The 20 Best Pieces of Dating Advice from Across Reddit
When you think of Reddit, dating advice might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but believe it or not, Reddit actually has a lively community for people that are seeking advice in their relationships. The forum allows people to post comments under different subReddits (denoted as r/”_____”) and other users can chime in with helpful tips. Posters typically write their age and gender and the age and gender of people they are talking about (either partners, friends or family members) to provide context for the situations. Different posts and comments can get voted on, which elevates them to the top of the page so that more users can see the helpful advice. Here we have broken down some of the top pieces of advice from different subreddits related to relationships and provided some ideas for how to use this advice in real life:
One of the top posts under r/relationship_advice is about a 24 year old man who broke up with his 22 year old girlfriend and is now being harassed by her on social media. His ex-girlfriend displayed emotionally abusive behavior throughout the relationship, causing the original poster (OP) to end the relationship, and is now in a psychiatric ward where she is posting about their relationship on social media. The OP feels guilty about ending the relationship and is also concerned about how he will be perceived given the fact that his ex-girlfriend is posting only her side of the story all over social media.
In response to this post, commenters had a lot of great advice. Many people told the OP to block her on social media in order to insulate himself from her lies. They also told him to look into filing a restraining order in the case that she tries to show up to his house to talk to him in person given that he cut off all other forms of communication. It’s important to note that the grounds for a restraining order vary from state to state, but in more states harassment and stalking would qualify as legitimate reasons to file a restraining order. Other good advice suggests that the OP should not worry about people believing her false claims, because it will be clear who is trying to cause drama. Staying quiet on the situation is often the best course of action, and people that care about you and the situation will follow up with you privately about what happened in the relationship.
From a relationship expert’s point of view, this is all excellent advice. It is important to look out for your own mental health before worrying about how your ex is doing, and sometimes this means completely cutting them out of your life. It is common to feel guilt after a breakup, even if you have done nothing wrong. The best thing that you can do is try to move on with your life and leave the emotional abuser in your past.
In one of the top posts under the r/dating subreddit, a user is lamenting the modern dating scene. She feels as if as soon as she shows interest in another person, they either stop liking her or stop chasing her. She chalks this up to the dating scene being a game of who can like each other less/who can seem less interested. She is less interested in “playing the game” and shows her interest as soon as she knows that she is interested, but is tired of developing feelings for people that are not interested in a serious relationship. Though this post is more about venting, she asks her fellow redditors about their experiences with dating and if they are running into this same problem. Most of the users commiserated with the OP and told her not to settle for someone that is not as invested in the relationship as she is.
From a relationship expert point of view, this is excellent advice. It can be very discouraging to keep putting yourself out there, especially if you are repeatedly running into the same problems... But if you are serious about a relationship, it’s important to keep your heart open so that when someone who is interested in investing their time and energy into something serious comes along you are ready.
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This subreddit is a forum with questions that are supposed to be answered by men. One of the top posts on the subreddit asks what you are supposed to do when you find a girl with all the qualities you are looking for in a girlfriend, but you do not find her physically attractive. Commenters wrote that it is perhaps more important to pursue a friendship with this person and instead date someone that you are physically attracted to. Other commenters thought that physical attraction could come with time, especially if you are the type of person that likes to befriend someone before dating them.
From a relationship expert’s point of view, this is a tricky situation to advise upo. Physical attraction is important to a certain degree, but it is definitely not everything in a relationship and can come with time. At the same time, it’s great to have girl friends in your life. If this is a friendship that you really enjoy, then leave it at that and look into dating people that you are more physically attracted to.
In the r/askwomen subreddit, posters pose questions to women about their “thoughts, lives and experiences”. One of the top posts is about how to manage friendships with men without giving them the wrong idea about your intentions for the relationship. This is a common fear for many women, and the commenters had a lot of advice. A lot of women noted that while it can be awkward early on in a friendship to establish platonic-ness with a guy (if you are a straight woman) that after some time it should not be a concern for either of you. Most of the commenters acknowledged that after a certain point, it should be clear that your relationship will not blossom into anything more and that you will remain friends.
From a relationship expert’s point of view, this is great advice. Though each friendship is different, after getting to know each other pretty well, it should be clear that you are not trying to take a friendship to a more intimate level. Some people are flirty by nature, which has the potential to create mixed signals in a relationship, but if you are clear about your interest in being friends, then the other person will eventually catch on. Sometimes this will require an honest conversation, which has the potential to be awkward if you are not on the same page. But if you are both interested in being friends, and it is early on, you can often get passed a little miscommunication in the early stages of a friendship and remain good friends.
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This subreddit is dedicated to people that are navigating the dating scene in their thirties (and beyond, though there are subreddits dedicated to rating in your forties/fifties/etc.). A lot of the top comments in this group are related to dating people who have children. One post in particular is about a woman who does not have children and who has never wanted children grappling with dating a guy who has full custody of his two children. The OP really hit it off with this person, but is worried about having to step into a step-mother role and is also worried about the amount of free time the father has to date. The commenters on this post offered a lot of good advice. They reminded the OP that the children will probably always come first and that is a reality that she will have to come to terms with. Some people who are in similar situations found that they really liked dating parents, because of the amount of free time it offered them.
They did not have to constantly spend time with the person they were dating, because they had a lot of obligations related to their kids. Other commenters offered that if the OP was not interested in being a step-mom, then she should probably not date someone who has children because that could be a problem moving forward. Someone who is a single parent that is dating wrote that they appreciate when people ask “tough” questions early on about availability and expectations so that they don’t get too invested before finding out that they are on fundamentally different pages. From a relationship expert’s point of view, this is all excellent advice. Every situation is different, so you will need to think about if you are comfortable playing a role in a blended family and if the person you are dating even wants you to fill that role.
Navigating the dating world at any point in time requires a lot of communication, and this is especially true if there are children involved. Having honest conversations, early on, about your relationship with children/motherhood/fatherhood and where you see the relationship going will ensure that you and the person you are dating have similar boundaries and expectations. If you are totally not open to the idea of children, there are people out there that are in the same boat! You should not compromise on something that is very fundamental to a relationship in the early stages.
While this subreddit is more about social interactions in general, there are a lot of posts related to relationships and love. One of the top posts asks why it is such a big deal to tell someone that you love them. The OP questions why couples are physically intimate with each other, but reticent to say the words “I love you”. This post generated a lot of interesting comments from other users. Some people warned against people that say “I love you” too soon in a relationship as it is often a red flag. Other commenters said that the words “I love you” were more about signaling the ‘leveling up’ of the relationship than about the words themselves, and that saying “I love you” showed a deep level of commitment to another person. Other users argued that some people can tell when they love someone right off the bat and don’t need to wait to share their feelings with someone.
This is a very interesting question from a relationship expert’s point of view because there really is no right answer. Saying “I love you” to someone too early on can scare people away, but in other cases it can establish a deeper sense of trust and connection to another person. It is always important to be true to yourself and to your feelings. If you feel the need to tell your partner that you love them, then go for it! If this feeling is genuine, then you won’t be saying it to get a certain response, you will just say it so that they know how you feel. It can be scary to do this, but expressing vulnerability in this way can bring you closer to your partner and grow your bond.
As helpful (and juicy) as it can be to read about other people’s relationships, problems and advice, it’s important to note that most Reddit users are not relationship experts. If you are looking for some serious help in your relationship, and do not find online forums like Reddit to be that helpful, or think that some of the advice you have come across is dubious, then consider turning to Relish, a relationship coaching app that can help you improve your relationship. Relish offers the same convenience as online forums with a more professional and tailored touch. Relish coaches can help you and your partner identify goals for your relationship and work towards those goals in a meaningful and approachable way.
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