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How to Give Relationship Advice

Have you got a friend in a bad relationship, or even a good relationship that needs some work? Give sound advice that they can follow without feeling resentful.


  • Step 1: Ask for an explanation Ask your friend to explain their relationship and what's wrong with it. Then repeat what your friend says, using your own words.
  • Step 2: Have them explain what they want Listen to your friend as they explain what they want to happen with their relationship and what they aren't willing to compromise on.
  • TIP: Have your friend write down what is wrong in the relationship and what they want to change.
  • Step 3: Ask questions Ask your friend questions like, "Why do you want to stay?" and "What do you think is going to happen if you do stay in this relationship?" Try to help your friend see what lies in the future if they try to make it work.
  • Step 4: Point out accomplishments Point out your friend's accomplishments and what is going well in their life. They may feel down on themselves because the relationship is failing and they can't see how their life could be better without their significant other.
  • Step 5: Be understanding and supportive Tell your friend that you are there for them no matter what they decide to do. Explain that you understand that ending a relationship and sticking with a difficult one are equally hard decisions to make.
  • TIP: Don't give unsolicited advice. Wait for them to ask you what you think, or if you really can't hold you tongue, ask them if they want you're advice before giving it.
  • Step 6: Leave judgments at the door Leave your judgments at the door and let your friend know that you won't judge their decision. Lending a shoulder or an ear and giving unbiased advice is the mark of a genuine friend and your friend will appreciate it.
  • FACT: The famous advice column, "Ask Ann Landers," was actually written by two women: Ruth Crowley from 1943 to 1955, and Esther Lederer from 1955 to 2002.

You Will Need

  • Description of the relationship
  • Goals
  • Insight
  • Perspective
  • Supportiveness
  • Open mind
  • List of feelings and relationship goals (optional)

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