Opinions are like noses - everyone has one. And often, those noses are stuck smack dab in the middle of our personal lives that it makes it difficult to cipher through the good, the bad and the plain insane pieces of advice.
When it comes to dating, those around us may think they know what's best for us because they either saw us come out of a bad relationship or think someone would be a good match. The good intenders weigh in on the type of profession he should work in or the number of children he should/shouldn't have or even his former marital status. Most advice is meant to be helpful and although it may seem easy to your Aunt Esther for you to meet a doctor with no children and who has never married, the reality is - it's just not.
Sometimes these suggestive hints take up residence inside of our head. Just like little seeds in a garden, these thoughts suddenly take root and begin to grow. After hearing that you should be with a certain type for so long, you may begin to believe it to the point that no other option will ever do. Because of the way other people see things, you develop tunnel vision to the male population and begin to date someone your mother, best friend or sister would like instead of someone who is right for you.
Dating in general can be a compromising situation, especially as you get older. The more 'up there in years' you are, the more baggage you may be packing. Finding someone to accept you in all your wonderful glory is work enough - but worrying about if your family will like them too brings added pressure.
Family and friends do (generally) have our best interest at heart. However, at the end of the day, it is you who will be in the relationship and it is you who has to be happy. Suggestions should be welcome and accepted but the heart wants what the heart wants. If you meet someone who is the antithesis of who your Aunt Ester hoped you would end up with and you are happy - that's all that matters. If anyone has anything negative to say about it, politely tell them to keep their nose out of it.