Friends' Advice: Slam Dunk or Air Ball

Naturally, you talk to the guys about women and dating. Especially when you're trying to get the gal. But once you've made the connection are your buddies running interference? Saying you should be more of a player? Or telling you not to let this one get away? Think about whether your pals are trying to rewrite their own dating history or really trying to protect you.

Blast from the Past
Some friends see relationships colored only by their own flops. They think the lessons they learned apply to everyone. If his ex-girlfriend was a green-eyed monster, then at the slightest sign of jealousy he'll tell you to kick your gal to the curb. Listen with an open mind, but make your own decisions.

List of Losers
You hope your friends are trying to protect you with their blocking techniques. But if they catalog your failures whenever you start a new relationship, is that really helpful? "Remember that one you thought was easy-going? Then she moved in after two dates and threw away all your shirts from college?" Put a stop to the you-bashing ASAP. How? Walk away or turn the tables.

Territorial Tendency
Sometimes your friends are worried the male bonding time will disappear if you've got a new love interest. They've come to count on you as the guy who always has an open door, a seat on the sofa and a beer in the fridge. Once some perfume and high heels walk in, they're afraid your place will become off limits for testosterone-fests while watching the big game.

Wit and Wisdom
Just remember that they are your friends for a reason. They do know you better than most people. So listen to their advice, and then make your own decision based on a realistic view and your own instincts. As you dip your toe deeper into this new relationship, try not to let your view be colored only by the desire for nookie and the girl you're seeing when she's on her best behavior. But also be careful not to let your buddies' jealousy or negative outlook on relationships make you miss out on a winning combo.

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