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What’s The Best Relationship Advice You’ve Ever Received?

Author: Lauren Coleman

One of my best girls is getting married in September and the three other bridesmaids and I are in the final throes of hen party planning for this weekend’s festivities. As seems to be customary these days, each hen will receive a relationship advice card to scribe their wisdom for the bride-to-be.

I’m not sure about you but I always end up writing the same thing when I end up in this situation. I pass on the advice my parents gave to me; always remember to communicate and to compromise.
I reckon James and I do a pretty good job of communicating with one another unless you count last week. Our alarms had just gone off and I started to talk about what we were going to have for dinner that night, as you do. Turns out he’d told me repeatedly he was going to be away for two nights with work but it seems I had ignored him. Oh dear.
On the compromise front, there’s a big debate in the Coleman household about which one of our impractical cars will be trading in for a more family-friendly vehicle. We’ve both held our ground so far but if I’m honest I’m not that fussed. I felt I had a strong argument but so does he. So far we haven’t had any meltdowns so it makes sense for me to compromise here so if there’s something I truly have an opinion on then he’s more likely to sway. Pick your battles I say.
I have to say I do think conflict and its resolution is important in a relationship. I have known couples who are extremely proud of the fact they never argue, only to split up as neither of them could decipher how the other was feeling. Personally, I believe if you respect and trust the other party and don’t utter words you’ll regret, that it’s important to speak your mind. Otherwise how else will the other person know what is important to you?
I’m trying to think of some hideously inappropriate relationship advice I’ve been given in the past. Nothing springs to mind to be honest but when I was going through our wedding guestbook postcards someone had told us never go to bed on an argument. I’m in two minds about this one. I always think a good night’s kip does wonders for changing perspective, rather than bleating on to each other when you’re knackered, or worse, had a night on the gin.
In the end though it’s different strokes for different folks and what works for one couple might not work for another. My mum and dad’s adage though seems to apply well to work and play so that’s the one I’ll keep dishing out.
What’s the best relationship advice you ever received? And what’s the worst too? With hindsight is there any advice you wish you hadn’t given to a friend?


Image by Ernesto Villalba Photography from Elena & Øyvind’s Wedding.

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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41 thoughts on “What’s The Best Relationship Advice You’ve Ever Received?

  1. Who is most tired is an argument that nobody wins. Better not to go there. And if you need help, easier to ask than expect telepathic skills. I’m still working on this one.

    Best advice I’ve received? If you’ve lost something look with your eyes not your mouth! My beloved always asks me first before looking and it drives me crazy so it’s nice to have this comeback ready. Not sure that was in the spirit of this post…

    Oh and cars. Just sell both. What if someone has a breakdown or car needs a few days in the garage? Are you going to wiggle baby in the convertible backseat, sweating each time you wrestle the car seat in and out? You can relive your youth with some kind of 5 door hot hatch and get a deliciously comfortable small SUV for longer journeys. Think of all the DIY kit and salvage yard finds you can fit in it. This is from someone who cried when both the 3 door Landie with the Barbie roof and my faithful shiny red convertible commute companion had to go within weeks of each other as we realised post baby it wasn’t going to work out…. happy autotrader scrolling!

    1. Omg I love that one about looking with your eyes not your mouth – I’m going to use this forever!! (can you tell my hubs always asks me first too hah)

    2. There was one time last summer where I realised I hadn’t got in the car and left my village for over a week. Big changes lie ahead!

  2. We only have the one car and manage fine so I would totally trade in one and keep one fun one!

    I think if I could give relationship advice it would probably relate to either navigating parenthood and keeping your relationship in tact (not relevant to everyone I know) or managing each other’s families without conflict but I am still learning on both counts – I may return in a few years with a snappy piece of advice for you!

    1. I guess it depends where you live- at 6 miles from the nearest shop and 2 miles to preschool I found I got cabin fever quickly if I didn’t have the car.

  3. It sounds a bit negative, but my favourite is the advice that everyone is flawed, and when you put two flawed people together there are bound to be imperfections. It is impossible for a relationship to be perfect, and so it can only ever be ‘good enough’. Of course ‘good enough’ can mean absolutely brilliant, but its acknowledging that you as a couple don’t need to be perfect, because you can’t and yet you still choose to be together.

    1. Totally agree with this. We had the words from the song “Slightly Imperfect Girl” by Jay Foreman, read at our wedding for this reason. It’s a comedy take on this piece of advice.

    2. I this is perfect Laura. This reminds me I did a Bob Marley reading at my sister’s hen. (Below if anyone is interested). There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

      “He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyse. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you.”

  4. My parents have a rule where any disagreements cannot be mentioned again three days after being settled and my mum swears blind it’s the reason they’re still together 35 years later. Your mileage may vary of course but I find it stops the ‘well YOU did x’ being thrown around during new arguments?

  5. Oh no we’re one of those couples that never argue we are doomed!!! Although it’s not for lack of trying on my part. I love a good Barney but the other half does not like conflict. I spend a lot of time stomping off and getting no response 😁

    1. I think that it’s different if that’s your personality Helen! In their case they were quite feisty but not with each other!

  6. My advice is that it’s fine and normal to argue, but no name-calling – no matter how cross you get (although I’ve been known to argue that “you’re behaving like an arsehole” is not actually the same as calling someone an arsehole, so…).

    And it’s really important to be able to say sorry. Properly, unequivocally, without any caveats. Not “I am sorry, but you did…”. Just sorry. We all make mistakes or go too far (see advice no.1 above) but you have to be able to own it and make it better.

    We’re a lot less volatile nowadays, mind. Pick your battles!

  7. Date days/nights. Make sure you take time out to remind yourselves why you love eachother and spend some time (whether it’s an hour over coffee or a weekend away) focused entirely on eachother and conversation – no phones, no distractions. In this mega busy world it’s very easy to forget to go back to basics x

  8. Am I the only one who can’t think of anything to write when asked for advice? I’m pretty good with practical help, great at making a plan of action and summarising a situation but I’m really bad at offering gentle advice!

  9. Was just going to say Lauren my mum told me never go to bed on an argument as you never know what next day will bring. Also never borrow money from anyone because if your broke now you will not be able to pay them back without ending up broke again. Did us right for 26 years then we divorced hahaha x

  10. Always say goodnight, even if it wasn’t a good day. Words from a family friend at their 50th wedding anniversary party.

  11. Think before you speak, you can’t take it back later. My hubby and never argued until recently – amazing what selling a house does to you! but whenever we had a little squabble we have just sulked it out overnight. We both agree that things can be said in the heat of the moment that are not meant, but words can hurt and are not easily forgotten, so we keep out of each others way for the remainder of the day and things never seem so bad after a bit of space.

    Just last month I sadly saw a friend’s 7 year relationship come to an end after awful things were said after her now ex had drowned his sorrows after a bad argument. Even if it the relationship had ended after the argument, it was what was said in the heat of the moment, after a few pints, that put the final nail in the coffin. It is so sad it ended like that.

    1. Oh that is very sad, such a shame.
      And house moving is so stressful. We squabbled so much with our last move. It’s such a frustrating time.

  12. From my mum: “Never go to the toilet in front of your partner.” Her and my dad celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary this September. There must be some truth in it!

  13. Years ago, when I’d first started dating my now husband, my grandfather was asking me about him one day. He said how much he liked him and the he asked me if I could talk to him. Yes of course I said. He said “That’s good lass. You should always marry someone you can talk to. Because at the end of the day if everything else that has bought you together has faded at least you can still talk to each other.” He and my Nana were married for 63 years before he passed away. Sadly he wasn’t at my wedding, but recounting this conversation was my wedding speech 🙂

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