We create numerous relationships throughout our lives: friendships, family relationships, romantic relationships, professional relationships and many more. Because each one can be so strikingly different, it's reasonable to expect that you'll need some advice once in awhile to keep them running smoothly. Use the resources in this Web guide for advice about building and maintaining strong relationships, and even for suggestions about how to cope when a particular relationship is over. For a Spanish-language version of the Guide, click here
The Web sites included in this section provide a basic overview of relationships, including the types of relationships in which people engage, the communication tools necessary for good relationships and personal characteristics you can work on to help improve your relationships with others.
- If there’s a particular relationship advice column or relationship advice Web site you enjoy reading, see if it has a newsletter you can subscribe to and get advice sent straight to your e-mail.
- The seriousness of some relationship problems may require a more personal and professional source of advice. See our findingDulcinea Therapy Web Guide for more information about where to find a qualified therapist.
To learn about the stages of relationships …
contains a wealth of articles about relationships, addressing the stages of relationships, and even emotions and other aspects of relationships (for example, forgiveness, compatibility and boundaries).
For relationship tools and quizzes …
features a “Relationships” section that sets itself apart with lessons on how to improve your relationships by first improving your self-confidence.
is an interesting tool that acts as a virtual friend to "talk" to. Although the site isn't exactly a problem solver, it asks several questions when you type in your problem, and those questions may help you understand your emotions a little more or refocus your thinking about a situation.
The dating world certainly doesn't come with any specific rules, but that doesn’t mean there isn't some sound advice out there. Use the Web sites in this section to read about everything from finding the right person to learning how to cope if a relationship ends.
- If you're in college (or even if you aren't), many schools have counseling services with Web sites that contain a great deal of information about relationships. As students, you have the benefit of both the online information and in-person counseling services on campus.
- Thinking about online dating? Our findingDulcinea Dating Web Guide offers recommendations for the best online dating Web sites and tips for safe Internet dating.
For the first date …
hosts “Confessions of a Matchmaker: Patti Novak’s Dating Tips” (available in PDF format) for men and women looking for help with the first date. Some tips apply more to people looking to meet in person after meeting over the Internet, but anyone should generally find this information helpful.
During the relationship …
has a section on "Dating, Relationships & Reality." Look for information on dating tips and pitfalls, and for advice on creating a lasting relationship.
WGN Morning News Blog
offers this entry on the "Best Relationship Advice Ever." Citing excerpts from the book "Dating Secrets of the Ten Commandments
," the entry provides some thoughts dating people should consider when attempting to decide if they've found "the one" or if it's time to end the relationship.
For long-distance relationships …
offers these suggestions about how to make a long-distance relationship work and how to understand your partner's perspective on the relationship.
provides more specific examples of what you can do to make a long-distance relationship successful. The advice comes from a woman who has had a few long-distance relationships.
For break-up advice …
has an article on breaking up with someone when you’re the “dumper” and when you’re the “dumpee." Also see a related article on being dumped
for additional helpful tips.
For blogs and message boards …
is a blog about dating and relationship advice. The entries make for easy reading and the advice is practical. Look for suggestions on matters of etiquette, first dates, long distance relationships, intimacy and more. Topics are organized along the right side of the page.
has a message board dedicated to people who need dating advice or want to talk about dating in general. Complete the free registration
to post messages.
Marriage advice can benefit couples having problems or those who want to head off potential relationship difficulties before they occur. The Web sites in this section offer ideas on how to strengthen a marriage and how to find marriage counseling, in case your relationship needs an outside perspective.
- The anonymity of blogs and forums makes them safe places for self-expression, and they can help you explore common problems that other couples have experienced. But because they are open sources, anyone can contribute to or read the discussion; don't give away sensitive or identifying information in these public venues.
For ideas on strengthening a marriage …
offers five tips to couples looking to improve their marriage. The advice here includes working on listening abilities and setting aside time to spend as a couple.
For marriage counseling information …
discusses what marriage counseling is, who can benefit from counseling, what to expect during a counseling session and how to find a qualified therapist.
For blogs and message boards …
is a discussion forum on topics in everyday life, aimed at people over 40. Membership is required to post comments but joining is fast and free. View discussions in the "Relationships" section or go to "Sex Over 40
." Look at "Real Life Scripts
" for guidance on starting a conversation with your spouse about a prickly topic.
The Web sites in this section offer relationship advice geared specifically to kids and teenagers. Check here if you're having problems understanding the adults in your life, if you have questions about relationships at school or if you just need help understanding the emotions you're experiencing in a particular relationship.
- The great thing about the Internet is that it offers you privacy when you're trying to find advice. Sometimes, though, there are problems (such as cases of abuse) where you'll be much better off talking to a professional for help. Boys Town National Hotline is a service that provides both girls and boys with someone to talk to.
- Popular magazines like Girls' Life and Seventeen have message boards and forums to submit advice requests online.
- Internet safety is very important. If you ask questions on a Web site message board, choose a nickname and don't give too many details about yourself online to protect your identity.
For young kids …
offers several articles for kids about getting along with teachers at school, understanding parents and family, and getting along with friends. Also find several corresponding articles about emotions, which may be helpful for questions about relationships.
For teens …
The Center for Young Women's Health
is maintained by Children's Hospital Boston. This guide teaches teens about what makes healthy relationships and how to know if you're in a healthy relationship (whether it's with parents, friends or someone you’re dating). Don't miss the articles at the end of this section on “Friendship
” and “Safety in Relationships
offers a wide range of advice and information to teenagers covering health, sexuality, dating, family and friends, and emotional health issues. See the “For Teens by Teens
” section for advice written by teens on the issues that matter most to you.
For information about abuse …
offers help for kids who are being hurt by someone. Use this site to learn where to call if you’re being abused and talk to an adult who can help.
talks about physical, mental and emotional abuse and who to contact if you’re being abused. Read the "Signs of Domestic Violence
" section if you're unsure whether you’re in an abusive relationship.
Parent-child relationships must evolve as children grow and change. The Web sites in this section talk about different types of parent-child relationships and how to continually nurture them as your child matures and develops.
- Don't be afraid to browse the Web sites included in the "Relationship Advice for Kids" section of this guide. The sites might be aimed at children, but they could still provide useful insight into what a child may be thinking or feeling.
- Blogs can be another great place to read the experiences of other parents. See our findingDulcinea Blogs Web Guide for tips on how to find a good blog to read.
For advice on parenting kids and teens ...
United Way of Monroe County, Indiana
offers this PDF chart of how emotions grow and progress in children from birth to three years of age. Short explanations are provided about establishing good parent-child relationships throughout each stage.
is a respected site from the Nemours Foundation with a “Parents” section dedicated to helping you understand your children. Browse the categories on "Emotions & Behavior
" and "Growth & Development
" for articles related to relationships with your children.
published the results of a 2001 study that examined the role of rules in parent-child relationships. Learn how the “hands-on” versus “hands-off” approach affects parent-child relationships.
For parenting communities …
is an online community with an individualized twist: when you sign up for the service (it's free) and let the site know a little bit about yourself, it helps you create a personalized page that shows you all of the blogs, advice and happenings that might be of interest to you. Post questions for other parents to answer, or answer questions of others on the discussion boards.
Elder Wisdom Circle
is for you if you’re looking for some sage advice from a "cyber-grandparent." Submit a question along with your e-mail address and you'll receive a confidential, personalized response from one of the site's elders within a few days. If you find an elder you particularly like, you can write questions directed to him or her.
There are advice columnists and television personalities from whom we've sought advice for years, and they've shared their words of wisdom on the Internet. We've found some of the most popular individuals and included their Web sites in this section.
- If you've got a favorite advice columnist or other journalist, you may be able to find their column online using uExpress.com.
- Often, Web sites from these columnists or television personalities have free message boards for readers to use. If you're comfortable discussing your questions with others, this may provide a great way to do so.
For popular advice columnists in print …
hosts Amy Dickinson’s column, "Ask Amy.” Dickinson answers several relationship advice questions in her column. Check the headlines for a question that interests you.
For television and radio personalities …
is a pretty busy Web site, but it does have a fairly extensive advice section with a category dedicated specifically to relationships. Check the headlines for an article that piques your interest, or join a discussion on one of the site's message boards
is the Web site of Dr. Laura Schlessinger, a radio personality. Search the homepage for relationship and other advice from that day’s “Dr. Laura” show, read what she has to say in her blog
(which contains rather feisty entries) or see her recommendations for books about relationships and other life issues
is the Web site of the popular television maven. While Oprah isn't exactly known for giving advice, her Web site does have an informative "Relationships" section that addresses family relationships, coupledom, friendships and much more. See the "Inside Relationships" box for a breakdown of topics covered.
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