I may not be an expert when it comes to love and relationships but with fresh heartbreak under my belt (more on that later..maybe!), I can safely say I have learned a lot during my 11 years of dating the opposite sex.
I wholeheartedly believe that that’s the beauty of love though. Each relationship – even the bad ones that you look back on with regret – teach you something. And these things you learn stay with you as you go through life and meet the right person! So even the bad relationships are good for you in a way.
Here’s some things I’ve learned in my 11 years of dating.
BEWARE OF ‘PSYCHO EX’S’
Let me be entirely clear about this, I have learned time and time again that if a man uses the words ‘my ex is/was a psycho’ when you first meet, chances are HE IS THE PSYCHO or it’s just an excuse to cover his past, present and future tracks. Ah yes. It’s so easy to see through rose-tinted glasses to believe that an ex that is being ‘too friendly’ and ‘just won’t get the hint’ despite him apparently insisting to her multiple times that it’s over. You’ll believe him until evidently months or years down the line you’ve unwillingly become ‘that’ ex, sending him perfectly understandable messages about why he has suddenly started seeing someone else after dumping you to be single and why he won’t answer you when you deserve an explanation. Yep, I’m sorry to say this ladies, but if a guy tells you his ex is psycho, it’s probably because he’s leading her on whilst moving in on you and wants an excuse to cover up the fact that he’s clearly breaking her heart and her messages are just a repercussion of that. Stay well clear, else soon enough you’ll be labelled that ‘psycho ex’.
YOU CAN’T FORCE SOMEONE TO CARE
You just can’t. Yes, life would be easier if they loved you as much as you love them. You can be the perfect partner by being romantic and supportive but people can’t help how they feel. Much like when you friendzone someone, you don’t want to hurt them and you wish they didn’t feel that way or you felt the same way but sometimes you just can’t force things.
LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS
I was about three weeks into my uni relationship when I realized that my boyfriend at the time was a) a player and b) would never fully commit to me. But lo and behold, he was hot, he showed no signs of straying and I thought maybe I’d finally tamed him. I was wrong. If I’d listened to my instincts, I would have avoided nearly two years of stress. I mean I don’t regret the relationship but it taught me that I should have listened to that gut feeling from the get go.
…BUT KNOW WHAT’S WORTH FIGHTING FOR
If you’re like me, you may find it hard to walk away and want to fight for everything. This rarely has good outcomes for me but I’m proud of this part of me. I’m proud to be the one in the relationship who will always stand up and fight for it to keep going. That said, when it gets to the point when I know it’s no longer worth fighting for, I then walk away. My point is that relationships aren’t black and white: someone may do something to hurt you but if you know they/the relationship is worth working through, then screw what everyone else says and give it your all.
DON’T LOSE YOURSELF
It’s very easy to consume yourself entirely in a relationship. Partners often become best friends too, so it’s no surprise when relationships with your other friends get put on the back burner for a bit. I’m very guilty of giving my all – in fact, often too much – to a relationship and this is definitely a bad habit. Of course it’s good to want to put your other half first sometimes, especially if they make you happy, but you should always remember to take time for yourself too. Don’t let your own goals suffer for their priorities – compromise is such an important word in a relationship for example. Don’t give up your hobbies – I gave up my pole dancing classes when I met Vincent because travelling back to Luton every Thursday just wasn’t convenient for me at the time, but now I regret it and wished that I’d kept that regular weekly thing for just me. So, to conclude, go with the flow and definitely fall head over heels for someone and spend as much time as you like with them if it feels right. But remember to keep something for yourself too.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE ALMOST ALWAYS UNEXPECTED
They tend to happen when you least expect it so if you’re single and looking for a relationship, try taking the back burner and not looking for one. Concentrate on yourself for a bit first and you’ll hopefully soon find that someone will come along when you’re not looking. That said, it’s never fun to be lonely either and if you want to not-look-for-the-relationship-you-actually-want, dating is always a good shout. Why not try online dating with Cambridge dating sites, dating in Manchester, and Aberdeen dating sites in search of single men in Nottinghamshire or to date Hertfordshire singles? Whether you’re after just dating, a bit of fun or something more, you’re bound to find someone looking for the same thing online. And, who knows, maybe one of those dates will turn into an unexpected relationship..!
However, whether or not I learn from these mistakes and lessons is a whole other kettle of fish…!
Do you have any fail-safe advice or knowledge you’ve picked up on since dating? Let me know!