6 Things To Consider Before Taking Dating Advice From Your Friends

a woman talking to her friends
PHOTO: @THOUGHTCATALOG VIA UNSPLASH

What would we do without our friends? They watch our backs. They hold us down. They are there for us in our time of need. And yes, they are always available to give us their two cents—whether we want it or not. Including as it relates to matters of the heart.

Sometimes getting dating advice—from both guys and gals—can be a real lifesaver. They know us well and they can provide an “outside looking in” perspective that we don’t naturally have. But that doesn’t mean it should be an automatic given that our friends should always have a vote in how we choose to handle our love life.

How can you determine if dating advice from your friends is something that you should take seriously? Ask yourself the following six questions.

a "judging you" GIF
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Are They Overly-Critical?

Some friends? No matter how much you love them, you have to take ‘em in doses because they are so judgmental and critical that they can drain all of your positive energy. 

If this is the kind of person who is trying to delve out some dating advice, for the most part, take it with a grain of salt. Not because some of what they say isn’t on-point, but because they naturally approach life from a glass-half-empty angle. 

Unless you want to hear about all of the bad that could happen, it really is best to keep them (or at least their advice) at arm’s length.

a man doing the so-so hand
PHOTO: GIPHY
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Do They Like Or Hate Who You’re Seeing?

If a couple of your friends have met the person you’re dating and already have expressed that they aren’t too thrilled, they are aren’t going to look for the good; just the bad. 

That said, if they aren’t feelin’ him because they’ve got some receipts on his dating past or he’s already done something to you that they don’t like, they’ve got some legitimate concerns that you shouldn’t overlook. But if they’re hatin’ just to hate, it’s OK to turn a deafened ear. 

On the other hand, if they do like him, be a little more open to their perspective, good or bad, because if they happen to see a red flag, you already know they're not coming at you from a jaded perspective.

a woman rolling her eyes
PHOTO: SLICE
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What’s Their Own Dating History Like?

Personally, we don’t automatically agree with the fact that singles can’t give married people advice or someone who isn’t in a relationship can’t offer up pearls of wisdom to someone else who is. 

What we will say is that if most of your friends have the kind of dating history where their relationships crashed and burned, other than hearing them out as a cautionary tale, we’re not sure how it can truly benefit you to receive their dating advice.

a woman signaling "no comment"
PHOTO: VH1 VIA GIPHY
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Has Their Advice Been Helpful In The Past?

Along those same lines, when you have listened to your friends and their dating advice in the past, was it helpful or not? 

If it was, it would be almost foolishness to not at least take what they’re saying into consideration. But if they are almost never even remotely in the ballpark of being right, sound or good, you already know to not file that too far into your memory bank...don't you?

a woman with a confused look on her face
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How Do You Usually Feel After Hearing Them Out?

Another thing to consider before receiving dating advice from your friends is how they make you feel whenever you hear it. 

This doesn’t mean that you’re always gonna feel good because sometimes the truth really does hurt (especially if you’re not ready to receive it). What it does mean is if you never feel loved or respected, there is something wrong with that. 

Not just when it comes to the advice itself, but the source. (You might want to look deeper into your friendship if this is the case.)

Iyanla Vanzant telling people to be quiet

Did You Ask For It?

Depending on how close you and your friends are, it might be understood that advice—including dating advice—can be dished out whether it’s asked for or not. 

But if your friends know that you’d prefer to come to them if you want to share their thoughts and they ignore this boundary? There is some part of them that is trying to control you and no good friend would do that. 

Reverse what’s going on and give them this advice: “If you really love me, you’ll respect that I’ll let you know if I need your help.” 

If they do, they’ll back off. If they keep pushing…well. Get some advice from your other friends about how to put some distance between yourself and those particular “friends”.

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SHELLIE RENEé

Just a woman who digs all things relationships. HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS, that is. I've been writing (professionally) for close to 20 years, including having two books published. I'm also a marriage life coach and doula. Sometimes I speak to large audiences or do radio interviews, but usually I'm sitting in my favorite chair, surfin' the 'net and penning stuff that I wish I had read in my early 20s.

Listen, I don't have all the answers, not by a LOOOOONG shot. But whatever I can do to spare folks any heartbreak, bitterness or straight-up drama, I'll devote some keystrokes to doing. 

That's it...in a nutshell. For the most part. Kinda. ;)

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