Many women have bastardized the term "settling" to imply that it's only done out of desperation. This just in ... most people settle. They just convince themselves that they didn't. Dating After Divorce? 3 Pitfalls To Avoid
This all brings me to my final point: choosing which female friends to look to for dating advice.
The friends who always manage to say, "Ugh. That's like the time when Guy X … " should immediately be crossed off your list. Not only can't they be objective, but they'll make the situation about them, which is the opposite of supportive. You should also count out the women who have a negative impression of men or who stereotype them. Women who steadfastly insist that all men want is sex should be relegated to "dating advice Siberia."
Lastly, avoid the women who emulate behavior that even men consider alarming and annoying when exhibited by men. That would include immaturity, combativeness, bragging and anger. These women have based their perceptions of men on a small segment of the male population. Whether these women will admit it or not, they actually find this kind of boorish behavior attractive. That should speak volumes about their perceptions and insight.
Lastly, don't be afraid to ask that single female friend for advice. Women who like to use a woman's single status as a reason why her opinion is invalid or wrong do so in an attempt to discredit her. It's shocking to me how many women see this as acceptable. To imply that a woman couldn't possibly understand the intricacies of dating and relationships unless she has a man is probably one of the most sexist things women can say about other women.