Are these friends sabotaging your love life?

One of the most important support networks that you can lean on when going through the ups and downs of dating are your friends. It can be so hard at times to remain positive and stay patient when trying to find someone special, and so your friends need to be there for you when you need them most.

However; some friends tend to hurt you rather than help you. Instead of increasing your ability to find love, they provide obstacles that keep you single. In short, if you've got toxic friends in your life, then your dating chances just got a whole lot harder.

Here are 5 of the most common friends that can hold you back in the dating game. If you find that you have these types in your life, then it's time to weed your garden:

1) The protective friend Their intentions are good and they seem like they have your back and only want the best for you, but they operate in a parent / child relationship with you. They have a position of 'I know best', and rather than encourage you to leap in, they focus on you avoiding negative consequences and fall out. They want to protect you from being hurt, and will often say 'no' to your suggestions or disagree with your views on dating. This will create feelings in you of frustration, resentment and disempowerment.

2) The jealous friend This friend has always likely been in competition with you. They constantly compare themselves with you and want to better you in all areas of your life. In terms of dating, they don't want you to find someone special before them, will put down your choice of partners, second-guess your judgements, and try and trump you with their dating success stories. They don't want to see you happy and in love, but rather hope you remain single and miserable. This will create feelings in you of competitiveness, anger, self-doubt, and insecurity.

3) The emotionally demanding friend This person is needy and clingy and requires you to be there for them 24/7. They always have a new crisis in their life and have no capacity to cope with this on their own, so they rely on you for support, guidance and ongoing counselling. If you're not able to drop everything and come running, then they will dish out the cold shoulder, sulk and make you feel bad for being selfish. This impedes your own dating life, and doesn't allow you the freedom to go out and enjoy yourself. This will create feelings in you of exhaustion, being trapped, helplessness, and guilt if you¿re not always there for them.

4) The party animal friend This individual may seem like a good person to have in your corner if you're single and wanting to meet people, but they're not. They typically go too hard and party to the extreme. They want someone to be their playmate and to constantly go out with them day or night, and this requires you to remain single. Relationships are a 'no no' and instead they want you to party with no commitments. They're into punishing their body with substances, bad diet and lack of sleep - and this will ultimately make you less attractive rather than more eligible. This will create feelings in you of fatigue, low energy, poor health and at times social embarrassment and regret.

5) The commitment phobic friend This friend is not ready for a relationship. They may have experienced a troubled upbringing or been recently heartbroken, but regardless they cannot commit. Unfortunately, that means you'll be expected to stay single as well and avoid the same thing. Spending time around them will see you talk negatively about dating and relationships, turn down opportunities to go out, focus more on casual one night stands, avoid positive singles or happy couples, and make a point of telling first dates that you're not looking for anything serious or long-term. This will create feelings in you of pessimism, negativity, bitterness and anxiety about being trapped in a long-term relationship.

John Aiken, RSVP dating and relationship expert, as seen on the hit show Married At First Sight, and on Ch 9’s Today show, Today Extra and A Current Affair. He is a best-selling author, regularly appears on radio and in magazines, runs a private practice in Sydney, and is a sought after speaker. (

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