As a 26-year old woman, I’ve been in my fair share of relationships. Some have been amazing and some not so amazing, all all for different reasons. And while these relationships didn’t last, the lessons I’ve learned from each of them have stayed with me. I honestly do believe you take something from every relationship you’re in, the good ones and the bad ones. And while hearing someone else’s personal take-aways can’t hold a candle to lessons learned from personal experience, I always find it interesting to hear what other people have learned about themselves or about relationships in general through their own experiences. So without further ado, here are the top five lessons I’ve learned from dating my exes (in the order in which I learned them myself).
- Be with someone you can grow with, not grow out of – I thought I had found the love of my life when I started dating one of my exes. I’d had a crush on him for YEARS and he’d finally decided that we should give it a shot after about 6 months of back and forth. My dream had come true and I was finally with my dream man! Flash forward 2 years and I ended up breaking up with him. What started out as a perfect relationship morphed into something completely different when I realized I was growing in a different way than he was. I was a naive freshman in college when we started dating and now that I was a junior I’d matured past the relationship.
- It’s very easy to see/hear only the things you want to in order to lessen the bad things – Seeing through rose-tinted glasses is always easier when you’re in a relationship that you really want to work. It’s like you have blinders on to everything bad about the relationship and can only see and take into account the good things, even if those are fewer and far between. Somehow the good always seem to just outweigh the bad. Then you breakup and realize your perspective was wayyy off.
- Don’t rush into something just because you think you need to – Don’t make things serious until you know you want them to be. One (and a half) of my relationships started just before the guy was starting school or moving and we jumped into things quickly because we thought that if we made it official it would work. Spoiler alert – it doesn’t work.
- Mr. Right Now does not need to be Mr. Right – During one of my relationships I KNEW for a fact that we weren’t going to work long term. When he broke up with me, I was still gutted but honestly I was definitely not heartbroken. It took me about 24 hours to move on and I realized that I didn’t regret our relationship because it was exactly what I wanted at the time.
- Trust your instincts, eventually they’re going to prove you right – If you have a gut feeling that someone is not going to work out for you, it’s usually spot on. That’s not to say that your first instinct about someone is always right, but if you’ve been dating someone for a while and things just don’t feel right (no matter how badly you want them to), chances are it’s still going to feel wrong later down the road.