In my long life-18 years-a surprising number of people have asked me for relationship advice, and honestly, I have no clue why. I haven't been in many relationships; the most serious one only lasted two months. The others were just summer camp "romances" that spanned between two to 7 days. So my track record is not all that great or impressive. Still, people have come to me and told me about their relationships and asked for my expert opinion. So here is some quality relationship advice from someone who's longest relationship ended up in someone leaving the country. I hope this helps not only the people I talk to personally, but also the people I've never met who thought it was a good idea to listen to me. Good luck!
The first thing I ask my friends is if they are in an actual, labeled relationship with the other person. I can't help you if you don't even know what we're working with. A lot of them are unsure. For some, it's because they are scared of what labeling the relationship will mean. It could be their first relationship, an LGBTQ relationship where that may not be the norm, a relationship that they think they'll get ridiculed for.
For others, it is their possible partner who has put a hold on it. Sometimes it is just a matter of communication, but we'll get to that later. I've learned while talking to people that knowing what you are to someone is important in a romantic relationship as well as a platonic one. We like to know where we stand. I tell my friends that it's okay to ask or to be assertive in determining what want to be to the other person and what that person is to them. This doesn't mean that they have to say "we are dating" or "I love them". It's just saying "hey, I like you and you like me, we should get to know each other more personally and see where this goes."
Saying things like that are not necessarily saying that you are committed, but it tells the person and others that there might be something happening.
That leads me to ask the most important question of all, what kind of person is your significant other? Do they treat you well? Do they make you happy? You'd think that this is simple, but no, it is not. So often I have seen my friends settle for less because they don't think they can do better. That makes me so sad because I know they can. Most of them don't see that, so as much as I repeat it, it means nothing. So I ask them if they would want someone like that with their family or friends. We are so quick to assume the best in others and want the best for them, but it is the opposite for ourselves. If the answer is yes, I'm pleasantly surprised and I ask them to tell me about the person. If the answer is no or there is a lot of "well...I mean"s in the response, i ask them to take a minute and really think about it or have them tell me about the person. I like to know either way. It is so hard choosing a person to be be with, you have to be very careful. The main point I try to make is that they are worth a lot. Would you rather have a new smartphone or a flip phone? Sure, they both fill a basic purpose, but they are much different. Note: the smartphone is the better option.
Most of the time, my friends don't just come to me to happily share their relationships. There is usually a lot of tea involved. Something has happened that they came to me about it. Like I said before, a lot of the problem is communication. I'm friends with a lot of people in relationships who apparently don't know how to tell people what they want or need. I guess it takes one to know one. Relationships-any kind-are really hard. We have to work at them and sadly, there will always be issues. However, if we deal with these issues