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A friend or family member comes to you talking about a problem they’re having in their relationship. You either a, jump at the opportunity to give advice because even though you’re single, you’re ever ready to help other people date OR b, you sigh and reluctantly say the first thing that comes to your mind. Or maybe you choose a whole other option completely. Whatever option you’re tempted to do, STOP. Pause. Hol’ up. Take a moment. And read what I have to say first.

Hand cupped to ear to hear better against a gradated green background.

‘This better be you right now.’

Now, people will ask some of you for relationship advice, and suddenly you’re Oprah Winfrey. You don turn Deepak Chopra now-now. Na you first do am, so na you sabi am pass. I think “relationship advice” is a tricky term. It implies that what it gives applies to every couple, but that’s not possible. I believe every single couple, and consequently, every single relationship is a unique one. The way a problem can be solved for one couple is more often than not different from what would work best or at all with the next, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give relationship advice. What I’m saying is we need to be more careful when doing so.

Fok up

‘When you give someone advice but lowkey have no idea what you’re saying.’

My relationship advice is this- relationship advice is rubbish. At least 75% of the time. People usually know deep down what they need to do and no one else does. Most times, people ask not because they’re confused and lost but because they don’t want to do what they know should be done. They’re probably not ready to admit it or just need the facts spoken out loud by someone whose opinion they respect.
So, before you tell them what you think is best, remind them that you don’t know their relationship like they do. Try not to give advice based on what you would do if it happened in your own relationship unless you state the advice as exactly that. It’s probably best not to try putting yourself in their shoes either. You’re not that person, so the shoes just can’t fit the same. Try to look at everything from their own perspective by asking all the questions you need and getting to know as much as possible about how they feel first. I’m starting to read like the Dalai Lama too, so I guess this is my cue to stop typing.

happy-relationship

‘This couple talked things through. You can tell from the sunset in the background’

Next time a person asks you for relationship advice, remember it is not the same thing that happened with that boyfriend that cheated with your best friend oh. It’s not about how you dealt with that your jaga-jaga ex-girlfriend. It isn’t about you or your experiences. It’s just about their relationship and that’s how you should treat it.

Written by Olutobi Odunubi

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