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Relationship Advice for Women: Tips for Success Whether Dating or Married

Interested in how you can improve your relationship, women? We put together the top advice to follow whether you are single or married.

Dr. Megan Fleming
Certified diplomate in sex therapy through AASECT and IMAGO couples therapy

by Dr. Megan Fleming 13 min read

Happy couple because relationship advice for women worked for her

You can be a woman on the prowl for the man of her dreams or the woman that's already settled in with who she thought was just that.

In either case, relationship advice for women can prove invaluable. 

That big, ugly statistic pops up a lot: 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce.

While there's a lot to be considered behind that number that can make that estimate, well, shaky, it can still make you feel like you've got only a 50/50 shot of making it in a long-term relationship. 

If you were playing the lotto, 50/50 would be awesome. But when dealing with matters of the heart and life, talk about some scary odds!

Check out this collection of dating advice for women and relationship tips for married women to help you enhance your chances of winning when it comes to love. 

Quick FAQs

No, with this type of approach you could be missing out on some really great guys that you haven't gotten to know well enough yet to realize they are actually the one. Getting to really know someone takes more than just one date.

The three pillars of a good relationship are, obviously, a physical connection, but also a strong emotional connection, and an elaborate mental connection

While ideally, you would realize this on the first date. It can take months or even years before people realize that the person they are with is just not the one for them.

Dating Advice for Single Women

The dating scene can be scary for any female looking for something more than a fun fling.

Check out a few pieces of relationship advice for single women that may help you wade through the sea of oddly charming creatures with devious smiles, elusive personalities, and potential good catches hiding in the rough.

1. Be Clear About Your Expectations 

You don't have to spill out everything you want in a man, your dreams of marriage, kids, and everything else on a first date.

A guy who hears this kind of spillage can tuck-tail and run fast and far.

But, it is critically important that you start making expectations clear the moment you realize a person you're dating could evolve into a serious commitment.

Pro Tip: When you are ready to take that new relationship to the next level, Promescent makes a great line of premium adult products that you'll both be sure to love.

Once those expectations are out there, he knows what you need from him.

He will either make it happen or learn through trial and error that he can't.

Likewise, you should have a clear idea of what he expects from you.

Don't only date men that you see yourself marrying

One of the most prevailing pieces of dating advice for single women is to only date a guy you would marry. Drop that rhetoric like it's hot—it's tired, it's outdated, and it's simply not logical. 

Why? You can't really be clear about whether or not you would marry a man until you know if he can meet your expectations of what a husband should be.

As noted, setting expectations and watching to see if a person can meet them takes more than one date. 

2. Don't Come Across as the Needy Girlfriend 

Fewer women are getting married these days, and more women are waiting later in life to get married. While others say they never want to get married at all.

Nothing wrong with that at all, but the biggest reason women often cite is they just can't find the right guy.

With this kind of mindset, you may just be coming across as overly needy.

You could be unintentionally scaring guys away if you catch one you think is the one and hold on so tight that it freaks him out. 

Needy girls send this message that they are not complete without a man.

It places so much responsibility on a poor guy’s shoulders if he is expected to complete you because you can't stand on your own two feet.

woman embracing man from behind after relationship advice worked.

The ugly side of this neediness is you can also attract the wrong kind of guy.

You know the one that exerts his power over you, tells you what to do, feels insulted if you are your own person?

Yeah, that guy. It's not often a conscious act, but men looking for this in a woman are often drawn to those who send out that needy attitude. 

Be you, fully, confidently. Be independently minded and capable.

If you send him a million texts a day, sustain a broken heart if he doesn't immediately answer when you call, or demand every moment of his free time, it's going to make him uncomfortable, and you may just scare a good guy away. 

3. Allow Him to Take the Lead 

Just as it is important to not be needy, it's also possible to be way too independent.

A fine line exists for women somewhere between being strong and independently minded and being open to allowing your partner to take the lead.

Even though gender roles in even heterosexual relationships are far more fluid than ever these days, most guys do like it when a female makes him feel like a man in some form or fashion.

Even if you are a strong, independent woman, there's no harm in handing him the reigns at times. 

  • Let him pick where you go for dinner. 
  • Allow him to help you in a time of need. 
  • Show him you want his input about your life when things could affect the relationship. 

4. Don't Be Afraid to Step Out of the Box 

Yes, you should have your ideas about what you want in a mate, and you may even have a preconceived "type" when it comes to dating.

Some women get so caught up in looking for their type that they overlook some really awesome prospects, even if these men are showing interest. 

Don't get so focused on your type that you miss a good man

Be careful about setting your type-ideas too early in the dating game when you're still young and figuring your own self out.

These ideas can stick even when they should be adjusted. 

Open up your mind to possibilities with guys that may seem out of your league or not quite your type.

You may just surprise yourself at how quickly your type can change and evolve when the right guy is in the picture. 

5. Love Yourself First

Woman happy after listening to relationship advice

This one piece of relationship advice for single women is a timeless one.

For a healthy relationship, you MUST love you before you fall in love with someone else. 

To understand on a deeper level why you have to look at what it actually means to fall in love. 

Falling in love is more like loving the person you can be when you are with a person.

In other words, this person invokes something in you that makes you feel confident, capable, and alive. 

If you step into this reflective "love" situation when you don't even love yourself, what you are loving can be a totally skewed perspective. 

When you are confident in who you are, know what you have to offer, and love who you are already, you are better equipped to look at someone and say: I really love how this person complements who I am. They bring out the best in me. They will allow me to live the best life as the best version of me. 

6. Closely Examine the Three Pillars of a Good Relationship As You Progress

Couples with the most successful collaborations in life usually have three strong pillars in their relationships: 

  • A strong emotional connection 
  • An obvious physical connection 
  • An elaborate mental connection 

The 3 pillars of a good relationship

Yes, these pillars can take time to foster, but the beginnings of them should be present relatively early as your relationship with a guy progresses.

If you don't have all three, you can be progressing in a relationship that may eventually fizzle out. 

For example, if the two of you generate fireworks in the bedroom, but you can't seem to find that emotional plane where you meet up and match, sex alone is not going to build the healthiest relationship.

Just the same, a great mental connection that breeds incredibly diverse communication may not seem like much if physical interactions are just blah. 

7. Learn How To Recognize It's Time to Move On 

Not every man you date is going to be the O-N-E. It's good to treat every date as a serious endeavor with the potential to be something bigger, but you also have to recognize signs it's time to move on.

No when it is time to move on relationship advice for women

Some people are not compatible enough to stick together forever.

Signs can be hard to pinpoint, but a few definitive things to watch out for include:

  • You don't love who you are with this person; they don't bring out the best version of you 
  • You have such drastically different ideas about life and values that it would be illogical to stay together 
  • You can't seem to commit wholly to the individual because something's lacking 
  • You're having a hard time meeting each other's expectations (See why number one is a biggie?)

In an ideal world, you would go on a date and realize right away that the person you're with is not quite right for the long haul. But it's not uncommon for it to take months, and sometimes even years to move beyond the get-to-know phase and see the relationship for what it really is. 

Relationships are never really failures. Yeah, you spent a few years of your life with someone who turned out to be the wrong person.

The relationship may fizzle out, but you carry a wealth of knowledge with you as you move onto the next chapter.

That relationship was an area of personal growth and learning for you and for the other person. 

Move on and appreciate the new perspective as you do. 

Relationship Advice for Married Women

The transition from being a woman looking for the right life partner to being a married woman with new challenges can happen almost overnight.

Once you've found the man you intend to spend the rest of your life with, there's still ample room for relationship tips and advice. 

Just as you want to be fulfilled, happy, and satisfied for the long-term, he wants the same. Here are a few marriage relationship tips to keep your man happy. 

1. Again, Make Your Expectations Known 

Even though it's recommended to set expectations at the beginning of a relationship, it's common for two people to be so caught up in starry-eyed emotions that they enter a marriage without them firmly stated. 

If he doesn't know what's expected of him, you're clearing a definitive path to disappointment for yourself. 

When he does something to make you angry or upset, look at why you feel that way and why he doesn't get it.

In many cases, hurt feelings and anger are rooted in disappointment because your spouse did not live up to your expectations. 

Man trying to comfort his upset spouse

Perfectly understandable, right?

The issue, though, is if you've not stated your expectations, he has no idea what he has to work to achieve.

Expectations are your hard rules in the marriage. For example, you probably:

  • Expect him to be faithful to you 
  • Expect him to be considerate of your values 
  • Expect him to make time for you 

Get these expectations out in the open early if possible, but if you've yet to do so, it's never too late to start. 

2. Hold Intimacy as a Top Priority 

Man and woman closer after woman listened to relationship advice

Intimacy is such a multifaceted word. Many people take it to mean sex, but intimacy is a far deeper term than just physical intercourse.

Yes, sex is ever-important in a healthy marriage, but intimacy is bigger than sexual pleasure; it keeps you both connected on an emotional level. 

If you're not making time for intimacy, you're neglecting a foundational component of your relationship.

Sadly, lack of intimacy is one of the top reasons two people drift apart. 

Take time out of hectic schedules to hold one another close, kiss, show affection, and, yes, for the love of everything you hold dear, have sex—have sex as often as possible. 

3. Keep Your Projections in Check

You have your idea of what being a good wife looks like from your perspective.

You even have your personal outlooks on what makes someone a good person.

However, as humans, we all have the tendency to project who we are on others, especially our significant other. 

Consider this example:

The wife who has a mile-wide jealous streak and has issues with insecurity.

She's constantly questioning, speculating, examining for any sign her husband is betraying their marriage.

He realizes she's been "off" for a day or two and asks her why.

She immediately jumps to feeling like he's throwing an accusation at her, questioning her commitment to him and the marriage.

His only aim in asking was to determine if she was feeling down and needed his help. 

In this scenario, the wife has projected her own ideas and habits onto her husband.

In other words, she used her own ways of thinking and attached this to his simple query about what's wrong. 

So many times in a marriage, it's easier to assume than ask.

Unfortunately, assumptions are based on our own perceptions and ideas, so they are rarely accurate.

Therefore, one of the best pieces of relationship advice for married women is to avoid projection by keeping personal interpretations in check. 

4. Keep Nurturing the Ties That Keep You Connected 

Relationships, much like life, happen in this cyclic sort-of way.

Throughout the whole ordeal, you are changing and growing as people. 

When two people are just getting started in a relationship, they make connections and these connections create a bond.

Because people do change with time and life experience, things that once connected you can fade or weaken. Maybe:

  • You used to both enjoy the same hobbies, but that changed. 
  • You once had similar ideas about future goals, but those goals changed. 
  • You used to have the best conversations about passionate ideas, but those ideas waned and the conversations stopped.
  • You once had the greatest sex life—totally compatible in the bedroom, but those desires and needs are no longer the same. 

Reinvent your relationship from time to time

One of the expectations in a marriage is that you will grow and change together. Sometimes, two people don't grow together, they grow apart.

Why does this happen?

Usually, two people have lost the ties that bound them and did nothing to rebuild them or to strengthen what has started to unravel. 

Look at some of the most successful couples you know, possibly married for decades.

It's not uncommon to see two people, if you look hard enough, that reinvented their relationship over, over, and over again.

Successful couples may have ties that bind them that are practically unbreakable, but most reinvent new binding connections as others fray. 

5. Stop Keeping Score 

It's a tried-and-true piece of relationship advice for women in long-term relationships: Drop the proverbial scorecard in the trash.

In fact, burn it. Never look back. DON'T make another one.  

A study has actually proven that women have a better memory than men on just about any level—you definitely have that on him.

So you probably do remember that time he made you cry in the middle of the grocery store, forgot your birthday, or *noticed* a scantily clad chick at the beach a bit too much.

Here's the thing: Recollecting the bad does nothing to nurture the good in a relationship.

If the two of you have already made amends when he hurt you, you've verbally agreed that you will stay together, you still want one another, and you will move on. 

You can't be digging out old garbage to use as fuel for new arguments. Let that baggage burn. 

6. Allow Him to Be Your Partner 

Life gets hard. Between work, family, and responsibilities, it's so easy to feel overwhelmed.

It's times like this when you could quite easily view working on your marriage, tending to his needs, etcetera as just another box to tick off on a list—you don't want this.

When life gets tough, partner up.

Let him know you're struggling, you need help, and you can't do everything alone.

Also, make it known you are there for him when you see him weighted down. 

Woman listened to relationship advice and allowed man to be her partner

One of the overlooked perks of marriage is having a life partner who should be right in step with you, working just as hard as you, and carrying you when you don't have what it takes to go through life alone. 

Independence and self-reliance are invaluable traits to bring to the marriage table, but allowing your partner to be your strongest support system is just as important.

Some guys even appreciate feeling needed.

7. Maintain Your Individuality 

When you met your partner, you were your own person.

Being married has this innate ability to alter you (obviously), but you have to retain that sense of individual personality and purpose.

You can easily give up pieces of yourself over time because you want your spouse to be happy.

While that's OK to an extent because it's a bit of a given and a two-way street, bridle things in before you give up too much. 

  • Two people can never agree on everything. 
  • Two people can have totally different but complementary mindsets. 
  • Two people can have different outlooks on life, spiritual ideas, and goals. 

relationship advice for women to celebrate the difference in the relationship

Marriage is all about celebrating differences instead of allowing them to drive you apart. Individuality makes each of you who you are and should be valued on both ends of the spectrum. 

You don't ever want to look in the mirror and no longer recognize the person you see because you've sacrificed every bit of your individuality over time to keep your partner happy.

This kind of realization can hit hard and bring about unspoken resentment your partner doesn't quite understand. 

If, at any time, throughout the course of a long-term relationship, you feel overshadowed by your significant other, pull them aside, have a serious conversation, and let them know you're going to be a better version of you when you can be yourself.

After all, that's who you were when the two of you started out, and likely the person your partner fell in love with in the first place. 

Final Thoughts: Relationship Tips Are Important, But You Got to Do You 

Woman in happy relationship after listening to relationship advice

Years of relationship psychology from brilliant professionals have yielded so many tidbits of advice for women about how to get to that idealistic place with a man that just fits.

Truth be told, these insightful relationship tips are valuable no doubt, but individuality plays a huge role in everything.

Plus, relationships take real work; they don't just come to fruition without effort from both parties involved.  

You must approach every bit of relationship advice and find out how it applies to your outlook on dating, marriage, and relationships.

Take what applies to you, hone it, and then own it.

With enough perspective, enough self-reflection, you're going to be just fine, and any man that finds his way to you will be lucky.

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Dr. Megan Fleming
Dr. Megan Fleming

Megan Fleming, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and internationally recognized sex and relationship therapist. A certified diplomate in sex therapy through AASECT and IMAGO couples therapy; she’s also a clinical instructor at Weil Cornell Medical College, New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is the founder and former director of the Sexual Health & Rehabilitation Program at Beth Israel Medical Center. In private practice, Dr. Fleming has 20+ years of experience working with individuals and couples to break through what’s holding them back. A frequent media contributor, Dr. Megan is known for her practical advice and easy-to-follow guidance.


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