Love, Family

How To Give & Receive Dating/Relationship Advice To A Friend

We all have a friend that tells us everything about their relationship whether we want to hear the sorted details or not. Do they want us to just listen to their stories or are we allowed to partake with an opinion or two?

What is the proper etiquette?

When you are “asked” for advice you are permitted to offer a diplomatic response, but it may not be appreciated if you harshly attack their decision about something personal they are dealing with in their relationship. Be careful how self righteous you appear as it is their life and you may have different values. We all need guidance at certain times of our life but our teachers should be caring & non judgmental to help us learn how to improve our lives without feeling overly criticized.

How well do you know them to offer advice?

• What type of friendship do you have with them?
• Are they introverted & keep to themselves?
• Do they ever offer you any advice?
• Have you had personal talks in the past?
• Do they consider you one of their closest friends?
• Are they emotional, sensitive or confident?

Questions to ask yourself when listening to someone’s advice:

• Do you trust their sincerity?
• Are they jealous of you in any way?
• Do they flirt with your date/partner?
• Are they constantly talking behind peoples’ backs?
• Do they truly have your best interest at heart?
• Are they in a happy relationship or looking for one?
• Are they constantly critical towards you or loving & caring?

When being asked for your advice, how honest should you be?

If a good friend is repeating a continually negative or abusive dating pattern and constantly complaining about it, you have every right to speak up. Depending on how this is verbally delivered could be helpful or futile in your relationship with them. Friendships can change drastically when someone criticizes without using diplomacy. Ridiculing someone’s choices needs to be avoided unless there is a known danger to that friend. People want their friend’s approval but seldom welcome a negative lecture. (Telling someone their boyfriend/girlfriend is unattractive, too short, overweight, not ambitious or rich enough is not constructive advice, it is an unnecessary opinion.)

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Advice should be gentle and not accusing. If you see a pattern with a friend that is harmful, point out a few scenarios that you have noticed, maybe they do not know this is recurring. This scenario can happen in a long term relationship as well. Your friends may see something harmful or deceitful between you & partner and want you to know because they care.

In all honestly, wouldn’t you want to know?

Advice can be a good thing when it is handled with respect and good intentions. Don’t wait too long before something is discussed & try to do it at the time you are aware of the situation. Letting it build could cause you to react more aggressively than you initially intended because you are now past the point of frustration.

Advice should be limited with friends and family, as they have to make their own path in life. If you are constantly feeling the need to give advice to the same person, then maybe you need to surround yourself with other people and not constantly put yourself in the “Dear Abby” role. Do you really want to be a counselor all the time? Be a friend, but worry about your own choices in life first, not theirs. Being a good friend is also knowing when to back off and knowing when to be there to wipe their tears.

A supportive friendship is a two way street and advice should always be reciprocated with warmth & love.

Susan McCord @

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.