Some people learn from their mistakes the first time around. Others, not so much. I fall into the latter category. If someone told me the oven was hot, for example, I’d touch it, get burned, then later stuff my head into the damn thing, just to be sure.
When it comes to relationships, I’ve always found it necessary to feel everything to the last drop before you go.
You need to drain out every last feeling before you make that clean break, or else, it all just gets a bit messy.
The trouble is, in something of an homage to "Groundhog Day," I seem to be living out the same relationships, over and over.
The faces may change, but the stories remain the same. While I admit that this may take some conscious effort to correct, I have learned some lessons about love along the way — over and over again:
No one will give you what you want if you have no clue what you need
The concept of a soul mate is a dangerous one. It implies there's one person out there for everyone, and this same person holds the key to the other half of who we are. This is bullsh*t. No one will ever complete you.
Furthermore, no one will ever be able to give you what you want in a relationship if you don’t know what you need. Find out who you are.
Find out what makes you tick. Then, find someone who compliments, not completes, you.
Relationships take work, not extreme overhauls, so recognize the difference
Some of us are overachievers by nature. Failure is not an option, and we believe in giving it our all, whatever that “it” may be.
We were also likely raised with the understanding that a successful relationship, like anything else, takes work and compromise. This is true.
What I’ve learned, however, is that if you’re bending and re-working yourself into an entirely different person right off the bat, it’s just not a good fit and will likely never be one.
Know yourself well enough to know the difference between a relationship that needs a little work and one that has become a full-time job.
Never lose the “u” in “us”
“Me” always turned to “we” very quickly in my past relationships. I would lose my sense of self and devote both time and energy to this new commitment. In doing so, I missed out on other opportunities and adventures, and eventually began to resent the other person.
The healthiest partnership is one that represents only one aspect of your life, not the whole enchilada.
Two people trying to make it work should be supportive of each other’s independent lives and ventures because only by living a complete life can you hope to ever share it with someone else.
There is nothing less attractive than someone who forgets him or herself in favor of becoming your faithful shadow.
Who you are is what appealed to the other person to begin with, so stick with that.
Go with your gut
This one is probably the most common sense concept and the most difficult to follow. Trust your gut. You have to learn to trust that deep-seeded feeling in your belly and that pesky voice in the back of your head. Nine times out of 10, it won’t steer you wrong.
The head knows what the heart refuses to accept; quite simply, it won't always work out.
But, the bottom line is, without our mistakes, we might not know just how sweet it is when we finally get it right. And, believe me, sometimes, it takes a lot of wrong before you land on the right track.