12 Relationship Truths I Wish I Knew 12 Years Ago

12 Relationship Truths I Wish I Knew 12 Years Ago

Twelve years ago I was eighteen and just entering college.  Since then, friends and acquaintances have come and gone, girlfriends have come and gone, and I met the love of my life, Angel.  I’ve found through my years – through my experience with my own personal relationships – that there are certain undeniable truths that affect the quality and longevity of our relationships, and the resulting impact they have on us.  I share them with you today in hopes that they save you from a little heartache and confusion.

  1. You have to love yourself first. – In order to truly have a loving, supportive, and long-lasting relationship with someone else, you need to learn how to be your own best friend first.  It’s all about falling in love with yourself and sharing that love with someone who appreciates you, rather than looking for love to compensate for a self love deficit.  Read The Mastery of Love.
  2. You get what you put in. – In twelve years, people won’t remember what clothes you wore, which car you drove, and maybe not even your full name.  But in twelve years, they will remember how you made them feel and the positive memories you gave them.  The true impact you make on people will depend on the time and attention you give to teaching those who know less, caring for those who have less, supporting those who are striving, and tolerating those who are different than you.
  3. What most people think of you doesn’t matter. – You wouldn’t worry so much about what people thought of you if you knew just how seldom they do.  No one is ever going to care about your life and the way you choose to live it more than you will.  That is a beautiful thing – never forget how beautiful.  Follow your heart, and take your brain with you every step of the way.  Get to know your true self.  When you are truly comfortable in your own skin, not everyone will like you, but you won’t care about it one bit.
  4. Friends and family won’t always support your goals, but you must pursue them anyway. – Follow your intuition.  Following your intuition means doing what feels right, even if it doesn’t look or sound right to others.  Only time will tell, but our human instincts are rarely ever wrong.  So don’t worry about what everyone else thinks; keep living and speaking your truth.  The only people that will get mad at you for doing so are those who want you to live a lie.  Read The Art of Non-Conformity.
  5. Life doesn’t always change as fast as people do. – Learn to accept that not everyone is who you once knew.  And realize that sometimes it’s not the person you miss, it’s the feeling you had when you were with them.
  6. Some people are meant to stay in your heart, but not in your life. – If you’re having a tough time letting go of someone who left you, realize that if they wanted to stay they would still be there.  Sometimes you have to forget what’s gone, appreciate what still remains, and look forward to what’s coming next.  It sucks when you know that you need to let go, but you can’t because you’re still hoping for the impossible to happen.  Yes, it will hurt for awhile, but you have to forget about the person who forgot about you, and move on.
  7. Everyone has baggage, just like you. – The minute someone decides to walk out of your life, that is the same moment in which the opportunity and space opens up for someone who actually deserves your love to finally walk in.  Remember, everyone has baggage, so don’t be ashamed of yours.  Be patient and find someone who loves you enough to help you unpack.
  8. Love doesn’t hurt.  Love is not the problem. – Don’t blame love if a failed relationship interfered with your other important relationships, or robbed you of your self-esteem and personal freedoms.  No, don’t blame love.  For it wasn’t love that stole from you.  It was possession.  It was obsession.  It was manipulation.  It was confusion.  Love had nothing to do with your situation.  For love doesn’t close the door against all that is good.  It opens it wide to let more goodness in.  Love creates freedom and abundance.  Read The 5 Love Languages.
  9. Forgiveness is always the right choice. – Anyone can hold a grudge, but it takes a person with strong character to forgive.  When you forgive, you release yourself from a painful burden.  And no, forgiveness doesn’t mean what happened was OK; and it doesn’t mean that person should still be welcome in your life.  It simply means you have made peace with the pain, and are ready to let it go and move on with your life.
  10. Love requires three things: acceptance, honesty, and commitment. – Love comes when you care more about who the other person really is, rather than about who you think they should become.  It’s about daring to reveal yourself honestly, and daring to be open and vulnerable over the long-term.  It’s about sticking by each other’s side through thick and thin, and truly being there in the flesh and spirit when you’re needed most.  Remember, the most romantic love story is not Romeo and Juliet who died young together; it’s the story of grandma and grandpa who helped each other through life, and grew old together.
  11. A big part of who you become is who you choose to surround yourself with. – Fate controls who walks into your life, but you decide who you let walk out, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.  Surround yourself with people who make you a better person, and let go of those who don’t.
  12. A soul mate is a person who brings out the best in you. – They are far from perfect, but they are a perfect fit for you.  Remember, every relationship has its problems, but what makes it perfect is when you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else, even when times are tough.

Photo by: Mike

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Comments

  1. Sarah says

    My favorite: Surround yourself with people who make you a better person, and let go of those who don’t.

    This is such an important lesson for me and I think for a lot of people who put others first. I have spent so much time taking care of others and not enough taking care of myself. Next step: learning to let go of people that don’t make me a better person and not feel that it’s my responsibility to take care of them. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom!

  2. says

    I love this. I like that you put self-love first because I think it’s really a prerequisite to following the others. I agree with all your points but truly sometimes they’re not so easily implemented in the moment. A lifetime’s work.

  3. Jenna says

    For #10 “Love requires three things: acceptance, honesty, and commitment.” I would also add trust as a requirement.

  4. says

    My family doesn’t always support my goals but I must follow my intuition. I have done this a couple of times and I am incredibly glad that I did.

Trackbacks

  1. Regarding your point about separating from the ‘wrong people.’ Sometimes to get yourself back you just have to clear out some other people…. then you realize you were never really gone, just smothered by others.

  2. I loved this post today. I have already shared two of the items on my page. Ya’ll are becoming a cult classic among my friends. 😉 You have amazing wisdom and insight for a couple who look so young. Thank you for sharing.

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