It shouldn't come as a shock to guys that the girl you're dating shares everything about you and your relationship with her inner circle.
And when I say everything, I truly mean EVERYTHING. They know about that time you took her puppy to the vet when she couldn't get away from the office, but they also know about that time when you called her a bitch during an argument.
They know your ex-girlfriend's Twitter handle, your favorite football team, the size of your penis and how you call her Honey Bunny in a baby voice she finds equal parts irritating and endearing behind closed doors.
Women have always compared notes and tried to understand the opposite sex through accumulated knowledge and experience, but, when all she needs to do is send a screenshot to her group chat in order to get a slew of opinions, today the influence is stronger than ever.
Therefore, getting on the good side of her posse isn't just a recommendation, but a necessity.
Now ladies, as the generally more sensitive of the sexes, we know that we are often blinded by our emotions in a situation, and can be extremely good at skewing our perception to look the way we want it to.
This is where friends outside of the emotional blinders can point out the obvious that we're missing — or more likely, choosing to ignore.
Your friends can act as a sounding board for you to vent to, but it's imperative to keep in mind that advice is a form of nostalgia.
People can only pass along information based on experiences they've lived and lessons they've learned.
And frankly, a lot of the advice being rolled out, woman to woman, is a crock of you know what. Let's examine this a little further with some examples:
"I'm sure he hasn't texted back is because he's really busy." Or, "I've heard he's scared of relationships after his last heartbreak."
Everyone is busy. Everyone has been heartbroken. And, everyone can make up a passable excuse.
The truth of the matter is, everyone has his or her phones close by and can text you back, call you back or make a plan with you if he or she wants.
This old adage comes to mind: If it's important, you'll find a way, if it's not, you'll find an excuse.
Boy just ain't that into you. Cut your losses, like, yesterday.
"He's lucky that's all you did; I would have slashed his tires, too!"
I would like to think it's straightforward as to why this is bad advice (see: restraining order), and maybe all validation for bad actions isn't this extreme, but the reason there are so many similar memes floating around the Internet is because this does get said.
I feel this is usually intended as a hyperbolized joke, but I worry these sort of semi-psychotic actions are starting to become the norm.
"You probably said something he misinterpreted that upset him? Maybe it's about that time he was..."
Ah, the classic over-analysis.
Us women can place meaning on absolutely anything. Men, as a general rule, do not.
If he was short on a phone call and said he had to go because he was in the middle of something? Chances are, he was actually in the middle of something.
You hang up, feeling deflated and call one of your girls. In a matter of five minutes, you've hypothesized that he's being abrupt with you because of 10 potential scenarios.
These range from you liking your ex's picture on Instagram, to the phone call he had with his mother last night and how you're convinced they were speaking about you.
By the time you've completely wound yourself up, he calls back. Because, you know, he's NO LONGER IN THE MIDDLE OF SOMETHING.
Stop doing this to yourself. Stop doing this now.
"Stand your ground, there's no need to put up with that! You're a strong woman who's entitled to her opinion and he needs to hear it."
Yay for feminism!
But, this doesn't give gals a free pass to run around flexing. Being strong and being stubborn are not the same thing, and there comes a point when you, too, may have to compromise.
One of the biggest pieces of garbage advice I see passed around is an overcorrection from the more easily pushed-over generations before us.
Absolutely stand up for yourself and communicate with your partner, but keep in mind that a healthy relationship is split 50/50, and you don't need to beat your guy into submission.
"Down this shot of Cuervo, and go hook up with that looker at the bar!"
Women love having a good story to tell, whether it's their own, or their friends'. But, nothing sends you into a shame spiral quicker than an impulsive, alcohol-fueled bad decision.
"I don't know why you're even complaining ... *insert subject change*..."
Sadly, all friends in this world aren't created equal, and some don't always act with the best intentions.
In an age bracket where half of the population is married and half are single, envy runs in both directions.
People doubt — and often regret — their own decisions and can act with unintentional malice simply because they just don't relate to what you're going through.
So, how's a girl to navigate her way through the wisdom and ridiculousness her friends dish out? Take all of it with a good ol' fashioned grain of salt.
You're the only one who knows the inner workings of your dating life, and not the one-sided perception your friends have heard.
Remember, your clique is only handing over advice based on the cards they've been dealt. This is by no means gospel.
Myself included (perhaps in particular…).