Ladies, Tired Of All The Dating BS? Then Start Living By These 13 Truths

Love is a lot of trial and error. From each relationship you take with you the knowledge of what works, what doesn’t, and what the hell you should avoid again at all costs. Hey, people make A LOT of mistakes when it comes to love, but as long as you learn from them, then that’s all that matters. No matter how long it takes, here are 13 things you learn when you’ve made a lot of mistakes in love:

  1. You only get what you think you deserve. If you honestly believe that all you deserve is some jerk who treats you like crap, that’s what you’re going to get. It’s like the women out there who always find themselves being a mistress — it’s because they’ve somehow convinced themselves, whether they realize it or not, that they don’t deserve something that’s all their own.
  2. The more you try to hold on to something, the harder it tries to get away. I’m sure you’ve heard the quote, “If you love something, set it free; if it comes back to you, it’s yours.” Well, the premise here is that people don’t like to be caged. If you don’t let the person you love have space and a life of their own because you’re too busy hanging onto them for dear life, then they’re going to try to get away — and they won’t be coming back.
  3. You should never sideline your friends for a guy (or gal). I realize that when you’re newly in love, you’re obsessed to your very core so all you want to do is be with your new partner 24/7, but you need to learn to balance the other relationships in your life. Your friendships are a sure thing; the same cannot be said for all relationships.
  4. It’s important to be unapologetically yourself. What I mean here is don’t dumb yourself down, don’t pretend to like something that you don’t just to appease your partner, and don’t say, “I’m fine,” when you’re clearly not. Embrace who you are and realize that being in love with someone doesn’t mean you have to be just like them or, even more importantly, be what they think is ideal. Screw that.
  5. You have to be strong enough to walk away. If you’re not getting what you want out of a relationship, you need to be able to walk away. Relationships are a partnership and if you’re giving 120 percent and they’re not, it’s OK to bail. This is most especially the case if you’re in an abusive relationship of any kind.
  6. Calling BS when BS arises is a must. I’m of the belief that we’re all BS artists to a degree, and that’s fine, but what you don’t want is your partner to BS you. Ever. So if they do, call them out on it. You don’t have time for that.
  7. You need to convince yourself that settling is for other people. People settle all the time. Right now, at this very moment, there’s someone settling for a person and a relationship that’s lackluster. Once you realize that’s not how you want to go through life, you’re more likely to avoid it like the plague it is.
  8. Your gut is always right. Your gut tells you when you want pizza, when you overdid it with the beans in your burrito, and when something is a bit off in your relationship too. Trust your gut; intuition is your best friend.
  9. If it seems too good to be true, it is. While I’d like to say, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” that’s not very accurate. Why? Because if it seems that awesome, it TOTALLY isn’t.
  10. Expecting people to change is a waste of time. True story: I fell in love with a man. He was a good man and I loved him dearly. However, he had some flaws that he promised to work on, like getting a job and being able to meet me at least halfway as a partner. It never happened. Just as he couldn’t make those changes, I couldn’t change enough to accept being in a relationship with a man who didn’t have a job — or any prospects at all. It may seem romantic to try to fix a broken bird, but most birds can’t be fixed.
  11. It’s not selfish to put yourself first. Here’s the deal: You only get one chance at this thing called life. ONE CHANCE. I’m not saying you need to live your life like you’re just out for yourself, but you need to love yourself first and foremost, and when you do, you’ll find everything will fall into place.
  12. It’s OK to have expectations. I feel like this doesn’t even need to be said, but I’ll say it anyone: It’s OK, like more than OK, to have expectations for your partner and your relationship. You should never feel bad about that.
  13. It’s better to be alone than deal with someone else’s crap. If you’ve made a lot of mistakes in love, the most important lesson of all is that it’s better to be alone than deal with someone else’s crap. This also goes back to the whole realization that being selfish, even in a relationship, isn’t a bad thing. Always remember: Settling is what other people do; NOT you. You’re too awesome for that — and that’s a lesson you should always take to heart.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.