Things Every 20-Something Girl Needs To Know About Love

There are a lot of “relationship rules” out there, written and unwritten. But love shouldn’t come with any fine print — it should be easily accessible. Here’s what you really need to know:

Real love isn’t easy — there will be plenty of obstacles to overcome if you want to make it last.

You’ve probably heard that the right relationships are simple, but that’s total BS. No relationship is ever easy — they always require a lot of time and effort, and they all have their ups and downs. Expect that. (That’s not to say that you should put up with a bunch of unnecessary routine drama, though.)

Despite the fact that many guys are still immature in their 20s, there are real men out there.

While it may be true that guys mature less quickly than girls, some of them actually do sort of have their act together. Emphasis on the “sort of.”

It’s okay to make the first move. Trust me.

A good relationship requires equal give and take, which means that sometimes you’re going to have the make the first move. There’s nothing wrong with being assertive when you know what you want. Plus, it shows confidence, and confidence is sexy as hell.

Love requires patience — lots and lots of patience.

There will be days where you’re going to want to pull a 2007 Britney move because you’re so fed up with him. But please don’t shave your head — stress in a relationship is inevitable. Take a deep breath and try to work through things calmly.

You can’t make someone love you; it has to happen naturally.

No matter how painful unrequited love may be, you can’t force someone to have feelings for you. There’s a reason all the storybooks teach children that love potions and spells aren’t real — love is only genuine and sincere if the other person is doing it of their own will.

You get back what you put in.

This is why relationships aren’t 50/50 — they’re 100/100. If you only put in 50, you only get that much back. You have to be willing to put in all you’ve got in order to get the same in return.

If it doesn’t feel right, walk away.

Your first instinct is almost always right, so trust your gut when it tells you something isn’t right. Whether it’s something as small as his constantly condescending tone when he talks to you, or as big as exerting physical control over you – if you have a bad feeling, leave.

Real love is never jealous or controlling.

Some people say jealousy and control are behaviors caused by caring too much, but they’re lying. The right person wouldn’t be insecure enough to get jealous because he would know you love him and only him. He would trust you enough to not feel the need to control you.

Most relationships are just another step you have to take to get closer to the right one.

You will have plenty of breakups, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Each relationship has something valuable to teach you, and you will have to learn those lessons to ensure that when you meet the right person, it will last.

Love isn’t the most important thing in life.

Sure, it’s pretty high up there. Many people would kill for love — or die for it (i.e. Romeo and Juliet). But how silly is it to base your entire will to survive on another person? There are other things worth living for besides love.

The right person will come into your life when you least expect it.

You’ve heard this a million times because it’s the truth.

The happiest couples don’t brag all over social media because they don’t need the approval of anyone else.

Haven’t you heard? People who are constantly bragging on social media are just looking for validation and affirmation that their lives don’t suck. So the couples who overshare their “love” are probably just faking it to try to convince themselves that their relationship isn’t.

Compromise. Communication. Cultivation.

You will have to compromise and find ways to meet in the middle. You will have to be good at communicating your feelings and expectations of your partner. You will have to find ways to cultivate and grow your relationship every day if you want to keep the love alive.

Don’t play games.

It’s one thing to play a little hard to get before getting into a full-blown relationship with someone. But playing mind games and sleeping with someone you supposedly love isn’t cool, and it won’t make for a good relationship.

No one will check every box on your list.

No person will be everything you think you want from the perfect partner. But that’s okay. The perfect partner doesn’t exist. That doesn’t mean you should settle for less simply because perfection isn’t real; you should learn to choose which qualities are the most important, and find someone who has those characteristics and whose flaws you are willing to accept anyway.

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