What the hell is a “Relationship Expert”?
There are so many of these self-proclaimed “experts” out there today, so I find myself wondering how they’ve gotten this supposed expertise. Can you Major in Dating now? Or get a Doctorate in Romance? And if so, can someone point me to the nearest college offering this obscure degree?
Now, I’m certainly not knocking those who’ve managed to make a career out of a pretty universal human experience – hey, more power to ya – but I do think it’s worth questioning their merit. After all, do they somehow have the secret to finding love that the rest of us haven’t managed to acquire?
No, they don’t. I mean, no one does.
Some people get lucky and find lasting love while others search for it their whole lives and never do. If that sounds like I’m being a serious Debbie Downer, that’s not my goal. Just pointing out that love, like so many obscure things in life, is an art, not a science. (And, yes, I know, there is an actual “science” to love and attraction – there’s hormones and dopamine receptors and a whole bunch of other sciency stuff that I’m not educated enough to speak fluently on). But, I digress.
It can seem, then, like “relationship expert” is a self-appointed title that anyone can crown themselves with. But is that true?
Well, actually… No.
In reality, these relationship experts (at least the good ones) are people who’ve either:
A) done a lot of research into the psychology of love and heartbreak, B) worked as a couples counselor or dating coach, or C) written a book about relationships.
So, not anyone can be a relationship expert.
I, for one, would not call myself an “expert” in ANYTHING related to love or romance – I’ve yet to have a relationship last forever – but I do have a strong interest in the matter. I LOVE reading articles, listening to podcasts, and subscribing to newsletters from relationship experts. I watch break-up videos on YouTube even when I’m in a relationship. (Just in case maybe?)
I’m also a single woman in my 30’s who self identifies as a serial monogamist, so I have a lot (I mean…a reasonable amount) of experience with relationships. Most of that experience, honestly, has come from making WAY too many mistakes. And (almost) all of those mistakes have come from NOT taking the advice of the aforementioned relationship experts.
Now, I know what you might be thinking:”Didn’t you just say that you love listening to relationship experts?”
Um. Yes. Yes I did.
“So, wait, you listen to them, watch their videos, read their books, and then just… ignore their advice?”
Again, I’d have to say, Yes (*this time, though, I answer with an added embarrassment.)
And why did I ignore this advice? Several reasons – because I thought the advice didn’t apply to me, because adhering to the advice usually isn’t easy, or, sometimes, because I was too close to the situation to see it clearly. Examples? Sure:
- I didn’t think I needed to follow the “No Contact” rule. I thought I could handle being “just friends” with my ex. I figured that talking to him right away wasn’t going to hurt anything. (Spoiler Alert: I couldn’t. And it did.)
- I knew the guy I was dating wasn’t ready for commitment – he told me that … but…he acted like my boyfriend. And he said he really really liked me. And we just had, like, this incredibly deep connection. So, I was pretty sure he’d come around (*insert eye roll)
- I slept with him even after we broke up. People said it wasn’t a good idea, but obviously, if he wanted to continue sleeping with me, he wanted to get back together. Right? Right? (sigh) WRONG.
Bottom line: Relationships are HARD. Breakups are even harder. And I probably could’ve saved myself a great deal of heartache if I’d taken the advice of the experts. Here’s a few I recommend:
- Jonathon Aslay (@JonathonAslay) – www.jonathonaslay.com
He’s a dating coach targeted specifically at people in mid-life. I’m not in mid-life (still in my 30’s – heyyy), but I’ve dated men going through a divorce before and his advice is extremely helpful.
- Chris Seiter (@RealChrisSeiter) – www.exboyfriendrecovery.com
He’s a breakup coach. His website has a ton of useful articles and videos if you’re going through a breakup. And he hosts a podcast where he talks to his success stories to find out how they got their exes back. (He’s also someone whose advice on No Contact I stupidly chose not to follow, and looking back, I really wish I would have.)
- Matthew Hussey (@matthewhussey) – www.matthewhussey.com
He’s actually my favorite relationship expert to follow (and no, it’s not because he’s extremely handsome and has a sexy British accent. Not sure why you’d even ask that…. Alright, fine, it’s a little because of that.)
But it’s also because he talks about every facet of relationships, from the dating stage to the commitment stage. He covers breakups, relationship anxiety, and how to handle specific relationship issues (such as what to say if a guy wants to “take a break”). I highly suggest you subscribe to his YouTube channel. (After all, he’s quite easy on the eyes.)
So, here’s my non-expert relationship advice for you: Listen to the experts.
Even if they don’t have a Master’s in Relationships, they know what they’re talking about.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments down below.