Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sorry, I'm No Carrie Bradshaw

I'll still try to give you some relationship advice, though.  Maybe some of it will even be good.
I'll still try to give you some relationship advice, though.  Maybe some of it will even be good.

In the last couple of months, I’ve been approached by at least two different friends for relationship advice.  When this happens, I feel several things at once:

1.  I’m glad that this person trusts me enough to share some of the most intimate details of their life and relationship.

2.  I’m flattered that they think I might have some insight that can help them figure out their issues.

3.  I wonder how they see my relationship with my husband.  Does something about it make me seem more qualified to answer their questions and give advice?

4.  And finally, sometimes (not always, but sometimes) I feel a little overwhelmed.  What if I tell them exactly what I think and end up inadvertently hurting them?  What if I give them bad advice based solely on the one side of the story I’m hearing?

Despite any reservations I may have, I actually enjoy giving relationship advice.  I like feeling as though I’ve helped a friend out in some way (even if the only thing I end up doing is listening to them vent).  I also like the fact that discussing this sort of thing allows for a lot of sharing.  I’ve been accused once or twice many times of oversharing, and this is one of the only times in which it’s actually acceptable.  I’m not saying I start telling them every detail of my sex life or all the things that make my relationship work (or, conversely, all the things that caused my previous relationships to fail) … But I do share personal stories that they might find helpful in their particular situation.

But here’s the thing … I’m not sure I’m really qualified to give relationship advice.  I don’t know everything there is to know about making a marriage (or even a dating relationship) work.

Here’s what I do know:

1.  I’ve been in 3 serious relationships.  One of them ended in marriage.

2.  I’ve been in several not-so-serious relationships.

3.  I’ve dated casually.  This really wasn’t my thing.

4.  I’ve broken at least one heart.

5.  I’ve had my own heart broken.

There’s probably more to add here, but that’s enough for now.  The point is, I’ve been around the block a few times.  And I (mostly) mean that in the least slutty way possible.  I may not be Carrie Bradshaw, but I do have some experience to draw from.  So while I’m not going to sit here and say I give the best advice in the world, I think there’s something to be said about the fact that many of my friends have come to me for relationship advice over the years.

And I like to think that maybe some of my advice was helpful.

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