One taught me love. One taught me patience. One taught me about myself.
At the end of almost every relationship after the tears and the heartbreak, I would often say "well, he was a waste of time" and simply move on. Thankfully, I've grown since high school and decided to write down the things I learned from my most recent relationship. My hope is that my next will last longer since I've spent the time to learn from my mistakes in the last one.
1. In every relationship there is always something that can be learned from the loss.
Regardless of how the relationship ended, there's still a lot of learning, there's time to change and improve myself which I why I decided to write this listicle. I learned a lot about myself: I'm a strong independent woman who enjoys the company of people — and there's nothing wrong with that. I learned a lot about the type of partner I need: down-to-earth, calm, gentle, and a little dorky. I learned that I love myself too much to endure a relationship where I couldn't see a future: a perfectly acceptable reason to end a relationship.
2. When you make a mistake, be straight with yourself.
In my recent relationship, I didn't realize how independent I was, which made my partner feel alone in the relationship. Long story short, I've always tried to be dependable; I'm the first born, big sister, oldest cousin in my family. I'm that old soul, the mature friend that tries to be accountable for everything and everyone. It can be difficult for me to let my walls down and just relax so even after dating for half a year, I was still unable to be completely myself around that person. As the relationship ended, I felt like I knew them less and less until I broke up with a complete stranger.
3. Trust is earned not entitled, but you still need to give someone the chance to earn your trust.
I don't trust people easily when it comes to love. Yes, I fall for them, I tell them the basic Tinder profile about my life, we talk about our favorite things but when it comes to my fears and insecurities I struggle to open up. One of which is that I don't truly trust anyone simply because I don't want to risk being abandoned, so I'd rather wear a mask 100% of the time. Trust me, I know this isn't healthy and I've come to terms with it. Trust is earned, but you can't offer something that is off the table completely! I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to give that person a chance to prove himself before assuming they were going to be just another butthead (pardon my French).
4. Relationships are about collaboration, not compromise.
Want some free marriage counseling advice? Here it is. Compromising about a problem is like drinking alcohol to cope with trauma; it may treat the symptom but it isn't taking care of the source. We were too worried about the fragility of the relationship to come together say "it's falling apart, this isn't working, let's start again." Instead, it was "let's change ourselves overnight." He tried being more independent and I tried being less independent. Guess what? It didn't work. Sometimes good things fall apart, and it's OK.
5. Biology will tell you: Trust your gut.
Long story short: I couldn't see a future for us. It was bizarre since I have a very creative imagination, I'd seen imaginary Sim weddings with most of the boys I'd dated. We were both stressed with school and our lives, I knew in my gut that he wasn't my priority. In a relationship, your significant other should be either one or two on your priority list, he was listed at #4. Always trust your gut.
6. If you love them, let them go.
In case I haven't already stated it, I loved this person. I thought he was my "forever person," and although our breakup was difficult and very procrastinated, it was quiet, private, and ours. We are both in different schools, working at different jobs, and busy with our dreams. I never once regretting meeting him or starting a relationship with him, because he taught me how to love myself again, something I lost as a child and never thought I'd be capable of getting back. Thank you for everything.