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Our Love of Guidance: Why We Crave Relationship Advice

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We treasure relationships, making us willing to approach them with an open mind.

Most of us, both men and women, are having an affair with guidance and counsel: In short, we love advice for relationships.

We read blogs, we ask our friends (well, if we’re female … guys mainly just grunt at each other), we page through magazines and we, in times of desperation, even turn to our parents.

There’s no doubt about it: We adore advice for relationships so much that we seek it out wherever we can find it.

But, why do we do this? By nature, many of us are independent, hell-bent on solving our own problems on our own terms. Yet we put down our defenses when it comes to love, romance, and marriage. We embrace advice for relationships with not only open arms but also open minds.

And we do this because:

  • We no longer know it all.The second we become teenagers, we wake up with the realization that we do, in fact, know it all. We know so much of everything that we never need to ask for help or seek the opinions of others. And we definitely don’t need to listen to the older and wiser.Yet, this phase of knowing it all is like heavy breakouts of acne. It’s sort of a teenage phase. Upon maturing, we realize that we have a lot to learn and this, in part, is why we love advice for relationships. We appreciate that people who have been through something similar just might have something important to offer.
  • We like to know we aren’t alone.Deep inside of us all, we have the yearning to never be alone. The old saying “misery loves company” is true. We all like to know we aren’t singled out when it comes to bad things happening. Relationships, because they can involve heartbreak, struggle, and bad times, can come with a more-the-merrier point of view. What I mean by this is that it helps us to know others have had their hearts broken. Not only does it make us feel less alone, but it also provides a learning opportunity. Seeking advice for relationships from someone whose been there isn’t only logical, but it’s also emotionally healing.
  • We know relationships are important.Everyone in the world survives because of their relationships to other beings. Our ties to family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and pets help us see the beauty of life. We seek them out without inhibition, even if that means befriending a volleyball while we’re stranded on an island.Relationships are the most important things in our lives. Without them, nothing else matters. We understand this and we know it to be true, so we take advice for relationships wherever we can get it. Whether these relationships are familial, platonic, or romantic, we know that it’d be impossible to live without them.
  • We know relationships are fragile.People are fragile. Our feelings are easily hurt, our egos easily bruised, and our walls easily erected. Because of this fragility, relationships become about as breakable as the porcelain doll collection on Nana’s living room shelves. We acknowledge this brittleness, so we handle relationships with care. Often, this means listening to advice for relationships and applying it wherever we’re able.
  • We know advice is true.Some advice is truer than others. (Don’t eat yellow snow, never bet on the Cubs to win the World Series, never drunk dial your boss at two in the morning.) This also applies to advice for relationships. Some of it is good, some of it is great, and some of it will hopefully never be applicable (the more expensive the divorce lawyer, the better they are). But, the best thing about advice is that it is usually accurate. Sure, it may be completely wrong from time to time, but it is most often cemented in experience, which, above all, makes it real. And that is something we can all benefit from.

This guest article from YourTango was written by Michael Griswold and appeared as: An Affair with Guidance: Why We Love Relationship Advice

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Our Love of Guidance: Why We Crave Relationship Advice

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APA Reference
Experts, Y. (2019). Our Love of Guidance: Why We Crave Relationship Advice. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 26, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 24 May 2019 (Originally: 23 May 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 24 May 2019
Published on Psych All rights reserved.