Can I give relationship advice if I've never been in a relationship?

So your bestie's gone from crushing to full-on relationship and you're, um, still single as ever. But the two of you talk about everything...and her new romance shouldn't be any different, right?!

Well, the truth is that it's complicated. 

Maybe you're eager to give your girls crush advice but worry that your lack of experience doesn't give you the best POV. Or maybe you're getting a little tired of your friends going on about their couples' conundrums when you just can't relate. Worst of all, maybe you've shared your musings on their meet-cutes only to be met with *that* disbelieving stare and the "Oh, well, I guess you wouldn't really know." Ouch.

When you and your friends are out of step when it comes to your love lives, it can create a disconnect that's awkward and, tbh, a little scary. But have no fear: Your BFF dynamic *can* survive this change, your single self *can* give amaze advice and you can help your squad without losing yourself in seventh-wheel status. Here's how.

Remember that it's OK to feel awkward.


You might be used to having everything in common with your friends—school, interests and even your style sense. But the hard truth is that, as you get older, you and your friends might start to be a little out of sync...especially when it comes to your romance status.

It's perfectly normal to be crushing from afar while your BFF has fallen into full S.O. status. And it's *also* perfectly normal to feel a little awkward about the whole sitch. "When my best friend started dating her crush, I was so excited for her...but also felt a little jealous because my crush barely even texted me back," admits Lilah K., 16. "I wanted her to be happy, but I wanted to feel that same happiness along with her." 

Truth be told, your bestie probably feels a little awkward, too. "I didn't know if I should talk about my relationship with my best camp friend since she always complained about being single," remembers Riley B., 15. "I didn't want her to feel left out or uncomfortable." 

But it's worth putting in the extra effort to support your friends. After all, no matter what happens with their crushes (or yours), or what awkwardness ensues along the way, that kind of steadfast bestie support is so special. 

Consider the other POV.

Honestly ask yourself: Are you rooting for your friend and their S.O. to stay together or to break up? Why? 

Being real with your own perspective will help you give good advice. Maybe you genuinely like your friend's bae...but you secretly wish they could break up and your BFF bond could go back to how it was before. (And that's normal!) Or maybe you're hoping the couple lasts long as your crush likes you back, too. (Double date time!) 

But of course you don't want your bestie to struggle because of *your* judgment or even envious feelings. Sometimes, instead of not liking your friend's S.O., you just wish you didn't have to share her with her S.O. now. 

Validate where you are in your (happy! single!) life.


So your bestie is asking you how to handle meeting her S.O.'s fam...or what to get her S.O. for their three-month anniversary...or what to reply during a heated text exchange.

You freeze up instantly. I think I have a good point—but am I allowed to give advice when I've never been through this before?

Answer: Yes. Sure, maybe you've never had a go-to homecoming date, but having crushes (yes, fictional ones can count) or situationships is enough to earn you a valuable perspective in an advice-giving sesh. Those kinds of experiences teach you some standout S.O. qualities (but also maybe some big red S.O. stop signs) that you can remind your friend to pay attention to.

Support can be more than spoken advice– it can also be action. When it comes to that anniversary gift, offer to shop online with her, scan TikTok for cute inspo or even low-key find out her S.O.'s niche interests. (And, FYI, it's perfectly OK to say "I don't know...but I support you!") 

Also, see your single status as a good thing and not an obstacle. Being outside of the situation (and not having your own romance to focus on, tbh) gives you a helpful viewpoint. 

Just make sure that your friends are checking in on you, too—and the squad doesn't become a "couples only" zone. "When my three closest friends were all dating people and I was single, we made a rule that we weren't going to talk about relationships at the lunch table," says Katelynn L., 17. "That way we could focus on all the other amazing, fun, challenging things going on in our lives, everyone felt included *and* it created a safe single space when some of them ended up going through breakups." 

Bottom line: You can *totally* be a good friend exactly where you're at with your romantic experience

Get creative with your advice.


Say you don't have direct experiences from your own life to inform your advice, and your friend asked you for some help that's just... not in your area of expertise at all. You're having an "I *just* don't know" moment. When you've run out of things to draw from looking inward, it's time to look outward. Spoiler alert: You'll have to be a little more creative. 

Ever read a romance book? Watched a rom-com? Then you probably know something about relationships.

Maybe you listened to "Daylight" by Taylor Swift and you realized it's worthwhile to sometimes look for love in simplicity or peace instead of grand romantic gestures (meaning you kinda sobbed when Taylor said that love is "golden" instead of "burning red"). Or maybe you watched The Summer I Turned Pretty, and it taught you that different people look for different things when it comes to relationships. Some girls look for unmistakable connection like Belly and Conrad, and some look for playful partnership like Steven and Taylor. 

"My best friend had just started dating her BF and feeling kind of insecure because a lot of girls at our school liked him," says Chelsey W., 15. "I hadn't been through that before...but it reminded me so much of an episode of Never Have I Ever that I *had* to recommend it to her." 

If you just feel too weird about drawing your advice from things that feel *that* impersonal (DW, we get it), you can still look outward, just not so far outside your personal life. You see so many other people in relationships (like friends and family) that have taught you lessons about love, too. 

And don't forget...


You know your besties better than anyone. So when her S.O. tells her she should quit band? Yeah, you can give your two cents on how that's not a good call. 

I mean, look me in the eye and tell me that you haven't given your friend advice on what dress she should wear to a school dance—I'd bet you can't. That required that you know specific details about her like her favorite color and sense of style. Maybe you knew that she has an outgoing personality and needed a comfy dress for dancing all night. 

You might think that giving advice on a dress for a dance isn't at all the same thing as giving advice on a relationship, and yeah, that is def more consequential. But the point is that you can base your advice off of what you know about your friend as a person, instead of off your dating experience (or lack thereof). 

See? You are *so* much more qualified for this than you thought. And with that, good luck babes!

If you loved these tips, check out @girlslifemag on Instagram! 

Want to send your friend some crush advice? Check these out:
💝 Alphabet date ideas you need to try 
💝 13 texts to send to spark your ~romance~ era
💝 4 relationship red flags they might not be the one

Top image: @nataliezacek
Slider image: @thesummeriturnedpretty


by Kayla Conroy | 10/21/2023