I just got out of my first relationship and as I started healing from the heartbreak, I realized just how many valuable lessons I learned along the way. The boy I thought was my destiny was someone who I loved deeply, and for whom I am so grateful for teaching me so much about relationships. There were many highs and lows during our times together, but through the experience, I learned about what I want from love and what I don't. I also learned about what I need to do to ensure that a relationship remains healthy and fulfilling to my soul.
Here are the 50 lessons I learned from my first relationship:
1. When it comes to love, follow your intuition. Listen to it. It's meant to guide you and protect you from harm.
2. Listen to your heart. Does it feel full around him or her?
3. Being around your lover should be a fulfilling experience, not a draining one.
4. Your lover should resonate fully with your soul. Life is more than being with someone who doesn't 100% feel right for your soul.
5. Don't ignore the red flags. They are important messages.
6. Listen to your friends and family about what they think about your relationship. Even if their views may not resonate with you, at least listen. These people know you and want what is best for you.
7. Ask yourself, is the person you're with someone you're comfortable with being the parent of your children one day?
8. Think about how you want your future child to be treated by a lover. Then, see if your lover treats you the same way you desire for your children to be treated by their lovers one day.
9. A lover shouldn't try to fix you. They should hold your hand as you work towards healing yourself.
10. If a relationship didn't work out, that doesn't mean that you will never have one again. There are billions of people in this beloved world, and I promise you WILL love again.
11. Your lover should be interested in your dreams — the ones that ignite your soul on fire.
12. If your boyfriend or girlfriend's behavior is hurting you, talk about it.
13. Be vulnerable. Vulnerability is necessary to sustain human connection, especially in romance.
14. Make sure you don't lose yourself in the process. You deserve to have yourself and your lover in your life at the same time. That is the foundation of a healthy relationship.
15. You shouldn't have to convince yourself that someone is right for you. The attraction should feel natural.
16. Make sure the person you're with gives you the freedom to be yourself — to have your own dreams, your own aspirations, your own opinions, your own way of being.
17. Reciprocation is important.
18. There is a difference between mere infatuation and true love.
19. You should never feel like you need to change the core of who you are for someone else.
20. Happy love songs should remind you of your boyfriend or girlfriend, not of an ideal person you haven't met yet.
21. The person you are with should say things that uplift you, instead of things that make you doubt your worth.
22. If the relationship ends and the person still shows that they care about your well-being, that means that there was real love when you were together, even if it's just a pinch of real love.
23. When you improve your sense of self-worth, your taste in men or women will change.
24. When you improve your sense of self-worth, the ways you allow yourself to be treated will change too.
25. Thinking of the person you're with should help you feel lighter, instead of heavier.
26. Fairy-tale romances are real. It's all about finding the person who knows how to honor your soul.
27. When you buy clothes or choose what you're wearing for that day, do it for yourself, not him or her.
28. Commitment is important, but it is OK to let someone go if they no longer serve your soul by being in a romantic relationship with them.
29. Make decisions out of hope, not fear.
30. You should never question yourself throughout the relationship.
31. It's better to have arguments/discussions instead of allowing unspoken tension to fester.
32. The person should be doing things that matter to you in a relationship. For example, if you cherish words of affirmation from them, but they aren't giving it to you, ask them to. And if they are not interested in honoring your needs in the relationship, know that there is someone out there who will.
33. Don't allow someone to mistreat you in the name of love. Just because you love someone doesn't mean you can allow them to hurt you.
34. Love shouldn't hurt more than it uplifts. Being in a relationship should be a happy experience, not a saddening one.
35. If you feel trapped, it's a sign that it's time to speak your truth. And, if talking about it doesn't remove the feeling of being trapped, it's a sign to leave the relationship.
36. Don't constantly make excuses for someone's repeated mistakes in the name of love. You can acknowledge someone's mistakes and love them at the same time. Just because you love someone doesn't mean it's your job to ignore the things they do that are hurting you.
37. A lover should honor you — honor your beliefs, your life choices, your opinions.
38. It's OK to try to inspire someone to better themselves. But, it starts to cross a line when you try to change a person instead of allowing them to heal themselves.
39. Boundaries are important in every relationship... every relationship, no matter how close the relationship is.
40. It is important to also make time for other people in your life that you love, such as your family and friends. Your partner shouldn't become your whole life.
41. Love is more than just one human being. Don't associate all the love in your entire life into another, single human being. Because, if they leave, then you will feel stripped away from the energy of love. There is more to love than romance. You can also feel connected to love by loving yourself and understanding that there are other people who also love you, such as friends, family, and even strangers.
42. If a love story ends, understand that this isn't the end of the love story of your life.
43. If a lover leaves you for someone else, know that you were just protected from a life with someone who couldn't love you in the ways you deserve. The one will never question if someone else is the one for them when they are with someone like you.
44. You are enough. Never allow yourself to be with someone who makes you feel like you're not.
45. In fact, you are a treasure. Never allow yourself to be with someone who treats you like anything less.
46. Your lover should be there for you when you need them.
47. Your lover should make you feel like you're a priority to them, instead of just another person in their life.
48. You don't need a lover to feel complete. You need yourself to feel complete.
49. No one can truly teach you how to love yourself. Only you have the power to do that for yourself. Make sure the love you have for yourself is so strong that if your lover leaves, you still love yourself.
50. Know that you are worthy of love... true love.
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