Carolyn Hax is on leave. This column originally ran on July 14, 2013.
Dear Carolyn: A friend of mine has been serially dating for over seven years now, jumping from one failed relationship to the next. In most instances she has been on the wrong side of the breakup.
She usually spends a few days lamenting her misfortune before reactivating her online-dating profile, which I think is the wrong approach. How do you tell someone they need to find (or work on) themselves before finding their partner … without having them feel even more inadequate than their recent breakup has left them feeling?
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You wait till she asks you.
The one respectful bypass, if used sparingly, is “Would you like my opinion?” But you need to zip it if she says no.
Even better, though, is to learn and care about what she thinks. Seven years say she’s thought about this, and just maybe she’s resilient and knows what she wants.
Email Carolyn at email@example.com, or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.