This Advice For Single People Is Way Overrated, So Don't Pay Attention
When you're single, it can sometimes feel like everyone is giving you tips on how to not be single. This advice for single people while often (I think) well-intentioned, can come off patronizing and be downright rude about people's lives and their values. Like OK, first of all, not everyone even wants a relationship. That's these advice-giver's first mistake: they need to stop assuming everyone wants to be partnered up. And beyond that, they need to stop assuming that their advice is good — even if they're currently in a relationship!
Dating advice often feels hollow because these well-worn mantras can feel clichéd. In addition to being condescending, the following pieces of common advice can feel impersonal to the person on the receiving end.
Instead of offering meaningless phrases of faux inspiration, if you're giving advice, tailor it specifically to the person to whom you're speaking. It will instead feel authentic and genuine, as opposed to empty words, and probably mean more to the person you're probably trying to help. So here are the pieces of advice single people can get that are overrated, and, IMO, doesn't help at all.
You have to love yourself first.
What a bunch of crap. Seriously. Why do people insist on telling singles that they're not worthy of love unless they love themselves? This line of thought stigmatizes those with mental illness even more, and makes those with deep insecurities feel even worse about themselves. Some people are on the path to self-love much longer than others, and it doesn't make them any less deserving of a relationship. Let's instead encourage people to love themselves, but not imply that not doing so makes you somehow ineligible for a relationship.
You'll find love when you least expect it.
I'm all for people trying new activities and seeking out hobbies that they enjoy and maybe meeting someone coincidentally through that, which is often what people mean when they offer this advice. Like, you'll meet someone doing something you enjoy, so don't worry! But trying to dissuade single people from seeking a relationship can seem pretty counter-intuitive. If someone asks you to set them up, goes on dating apps, or attends single's events to meet someone, don't knock down their effort in finding a relationship to make it seem like it's all for nothing. Yes, encouraging people to focus on living their best lives is great. But let's not pretend that love is always something that happens to you – sometimes, you gotta chase it.
You have to go through the bad to appreciate the good.
This isn't just annoying: it's dangerous. By telling people they have to endure harmful, toxic, or abusive relationships to be "appreciative" of a good relationship, you're encouraging them to stay in relationships that can be mega unhealthy. Instead, if you see someone struggling, ask if they need help.
You'll find someone someday!
This one grinds my gears because what if someone just isn't into having a partner? Or what if the person who's on the receiving end of this advice is single by choice for another reason, like trying to juggle school work, extracurriculars, and an internship? Or they're balancing a full time job with a side hustle and trying to make time for friends?
Relationships don't always fit into the equation at different times in our lives. So saying something pitying like the above phrase is condescending, and assumes far too much off the bat. Just because someone isn't in a relationship, it doesn't mean that that person is seeking one out at the moment.
So if you're ever thinking of offering someone the above tidbits of advice, just sit back for a second before you make assumptions about their love life. While your friend will probably understand you're coming from a good intention with your words, you're still better off not insulting them in the first place.
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