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Is Relationship Advice From Single People Valid?

Ha! I’ve just witnessed an argument on this very topic unfolding on social media.

One person said they will never take relationship advice from a single person. Another person said that to say that is ridiculous. And a third person, there’s always this person, recommended to ask the Lord for advice.

I’m not mad at any of these answers, I think to some degree all of these folks are on to something and I appreciate help from “anyone who has a heart.”

As with any topic, any time you get advice from someone you have to a) consider the source b) understand if they have any biases or conflicts of interest c) and take what they say with a grain of salt. What works for one doesn’t work for all, especially in matters of the heart.

There are some folks who swear married people will give the best advice. But who out of married people is qualified to give good advice? Folks who have been married for three months? A year? 20 years? Married folks with kids? Married folks who don’t have kids? Married folks who split up and got back together? Folks who have been divorced multiple times? Normally divorced folks are sent to the back of the line because from the outside, we straight up call them failures. “Failed marriages.”

Well damn. So because they failed they don’t have input?

I have mixed feelings about folks handing out relationship advice and folks either swear Steve Harvey is the oracle or his full of crap, but I agree with what he says when folks call him out for being married like three times. He says he knows what he’s done wrong. He’s well aware of his mistakes.

For me, married, single, divorced, widowed and even couples who are staying together but falling apart, I’ve learned from everything in the things they say, in the things they do, how they present themselves in public and if you get a glimpse of folks at home.

Plenty of single people have been in love, and have participated in relationships and have had their heart broken or broke a heart. So, in some way we are all qualified.

As someone who fell madly in love and almost got married, I have an opinion on things. People can agree or disagree and my experiences don’t make me an expert on everything, but it gives me a certain level of insight. We all have this. So why don’t we trust ourselves?

Folks say all the time single people offering one another is like the blind leading the blind. Sometimes, that is the case, but I don’t necessarily believe my friends who are booed up and or married have ALL the answers either. They are still navigating their own ever-changing and evolving relationships too and it ain’t always pretty. They are in the trenches too. Relationships are hard work. If you are lazy, don’t even bother.

What do you lifers think? Who gives the best relationship advice? Who should be giving out relationship advice and who shouldn’t be?

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7 thoughts on “Is Relationship Advice From Single People Valid?

  1. dbaham on said:

    Ahhh the age-old question. I tend to believe everyone has the right to share their stories and experiences, and maybe those experiences can help someone who’s currently dealing with a relationship issue. But advice? I’ll admit that I try to steer away from the word, because I get queasy about anyone thinking I’m an expert on love and relationships. I regularly listen to single and married folks though, but mostly I listen to the experiences of those who were able to take what happened and learn something from it. That tells me there’s been some thought process behind things and maybe that can help me put some thought into mine as well.

  2. Love this and totally agree with your thought process. Particularly your a, b, and c. One of my best friends has never been married but she’s smart and perceptive and has given me some of the best relationship advice ever. I also have married friends who give terrible advice on marriage. Different but similar situation: I have two children and sometimes get annoyed when random childless folks (especially on social media) dish out advice to parents. HOWEVER, I have three very close childless friends who I go to for advice about child-rearing because I respect and appreciate their perspective. Parents can get in a bubble and it’s refreshing to get a perspective from someone outside that bubble from time to time. I pretty much listen to people’s advice who I respect but I’m gonna make my own decision in the end on most subject matters. Great piece that made me think!

    • You can get good information anywhere, just the same as bad information. I really like the point you made about listening to your “very close” childless friends. There’s a reason you are close to them and those are the kinds of voices you need to entertain and you are able to filter out the wrong voices. So that’s great that you are open to your childless friends and their perspectives. I’m sure they really appreciate the respect you give them in that regard.
      I saw a beautiful one-woman show called “The Night Watcher.” This woman never had children but she was active in guiding the lives of her friend’s children and nieces and nephews and there was an instance where she tried to provide input to a parent and the parent lashed out on her. Meanwhile, the child was confiding in her, and she was highly invested in the child too. It hurt her that her friend pulled the “you don’t have any kids” card in anger. Over the years, they repaired their friendship, and all support the child. But yes. If you have a heart. If you keep living and loving, we all have something to offer one another. You may not have to take it all whole cloth, but everyone has an experience that folks can learn from. I’m so glad you commented! Thank you!

  3. I see your point. I totally agree with you. I think there is a difference between folks giving advice and sharing experiences. Advice would certainly imply you acting in your situation based on what someone told you they think you should do. And now that I think about it, as I get older, I ask for advice less and less, and ask for insight and perspective. All the wise people I listen to anyway always tell me they can’t and won’t tell me what to do. That in the end I have to trust my instincts and intuition and go from there. When you are grown and you have folks who tell you things are black and white and tell you what to do, I wouldn’t trust that. Married or single.

    In one of my classes, we are talking about risk assessment. Basically there’s between a 1-100 percent chance of everything you do going wrong. LOL. So, you have to decide how close to 1 or how dead on 100 you want to be when you gather all of your information and weigh out potential problems you have to face.

    • dbaham on said:

      EXACTLY! I find that the older I get, the less I seek out advice from folks. I ask for insight and perspective too, but I don’t ask “what do you think I should do?” Plus, all the people I consider to be extremely wise give me the same advice anyway — do whatever feels right to you.

  4. Ebony Rose on said:

    I tend to listen to everyone because I want to hear about their experience(s). Single, married, divorced, etc can all add value. I agree with considering the source and that person’s perception before I take any of what they say to heart. We have all lived life on some level and have value to add to the conversation.

  5. I agree Ebony Rose. And as I get older, I keep learning more and more about how people are killing themselves to keep up appearances, but are totally unhappy at home. So I take it all with a grain of salt, especially anyone trying to give out marriage advice on Facebook. The strongest marriages that I know of are the quietest ones social media wise.

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