When we read about Jennifer Lopez and her boyfriend Casper Smart you can sense some disapproval. He is often referred to as her boytoy or dancer boyfriend, and the implication is that they are not on the same level.
If this is the way the tabloids are handling their coupling, you have to wonder what her friends might be saying to her. Are they concerned that this is a rebound relationship following her divorce from Marc Anthony? Are they telling her that Casper isn’t good enough? Whether you are in a relationship or just starting one, everyone is going to have an opinion. And typically it’s that you are with the wrong person. So who do you trust – yourself or the people who think they know what’s best for you? And what should you say to those naysayers?
In JLo’s case there is no question that Casper is younger than she is, and that he hasn’t achieved the professional success she has. But how much does it matter? The answer is: only if it bothers her. It is important to know when to go with what feels right for you. This might be a time in her life when she wants to lighten the mood a little, or maybe she likes the age difference, or maybe he is much more her equal than any of us know from where we stand.
Related: Four Ways to Tell if He's "The One"
If you can be clear about why you are with someone, that your choice is purposeful, it will be much easier to deal with the negative remarks that might otherwise ignite your doubts. Once you have that clarity, you are equipped to handle people’s criticisms about your choice of partner. Here is the strategy for what to do when they disparage your relationship. Begin by meeting them head-on and asking what their specific concerns are. Then, since you have already taken your own inventory, you can respond by saying you are aware of the possible problems and are dealing with them. Or, if it is something you have not considered, you can listen and agree to give it some thought. The goal is to convey to them why your partner is important in your life, and thank them for their concern because ultimately it comes from a place of caring.
Jennifer and Casper look pretty happy in the pictures we see. It’s hard to argue with that.
What do you think? Do YOU know who's best for you?
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- Are You Sexually Compatible?
- When Your Friends Hate Your Guy: 7 Steps to Peace
- 3 Biggest Mistakes Women Make in Bed
Relationship expert Dr. Jane Greer is creator of “Shrink Wrap” – national commentary on what we can learn from celebrity relationships – and host of “Let’s Talk Sex” at Healthylife.net. Her book, “What About Me? Stop Selfishness From Ruining Your Relationship,” is available nationwide.