Whenever you pick someone to be your boyfriend or girlfriend, it results in reactions from those already in your life—friends, family, acquaintances, and all the rest. They might be delighted for you. They may think you’ve found the one. Or they may think you’re making a huge mistake. How do you handle so much raw opinion, good and bad?
Don’t take it personally. Those around you aren’t criticizing (or even complimenting) your reasoning skills, dating prowess, or personality. Chances are good they aren’t even considering those things, so don’t let their comments go to your head (or make you angry). They’re entitled to their own opinion, just as you’re entitled to disregard it, but fighting with those who don’t like the person you picked won’t do your relationships any good, romantic or otherwise (and patting yourself on the back because everyone likes your choice could make you blind to the person you’re actually with).
Separate the opinions from reality. Those around you can say many things, good or bad, but if you pay too much attention to them, you can end up seeing things that aren’t even there. For example, if everyone thinks your boyfriend is thoughtful, you might give him credit for that, even if that’s actually not one of his strong suits. Conversely, if they all think he’s a horrible cook, you might suddenly become more critical of his meals. As much as you can, you need to remember that their comments are just their opinion, and they could be wrong.
Remember that they might just want the best for you. Sometimes, you may get less-than-kind responses about who you’ve picked, but ultimately, the people who are already in your life are usually there because they care about you. If they didn’t care at all, it wouldn’t matter who you’re with, but because you matter, your romantic partner matters…and thus all the questions, comments, and thoughts on whether you chose wisely.
Keep in mind that opinions say more about those speaking than about the subject matter. If your mother can never say anything good about your romantic partner, it may have nothing to do with him or her, and everything to do with your mother—her expectations, her personality, her feelings, and her perceptions. Thus, what she says might not be a reflection of your partner at all.
Ultimately, you should treasure the opinions of those that know you…and let the rest go. When you’re in love, it’s easy to see everything as wonderful, until it isn’t, and then you may feel like your romantic partner is awful and that you should never have started dating him or her.
Through both the highs and lows, it’s important to have a few steady anchors who know you and can give you balanced feedback, helping you see the strengths and weaknesses of you and your choice of romantic partner. Their opinions can help you rely on your better judgement rather than just your feelings, and ideally, that’s what feedback is for.