Choose Your Love Wisely

A Psychology Today article asks: Why Is It Hard When Friends Disapprove of Our Relationships? Basically, the article argues that approval from family members matters. As one example, research found that members of same-sex relationships, when and if they obtain approval from family members/loved ones similar to approval received by people in opposite-sex relationships, they benefit in the same way.

One point the article and research does not address: Your romantic partner choice is one of the most basic and important choices you make. When someone rejects your choice, they’re rejecting YOU.

If a loved one or friend has made a choice that you question in the romantic department, you ought to give them the benefit of the doubt. If your friend or loved one is really as reasonable, mature, healthy and sound in judgment as you assume, then there are likely good reasons why he or she has chosen THIS person to love. And, if not: Maybe your assessment of your loved one and friend isn’t as sound as you thought it was.

Regardless, it’s almost always worse than futile to offer unsolicited, negative opinions about your loved one’s choice of romantic partner. If they ask your opinion (unlikely while they’re satisfied), that’s one thing. But to dive in and tell them why you think they’re making a mistake will almost certainly backfire on its own terms.

The faulty premise in such a case is that you’re trying to save someone from him- or herself in one of life’s most complex and emotional, important areas: romantic love. It stands to reason that even if you’re right that your friend/loved one has made a disastrous choice, you can’t save him or her from this choice. It’s insulting to try.

I know of some people who made disastrous choices in love and later reflect, “I wish my friends and loved ones had told me I was wrong to date/marry so-and-so.” Really? So you would have turned off the “love switch” merely because someone questioned your choice of romantic mate? I don’t think so. Get real. And take responsibility for yourself.

We all have to take responsibility for our choices, especially critical choices such as love. Only you or I can save ourselves from … ourselves. Choose wisely and carefully.


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