My Friends Give The Worst Dating Advice — They Have No Idea What They’re Doing

I know my friends love me and are just a phone call away when I’m going through relationship drama, but I prefer not to ask them for advice, nor do I follow it when they decide to offer it without my asking. Here’s why I ignore their input on my love life:

  1. Many of them are single. And they love it. Why shouldn’t they? However, I’ve seen how these single friends of mine react when other women in relationships have asked them for advice. They’re quick to advise choosing the single life, even if that’s not what those women actually want. Sometimes it might be the best choice, of course, but it’s not always helpful to the person going through the relationship drama who needs a sympathetic ear.
  2. Some things are private. We could all sit around a restaurant table and chat about our love issues like we’re on Sex and the City, but I’d rather not. There are some things I’d prefer to keep private, like my relationship issues. I’m not a fan of airing dirty laundry, even to my closest friends. It just feels wrong. That doesn’t mean I don’t share ANYTHING with them, but the nitty gritty is between me and my guy.
  3. I don’t want to cause rifts between my boyfriend and my friends. If I’m talking about things my partner has done to upset me, it can start to make my friends think that he’s not a good person or right for me. This is sure to make things slightly weird when we’re all hanging out. I don’t want to create drama that doesn’t have to be there. It’s great that they’re so loyal to me, but I also know it’s unfair to him, so I’d rather not put any of us in an awkward position.
  4. I’d rather talk about other things. When I see my best friends, I’d rather chat to them about other, more interesting things. It bugs me when men dominate all our conversations. Besides, if I’m going through relationship trouble, I’d rather have a distraction by laughing with them and catching up on other stuff than fixating on him.
  5. They can’t understand the situation. As much as they could promise me they’ve experienced what I’m going through, they’re not walking in my shoes. There will always be parts of my relationship that only I understand, which means their advice won’t always be right for me. Sure, sometimes it’s good to get feedback from an impartial party, but it can also seriously backfire.
  6. They might have their own agendas. In the past, I chatted to a friend about a relationship I was in and I started to feel like she was just trying to make me dump my partner because she didn’t want me to be in a relationship. I felt like she had her own agenda and it was unfair. It made me see that sometimes people give advice to serve their own needs.
  7. They speak from experience, but it’s not always helpful. My friends might mean well by telling me what they did in a similar situation, but if they’re speaking from a place of bitterness over their experiences, it can cause their advice to fall short. They’re not helping me, they’re just venting about their stuff and sorting through their own issues instead of helping me with mine.
  8. I can’t rely on other people’s opinions. Even if my friends have my best interests at heart, I can’t rely on their opinions for my life. I prefer relying on myself and figuring out what to do depending on what’s best for me instead of calling on friends to tell me what I should do. If I get into the habit of doing that every time there’s a problem in my relationship, I can end up losing myself and making bad choices.
  9. They might just tell me what they think I want to hear. Some friends will tell me everything’s going to be okay and that I’m right even when the opposite holds true. This could be because no one actually has all the answers, so my friends just want to make me feel better. We’re all clutching at straws here. If they’re not going to tell it like it is, though, then what am I really gaining by talking to them? An ego boost? I can do without one.
  10. Many of my friends are in unhealthy relationships. I’ve seen my friends with their partners and heard them moan about their relationships, so I can see that many of my friends are in unhappy or unhealthy relationships. Why would I want to ask them for love advice? That would be like asking someone whose flowers are dead for gardening tips, FFS!
  11. I’m the only one who has to live with the decision. It’s good to get different perspectives on an issue, but at the end of the day, I’m the one who has to live with my decisions. My friends might believe in the advice they’re giving me, but some of it might not be right for me. It’s easy for them to give me advice then go back to their own lives without worrying about the consequences.
  12. If I don’t take their advice, it can be a problem. I remember years ago when I confided in a friend about a toxic relationship I was in. She was brutally honest and direct about how I should just GTFO of it, but based on where I was mentally and emotionally at the time, I just wasn’t ready to take the advice. We ended up in a huge fight when I didn’t end things with my then-boyfriend. It actually caused a rift because she was so harsh and controlling. Um, I don’t need to add more drama to my current one! I’d rather handle my own issues, thanks very much!
Giulia Simolo is a writer from Johannesburg, South Africa with a degree in English Language and Literature. She has been working as a journalist for more than a decade, writing for sites including AskMen, Native Interiors, and Live Eco. You can find out more about her on Facebook and LinkedIn, or follow her on Twitter @GiuliaSimolo.