friendships

Survey says: Your friends are sick of hearing about your guy problems

Sep. 25, 2013 at 5:13 PM ET

good listener
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annoyed friend

“So I texted John today around 3, and he still hasn’t even texted me back, not to mention last night…”

You tune out and come back to the conversation five minutes later to find (for the love of God) that she is still talking about John.

We all have a friend like that: the one who constantly harps on and on about men and their latest relationship issue. At first, it’s fun. Girl talk! You listen and listen, over and over again, and offer your best advice—but for what? There’s just going to be a new problem to solve the next time you two talk—because one day you realize that it has become the main component of your conversations and it's pretty much all she can talk about.

I have a close friend who has always been this way. I know she only tells me these things because she trusts me and values my advice, which is obviously flattering. But she has no idea how draining it is to be a good listener. And I’m not the only one who feels exhausted by their girlfriends’ guy problems.

In a recent study, Jennifer Kelman, social worker and life coach at Pearl.com, surveyed 1,000 adults on whether or not they had ever avoided a friend or family member because of their incessant chatter about relationship issues. Fifty percent said yes ( 64 percent of those votes came from the 25-34 age group).

According to the 18 to 34 year olds surveyed, the top three annoying dating issues they hated talking about were: when to stay and when to leave a relationship (44 percent), how to get over an ex (35 percent), and how to determine whether or not somebody has been faithful (34 percent).

So keep that in mind the next time you decide to play the world’s smallest violin to an ever so wonderful friend. Sure, you can bring up your relationship issues, but in moderation. And definitely don’t make your guy woes the main focus of every conversation, unless it’s a serious issue. It’s not worth losing a friendship because you’re too busy chattering on about your romantic relationships.

As friends, we should be there to listen and help. But there’s a problem when it becomes one-sided. It’s important to let your friend know exactly how you are feeling—if you think her one-topic convos are starting to be a snoozefest, you need to tell her. She might not even realize she's doing it. Open communication is key in any relationship. (How many times have you given that piece of advice to a sobbing girlfriend?).

A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.


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