While there are very few guarantees in life and love, one thing’s for sure. Along the road toward happily ever after, there will be plenty of bumps. But that doesn’t necessarily make the journey unpleasant. In fact, some of the lessons you learn in life and love may be hard to swallow, but ultimately make you a stronger, healthier, and happier individual. What follows are five hard-learned love lessons. See which ones you’ve already encountered, as well as the ones you’ve yet to experience.
Lesson #1: Some Relationships are Temporary
When you acknowledge that some relationships are temporary, you learn to stop blaming yourself for what you perceive as relationship failures, and instead see them for what they are – valuable life lessons. With the benefit of hindsight, it’s probably clear that the relationships that ended were with partners who weren’t your perfect match.
Maybe your personalities didn’t mesh, your goals and future vision were not aligned, or your priorities conflicted. As painful as these breakups can be, they happen for a reason. Not only that, but if you’re totally honest with yourself, you’ll admit that you’re much better off as a result of the relationship and breakup than you would have been had you never experienced the love and loss in the first place.
Lesson #2: Learn/Apply your Lessons Quickly
Just as breakups happen for a reason, the lessons you learn as a result of heartache are valuable as well. For example, you may never have known the importance of being with someone who makes you a priority had you not gone through a relationship where your partner put work, friends, and hobbies before you. Or you may not have realized the importance of healthy family relationships until you dated someone whose family life was incredibly dysfunctional. Not only is it important to identify the lessons you learn along the journey toward happily ever after, but you owe it to yourself to apply the lessons learned, paying attention to red flags as they are revealed to you in the future.
Lesson #3: Your partner Cannot fix you or your Life
Once upon a time, women were raised to believe that Prince Charming would one day swoop in on a white steed and save them from whatever they didn’t like about themselves or their lives. In 2008, this antiquated fairy tale is in need of a major rewrite. In fact, if your perfect partner were to arrive in the middle of your messy and miserable life, chances are he would make a hasty retreat. Which is why it’s essential to take steps to fix whatever it is that you don’t enjoy about your life, starting today. If you don’t like your job, do something about it. If you’re burdened by debt, take steps to remedy the situation, day by day, week by week. Don’t expect some guy to solve your problems or rescue you from your everyday existence. It’s just not going to happen. Instead, it’s up to you to rescue yourself.
Lesson #4: Figure out What Really Makes you Happy
Since it’s unlikely that your perfect partner will magically appear and save the day, it’s essential that you figure out what makes you happy – today! Once you do, empower yourself to take the necessary steps to change your life accordingly. By creating and embracing a life you love, you’re all the more likely to attract the love of your life. In doing so, you increase your chances of relationship success, because both you and your partner were happy as individuals before coming together as a couple.
Lesson #5: Time Between Relationships is just as Valuable as being in a Relationship
We all know someone who floats from partner to partner, relationship to relationship. However, this kind of behavior is not something to envy. Truthfully, time between relationships is just as important to your personal growth as time spent in relationships. By taking time after a breakup to heal, learn your lessons, and get to know the new you that’s emerging as a result of those life experiences, you give yourself the opportunity to grow as an individual. Plus, you discover your own resilience, something you’d never experience if you floated from partner to partner. It’s these life lessons that ultimately make you a better person and eventually a better partner in your next relationship. Don’t cheat yourself out of valuable ME time between breakups. You’ll miss out on so much!