17 Lessons Learned From Your First Serious Relationship

Everyone’s first romantic relationship usually has a deep impact on them. There are a number of emotions involved and it is almost impossible to end it without feeling a deep emotional loss. A loss that most people carry around with them for years to come. Even when you believe that you are over it, something small can trigger a memory and leave you watery-eyed.

These relationships do not always have to be a boyfriend/girlfriend situation, they can consist of a first sexual experience, or the worst one of all, a purely emotional connection, like a close friendship between the opposite sexes that never escaped the friend-zone. However, as bad as first break-ups of any kind can be, there is always a silver lining; we can learn a thing or two about life when we take the time to reflect on what happened.

Such lessons can sometimes be harsh, you don't always appreciate it in the moment, and it is not always something that you want to believe you have learned from, especially while you are trying to nurse a broken heart. As much as most people do not want to admit it, these lessons have helped their future relationships thrive, or at the very least show them the signs of a bad relationship ahead. Ultimately, you are grateful for these lessons and would not have it any other way. Here is a list of what people have learned from their first serious relationships.

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17 Choose Your Battles

It is not always worth it to fight for every little thing. Sometimes first relationships are plagued with drawn-out battles and unnecessary fighting that can ultimately be the reason why the relationship fizzled out. When you choose your battles you are more open to suggestions and working things through calmly, instead of getting frustrated and leaving on bad terms. The good thing about having a hostile first relationship is that you know you never want that again and will do anything to avoid it. This time around you see the signs and either address it head on or choose to run for the hills.

16 Your Partner Can't Be Your Only Friend

It is great to have an actual friendship with your partner, that kind of connection always helps a relationship to thrive and it does wonders for communication. That being said, both parties should have their own set of friends away from their mutual friends. It allows them to feel a sense of freedom outside of their relationship and reassures them that they will always have someone to talk-out issues that they feel like they cannot run by their mutual friends. Healthy relationships are hard to maintain, and when you have a solid group of friends that you know support you, it makes things much easier. A first relationship can be consuming, sometimes you feel as though you cannot get enough of one another and want to spend every waking moment together. This action tends to alienate your circle of friends and you risk having no friends left if the relationship fizzles out.

15 You May Not Be Good Together (And That Is Okay)

Relationships and dating are trial and error, not everyone is meant to be compatible with everyone, that is unrealistic and can make for some awkward encounters. Statistically, first relationships do not have a long shelf life; people grow and change, and you are not the same person you were 5 years ago that you are now. You want different things, your goals change, you are almost a new person despite some minor details. It is okay to admit that you may not be good for one another, part of being in a healthy relationship is realizing that your compatibility is not guaranteed. Most people like to hang onto their first loves and try to make it work at all costs. When the relationship does breakup there is a huge amount of guilt and remorse that they carry, especially if the breakup was not mutual. Just realize that not being compatible with someone is not the end of the world.

14 Don't Ignore Red Flags

A lot of people believe that because they are in a relationship they have to take the garbage that their significant other dishes out. Not only is this not the case, but if anything you should be very aware of those bright, red flags and take it as a sign to proceed with extreme caution. Evaluate the situation that you are in; if you feel as though it is something that is harmless and you can overlook it, then that's great. However, if you feel as though it is something that can hurt you or your partner in the future, then you should probably move on.

13 Trust Is A Necessity

We all know by now that trust is something that needs to be present; we learn this from our parents because they want us to be prepared for life situations like dating and know the right and wrong things to look out for. However, we never really figure out how true it is until we get involved with our first relationship and realize that people really do lie and cheat. It does not matter how much they say they love you or how deep your connection really is, some people are just bad at relationships. A first relationship can quickly teach you that you must allow someone to earn your trust.

12 Good Time In The "Bedroom" Does Not Mean Good Relationship

For a majority of people, their first relationship comes with a lot of other firsts. First kiss, first anniversary, and sometimes their first time. A first relationship is filled with emotions that you may not have felt in your life before. A lot of people assume that because they are having a great time in the bedroom that their relationship must be great as well because you cannot have good sex with a bad relationship, right? Wrong. Sex is sex. Some people are really good at it, but this does not mean that all the fighting, disrespect and negativity is worth it. Crazy in the bed, crazy in the head. If you are lucky enough to realize this early, you will always be able to recognize it again.

11 The End Is Not Always The End

First relationships (or first loves) usually end, and that is it, point blank, period. Usually when they last well into adulthood they end in a bitter divorce and one party lives the rest of their life punishing everyone else for their mistakes. If a first relationship should teach you anything, it is that the end is never really the end. You can always find someone new, there will be other relationships and most importantly, you will not drop dead from a heartbreak or even a mutual breakup. There is always a new beginning or something fresh and exciting to look forward to.

10 Time Should Not Determine Your Status

People tend to believe that because they have been together for a long time that they are obligated to absolutely make things work. This is not the case though, if anything you should know each other enough by this time to know that you are no longer good for one another. Just because something was magical and spectacular in the beginning of your relationship does not mean it will stay that way forever. Breaking up with someone because it is no longer working is okay, this does not mean that you have to cut all ties. If the bond is a rather strong one, then you maybe (just maybe) be able to carry on as friends.

9 The Single Life Can Be Refreshing

Chances are, after the first big relationship, single life feels like a breath of fresh air. To be totally honest, it does not matter how good or bad the relationship really is, becoming single after any relationship feels pretty great. The single life is easy; no one to worry about, no one to impress, no one you feel forced to hang out with. It is also a great way to know how well you can do on your own, how strong you are as an individual, and what it takes for you to find yourself. It's important to know that it's okay to be alone. You do not constantly need romance in your life.

8 Let Your Opinion Be Heard

It seems as though people tend to become cowards when it is time to state their beliefs and opinions, they would rather keep the peace than to get into a healthy debate with their partner. In your first relationship, you can be a bit naive, or way too sensitive (it's normal). In general you can be afraid of conflict. People tend to tread lightly when they are in a relationship. They do not want to ruffle feathers or step on people’s toes, so they hold their tongue and become increasingly irritable. Once out of the relationship or when things come to a head they begin to realize that having an opinion is actually really healthy, and it is a necessity.

7 Long Distance Relationships Suck

Normally if your first love happens in high school there is a great chance of the two of you going to separate colleges in completely different states and missing one another like crazy. If this situation does not force you to breakup, then you will have the lovely experience of long distance dating. In the beginning everyone is optimistic, they think it will be easy for the simple fact that their love is so strong and they do not have eyes for anyone else. However, reality sets in fast and not only are you lonely and sad, you naturally develop a wandering eye along with a wandering mind. You think a bunch of crazy thoughts, put doubt in your mind, and cheating becomes an option. The longer the distance, the higher the odds of the relationship failing.

6 You Cannot Fix Anyone

It is important to know that you are not responsible for anyone but yourself. No matter how responsible you feel for your significant other, or how much control you want to have on the situations in your relationship, you cannot fix them or change them. In the first relationship you are open to doing anything possible to be with this person. You truly believe you love them and they are your soulmate. You believe it so much that you even begin to alienate friends and family just so you can meet their needs. It's true what they say: Love is blindness. Once you find the power to leave this unhealthy situation, you realize that you could never fix them.

5 Being Cautious Is Okay

This one is actually really important and should not be overlooked. Some people fall in love easy, love hard, and while it might feel amazing at first, someone can rip the rug right out from under you at any time. When the relationship ends, you have a hard time getting over it, and you feel like you are constantly being hurt in every relationship that follows after this one. Being cautious and dishing out your feelings in small doses does help, also you should start to notice the signs of falling hard and fast, and be able to slow down and pull yourself back when you feel it happening.

4 Don't Put In More Than You Get Back

Sometimes a first relationship can be one sided, and while we hate to say it, it is usually the girl who puts in more effort and therefore, ends up hurting more in the end. It can take a long time for both parties to realize that the saying “it takes two to tango” truly applies to most things in a relationship. This is a great lesson that can be learned from any first real relationship but unfortunately, some people just do not get it and end up in the same situation over and over (and over) again. When it finally does click, that's when you feel like you have wasted years dealing with the same thing time and time again.

3 Honesty Is Key

The art of honesty is so undervalued. With sayings floating around like “little white lies” and “just a small tale”, people are beginning to believe that it is okay to lie to the people who really count. Usually when you are younger and in a relationship, you tend to lie because you as so scared of how your partner will react to whatever it is you will tell them. After an experience like that one, people often look for a significant other who they can trust and believe is being honest, but most people lack the skills in looking for a proper mate. The one thing you can take away from the experience is: if you still suck at finding someone honest, you can be sure that you know when it is time to leave someone who is dishonest. Follow your gut. You can identify the signs quickly and have confidence that you do not have an upset stomach, but a very informative gut.

2 The Honeymoon Phase Is Just That

Everyone loves the honeymoon phase. It is fun, sweet, sexy, romantic and no one can do anything wrong. Both parties are perfect and willing to bend their values because they are so infatuated with their new love. In your first relationship you are convinced that this is how it will be forever for the simple fact that you were made for one another and unlike most of the world, you were able to find your soulmate at such a young age. Then reality hits you and you realize that phase was just a phase and the chances of it coming back are slim to none, unless you work at it. You learn from this that you can achieve a variation of the honeymoon phase but after the first few months, if you are lucky a year, it tends to slip away. Next time, work hard with your partner to remember that honeymoon stage, and the feeling might come back now and then.

1 You Can Convince Yourself Of Anything

When someone wants something to work so very badly, they tend to convince themselves that they can recover and nothing is wrong. People fail to realize that a bad person is a bad person, and a bad relationship is a bad relationship. Yes people like the idea of flirting with danger, and the excitement that comes from it, and this is what makes it so easy for you to convince yourself that it is not all bad, and everything will be okay. The upside of realizing this is that you can also convince yourself that you deserve better than whatever is taking place, and quickly gain the confidence to fix what is broken. The idea of being in charge of what happens to you is foreign to many people as most allow the chips to fall where they may. But once you have let that happen one time too many, you find a better way to better outcomes.

Sources: CosmopolitanBeautyAndTips

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