When it comes to dishing out relationship advice to our friends, you could practically call us Plato. But take that awesome-if-not-blunt advice ourselves? Not so much. Here are six pearls of wisdom we’ve given out plenty of times but (come to think of it) don’t actually heed in our own lives.
1. “Just tell him how you feel.” Whether you fancy a new guy or you’ve fallen head-over-heels for your longtime main man, it’s often difficult to spit out your feelings to his face. More often than not, you’ll find us egging on our friends, encouraging them to shake off their nerves, move past their fear of rejection, and let the love flow. But the second we’re the one in the hot seat, we often clam up and have trouble sharing our feelings.
2. “Don’t worry about it.” When a first date hasn’t texted for two days or you’re willing to bet he’ll forget your second anniversary—in other words, in any relationship situation you can’t control—the only reasonable thing to do is let it go. And while we urge our friends to focus on anything other than what’s causing them worry, we ourselves get lost in Compulsive Thought Land many times.
3. “Overanalyzing his cryptic text will get you nowhere.” What did he mean by his simple “sure?” Maybe he meant he would rather do anything than attend the ballet by your side—or maybe he just meant “sure.” We’d tell a friend to put her sleuthing skills to better use by snagging a fabulous date-night dress on sale, but we’d be staring nonstop at our phones trying to decipher the hidden meaning in that four-letter word.
4. “Don’t text your ex.” Don’t text him to rub in your new relationship, don’t text him sober and lonely—and no matter what, don’t text him while drunk. Texting an ex only leads to more heartache, period. And yet, when we’re missing a man we once loved, it’s not always easy to stop before hitting Send.
5. “Snooping is never a good idea.” If you find nothing, we tell our friends, you’ll feel guilty. And if you find something, how are you going to tell him? The act of snooping is wrong, but the need to know is strong—much stronger than our own ability to resist sneaking a look at his vibrating phone when he leaves the room.
6. “Go out with Mr. Nice Guy.” He may not have serious sex appeal or arrive to pick you up on a motorcycle, but you can count on Mr. Nice Guy to come through in the ways that really matter. Mr. Nice Guy, we advise, is the man you marry. But when we’re being asked on date number three by a perfectly nice guy we’re just not attracted to, do we make up a reason to say no? You bet we do.