We all have friends that come to us with their problems. Either they are telling you about how they will never find love or that the person they are dating can be frustrating. Many times we feel we have the needed information to help them through their difficulties. But do we always have the right information or do we need even to help? Sometimes we should think before we give out certain advice.
Simple truths about relationships
Every relationship is different. No matter your sexuality, gender, or your preferences, it is almost impossible to create a body of information that will fit every kind of relationship you may encounter.
No two people are alike, ever.
People are not produced from cookie cutters. There is a multitude of events that can shape a person into who they are. Someone may appear to be similar to our preferences but their life experiences could make them completely different. Even you are in a constant state of change. Who you are today is not who you were in high school or childhood.
Yet, there are some generalities about LGBTQ relationships that can be used in consoling your friends when they need it. Just remember, there is still some pretty bad advice you can give.
Here are 5 bad dating tips to not say to your friends.
5 Examples of Bad Tips
1. Drawing examples to past relationships
This falls back to the point earlier on how no two people are alike. No two relationships are alike, either. Comparing specific personal experiences you had when giving relationship advice can be problematic. What may or may not have worked in your relationship, may or may not apply to your friend. That also doesn’t take into account all the variables that differ between two people.
It can be messy.
Sometimes, they want to vent about their relationship and aren’t seeking advice. It’s those times they don’t want to hear how great or bad someone else’s experience in a similar circumstance was. This can only add to their frustrations. If you feel like you have relevant advice, remember to remove any names or references to the actual experience when you hand out that advice.
2. Tell your friend to be less available
What does this even mean? It is more than just the amount of time you make available to the other person. It is also how long you may take to respond to a text or DM, who should start the conversation, or any other way you may connect with a person, either virtual or face to face.
You have probably heard the old saying that goes, don’t call a person right after the date, wait a few days so you don’t seem too eager. This has become a world of immediate gratification, one where people have become impatient. Our phones have more than one dating app on them and those we’re interested in may be scrolling through them right now. You may enjoy being chased, but running too far, too fast will only leave you out front and alone.
If your friend is interested in a person, tell them to be honest with them. Make it known they’re interested. They will thank you more than you telling them to be distant and ruining their chances.
3. Faking your sexual preferences
No doubt you’ve received those ads from Wish. You know the ones, offering some ultra-cheap deal on something that you now think you cannot live without. You place your order and wait for an eternity to come from China. You get it, open the box, and BAM!!! It is completely different than what you ordered. Talk about aggravation!
If you give advice that tells your friend to fake what they like/dislike about their sexual preferences to find someone, then you are the person version of Wish.
We all have likes and dislikes, it’s part of who we are as humans. It is better for them to be upfront with the person they’re interested in. No one likes being catfished. Sexual chemistry is an important part of a relationship, if it’s built on a lie then the whole thing can fall apart. Whatever your preferences, expectations, or turn-ons are, it is far better to be upfront with them and have them walk away as a friend than to be something you are not.
4. Snooping on them
Going through your boyfriend’s email, phone, or whatever personal device is a serious invasion of privacy and trust. This will ruin a relationship, especially if the person is overreacting. If they are
If your friend comes to you suspecting that their partner may be cheating, it is better to ask them to explain the situation. If you have to give advice, then remember the best advice is better communication.
5. Doing everything else but actually listening
No doubt you’ve watched your friend make decisions that you know they shouldn’t be making. You often think the best course of action is to jump and say, “Woah, nelly.” Instead, when they come to you, the first thing you should ask is if there is an immediate danger or need that should be addressed. If the answer is no, then listen to them first.
The problem may not be as complex as they are letting on and talking will allow them to see where their issues may be or find the best path for navigation.
Support group mentality
It is a knee-jerk reaction to want to help our friends when they seem to have a problem. No one likes to see someone in pain. Our reasons for wanting to help them come from the best intentions. Often the way they’re presented can be more problematic than being there for support.
It can be more beneficial to stop and ask yourself if the person who is talking to you is actively needing help or wanting someone to lean on while they deflate. So, what can you do to be helpful?
Three good pieces of dating advice
1. Don’t put boundaries on people
It may come as a shock, but you don’t actually have control over other people. As such, trying to put boundaries on them is pretty much impossible. The only person you can or should put boundaries on is yourself. Otherwise, leave them for property and secrets.
If you are in a relationship where the other person is not treating you the way you feel you should be, you cant change them. Instead, ask yourself why are you putting up with this type of behavior. Then you can place boundaries on things you will or will not accept, in a relationship. This allows you to have much more control over how you feel and who you allow close to you.
2. Work to get what you want
Let’s be real here, relationships are hard work. You have to put in the time and energy if you want a good relationship. It requires talking and listening. You will have to pay attention to the people you are dating or in relationships with. But to even get to that part you have to put in work.
Relationships will not find you if you are sitting at home and moping around thinking no one will like you. Don’t rely on one method, try several. You can try online dating sites and socializing. Let your close friends know you are in the market, they may know someone. Make sure you are going into dating with the proper mindset. Be positive about yourself and what you are expecting. Take a look at your dating profile, is it showing the kind of person you want in your life for the long haul or just for a long night of self-indulgence. (No judgments if it is the latter and you are honest about it.) If you want something, you have to work for it.
3. Stop waiting and live
You have either said or know someone that has said they are waiting for the perfect love to come along and make things better. You stress over the possibility of when you may meet someone and it creates anxiety in our daily lives. This prevents us from actually experiencing life. Plus it creates this mentality that you’re entitled to some perfect relationship. These things only work to sabotage your happiness.
It is better to simply calm down, chill out, and stop expecting love to have found you already. Look within and ask yourself what part of your life still needs some work. Be honest here. You have to realize there is no such thing as a perfect person or a perfect mate, only what is perfect for you at that time. Learn to have fun, go out on dates, and don’t take yourself or things too seriously. Most of all, stop looking for love everywhere you go, you oftentimes miss what’s in front of you.
Advice is like an…
Let’s face it, we know people sometimes need help and are too afraid to ask. Sometimes they only need someone to listen. Knowing which is needed at any given time can be difficult. The best thing you can do for yourself or others is to be there when help is needed. Be the support you would want in return. A little advice can go a long way