1. Not all relationships are the same
Just because your friend’s boyfriend spends a ton of money on her as a way of showing he loves her, doesn’t mean all boyfriends will do that. Or just because someone you know moved in with their boyfriend/girlfriend only 3 months into their relationship doesn’t mean you will. Every relationship is different, and that doesn’t mean it’s any better or worse than the next.
2. Love isn’t always enough
When you love someone but you have very different values, doesn’t mean that love will conquer all. Sometimes you need to remove yourself from all the “love” in order to assess the relationship for what it is.
3. Opposites don’t always attract
If you are complete opposites then there is no substance to the relationship. How can you do anything together if you don’t enjoy doing the same things. Having common interests is important, otherwise you’ll be spending most of your time apart enjoying your own things.
4. Relationships DO take some work
If you go into a relationship thinking it’s smooth sailing, then you’re in for a rude awakening. However, if the relationship starts to take up more hours in your day than your actual work, then you should reconsider the relationship. There are things that can’t and won’t work themselves out, and sometimes those require compromising.
5. Your family’s opinion does matter
It’s amazing how different my family (particularly my dad and step mom) treat me and my current boyfriend over my past relationship. I wouldn’t listen to them when they had anything negative to say about my relationship, but now that I am in a good relationship with a great person, their attitudes have done a 180. They see I’m happier, and that makes them happy. So in the future I will trust their judgement. They have been through a lot more than I have!
6. My “ideal” guy is no longer the guy I thought it was
When I was 16 I had this image of what my ideal guy would be. But in the image there was no personality, no interests or hobbies. It was just a guy, with a specific look and style. I’ve dated that guy, and trust me he was nowhere near “ideal”. As I’ve gotten older my tastes have changed. I’m sure if you asked my friends if I have a type, they would say no, just a guy who treats me right (and of course a list of other criteria).
7. The right guy will be there until the end
My boyfriend and I have been through a lot, and from experience most guys won’t stick with you through that stuff. But the right one will.
8. There will always be baggage
Especially if you’ve been in a bad relationship before. We all carry a bit of baggage, but it’s the size of the baggage that can ruin a relationship. Whatever happened in the past should stay in the past and you should go into a relationship open-minded.
9. Even the relationships that look good from the outside are not always good on the inside
I’ve noticed that some people can put on a pretty good show. You go out with a couple and they look so happy and so in love, but behind closed doors they are unhappy. I was once one of those couples. I used to be jealous of the ones that looked incredibly happy, but it can be much easier to put on a facade rather than facing the truth. What may seem like the perfect happy couple could really be a volcano waiting to erupt.
10. There is always something to learn
A “ten things I’ve learned” list will never be enough because there will always be things I am learning about a relationship. Listing ten things I’ve learned is just the beginning.