All the lessons I learned from my ‘failed’ relationships

Here’s the thing about relationships: I don’t think that they can, really, fail. Relationships can give you so much even if they don’t last forever. We have this model in our heads that relationships aren’t truly successful unless you’re together until one of you dies. But that’s not true at all. You can have a completely successful relationship that runs its course in a year, or in ten years. There’s nothing about having grown as a person with another person that counts as failure. So with that in mind, here are the lessons I’ve learned from relationships that just didn’t work out.

You can tell a lot about someone from how they treat their friends

Watch how they treat other people in their life that they cares about– family, friends. It’s going to be really instructive about how that person treats you. Also pay close attention to how they talk about their exes. If all of them are “psychos,” that’s a bad sign. You don’t have to be besties with everyone you date, but if you can’t find one good thing to say about any of them? Bad sign.

Actions are worth more than words

Be with someone who doesn’t just talk about how you deserve to be treated, but shows you, who doesn’t just talk about things you should do together, but plans them. Fall in love with what is, not what could be.

 Never apologize for your feelings or needs

Don’t let the fear of being the “perfect partner” stop you from using your voice. Someone who loves you will listen and never hold it against you. Also don’t let this fear stop you from being a good listener and become defensive. Communication is key.

You are worthy of attention

The person you’re dating should never make you feel like a burden or unimportant. You are worthy of being a priority.

You aren’t ever required to stay

No matter how much you think you can’t live without them, you can. If you aren’t happy, walk away. Love is work but it should make you happy far more than it makes you unhappy.

Make sure to pay attention to what you need

Love them, protect them, appreciate them, but make sure you never lose yourselves as individuals. The person you love should still feel free.

Keep up your friends

Take time for your friends and family and take time to be alone.

You are not in competition with other couples

A relationship’s appearance on social media does not reflect true happiness. But also be leery of someone who hides you from all their feeds.

Love is great, but it’s not a cure-all

You don’t need a romantic love all the time to be happy.

Relationships are hard, confusing, and sometimes heartbreaking. But they’re worth it.

After all of it I still think love is worth the risk.

Corinne Nicole is an effervescent twenty-something with an affinity for music, lattes, and tiny animals. When she isn’t working, she enjoys spinning around on an aerial lyra or unwinding by watching reruns of her favorite sitcoms.

[Image via ABC]

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