, and many more.
Some of these are helpful while others are straight-up harmful. You have to learn how to scrutinize between bad and good advice. Sometimes, bad advice comes off as “good,” especially when it’s one you want to hear.
What happens when you take bad advice and listen to every advice you could find?
You Become Unhappy
When you prioritize the others’ advice and opinion, your chance of unhappiness increases. That’s because you may not be comfortable and happy with the advice.
The advice might be pushing you to become something you’re not, for example. Or, it might be pushing you to stay in an unhappy relationship.
It might even be the cause of your unhappiness in an otherwise healthy relationship. People tend to listen more to their long-time friends than a new partner.
These friends may only want to protect you. But, they might be the ones planting seeds of doubt in your relationship.
How many times have we seen groups of friends convince one of them that their partner is leading them on, cheating on them, or plain uninterested in the relationship? It’s a popular trope in movies, but it’s, unfortunately, a real problem in real life.
Their intention may be coming from a good place, but their advice might not. It can be due to the “Top Telltale Signs He’s Cheating” articles they also found on the internet. It may also come from their personal experiences, which may not even relate to you.
You Become a Victim
Another harmful effect of listening to bad advice is becoming a victim of abuse. Sometimes, we don’t have the right people saying the right things about our situation.
For instance, they might tell you to endure your partner’s angry outbursts to “keep the family intact.” They might also say you are overreacting about a huge red flag.
These pieces of bad advice become your mentality. And so, you end up making yourself small and compromising your happiness. You end up in an abusive relationship without seeing anything wrong with it.
You Develop Toxic Habits
Toxic advice leads to toxic habits. The more you listen to people telling you to sacrifice your whole life or do some other toxic behavior, the more you’re likely to perpetuate it throughout your life. You may even become of those to give this advice to other people.
This will keep you stuck in a cycle, and you’ll be unable to break free and find things that will make you feel fulfilled. You’ll lead yourself to believe things like getting excessively jealous is normal. Or, you might justify giving up everything for a person as the right thing to do.
You’ll carry on these beliefs even into your future relationships and other areas of your life.
You Get a Bent Perspective
It also leads to bent perspectives. You’ll agree when we tell you that older people like telling the younger girls to find a rich husband. That’s not all, you may have also heard of others saying all you need in a wife is one who can cook.
This gives you the wrong perspectives about relationships. It will lead you to believe certain qualities are the only things that matter. You’ll end up in unhealthy ones because of it.
2. What You Need to Remember
That said, we’re not saying you shouldn’t take any advice at all. It’s always helpful to learn new perspectives about your relationship and yourself. Though, there are a few things to remember when getting advice.
They Are Outsiders
Remember that anyone outside your relationship only sees things from the outside. They’re an outsider, which means they don't have all the information.
Sometimes, these experts see things in black and white. It’s hard to celebrate the uniqueness in relationships when they have to categorize everything into “good” or “bad.”
Of course, there is absolute good and absolute bad. Everything in between depends on the two people in a relationship.
Remember that only the two of you know in full what’s going on in your relationship. It’s okay to get relationship advice from people you trust, but you don’t have to follow every single one. They may have your best interests at heart, but they don’t always have 100% of the story.
It’s easier for them to tell you to dump your partner because of something silly. It’s easier for them to tell you to stay when they’re not the ones enduring the abuse or mistreatment.
Your Feelings Matter
Expert advice often deals with absolutes and it’s common for it to invalidate your feelings.
Stop for a second and ask yourself, what do YOU feel about the subject matter? When people say it’s bad, do you feel it’s bad?
Note that we’re not talking about physical, mental, and emotional abuse. We’re referring to little things that many people and experts may refer to as bad that may not even bother you.
Your partner can be bad at organizing things but be an amazing partner, parent, and human being in general. That one flaw can be a dealbreaker to some people, but is it a dealbreaker to you?
You might feel that you and your ex-best friend’s boyfriend have a connection. But, everyone around you says it’s a bad idea. Is it a bad idea for you?
Conversely, you could have the perfect partner but you don’t feel anything about it. Experts might advise you against ending the relationship. People might convince you that you have everything.
But, do you? The message is the same: consider your feelings about it first.
When you take other people’s advice for every single decision in your relationship, is it still you who’s in the relationship? It sounds like those people are the ones running your relationship.
You are not being yourself when you push yourself to do something you’re not comfortable with. You are not being yourself when you let others do the deciding for you.
You owe it to your partner to be present in your relationship. Take every advice with a grain of salt and decide for yourself the best thing to do in that specific situation.
How will you be able to let your voice show through when you’re listening to a million other voices?
When you start saying, “but everyone says…” in your arguments, you’ve lost your place in the relationship.
Your friends aren’t there to decide everything in your life or relationship. That’s not what’s great about having good friends. It’s knowing they’re still there to support you no matter what your decision is.
The Rules Don’t Matter
Dating and relationship rules don’t matter anymore. Don’t let things like “Never date the bad boy,” “don’t have sex until the third date,” and so on lead your life.
Following all the rules won’t give you the love you’ve been dreaming of. They’re not an assurance that you’ll find a pot of gold when you follow the rainbow.
Sometimes, that pot of gold appears when you least expect it. Sometimes, you have to take a risk, and you may not even have to be looking for it to find it.
Other people will tell you that doing this will give you that. But, remember that a relationship isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. What worked for them might not work for you; at worst, it could end up in a disaster.
3. Examples of Popular Bad Relationship Advice
Now, you might be thinking about what kinds of bad relationship advice someone can give you. They can be specific, but here are some general ones that are still going around. We’re positive you’ve heard of the following before:
Never Go to Bed Angry
This advice means you shouldn’t let any argument go longer than a day. This seems like good advice, but it’s harmful in many cases.
Trying to reconcile when you’re still angry, hurt, and tired from a long day won’t lead to a good outcome. Most of the time, you both have to dismiss the issue without a real resolution for the sake of following the rule.
Sometimes, a good night’s sleep is what you need to recharge. You both have to be in the right mental and emotional state to work through the relationship trouble.
Put Yourself Out There
People may force you to be in uncomfortable situations to find love. In actuality, you don’t have to wear a sign you’re available to get yourself a love life.
It might seem cliche, but it’s true. You’ll find it when you least expect. You’ll also find it when you expect it.
Meaning, you always have a chance to find love, whether or not you’re doing something about it.
This advice is bad because it perpetuates the idea that you have to mark yourself as single to find it. They’ll tell you to go out to parties, go on blind dates, and more. While these are okay to do, you don’t have to do them if you’re uncomfortable with the idea.
You Can Fix Her/Him
People can change over time, but it’s only because of self-motivation. Some personalities and habits will never break or change.
These are important points to remember when you’re planning to enter into a commitment. It’s true that everyone has flaws, but if you’re entering the relationship with the intent to change them, it’s not going to work out.
You may think this about a womanizer, a girl going through an addiction, or one who’s unmotivated about everything.
It’s not your responsibility to fix them, and it’s not their fault when you made this decision by yourself either. You don’t have to wait around for someone to fix themselves, thinking that it will all go according to plan.
You can always support someone through it, but don’t think your happiness depends on it.
Take the Higher Road
Victims of abuse might get the advice to stick around no matter what like it’s the grandest form of showing love. As we’ve said earlier, this is harmful advice.
You don’t always have to forgive and take the higher road. Sometimes, they don’t deserve your forgiveness. They don’t deserve you to stay; they don’t deserve you - period.
You have to draw the line when you or your loved ones are at risk. You don’t have to tolerate dangerous or bad behavior for the sake of love.
Leaving doesn’t mean you don’t love them; it means you’re prioritizing your well-being above all else.
Treat Dates Like Interviews
We get it; first dates are when you test your chemistry with each other and if you’re both interested enough for a second date. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should treat your date like a candidate for a spouse.
Rather, treat a date with a potential lover to be a date with a potential friend. This way, you don’t have the pressure to meet expectations. You get to be yourself and the date will move more organically.
Take Every Expert Advice With a Grain of Salt
We hope this guide enlightened you to the dangers of taking every expert advice to heart. It doesn’t matter where the advice is coming from, though.
The best advice we may be able to give you is this - you have to scrutinize each one and make the decision for yourself. Still, there’s no harm in reaching out for help. Check out this list to find the right support groups for you.