Getting the best relationship advice - the 'who, what and when'

Category: Better Relationships | Author and Publisher: Elly Prior | First published: 09-05-2012 | Modified: 29-04-2018

Letters: HOPE

You may be looking for quality relationship advice when you simply have some questions that you can’t quite answer by yourself.

Or, you may be at the point where it feels as though your relationship’s in real trouble. In which case, if you want to save it, you’re going to need the very best professional relationship advice for couples you can find.

The articles on my website cover relationship advice for women and men. In fact, I make no distinction as I view gender on a continuum, and each person as a unique individual. So, all of my articles are applicable to you, regardless of your sex. And you can pick and choose the help and advice that’s most relevant to you and your personal situation.

This particular article is dedicated to relationship advice in general - where to find it (on my site), what you should look for and what to avoid at all costs.

I'll also give you some ideas about who you might want to turn to, and what to consider when you want to consult a professional for expert advice on relationships.

Where to find my relationship advice

I am, by trade, a professional relationship counsellor! So, I’ve got plenty of resources for you to explore:

I hope you’ll agree I’ve covered most bases when it comes to relationship advice! 

And while there’s no dating advice specifically, much of my advice for healthy relationships and good communication skills can be applied to the dating scene too. That knowledge and those skills aren’t just reserved for married couples or partners in a long-term intimate relationship!

Do you need relationship advice?

There are no two ways about it: relationships are hard! And if you’re struggling (or simply want to become a better partner) you’re to be congratulated for reaching out for advice. It doesn’t matter whether that’s from a professional, or from friends or family.

With regards to the latter, though, I'd like to give you a little guidance. It’s all very well getting advice… but you want to make sure it’s advice that will help rather than hinder you!

What do I know?

As a professional couples counsellor, I’m a relationship expert (and author of this site) with 24 years’ experience of helping individuals and couples overcome their personal problems. If you want to, you can find out more about me here.

Dalai Lama:

So, can you get the best relationship advice from family or friends?

Well, the most important thing to do is to try and tune into your own intuition. If your gut instinct is telling you something’s not quite right, don’t ignore it!

You'll know deep down when you're being ill-advised. You’ll probably question the advice you’re being given and may sense that something's wrong... even if you can't immediately put your finger on it.  

You might really want to go along with the advice you've been given because it's what you want to hear. Yet you won't be able to quiet that little niggle that’s telling you something’s not quite right. And don’t try too hard to quiet the niggle - it’s niggling you for a reason!

It’s also really important to consider if the advice on relationships you've been given is biased or unbiased. I'll explain more about this shortly, but just before that...

Do yourself a favour: don't take any advice from someone (family, friends or relationship forum members) if...

  • they like to gossip - no explanation necessary!
  • their own relationships lunge from one disaster to another - also self-explanatory
  • they treat others - anyone - with contempt
  • they speak in a derogatory manner about others
  • they like the sound of their own voice
  • they can't help but turn any conversation to their own troubles
  • they're too keen to voice their personal opinion

These kinds of people will absolutely not give you good relationship advice - so avoid asking them at all costs!

Be aware of biased advice on relationships

It's real a gift if you have friends and family members who are great to spend time with, and are really supportive and keen to help.

However, the decisions you make and what happens to you will affect them too. Most of these wonderful people, therefore, are likely to offer you guidance and counsel that is biased (although they might not be conscious of this). That means that their suggestions, relationship tips or warnings are likely to be somewhat coloured by self-interest. In other words, they’re unlikely to give the very best relationship advice for you - however well-meaning, wonderful and kind they are.

So, when you seek relationship help and advice, by all means speak to friends and family. In fact, I think it's a very good idea to share your troubles. However, just be aware that their direction and advice to you may not be completely impartial.

People who are not directly involved with you are more likely able to offer unbiased relationship advice. What you decide to do has no bearing on them and they won't be affected, regardless of the outcome of your decisions.

So, where do you go for that kind of counsel?

Finding the best possible relationship help

You may well be fortunate enough to have one of those wonderful souls amongst the people you know who's able to respond to your needs without much of their personal stuff colouring their advice.

These rare individuals will have enough self-awareness to ensure that their perceptions and opinions don't get in the way of the advice and guidance they offer you.

10 Things to look for in the person you turn to for relationship advice

In general, the kind of person - professional or lay - who's likely to be most helpful to you...

  1. has great listening skills (see link further down for more information) and pays attention to you without allowing themselves to be distracted
  2. is non-judgmental
  3. won't 'preach' (unless of course you're seeking religious advice)
  4. won't be directive (i.e. telling you what you should or shouldn't do)
  5. will absolutely keep your conversation confidential, unless you're likely to harm yourself or someone else
  6. will ideally have plenty of life and/or professional experience
  7. will offer advice or a personal opinion only if asked (professionals are unlikely to offer an opinion, though)
  8. can offer wise counsel and information without any expectation of what you do with their advice
  9. won't think any less of you if you decide to act against their advice
  10. won't take over and act on your behalf without you asking them to do so (professional counsellors won't act on your behalf)

Personally, I'm really fortunate that I have people in my social and professional circles who I can turn to. However, I do realise that not everyone has that opportunity.

So, who do you turn to - particularly for relationship advice - if you don't have access to anyone with the above qualities? That’s where a trained counsellor or therapist can help.

What you need to know about relationship experts

Perhaps you've decided to get advice from a professional. It's not always easy to figure out what kind of relationship expert you should look for.

So, here's a list of the various professional services or other resources you might want to turn to:

6 Professional relationship advice services

  1. Couple counselling - that's not only for married couples; it's for anyone in an intimate relationship. In my practice I've counselled many an individual who came for relationship advice. Often, one partner isn't prepared to join the other for relationship counselling.
  2. Personal counselling - if you have issues with relationships in general or would like help with personal problems
  3. Online counselling - for yourself or both of you. To find out how you can connect with your own online counsellor, see my page: Online Relationship Advice
  4. Relationship coaching - if the two of you just need a bit of a boost and some ideas on how to improve your relationship
  5. Religious counsel - for spiritual relationship advice 
  6. Legal advice - either before you get married, start sharing certain assets, or at the end of a relationship when you decide to separate or divorce (see my article on how to find a lawyer)

In addition, there are plenty of books and websites written by professionals (like my website!). So if you don’t want to speak to someone, or pay for a professional service, there are plenty of self-help avenues available to explore.

Another option, and one I highly recommend, is professional hypnosis downloads. These are a super convenient, user-friendly and cost-effective way to get help and help yourself. To find out more about how these work, see my article: Hypnosis Frequently Asked Questions and Downloads. (Incidentally, these are great for dating advice, tips and improving confidence too!)


When it comes to relationship advice, there’s plenty out there for the taking! To narrow down your options, figure out what’s important to you right now and seek out the help that seems most suitable for your situation. 

For example, if you’re having serious issues and your relationship’s on the rocks, a professional therapist is most likely to be your best bet. If money’s an issue, make use of all the freely available professional help and advice on websites like mine. 

If you prefer to talk to someone you know, remember to choose wisely when you’re thinking about who to pick!

A happy, healthy relationship takes work - but getting good relationship advice along the way can really help to make the journey smoother :-)

Please, rate this article ...

I really hope this article is of help to you. :-)

I frequently update my articles based on feedback, therefore I really value your vote.

Thank you so much in anticipation. :-)

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