Finding people to give you advice on relationships is like finding people who want a free lunch; everyone has something to say about love. Some of this advice is good and should be filed away in your subconscious for safekeeping. Other advice isn’t so good and should be taken the same way you’d take an article written for the National Enquirer — with an enormous grain of salt.
It’s not that people intend to give bad advice on relationships. Rather, the advice is poor because the people who are giving it are either not qualified or they have ulterior motives. With that being said, there are five people (or types of people) you should stay away from when seeking advice on relationships:
1. Dr. Phil/Jerry Springer
It’s important to remember that Dr. Phil and Jerry Springer are, above all, entertainers; that’s their number one goal. Yes, Dr. Phil is an actual psychologist, but he is also someone who cares about ratings. As for Jerry Springer, if you’re looking at his show as a model of relationship behavior, you’re barking up the wrong tree so much that you’re not even in the right forest. So while these shows and these people may occasionally offer a pearl of wisdom, remember that it’s Hollywood.
2. Your never-married aunt
Another person whose advice on relationships it’s best to avoid is your never-married aunt. People who have never married often can’t help but harbor a certain essence of bitterness. This isn’t to say that every single person in the world is bitter, but many who have dated for years and never gotten the ultimate reward are like professional athletes who have never won a championship: they are bitter about their lack of a ring.
3. Your seven-times married aunt
On the opposite side of those who’ve never married are those who change spouses like most people change cars; when their husband gets too many miles, they trade him in for a younger model. These people can also be bitter because even though they have married, they haven’t done it successfully. But the biggest reason not to seek out their advice for relationships has to do with them not really knowing how to make a relationship actually work.
4. Your ex
Logic tells us that an ex might have insightful advice that you can truly use. They know you, they know what went wrong, and they know what you could have done to make your relationship work. Logic tells us this, but human behavior tells us the opposite. If you and your ex are truly friends (and don’t just pretend to be in front of the children), no longer harboring any feelings for one another, then an ex might actually be your relationship guru. But if your ex has feelings for you at all — be it love, anger, or hatred — they may purposely sabotage you instead of helping you. Sometimes, it’s just too big of a risk to take.
5. The comment sections of the internet
The internet can be a wonderful place for advice on relationships, but it has to be the right area of the internet. The comment section of web articles is not a good place to get advice on love or anything else. These sections are filled with baiters whose main goal is to get a rise out of people. They do this through racist, sexist, homophobic and other offensive comments. They cause people to do two things — lose faith in the happily ever after, and lose faith in humanity in general.
This article originally appeared on Need Relationship Advice? Avoid Asking These 5 Types Of People: