Relationship advice from unlikely sources
Talking to Strangers1 of 11
By Brienne Walsh
We're used to getting relationship advice from our friends, from women's magazines and websites (like, ahem, this one), and—even when we don't want it—from our family. But what if the best advice came from people you barely even knew? Glo hit the streets of New York to ask ten people, including a taxi driver, a 7-year-old and a divorce lawyer, for their insights on love.
Sarai2 of 11
"Girls should get married around 27 or 28,” says Sarai, who wants to be an author when she grows up. "They shouldn't get married to their first boyfriend. They should wait a while." Why 27 or 28? "When you're 19 or 20, it's just not the perfect age," she says.
Jimmy3 of 11
"Newlyweds always ask me advice and I tell them, 'Be like a branch and bend!'" says Jimmy, who has been a doorman for over 40 years. From his experience, it's the couples he never sees apart that end up lasting the longest. "Usually when I see one, I see the other."
Doris4 of 11
"He loved his children, but he loved me more," confides Doris of her husband of 61 years. (Together, they had three sons, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.) "He nurtured my dreams," she says. "Now that he's gone, I still have my identity as an artist, and as a person. Survivors are people who never lose themselves, no matter how much they love another person."
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Sean5 of 11
While Sean thinks it's important to honor the commitment of marriage, it's equally as important to admit when it's time to end a dysfunctional relationship. "Being able to summon the courage to unravel yourself, and to do so with respect, dignity, and grace, is clearly a personal success," he says. What steps can a woman take to avoid a visit to his office? "Observe his behavior closely when you're dating," he says. "The way he treats others will be the way he treats you."
Heidi6 of 11
As a performer on the New York City subways, Heidi has observed countless couples. True love, she notes, is quiet. "The couple just seems like one person," she says. "They hold hands. They don't broadcast it."
Kenneth7 of 11
Kenneth is an animator and single father of two children, ages 17 and 23. He says that he can tell a relationship is serious after the first week, because he gets a premonition. So how does he know when it's over? "It's usually the woman who walks away,” he admits. "In my personal experience, women are the ones who finally say it's done, and really mean it."
Karen8 of 11
As a florist, Karen has a unique insight into how to tell when a man is in love. "They don't ask how much an order will cost," she says. In her personal life, Karen believes that a woman should wait to move in with a man until she's married. "It's like with ice cream—it's the first thing you want to eat after you go grocery shopping, but if you wait until later, it tastes so much better."
Idir9 of 11
Idir has a degree in civil engineering from a university in Algeria, where he was born, but he works as a taxi driver in New York to make money to support his wife and two young children. "You need to have money for a beautiful life, especially in New York," he says.
He believes that sharing similar interests is essential to a happy marriage. "My wife also has a university degree from back home," he says. "One day, if we can work together, it will make life even better."
Brendan10 of 11
"As the guy, it's your responsibility to pay for the girl on the first date," says Brendan, a junior in high school. Eventually, he thinks splitting the bill is OK, but initially it's important to splurge—both to impress the girl and make her feel comfortable.
Cassie11 of 11
"There's something to be said for a guy who treats you really well," says Cassie, an instructor at Physique 57. "But if you intuitively know that he's not right for you, you have to listen to yourself."
NEXT GALLERY: 11 Men to Date Before Settling Down