7 Lessons About Love That You Unfortunately Can Only Learn The Hard Way

You can listen to love songs, you can watch movies about epic romances, and you can hear stories from your friends about their relationships, but there's nothing quite like the real thing. We learn about life through trial and error and there are some love lessons you learn through experience that couldn't be learned any other way. Even if you've heard the phrases "timing is everything" or "you're better off alone," they might not ring true until you experience them. Of course that doesn't mean you have to be on the sinking Titanic, trapped by a beast in a castle, or kiss your long-lost lover in the rain to know what being in love feels like!

A friend of mine says relationships happen either for a reason or a season, meaning that there's a specific lesson for you to learn or this person is in your life while you're going through a particular phase. Part of dating, being in love, and having relationships is learning about yourself. While heartbreak, arguments, and breakups are horrible, no good, very bad things that can happen to you, they're not pointless. Experience is how we grow, so read on below for seven love lessons you've gotta see to believe.

Time Heals All Wounds

When you're in the thick of hearbreak it might seem like nothing will make you feel better — not even retail therapy, wine, or more wine. But the old saying is true and time does heal (almost) all wounds. Of course every breakup is different, but one commonality of dealing with loss and grief is that the only way to get past it is to go through it. Not even Waze can find a shortcut to getting over heartbreak. And while it might seem like you'll never feel better or want to date ever again, there is light at the end of the tunnel and you will get to the other side... eventually. Of course, you don't need to suffer through it alone — therapy is an option that can help you process your heartbreak and grief.

Reality Bites

Sometimes a person might seem absolutely ideal for you on paper, they check all your boxes, and you two seem like the perfect couple. But just because someone's personality résumé is stellar doesn't mean they're right for you. If you feel like everything is just fine but not great, you can't force the relationship to improve. No matter how hard you try, you can’t force real love to spark where there just isn't a connection.

Love Isn't Enough

This seems like a major bummer, but it's true — love isn’t all you need to have a happy relationship. If you love someone madly but they aren’t good for you, the relationship won’t work. If they treat you poorly, or have self-destructive habits, no matter how much you love them, you won’t thrive in the relationship. It's tempting to think that if you just have love, the other issues in your relationship will eventually sort themselves out, but some problems just can't be solved, no matter how much love you throw at them.

Timing Is Everything

You can have a deep connection with someone, great chemistry, and a feeling that it's just meant to be, but if the timing isn’t right, it's not meant to be. If one of you is rebounding, or moving to a new city, or isn't looking for a serious relationship, then it might be really hard to work things out. This isn't to say that your connection can't blossom into a romance later on, or that you can't make a long-distance relationship work, but recognize that there might be additional challenges if your timing is off.

There's Nothing Wrong With Being Alone

If you're in a relationship, the idea of being single and alone can be frightening. But being alone is better than being with someone who makes you feel alone. You can feel lonely in a relationship if you aren't heard, your needs don't matter, or you feel like you don't have a say. In that case, being on your own could be much better for your heart, energy, and happiness. Trust me, one is not always the loneliest number.

People Fall Out Of Love

If falling in love is a glorious symphony, then falling out of love is an abrupt record scratch. Falling out of love doesn't mean you're flighty or emotionally unstable — it just means your relationship has changed, or you or your partner have changed and you're recognizing that. Falling out of love is just one of those things that can happen, but you might not believe it until you see it.

Happiness Is Not Guaranteed

Happily ever after, right? Not so fast! You might think being in a relationship will make you happy and fix all your problems, but it won't — only you can make you happy. Which is a great thing, because the power is in your hands and your happiness isn't dependent upon someone or something else. Of course you can get a lot of happiness from a good relationship, but it's not a cure-all and being truly happy is up to you and you alone.

Experiencing any of these things will be challenging and you might wish they weren't happening to you, but adversity will make you so much stronger in yourself and will solidify what you do want from a relationship. Healing from a broken heart might make you feel fragile and protective, but learning to love again will make your heart stronger than ever before.

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