What my short-term relationships taught me about love and life
It is about living your life with others, not for others! Jaime Moncho.
When it comes to love and relationships, it seems that everything is learned the hard way. It is not taught in school (even though it is one of the most important subjects in life) and even if it was, it would be a double-edged sword because there really is not a right or wrong way to love, the best you can do is love as much as you can and learn through your experiences.
At this point, my romantic encounters are vaguely reminiscent of Taylor Swift’s, in that they come in short bursts and end in scorn that is used to fuel other facets of life. It is not what I planned, but at least having commonalities with Taylor Swift is pretty cool (silver linings right?) All in all, you can say that I have taken many crash courses in love and relationships, here are five lessons that I learned:
Forever does not exist
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. As cynical as it sounds, it is true and I would like to take it even further; relationships can only end in two ways, separation or death. There is no forever, I have been promised forever by so many exes that it is as meaningless to me as a homeless person promising me a pot of gold. From here on out, I am no longer looking for promises of forever, what I want is the promise that you will try your best and you will be worth it. Do not promise me forever, promise me that there will be no regrets.
No one can make you happy except yourself
Happiness is fully dependent on yourself; other people cannot make you happy. What this means is that if you are not happy going into a relationship, you will not be happy while you are in it. I have experienced the highs of finding a relationship that I thought would pull me out of depression, but guess what? The second it ended, my depression came right back, it is something you must conquer on your own. On the contrary, I have also gone into relationships as a truly happy person and the rule still remained true. I went in happy; I came out happy, the ending was sad and it hurt, but deep down, I was still happy. Hence, do not look for happiness in others; it can only be found within yourself. Look to others to enhance the happiness you already have.
You cannot change others
Whoever your partner was before they met you, that is who they are going to be the whole way. So, if there is a fundamental personality trait in your partner that rubs you the wrong way, do not wait around hoping things will change, because they would not. That is who they are, either find a way to love and accept it or leave. I have clung to a relationship with someone who was practically a physical manifestation of pessimism thinking they were just going through a bad patch and that things would eventually change. However, you cannot change the fundamentals of who someone is, that is a choice they have to make for themselves. Sometimes, it is best to love someone from afar because incompatibility exists and the person you love may not be the person you can be happy with at that time.
Expectations are the root of sorrow
Managing your expectations is such an important factor in preserving your happiness and most people forget this when they fall in love. There is no one to blame for this because alas, love is blind. But, we live, experience and learn. Relationships will teach you that humans are and always will be just humans, meaning that anything is possible. You can be completely in love with someone, having the best time of your life, and it can end in a second. You and your partner could have had an amazing date, and they may decide to end the relationship the next day. The person who you completely trust could betray you at any moment (even Beyonce got cheated on multiple times, go figure). If you want to spare yourself a lot of pain and sorrow, remind yourself that these scenarios are all possible. I believe that trust and having confidence in another person is necessary to sustain a relationship. But at the end of the day, this is life and anything goes. The world does not believe in mercy; it will throw anything and everything at you whether you are ready or not. Therefore, you must manage your expectations and appreciate the moments in life while you are still in them.
Always put yourself first
Self-improvement and care are never selfish. The fact of the matter is, the best thing you can do for your relationship is to improve yourself because the better you are, the better your relationship can be. Relationships stagnate and decay because one or both individuals lose interest in their personal development. Dating an unambitious person taught me that without a passion for life, dreams, and goals, excitement and communication dries out very quickly. When there is nothing going on, there is nothing to talk about and without communication, emotional connection dwindles. Furthermore, if the relationship does end, only you will be around to pick up the pieces, so do not ever lose yourself. Always remember who you are, what you need, and do not ever stop serving yourself.
If you look back at your life, I bet your most important lessons were preceded by a tremendous amount of pain. Thus, I hope we can all remember that pain is a necessity for growth. During tough times, remind yourself that it will not be easy, but it will be worth it.
If your expectations are killing your relationship, then kill your expectations.- Kristin Borgohain