I've written over 100 articles about love and relationships in the past year with my gorgeous twin sister (39 on Elite Daily thus far). They have all centered around some major lessons I've learned in the past year or lessons that I had to learn maybe 45 times before finally "getting it." It has been an incredible adventure to learn about myself by having to articulate my feelings and experiences into words to be shared with the masses. So, what have been the biggest lessons I've learned?
It's not easy to follow your own rules: I've broken the “rules” I've sworn to Elite Daily readers I abide by more than once. Does this mean I'm a hypocrite or a liar? No. It just means that I'm human and I react to my heart and impulses over my logic at times. We all do some stupid sh*t in the name of love, and I am no exception.
No two relationships or experiences are the same. As much as I hope people can learn from me, my experience and my perspective, no one can ever completely relate to exactly what I'm saying. We can learn from each other, get insight and relate what we read to our own circumstances, but there are always differences in every even seemingly “identical” situation. Therefore, trust your own intuition first before comparing your situation to someone else's.
I'm not an expert, and I really don't think that anyone really can be when it comes to love. I'm still learning. While I can share what I've learned, I really can't say what's best in any dating situation. Hell, most of the time I don't know what's best for me. Who am I to know without a doubt what anyone should do in a given situation?
Our love lives are far too complicated to be able to be an expert in any and all situations. So I say again, trust your intuition when it comes to matters of your love life. If anyone will be an expert on your love life, it should be you.
You can never forget the person who broke your heart. There are some people who will just stick with you forever. Whether or not you actually admit it to anyone else or even yourself. There is always that someone who holds a permanent place in your heart. These special people have indefinitely shaped you and changed you. You will never forget them, and a lot of us will never stop loving them.
The little sh*t doesn't matter. We sit and analyze every single little thing we do as daters. When is too soon to text? What are subtle signals that turn off a first date? Should you add a new date on Snapchat? What does it mean if he says this one phrase?
These are all articles that could easily be written (if they haven't been already). Ideas like this make it easy for us to get worked up and worry that one tiny mistake will ruin our dating futures forever. As long as I've been dating and writing, I'm starting to gather that it doesn't matter. If a relationship has a future, it will make it past these little “rules,” should they be broken. How many of us have made a glaring and embarrassing mistake early on and then ended up having a fabulous relationship anyway? A lot of us.
We all feel more than we'd like to admit. I love hearing feedback from readers, and what surprised me the most when I started writing was how many guys reached out to me after certain articles. The notion of guys having feelings — let alone reading articles about relationships — was completely foreign to me. We get caught up in maintaining poker faces, playing games and acting like we couldn't care less, but the reality is that we do care. I think it wouldn't hurt us all to remember this little fact next time we try to ghost someone or blow them off.
Don't follow the rules, follow your heart. We literally all make mistakes left and right, especially in a brand new relationship. One hardcore rule for you could mean something totally different to your new SO, and vice versa. There's no way of knowing. So just be you and know and trust that the right thing will work out at the right time.
People will reject you, but not always because of what you think. People, especially young adults, go through some weird sh*t. Sometimes when we reject good people, the timing is off or there is some other factor influencing the decision other than just that person as an individual. Rejection sucks, but don't let the fear of rejection prevent you from moving on confidently to the next one.
Who you think you want might be far from what you actually want. We value our first impressions so much that we convince ourselves that the guy or gal we met for an hour on Saturday night is the absolute greatest thing ever and we must date that person now. Little do you know, his or her personality could be all smoke and mirrors or you might have absolutely nothing in common. Yet, we build them up anyway.
Again, if it doesn't work out with that seemingly awesome person, trust that it wasn't meant to.
Just because someone is great on paper, doesn't mean he or she is great for you. That person could have a great job, love your friends, is good looking, charismatic, etc. If someone has all of these things, but something just doesn't click with you, it's OK to walk away.
It doesn't matter if your closest friends are practically planning the wedding. You're the one dating the person, no one else. Honor your feelings and walk away if you're just not into it. It's OK. It really it is.
Whether we are happy being single, married to the love of our lives or dating someone we think could be “the one,” we are constantly learning about ourselves and how we relate to others. I don't know who I should be reaching out to, who I should ignore or who I should invite into my life.
I don't know exactly what I'm looking for, but I hope when I find it I will know without a doubt that it's right. But this period of not knowing is exactly where I need to be. The “not knowing” part is the fun part, as much as it kills us all. So trust it, let go of the worries, honor your feelings and just enjoy the ride.