If guys are having problems in their dating life or relationships, who is the best person to turn to for advice? Here’s what we think.
Let’s face it, men are not very good at asking for advice at the best of times. This is probably even worse when it comes to something as personal and potentially embarrassing as relationships and sex. This leaves a lot of guys in the dark, unsure of what to do in certain situations and trying to figure things out for themselves.
Of course, people will offer men unsolicited advice all the time, which will come back to them when they need it, but is this advice any good? What about the general societal representation of men on different types of media like movies and TV? Does this make for a good role model? And what about women? Surely, they’re the best source of advice for men who are having problems with the woman they’re in a relationship with, right?
The best sources of love advice for men
Let’s address all of the common places that men may seek advice from, and assess the relative merits of each.
#1 Mainstream media. So many of our societal cues come from the media, whether we are aware of it or not. It has a massive influence on the way we live our lives. So, is the representation of relationships and sex a helpful example for men to follow?
On the whole, I would argue not. Of course, there are many different forms of media, and it is very much what you make of it. You can learn a lot about how to be successful with women from TV, films, music, and literature – if you find the right ones. [Read: How to be a better man using the right role model]
On the opposite side of this, the media is littered with many awful examples of how to be a man.
The best way to work out whether a certain form of media is a good place to model your behavior on is to assess how women react to it. If the woman is relatively sane with no obvious issues, the types of characters she swoons over is probably a good example. If they are indifferent to someone or dislike someone, it is an example of what not to emulate.
Think: The very chivalrous and gentlemanly nobleman, Jon Snow vs. the highly detested Ramsay Bolton of Game of Thrones fame.
#2 Your friends. Your friends will always give you good advice, right? I’d say, probably not. Unless your friends are very successful with women and are happy to tell you the truth, even if it hurts, they are not the best people to take advice from.
You absolutely should talk things through with friends, use them as a sounding board and a form of emotional support, and bounce your own thoughts and ideas off them. However, take their advice with a pinch of salt for the following reasons: [Read: 13 signs your friends are unintentionally ruining your relationships]
First, friends will tend to tell you what they think you want to hear. They often won’t tell you if they think you are being irrational or an idiot, and they tend to take your side on everything because that’s what friends are for, right? This is human nature. We all want to be nice to our friends, but it’s not always helpful.
Sometimes, you need to be told if you are wrong, or you need to take impartial advice from someone who can assess the situation from both perspectives and offer an unbiased opinion.
Further to this, people will always taint their view with their own beliefs and experiences. That is why if your friend is successful with women, he will probably have good advice. However, if your friend is unhappy in his own relationship, bitter towards his ex, or otherwise inexperienced or unsuccessful, they will only be able to tell you what they would do in your situation. [Read: 16 relationship tips people share that will ruin your romance]
Clearly, that hasn’t been working so well for them, so hear them out, but make sure you consider their situation and biases.
#3 Women. Women must give the best advice, right? They know better than anybody else… But in my opinion, women give terrible dating and relationship advice to guys.
First off, they will always tell you how they think things should work. “Be a nice guy,” “just be yourself,” or “be romantic,” they would chime. This sounds like good advice, and this should work… Unfortunately, it doesn’t.
Always follow people’s actions over their words. Some women give advice to men without actually personally liking the men who follow said advice. For instance, they’ll tell you to be a nice guy, but they will personally choose the bad boy over the nice guy every time. [Read: The real reason why women are so fickle about men]
It sounds right, so women will always say the same thing: be nice, be yourself, be romantic, etc. but you were probably already being nice and being yourself, were you not? You are looking for change, for progress. Keep doing what you’ve always done, and you will keep getting what you’ve always gotten.
Secondly, women tend to stick together when it comes to dating and relationships. Females have a greater capacity for empathy than men and will always imagine themselves in their girlfriends’ shoes. So they end up telling you how you should treat her because that is what they would want to happen to them.
This is all well and good, but if you are in a relationship and your partner was in the wrong, it is likely your female friends will take her side and play down what she has done and make it seem like your fault. Sometimes, it is – but I wouldn’t trust women to be that impartial.
Equally, if you have been dating and not seeing any success, women will tell you to be nicer, more romantic, more gentlemanly, etc. This is usually already the problem: you are too nice, too quickly. Therefore, following this advice is likely to frustrate you more and exacerbate the problem. [Read: Women’s relationship issues that all men should know]
#4 Gay men. Gay men have two great advantages over everybody else when it comes to offering advice about women. They are totally impartial, and they get an insight into the raw truth of both perspectives.
Gay men can be impartial because they are not in a relationship with or dating women, and therefore, they are not clouded by their own experiences or beliefs. They have no investment in how they think things should work out.
Further, they understand how men think, and can see it from your perspective – something that women typically will not. Also, women will often confide honestly in gay men. A gay man will often get the inside story that even her girlfriends might not get, as there is more fear of her being judged by females.
This means the gay friend will often know her rawest truths, deepest insecurities, and darkest fantasies. All of this leads to a much greater understanding of her true desires and actions. The combination of insider knowledge and impartiality means that gay men can often offer the best advice to you. They are not invested in any outcomes or biased by either side.
#5 Successful guys. The final set of people are other men who are very successful with women. They might be in a strong and loving relationship, or they might be a “player.” It doesn’t really matter because they have the experience, and they know how to deal with women successfully.
They can offer some of the best advice because they can put themselves in your shoes. They have probably been there before and know what has and hasn’t worked in the past. They will often have lots of experience with different women, which allows them to see patterns and typical behaviors that women display, but will likely not admit.
Of course, some successful guys are useless when it comes to advice. They might do great themselves, but they have no idea why or how it happens. In this case, they will probably offer advice like women: to “be confident” and “just be you.”
To sum up, it is my opinion that the media, women, and most of your friends will not be a good source of advice when it comes to women, dating, relationships, or sex. The best advice will probably come from a gay man and a select few men who are very successful with women. Seek their counsel, and consider their points before doing anything too hasty.