Giving your friends dating advice
Most of us have friends and most of our friends date, sometimes we even date our friends. What happens, though when your friends come to you for dating advice? How do you handle it? What if you don’t like the guy, or girl that their dating? What if you don’t think they “can handle the truth”? Today on Passion Search’s dating advice blog we’re going to tackle an issue that’s near and dear to our hearts: How to give your friend dating advice.
Dating advice 101
So your friend has come to you for advice on their love life and you want to make sure to be a proper friend and give them the best advice possible. At the same time, you want them to still be your friend after you’ve given it. So what do you do? Here’s a quote to keep in mind when you’re giving dating advice to your friends.
“Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but we wish we didn’t”
Remember, most of the time, advice is just telling someone “yes” to whatever they’ve already decided. That being what it is, here are some tips for giving advice to your friends.
Tip one: Get details.
When you’re going to give your friend dating advice, you have to make sure you’ve got all the facts. That means listening to their predicament and then asking questions, lots of them.
Here are a few good standard questions to ask for background info:
- Is this the first time this has happened? No matter what the situation is, be it cheating, rudeness, or erectile dysfunction, if it’s the first time, then you should handle advising your friend differently than if it’s an ongoing issue.
- Has this ever happened in relationships you’ve had in the past? If your friend keeps dating “crazy jealous girls” then the common denominator is him. If this is the first time, then that’s different.
- How do you feel about the situation? If your BFF is a hair trigger away from breaking up with her boyfriend because he lied to her about an important issue, then maybe all they need is someone else to tell them that they’re not crazy for feeling this way.
Tip two: perspective.
Your friend is your friend and therefore you’re always going to be a bit biased against their significant other, but try and keep things as balanced as possible.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Your friend is going to paint themselves in a better light than their partner. It’s inevitable, so take whatever they say with a grain of salt.
- You know their patterns, do they always get into these situations? If so, then you may want to *gently* point that out to them.
- How well do you know their significant other? If you don’t know jack about your friend’s lover, then it’s going to be hard to properly advise them.
- Do you like or dislike their match and do they know about your feelings? This is important and plays a big part in how you see their relationship.
Tip three: deliberation
Now you know the facts and the feelings. So how do you figure out what to say? First, think back to your own relationships and those of people you respect. What did they do in this situation? How much does your friend love their match? What’s the deal? Also, what would you do in this situation? Finally, if you don’t know what advice to give, don’t give any. You can always send her links to our relationship advice articles. That is always a great solution! If you think you do know how to help, move onto tip four…
Tip four: Delivery.
Talking to your friends about their dating lives can be a very tricky thing. Now that you know the back story, how they feel about the situation and how you feel about their situation (and significant other) here’s how you deliver the advice.
First off, pick a good location. I actually find talking and walking to be a very good way to give someone some advice. Physical movement not only keeps our bodies in good and flexible shape it also has a proven effect on our minds, as in it’s harder to be rigid when you’re moving your feet. If you can’t go for a walk, meet a neutral place, a quiet cafe with booths, at the beach, somewhere where you won’t be interrupted and will be relaxed.
Now: Give a disclaimer!!!
Say, in your own words, the following:
This is just my own opinion and I’m not in your relationship. I fully support you no matter what you do and I could be totally wrong in my advice so please, listen to what I say but balance it with what you feel in your heart.
Time to talk: Tell them what you think. Be honest and up front and just speak from the heart. Then after you’re done, ask for their feedback. Don’t give any more advice, just listen and if they want more advice ask “how do you feel”, “what do you think” and “what is your heart telling you?”. Do not give any more advice. Just hug them and let them know that you’ll support them (if not the relationship) no matter what they decide.
When it comes to giving good advice, sometimes it’s better to leave it to the experts
If you or a friends dating life has gotten to the point where neither of you know what to do, it might be time to consult a relationship therapist, or…an expert dating advice columnist!