Monday, November 5, 2012

How to Ask Me for Advice

I get a lot of e-mails asking for relationship advice. This blog is growing rapidly in popularity, and the number of requests I get for advice has been increasing just as quickly. While I am happy to continue offering advice, it can be extremely time consuming to read and reply to these e-mails, especially when they contain long narratives of a relationship's history. So I need to set a few guidelines:

  • End your e-mails with specific questions, rather than just asking for my take on a situation or embedding numerous questions throughout the e-mail. So after telling me what happened between you and him, tell me what you want to know, for example, "Is he interested in more than just sex?" or "Should I cut him off now or give him another chance?"
  • Tell me what you want to happen. This is critical. You need to know what you want from the guy before you ask me what you should do or how to interpret his actions. So often, the girls that e-mail me are conflicted about whether they want the guy in question to be their boyfriend, or whether they just want the affirmation of knowing he wants them. I can't tell you what to do unless you tell me what you want.
  • Tell me your and his age and nationality. This helps me understand and interpret the situation. If either or both of you are seriously religious (i.e. enough to affect the way you approach the relationship), indicate this as well.
  • E-mails must be punctuated, paragraphed, and spell-checked. You don't need to craft a literary masterpiece, but if you send me a single, stream-of-consciousness, 500 word paragraph consisting of two run-on sentences and 100 typos, I will either send it back to you or ignore it. These are incredibly difficult to read. I am going to take the time to read your e-mail carefully, think through your situation carefully, and write a clear response, so I need you to put a similar effort into your request.
  • Try to omit unnecessary narratives about who texted what to whom, how long it took him to reply or what he said in response to what you said. These details can sometimes be crucial to the story, but more frequently than not, you can get the same point across by saying "his text responses have been sporadic" or "sometimes he is warm, other times he is distant."
  • Keep e-mails under 1,000 words. If you can keep it under 500 words, I will reply to you much faster, but I appreciate that sometimes 500 will be too few to describe the situation accurately.

You can contact me for advice by e-mailing me at


[I've added this post as a page under the "Blog Information" section at the top of the blog's left column]


  1. Maybe you should post questions, so similar questions don't get asked again. Reader's Mailbag.

    1. This is a good idea. So far, I have simply taken questions that I get frequently and written a post on them, but it is probably getting time for a "FAQ" of sorts.

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