I have a young friend who has been in a yearlong relationship with a young man who is admittedly wonderful. I think that he could make many women very happy, but he is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and so I don’t believe he is right for my dear friend. I know this is a touchy subject, and every time I start to bring it up, I can tell she doesn’t want me to. I think it must be hard to hear the truth about her situation. She just turned 27 and could have been married with maybe even some little ones by now if she wasn’t wasting her time in a relationship that can’t go anywhere. How can I communicate this to her in a way that will get her to snap out of it?
Wants to help
Dear Wants to help,
I would not communicate any of this if I were you, and here's why:
The problem with unsolicited relationship advice is that it’s usually based on assumptions. You’re assuming she’s wasting her time. You’re assuming she would have been married under different circumstances, and you’re assuming that she’s not following personal revelation that she’s received for herself etc., etc.,
And maybe you’re right, but you don’t know so you should not presume to know what’s best for her in this situation.
Does that sound harsh? It’s not meant to be.
Let her do her thing, and she’ll figure out who she should or should not be dating. To help her make her own positive decisions, you might consider talking to her about the efficacy of prayer, the power of hope and the reality of God’s love. All adults (regardless of age, religion or relationship status) can benefit from these types of reminders.
It’s tempting to tell people how to handle their lives and relationships, but in this instance, I would not do it.
Readers: How do you feel about unsolicited advice? When have you found that it's best to keep your mouth shut?
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Angela Trusty is a millennial writer who lives and writes about the Latter-day Saint YSA experience. Twitter: askange_column