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4 Experiences To Have At Least Once Before Settling Down Into A Relationship

Understanding who you are in a relationship isn't something you can learn on your own. It takes time and countless interactions — both intimate and otherwise — to discover what kind of lover, partner and friend you are.

Peeling back the layers of your own personal onion isn't always pretty, but along the way, you’ll learn to appreciate the good and the bad. Here are four tips to keep in mind:

Heartbreak

Loss during your lifetime is inevitable, but living in constant fear of losing something or someone you love is no way to go through life. In relationships, you have to learn to let your guard down in order to establish mutually beneficial bonds.

Often, when you open up and let someone into your life, things go south. After this, you become careful with your emotions and whom you choose let in. Having your guard up isn’t always a bad thing when it comes to dating.

A relationship should be established on breaking down barriers and seeing through to who your partner really is. Being in love puts you in your most vulnerable state.

The pain and heartache are raw. They cut you deeper than you ever thought possible. But, when that heartache heals, it shows you that you have the ability to overcome even the darkest, lowest of feelings.

This proves that no matter how much it may seem like you may never find love again, you will. It shows you that beyond heartbreak, there is hope.

Unrequited Love

Remember that time you momentarily lost your mind and sent someone 20 consecutive text messages without a single response?

It’s like you left your body and some alien that was hardwired to go absolutely nuts took over and called your on-again-off-again significant other all night long. The only thing worse than being in this state of mind is coming out of this state of mind.

Realizing that you just threw yourself at someone who didn't feel the same way is painfully embarrassing. Having extremely intense, unrequited feelings for someone is confusing.

Did I misinterpret the situation?” “Did I get attached to quickly?” Whatever the reason is for your unmatched affection, it’s equal parts upsetting and humiliating.

Once you learn how to identify the signs that someone doesn't return your interest, it’s much easier to make a clean break and move on to a person who will.

Infidelity

Losing a relationship because someone cheated is always hard — whether you’re the one who messed up or the one who had a broken heart, it’s a rough situation for everyone.

Cheating is never okay, but if it happens, best not in the relationship that you think is for the rest of your life. This way, by the time you find the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life, you’re mature and ready to commit to the person forever.

Anyone who has ever been cheated on knows how gut-wrenchingly painful it is. You think to yourself, “Why wasn’t I enough?” “What did she have that I didn’t?”  You analyze everything YOU did wrong, forgetting your partner was the one who messed up. “I was distant; I can’t blame him for going elsewhere.”

Self-deprecation is not only unhealthy, it’s also unproductive. By internalizing your struggle, you’re unable to verbally express how you feel and end up lashing out in anger. Even if you did nothing wrong, you still ask yourself these questions that may forever go unanswered.

Coming to the realization that you have nothing to do with your significant other’s infidelity is quite possibly one of the hardest things to accomplish.

It teaches you that no matter what you do, every person is independent. It teaches you to forgive. It teaches you that you deserve better.

Promiscuity

Being promiscuous does not mean you should play fast and compromise with your emotions or health, but rather, take control of your sex life.

You have the power to choose with which kind of person you want to be. When you’re unattached, it’s the perfect time to experiment and try new things.

Then, you’re able to identify what kinds of things you like and what kinds of things are definitely not for you.

On a vast array of levels, we're all sexual beings and we all need affection. We need physical contact to emotionally connect. Use that physical closeness to harbor intellectual intimacy and connect on multiple levels.

Regardless of what you experience -- the good, the bad, the ugly -- learn from it all. It makes you stronger; it shapes who you are and it impacts whom you’ll grow to become.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It