It even plays out in the marketplace of ideas and opinion. This is where women, in particular, get tripped up on the supply and demand of relationship advice. When men loudly inquire "what the hell are you listening to her for," it's not just a crude knee-jerk response. It comes from our innate understanding that women, although inadvertently in most cases, tend to give each other bad advice. We know this. Yet women demand it from their girlfriends, who are all too happy to supply it. It's an irrepressible instinct that women share. For reasons that are more perplexing than Beyonce's overproduced choreography, women seem to think their girlfriends are uniquely qualified to provide sound advice on affairs of the heart. They're not.
Let me offer a few reasons to why you might want to check in with a sensible male friend that you trust or a professional instead.
1. Misery Loves Company
The bitter girlfriend scenario is classic. She's jaded from her own failed or failing relationship. Rather than converse, she wants to commiserate. She suffers from emotional Tourette's syndrome – uncontrollably blurting out red-flag statements like "girl, please, f*ck him and his momma." She has no genuine interest in your happiness at this point. Chances are she probably could have made some different decisions with her own love life, but she didn't. Now she's lonely and livid, high off her own supply (of bad advice) and she's doing her best to bait you into her relationship crack den. Walk away.
2. Standards and Practices
I'm a big fan of this expression: Standards and Practices (S&P) originates in the broadcast industry as a term that applies to the moral and ethical implications of programs that networks air. In relationships, it takes on a similar meaning. Each couple creates their own parameters and boundaries in terms of behavior and lifestyle choices they embrace or will tolerate. The problem is your girlfriend may be operating from an entirely different S&P handbook. For example, you may have no issue with your husband and his buddies hitting Vegas for the weekend. She does. In fact, her husband can't even go to happy hour after work without drama and 20 questions to follow. You two are operating from two different handbooks. Your relationship sensibilities are incompatible. She's about to steer you wrong and give you advice that doesn't fit the dynamics of your marriage. Change the subject quickly.
3. She Has No Idea What She's Talking About
I'm sorry, but it's true. Women can't be trusted to give good advice when it comes to the opposite sex – no more than you trust the man that pulls up for your first date while sipping from a 16 oz red Solo cup and proceeds to asks if you want some. The only question is who you trust less. The reality is women don't understand men. They think they do and that in itself is the source of all the bad advice to follow. The road to a busted relationship is paved with the good intentions of your girlfriends. Take my advice (yes, mine): Look inward or find a professional.
4. You Will Look Like a Fool in the End (Again)
So here is the biggest issue. This is less about the girlfriend and more about you. The more you complain and bellyache about your troubled relationship, the bigger the fool you appear to be to your girlfriend when you sheepishly go back to him in the middle of the night. Yeah, it's kind of embarrassing, but you know you will. You always do. Manage the flow of information. This is what men do. Our buddies need to know only two important life-changing events as it pertains to our relationships: We're getting married and we're getting divorced. Everything else in between is immaterial and frankly none of their business.
Mason Jamal writes about men, women and popular culture. For more of his musings, visit www.masonjamal.com. To have his commentary delivered to your e-mail, subscribe here. Keep up with Mason's daily thoughts and observations by following him on Twitter @masonsays.