When it comes to our love lives, where would we be without the pearls of wisdom we’ve received from friends, family members, or even a well-meaning hair stylist? To that end, we asked people to pay tribute to the people who have doled out the best advice — that had the most positive impact on their dating habits and decisions. Let this serve as a reminder that almost anyone, even complete strangers, may possess that little oomph of insight that can help you see the light and find Mr. or Mrs. Right.

Beach-side wisdom from a married couple
“The best advice I ever heard came from a random older couple lying on the beach next to me. They heard me loudly complaining that I was 38 and wasn’t going to marry anyone. The lady interrupted me to say I was wrong and I would find someone — she was sure of it. Her husband said I should change my circle of friends a bit to mix things up. Somehow, hearing this from complete strangers, especially an older couple who were clearly happy together, gave me a whole new outlook. And strangely, I’ve been a bit luckier in love since then!”
— Laurie Hicks, Bayside, NY

Related: Your mother was right (about men, anyway)
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From my own pre-teen son
“My 12-year-old son gave me the best advice. I said to him once, ‘I miss that guy I dated last year, maybe I should call him.’ And he said, ‘Mom, you’ll just end up being happy at first, and then he’ll start acting annoying again, and you’ll get mad at him again.’ Words to live by! Sometimes, I think adults forget to listen to their instincts. That’s where kids can help.”
— Sarah Allison, Bloomfield, NJ

Her animal instincts were spot-on
“My cat, Emma, let me know that she hated my latest boyfriend. She also liked to sleep on his face, which kicked his allergies into high gear and made him flee in the middle of the night. It turns out that he was a commitment-phobe — and if I’d paid attention to my beloved pet in the first place, I would have saved myself months of aggravation.”
— Melissa Clark, Brooklyn, NY

Related: People who shouldn’t hear about your love life

Poetic wisdom from a trusted great-aunt
“My great-aunt Lyn shared this Ogden Nash poem with me: ‘To keep your marriage brimming with love from the loving cup, whenever you’re wrong, admit it. Whenever you’re right, shut up.’ Those words have surely propelled me into my marriage and kept me in it.”
— Marjorie Upton, Providence, RI

A long flight helped set me right
“A flight attendant on a trip to Thailand helped me. I had just asked a woman to marry me, but I wasn’t sure if it was really the right thing for the two of us. Since we had plenty of time to kill, the flight attendant told me a long story about her brother’s awful divorce and said, ‘You can’t marry someone to fix the relationship.’ When I got back, I knew I had to call the wedding off. Looking back, it was definitely the right thing to do — and I have a long plane flight and a chatty flight attendant to thank for it.”
— Ed McNulty, Woodstock, NY

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Now, that’s salesmanship
“My wine-store guy. He noticed that I was buying the same kind of wine for weeks in a row, and he asked what was up; I revealed that I was dating a woman who would only drink Chardonnay, period. ‘You’re giving up Gewurztraminer for this person?’ he asked. That comment got me thinking about how rigid this woman was in so many ways. And it planted the seed that maybe I was making too many concessions.”
— Name withheld by request, New York, NY

In affairs of the heart, grandma knows best
“I told my grandma Rosie that the guy I was dating wasn’t Jewish, and she asked, ‘Does he have a good heart? If he has that, the rest will work itself out.’ She also told me to stop smoking, explaining that it’s a turn-off for many people. They were both smart observations from different sides of her brain, and I figured she’s been on this earth long enough to really know what matters.”
— Elizabeth Wilks, Los Angeles, CA

My supervisor guided me well...
“My former boss said, ‘When you’re grocery shopping, pick up your boyfriend’s favorite cookies or some other little item that you know he likes. That way, when he comes over, he feels like you were thinking of him. It hooks him right in.’ So I tried it, and it worked like a charm.”
— Celeste Perron, Los Angeles, CA

Amy Keyishian has written for Cosmopolitan, Maxim, and other publications.



Article courtesy of Match.com.