If you know me or follow any type of my social media, you may know that I’m pretty quick to make fun of my dating life. Making jokes about the situations I’ve gotten myself into constantly and consistently, time and time again.
I ignore what’s literally in front of me, and let my mind create situations or false futures instead of seeing the signs of future heartbreaks.
At least I can laugh about it (now) right??
So here we are. I’m going to share what I’ve learnt through past relationships, heartbreaks, hookups and everything in between as I’ve dated through my 20s.
1) I’m going to start with the most important thing I’ve learnt over the years. It is that if you can’t love yourself, no else will be able to either. I read this quote the other day and it really stayed to me:
“I think the problem is that we depend on our lovers to love us the way we should love ourselves”
Our society constantly relies on other people to tell us we are doing a good job or to tell us we’re beautiful and smart when really all we should be telling ourselves these things every day. If I can’t love myself with all my imperfections and loose ends, how should I expect another person too? I can’t. Simple as that.
2) The next thing I’ve learnt is you can’t try and change for someone and someone should never have to change for you. Trying to change yourself for someone else, will only result in you being unhappy in the relationship because you’re constantly trying to be something or someone you’re not. Expecting someone to change for you is unrealistic and cruel because then you technically don’t even like the person they are, you like the person they could be.
3) Age difference doesn’t matter, but maturity level does. With my parents being 10 years apart, age has never really affected whether or not I like a person, but I’ve now learnt that age does and will play a factor no matter how hard you try and deny it. It’s either going to be something you can work through or be a constant burden.
4) You can’t love someone into loving you.
5) You can love someone with your entire heart, but if they still love their ex., there’s no hope, no matter what you do or how hard you try.
6) IF THEY WANT TO TALK TO YOU, THEY WILL. If they want to make time for you, they will. If they want to make it work, they will.
7) Trust the key to a successful relationship. If you can’t build your relationship with a base of trust, you won’t be able to build it very far off the ground.
8) Don’t be unfaithful (this is the tip my teenage youth gave me when I asked). Cheating benefits no one. If your mind is wondering, you shouldn’t be with the person you’re with. That’s not fair to the significant other or even to yourself. If you lacking something in your relationship, whether that is on an emotional level or physical level, express this to the person you’re in a relationship with, don’t go seeking it from other resources.
9) Honesty is key. If you can’t be honest about what you want, what you like, what you’re expecting, then you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
10) If your significant other isn’t your best friend, you’re doing it wrong. If you don’t laugh at the same things, or goof around with each other, the relationship will get boring real quick.
11) It’s not who you want to spend Saturday night with, it’s about who you want to spend all day Sunday with doing absolutely nothing but enjoying every second of it.
12) If you want commitment and a future, don’t waste your time with someone who doesn’t share the same interests as you.
13) You’re not always going to get the closure you may need and want, and that’s just something you have to learn to accept.
14) Don’t waste your time trying to make someone feel bad about how they treated you, because most of the time they honestly just don’t care and you’ll end up wasting more of your time. The best thing you can do is walk away and not look back.
15) Desire and value do not go hand in hand. Just because a person desires you, does not mean they will value you. If they don’t value you, they don’t deserve you. You will only be an option if you allow yourself to be.
I am no dating expert, but I’ve learnt a few things along the way. I will forever remain the hopeless romantic I label myself as, even though I often get caught up in convenience and being comfortable. I think it’s the person that pushes you outside your boundaries, the person that you feel most like yourself with and the person that’s not only there for the good times but also the bad, that will make the best partner. I can’t wait to find this person.