Written by Veronica Pocza
Why I need to start taking my own love advice.
Good friends are always there for each other. Friends should always value one another’s opinions and feel like they can swap secrets. But do you ever feel like you are always the person that all of your friends are coming to for specific advice?
Well, for me, it’s relationships. For some reason, my friends seem to really value, trust, and always ask for my opinion when it comes to situations involving their relationships or love. At first, I couldn’t understand why my love advice would be helpful to anyone. I mean, come on. Me?
There are more than a few reasons why I would never think to take love advice from myself.
- I never had a boyfriend in high school. I probably could’ve, but I was inexperienced, shy about it, and terrified of commitment. I also went through a “gangsta” phase, which I thought was acceptable because I played basketball. This likely scared most teenage boys away.
- My first serious boyfriend, who was the coolest guy ever, broke up with me and I was devastated. He’s been dating a practically perfect girl (seriously, she’s impossible to hate. I’ve tried) ever since, and they have the best relationship. It’s a consistent confidence killer.
- I had a solid long-term relationship, became terrified of becoming bored, broke it off and left the country for 4 months. As a bonus, I had to break up with a nice person, and the guilt of that likes to travel around with me as extra baggage.
- I still have feelings for my high school crush, even though I’m almost 23 and he lives on a completely different continent.
- The only text messages I get right now are from my Mom, and from Telus, because I use too much data (I’m a Snapchat addict.)
- Last week at Commonwealth, I was almost successfully picked up by a guy who I found out was born in 1994. Upon finding out his age I proceeded to spend $17 at Clive Burger to distract myself from actually considering it.
Yeah. Sounds like a mess on the surface, doesn’t it? I’ve definitely made my fair share of mistakes when it comes to relationships and finding love, but I’ve made the effort to learn from them. Maybe this is what makes me a valuable resource of advice for my friends, because I’ve probably experienced whatever problem they are having and aren’t afraid to admit I’ve messed up a million times before.
It’s also no secret to anyone that I love my friends and would take a bullet for any of them. I want nothing more than to see them happy. This is why I always try to give them honest, thoughtful opinions that I think and hope will guide them towards their ultimate happiness. Sometimes this means being bluntly honest with them to prevent them from getting really hurt and other times it means giving them that harmless boost of confidence when they need it.
A lot of the time, I’m actually really impressed with some of the advice I come up with. It may be because I’m a writer, or an attempted (and failed) actress, that I’m able to put myself into this insightful mode of conversation with my friends, but some of the rules I push on my friends are actually pretty good ones. I tell them to always trust their gut. Put themselves first. Don’t settle. Be honest. Be smart. Take risks.
Then it hit me. I’m a total hypocrite. I give my friends all this amazing advice, (and it’s not an act, I truly believe in what I tell them,) but I don’t practice what I preach. I realized I need to start taking some of my own love advice, because I want to see myself happy, too.
I’ve realized there always a few “go-to” lessons I explain to my friends when they come to me for advice. So, it’s probably best that I share them and remind myself what they are so that I can start walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
- Don’t want someone who doesn’t want you. This one’s the hardest one to follow, trust me I know. Life has a funny way of making you attracted to the people who aren’t interested in you, and not attracted to the people who are. When it’s clear someone isn’t going out of their way to see you or bump into you, it’s just not going to happen. I always tell my friends that the second someone has made it clear they don’t want you, you should automatically not want them. Why would you ever want to hang out with someone who isn’t thrilled to be spending time with you? I wouldn’t. It would suck to be in a relationship with someone that you have to convince to like you. You haven’t won if you get their attention, because you’ve sold yourself out. Disregard the fact that I may have drunk-texted the most recent person who hurt me, but that one sentence snapped me out of it. Don’t want someone who doesn’t want you. Simple. Make it your deal-breaker.
- Spread your eggs around. No, I don’t mean this in a sexual way….this actually comes from my Mom always telling me: “don’t put all your happiness eggs in one basket.” I have no idea if this is a well-known quote or where she even got it from, but I use it all the time. Nothing is harder than watching one of my friends base their entire night around the actions of the person they like. And to be honest, nothing is more annoying. Nobody wants to hang out with the friend thats constantly wondering if the person they like will show up, is bummed if they don’t, or only wants to go somewhere in hopes of seeing them. Sure, it’s fun to like someone and butterflies are great — but try and make plans that don’t involve the person you like. That way you know you have something to look forward to, and if they show up then it’s just a bonus. I find a great solution is to always make plans to end the night at tubby dog or clive burger. Whether you end up going there with friends, or the person you like, everyone is always in a good mood after a disgustingly greasy feast.
- Don’t feel the need to justify. I know far too many friends that have been stuck in relationships. Most of these relationships haven’t even been unhealthy, or bad, but they’ve just reached their expiry date. So many people think that there needs to be a solid “reason” to break up with someone, and if there isn’t — then they shouldn’t. This is a terrible outlook. Why? Because then I’m stuck with friends who are constantly complaining about their relationships, who refuse to do anything about it because they feel they don’t have a good enough reason. Remember, we are all young, we are all just trying to figure it out, and you are allowed to change your mind. If you aren’t happy anymore, or just aren’t into someone, you can be honest and it’ll be so much better for the both of you in the long run. But, remember this on the receiving end, too. If someone has been honest and they just aren’t into you, respect that and don’t beg them for reasons and answers. Just take the bullet, then pick yourself back up and carry on. This circles back to rule 1…you shouldn’t want someone who doesn’t want you.
Alright, it’s Thursday, and another weekend is rolling around. Now that I’ve reminded myself of a few of the good lessons I’ve come up with, it’s time to start putting them into play in my own life.
At the end of the day, we all need our friends to help us look out for each other in this battlefield of finding and understanding love. It’s also important to look out for yourself and serve your needs before trying to please anyone else. I’m definitely going to adopt this approach, and if it means spending another $17 at Clive burger, then so be it. At least my stomach will be happy.