We are all fully aware that relationships can be complicated, and that there is no such thing as the “perfect” relationship. Even with this prior knowledge, we still tend to subject ourselves to entering this territory again. We know that we may well likely be hurt once again, but we are willing to do it anyway.
This is because we know more about ourselves and what we want out of relationships with every failed relationship. Let’s be honest. Every relationship that didn’t end in marriage was a failure, as the definition goes. There’s nothing wrong with it. But they teach us some pretty important things.
Here are some of my lessons learned from past relationships.
1. I’m not perfect, and that’s okay
It’s strange, I know. Sometimes I do things that have not been right. Right for me or right for a relationship. One of the most important things my relationships have taught me is that it’s okay not to be perfect.
Anyone who goes into a relationship expecting that nothing is going to go wrong at some point is out of their dang mind. Perfection doesn’t exist – it’s as simple as that. Intertwine two people who aren’t perfect and something is bound to happen. There are going to be fights, and yes, sometimes they will be your fault. You have to learn how to accept that you are wrong (trust me, I know this is HARD) and apologize for what you’ve done.
I have had to come to terms with the fact that I am not going to be perfect. I’m never going to be “perfect” for someone because it’s not possible. We all have our quirks about us that some people may just not like. These quirks may also be the things that our person likes most about us.
You don’t have to be perfect for a person to be able to love you. You just have to find a person who is going to appreciate everything about you – the good and the bad.
2. If you’re not ready, don’t be in a relationship
It can be extremely difficult to tell whether or not you are ready for a relationship. Most times people think that they’re ready for a relationship solely because they want to be in a relationship. Being ready for a relationship and really wanting one don’t always correlate.
Usually, when you’re ready for a relationship, it happens when you aren’t even looking for one. Even then, sometimes that person may not have come around at a great time for you. Being in a relationship takes more than just being mature enough to handle it, it also means that you’re in a good place in your life and can add on a relationship to it.
It’s not fair to the other person for you to get into a relationship with them if you aren’t going to be able to give them the right amount of time and energy. You wouldn’t want someone to do that to you, so you need to understand that you cannot do that to another person. There’s no need to lead a person on if you have any thought in your mind that it isn’t going to work.
3. Sometimes things just don’t work out
Like I said before, just because you have the time, doesn’t mean that you’re ready for a relationship. Even if you are ready for one and things turn out not to be how you thought they were going to, it’s okay.
You don’t have to spend the rest of your life with the person you’re with right now. You are under no obligation to anyone to even stay with that person if they don’t make you happy anymore. There’s nothing wrong with ending something that just isn’t working for you anymore.
Not every date you go on has to lead to a relationship. Sometimes you think you’ll get along with someone so well, just to spend time with that person and figure out that you have nothing in common and it’s just awkward.
It doesn’t say anything bad about you if you end things with someone. You have to focus on what makes you happy. It’s not the end of the world because something ended, that maybe really needed to end.
4. Not everyone is going to hurt you
Most of us have been hurt. I think that many people have that person who we think of every once in a while, and feel something about it. No matter what that person did, you still have fears that someone else is going to do the same thing.
It took me a long time to learn that my boyfriend is not trying to hurt me. Having not been in the healthiest relationships in the past, it’s weird for me to be with someone who would do anything for me. To be completely honest with you, I think I’m still even learning that.
The way you used to fight with your ex-boyfriend should not be the way you try to talk to the person you’re with now, and vice versa. Not everyone is out there to hurt you. The thing you have to learn how to do is not constantly go after people who are like your exes in the bad ways. You’re going to drive yourself crazy having the same fights with different people. It’s not worth it.
5. We all still have learning to do
One thing that I still struggle to remember is that my boyfriend is not a mind-reader. There is no possible way that he is going to be able to always know when I’m upset and what’s upsetting me. You have to express to your partner what is going on. I’m in no way saying that it should be a hostile conversation. There are ways to express discomfort respectfully, and that’s still something that many couples need to learn.
For most people, when they get into a healthy relationship after years of having terrible ones, they don’t know how to handle it. With every new person you start to date, you both are trying to figure out how to incorporate each other into their lives. It’s one of the most difficult things to do at times because you are basically sharing your life with someone now, and that can be scary.
When you accept that no one is perfect and that we’re all still learning about ourselves and about the people who we want around us, you start to be happier. Figuring out what you liked and disliked about certain relationships is very important. You shouldn’t stay with someone if you’re not happy, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to end something because it’s going “too well” and think that something will go wrong soon. It isn’t healthy.
Relationships, good or bad, will teach you many things about yourself and what you want out of life. It can be scary, but it can also be fantastic when it turns out well. Keep on learning.
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