February 14, 2013 by Diana M
We’ve all been in those heart wrenching situations, crying our eyes out, wondering why it couldn’t work out, when you loved someone so much. But truth is that to make a relationship last, you have to put in a lot more work than just the risk of bearing your feelings to someone and experiencing butterflies and rainbows when your feelings are being reciprocated. Life can sometime be harsh when it comes to love, but it also teaches us some very valuable lessons, that you get to understand in time.
Here are 10 of those lessons that life has taught me about love.
1. Patience really is a virtue
I’ve met people who lashed out at their partners because they didn’t have the patience to sit around and do something that they thought was basic: like working on a computer, or reading something, or just cooking. Instead of helping their partners out to learn something new, they would make them feel really bad about themselves for not knowing something they considered to be quite basic. But what is common knowledge to someone can be pretty complex to someone else.
So have patience with each other, in listening, in teaching, in everything. Remember it’s a learning process for the both of you.
2. Talking is important
Yes, women tend to say things and mean other things, and yes, guys tend to not say anything at all sometimes, but you have to find a common ground here. It’s important to say exactly what you feel and think, and not wait around for the other person to magically read your mind and fulfill your every yearning desire. How is anyone supposed to know that you wanted to get red roses instead of white ones, today, not tomorrow, or that you wanted your remote control to always sit on the armchair and not on the coffee table, or that the toilet seat is driving you crazy when it’s not in the position you wanted?
Talk about what you like, and dislike and be honest with each other. Secrets and lies never helped built a healthy relationship.
3. But listening is even more important
If you both agreed on truly talking to each other, then you’d better open your ears and start listening to each other too. All the answers are there, you just have to pay enough attention to each other to pick them up instead of walking past them. Listen to the nonsense and the football talk and the gossip and the things that you don’t really care about, because not only will you make the other person feel better, you also might be surprised about what new things you will learn, and learn to like.
4. Support each other
We are all different people with different interests and hobbies and passions, and we long for support and appreciation from the ones that we love. Sometimes we go through a rough patch, but knowing that you have someone by your side whose unconditional love and support are always there, it makes it so much easier to get back on your feet and be happy again.
So be there for your partner when they’re down, because you know they will do the same for you.
5. Feed your passions
If it’s important to have things in common then it’s definitely important to do your own thing. Why? Because spending 24/7 with someone can drive you up the wall at times. Also because it’s crucial to keep your own identity. Remember that in a relationship, there’s a me, there’s a you, and then there’s an us. Feed your passions by any means necessary: read, write, paint, play, learn, create and keep working on your own set of dreams. Then come back to your loved one with your batteries refilled and share with them the amazing things you discovered by yourself.
Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful person than someone who talks about his or her passions.
6. It’s all about the little things
When I was in my first serious relationship I used to nag my (then) boyfriend constantly about the silliest things possible: why can’t you give me some flowers, why can’t you be more romantic, why can’t you be more spontaneous, etc. But when he did buy me flowers and got me candy and all that, there wasn’t any real joy attached to it – not coming from me anyway. Flowers withered, candy got eaten, sure the cards were nice memories, but truth of the matter is that I later discovered that those were trivial things that I didn’t care about whatsoever; they were just things I thought I wanted because I saw that in a movie, or two, or ten. When another boyfriend surprised me one time with a little kitty shaped origami because he knew how much I loved handmade things (and kittens), it was more precious to me than anything.
In in the end, it’s always the little things that bring the most joy in our lives, and not the things that we think are romantic just because someone else thought it was a great idea for a rom-com.
7. Appreciation counts
We are constantly looking to be appreciated and recognized for our work, our abilities, our lives. This also applies in the romantic relationship chapter. A lot of them tend to break because the partners end up taking each other for granted. You have no idea how much it means for someone to be appreciated for the cooking they do all the time for the family, or the cleaning, or paying the bills or taking out the trash.
Make a habit out of appreciating each other even when you’ve been together for over a decade, and see how much it counts when it comes to you and your partner’s happiness.
8. Don’t over analyze
One of the biggest mistakes I used to do in my relationships was having the tendency to over analyze things. When I would start feeling that things weren’t the same as they used to be, I would start thinking about everything the other person could possible be thinking about, and sometimes even confront them about that, even if I wasn’t exactly sure what that was. It would result in unnecessary fights, the other person feeling pushed, me feeling frustrated for not getting the answers I wanted, and then guilty for pushing him. Yup, big mistake!
Take things as they are in your relationship and trust that if there is something on your partner’s mind, they will come up to you and tell you about it. You have to trust each other, even when you feel like something may not be right.
9. Cheating is by choice
Infidelity is a big reason why people split nowadays. I don’t know about you though, but no matter how drunk I may have gotten over the years, I somehow managed to keep away from situations like this. And I thought about the possibility of me doing this many times. But every single time I remembered how broken I felt when I found out I was cheated on and how I completely lost confidence in that person, and in many persons to come.
You may be different than me when it comes to this, but I really do believe that when you love someone, you wouldn’t want to hurt them, no matter how drunk you are and no matter how hot someone else is. And I really do believe that people fall in love by chance, stay in love by work and fall out of love by choice.
10. Love yourself first
The most important thing life has taught me so far is that there will never be able to be an us without a strong me; in other words, I’ve learned that you can’t truly love someone else before loving yourself first. If you can’t accept yourself with all your good‘s and bad‘s, how do you expect to accept someone else or be accepted by someone else? If you can’t look at yourself in the mirror and smile instead of judging every single imperfection, how can you expect to be looked at without thinking that you’re being judged?
I love this quote by Dr. Seuss: Today you are You, which is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.