The Biggest Lessons I’ve Learned From Dating

With each person you date comes a whole new collection of experiences. Even if things don’t work out forever between you two, that doesn’t mean you can’t take what you’ve learned from your time with one partner and apply it towards your next relationship. I may not be an expert when it comes to dating, but this is what I’ve learned from my experiences so far:

  1. No one’s perfect. Whatever amazing imaginary person I’ve created in my head just doesn’t exist. Not that I haven’t met great people, but there’s no such thing as a completely flawless guy. Love isn’t a fairy tale — it’s actually hard. Now that I have realistic expectations for the people I date, finding someone to spend time with has become a lot easier.
  2. Words count too, not just actions. Actions are so important, but dating different people has shown me how words are, too. I want to hear what he has to say and how he’ll make things better. I want to hear that he loves me and that I look beautiful. If I can have a conversation with him and know that his words are true, I’ll feel a lot better about being in a relationship with him.
  3. Communication is a must. This is an obvious lesson in relationships, but it’s also one that many people forget. Regardless of how dumb and embarrassed I feel, I’ve always learned to make sure everything is out there. It doesn’t do anyone any good to keep your feelings bottled up. Many times, in order to move forward, you have to take a step backward and address what’s bothering you.
  4. Only date people who make you a priority. If a guy really cares about you and your well-being, he’ll make it known. This person will always be available to listen and will follow through on his actions. There’s no excuse to put someone to the side, and I know to look for someone who takes me seriously.
  5. No one should ever bring you down. Any guy who’s ever made me feel like crap hasn’t stayed around for long. It’s an evil and unforgivable mistake to make someone feel bad about themselves. There’s no reason why anyone you’re dating should bring you down. It’s toxic and proves how insecure he is. If you’ve decided to spend your time with a man, he should lift you up rather than tearing you down.
  6. Intentions are everything. People make mistakes, but what really matters is their intentions. If the person I’m dating continues to screw me over and doesn’t even care that I’m hurt, then that reveals a lot about his character. I’m willing to let mistakes slide as long as I know he realizes what he did wrong.
  7. Bringing up the past can be harmful. A big mistake I learned from my relationships was constantly bringing up past mistakes and arguments. I couldn’t seem to let them go because of how much they hurt. How can I move on to better things if I constantly reflect on the past, though? It never helps the situation and only makes things worse. Now I know to focus on the present and the future instead of dwelling on what’s happened before.
  8. There’s a difference between loving someone and being in love. You can truly care for someone, but that’s not the same as being IN love. Sometimes, no matter how much you adore someone and want the best for him, that extra spark required to make a romantic relationship work just isn’t there. If things are going to work out between you two, you have to both love each other and be in love with each other.
  9. It all comes down to how he makes you feel. Even if he seems like the perfect guy on paper, it ultimately means nothing if he doesn’t put butterflies in your stomach. No matter how amazing he might be, you’re still settling if you don’t truly feel anything for him. You’re not a bad person for breaking things off because he doesn’t make your heart happy.
  10. Anything goes. There are no rules and regulations to being with someone. Don’t let anyone tell you how your relationship “should” or “shouldn’t” be. I’ve learned to go with the flow and not stress because I know it’ll all work out the way it’s supposed to.
Bolde has been a source of dating and relationship advice for single women around the world since 2014. We combine scientific data, experiential wisdom, and personal anecdotes to provide help and encouragement to those frustrated by the journey to find love. Follow us on Instagram @bolde_media or on Facebook @BoldeMedia