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What Is Your Greatest Lesson Learned?

Breakups are never fun, and they almost always take an adjustment of some kind. If it ends badly, we often come out of it with a lot of regrets or issues that we need time to mull over, but fortunately, once we work through them, we usually end up learning a lot about ourselves. These are the kind of lessons that influence your future relationships, allow you to give your friends advice, and just might be the wisdom you pass down to your children one day.

Needless to say, whether we come out of a breakup feeling relieved or heartbroken, we usually walk away with understanding we didn't have before. I've learned that it's okay if it's not meant to be; a relationship is about being with someone that makes you happy, not about proving a point. What's the biggest lesson you've learned from a relationship?


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Advah Advah 9 years
Never have a relationship with a friend (or someone you consider a friend beforehand). Trusting yourself before trusting people's advice. And I agree with Meike, there's only so much you can do. You can change many things about yourself, but if the other person doesn't want to change, nothing you'll do will make a difference. Of course everyone's different so I'm not expecting these to fit other people, but that's definitely the rules I go by now. Wish I had known all of these before my last relationship..
gossipgirl10 gossipgirl10 9 years
what i've learned is that love is ruled by trust and respect. without trust, a relationship is useless not to mention fake. always be true to yourself and always leave a little something for yourself to hold on to. being in love should be a joyous experience and not something that will send us into martyrdom.
bbkf bbkf 9 years
I learned to never settle for anything less than perfect. I always thought 'the perfect guy' was a silly dream...then I met my husband.
cashmere80 cashmere80 9 years
Wow - talk about life lessons! I think the one thing I learned from my past relationship is that there are men who want to hear what you have to say. There are men who simply enjoy being in your company. There are men who will give you hugs because they "feel" you need them. Unfortunately for me I learned these lessons too late and he walked. I also learned that it's important to remember the lessons from previous relationships, but even more important that the messines and hurt has to stay in the past or you'll never have a future...
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
To talk about things before they become a problem. My parents never told each other what they wanted or needed from the relationship and ended up getting divorced. I make sure to tell my husband everything that is bothering me even if I think it's in my head and I'm crazy. He always makes me feel better about things and we're always stronger after our talks. Just yesterday we decided we need to have a conversation every day and see if anything comes up that we need to do for each other.
shugahxnxspice shugahxnxspice 9 years
I've learned never to settle for anything less than you deserve.
jakidoodle jakidoodle 9 years
just accept the fact that nothing lasts forever...
Meike Meike 9 years
You can't change people. They have to want to change themselves. For 2.5 years, I've tried to change my ex into someone with a more ambitious drive. It never worked and I was completely unsatisfied trying to share my life with someone I surpassed on every single level. I needed an equal. Fortunately, I found a man with the very innate qualities I wanted in the right man for me to exhibit.
Marci Marci 9 years
:) I agree on the piggybacking, pop. The feeling needs to be mutual. But until I learned that lesson, I was always doing all the giving and not much getting. So *that* was what I learned!
herjoiedevivre herjoiedevivre 9 years
the thing that break-ups have taught me is not to idolize the memories- that there is a reason why we broke UP. once you put someone on a pedestal post-relationship, you set yourself up for extra [unnecessary] months of heartache.
lilwildone1202 lilwildone1202 9 years
ive learned a few: you can't make someone love you and you can't force something to happen that just doesnt want to seem to fit everything really does happen for a reason you dont deserve someone treating you bad ...also this isn't a "lesson" but its something that i realized about all the previous guys i dated anyway... they all taught me something different about myself, what i want in life, and what i don't want in a boyfriend. haha
jmeyer jmeyer 9 years
I have to agree with LittleMascara, the most important lesson I have ever learned in a relationship is that love isn't enough. The first relationship I was in started my freshman year of high school and ended during my freshman year of college. During high school most people we knew were serial daters, and relationships never lasted more than a few months. We were too young to talk about the future, yet we knew that we had something special. We decided to go to different Universities. We both wanted drastically different careers. I wanted to go into advertising and he wanted to be a doctor. We had such a solid relationship that I was not in the least bit worried about being apart from him for such long periods of time. The first semester of college was hard, but it really did make that corny saying true "absence makes the heart grow fonder". At the start of winter break (we hadn't seen each other for nearly 4 months) I was actually nervous. We are both religious and old fashioned, and we hadn't had sex despite our nearly 4 year relationship. Over winter break the chemistry between us was so different than it had been before, and we decided to have sex. That definitely changed our relationship, but we both thought that it was stronger and better than before. Second semester was an entirely different story. I think it was because we went into it knowing just how difficult it would be, to be apart from one another. I felt almost an ache, not being able to be with him. Over the phone you can talk with someone, but I missed being in his presence. I was unhappy and stressed, and he was the same way. This made us get into stupid fights over the phone, which only became more frequent. Nearly every time we talked with one another we would be arguing over something ridiculously stupid. Over my spring break I went to visit him. I'm not sure that I had expectations about what it would be like, him at college, but I was completely taken aback when I saw the real thing. He was so different than he had ever been before, though not in a bad way. I felt like his life was so different than what it was before, and that he was practically a stranger. Nothing between us had changed, but it was apparent that everything else in his life had. We had a long talk the last night I was there, and we ended things. We were crazy about one another, and there was no doubt in my mind that we loved one another. But that wasn't enough. College is a time when so much change takes place and in order for us to become the people we wanted to be we had to break up, because our relationship was holding us back.
AMP AMP 9 years
You have to do everything for yourself.
sparklestar sparklestar 9 years
Don't be clingy...
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
I like these ones so far: "I would probably have to say, you can't change anyone, you either accept them the way they are or don't." and "Love is not enough." and to piggy back on Marci's - it's not enough for me to have a man move mountains for me. I have to want to move them for him, too.
LittleMascara LittleMascara 9 years
I'd have to say, the #1 thing I learned from a relationship is that love is not enough. Sorry, it just isn't. If he's an a$#@ole, he'll stay one! =)
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
good one Marci!
emalove emalove 9 years
I learned a lot about myself and about love from my last breakup. I had been with the guy for 6 years. I was scared to break up with him because it had become so comfortable and familiar, and I also felt like I would be a failure if I ended the relationship and didn't keep trying to make it work. I now know that you can't forget about yourself and your own needs when you're in a relationship...I spent so many years trying to please this guy and trying to make him happy. I tried to help him with his problems and improve some things in his life. But ultimately, I just wasn't getting the same in return and I finally realized that it wasn't selfish to feel that my own needs were being neglected. I learned that it's not healthy to give, give, and give all the time and not get much back in a relationship. I learned that it's okay to think about me and my own needs, as well...not just theirs. Most importantly, I learned that you should never settle for a relationship if you're not truly happy, regardless of how long you've been together. It took me a long time to realize all this, but I'm glad I did! I ended the relationship and now I'm happily married to someone who I know loves and supports me unconditionally.
michelleannette michelleannette 9 years
i've learned that if you're working too hard it's not meant to be. relationships are work, but they are not meant to feel like second jobs. i thought i was going to be with my ex forever (we dated for four years) but, i was doing all the work. it was tough, but i ended it. now i'm with someone fabulous and i can't believe how easy it is. our partnership is 50/50...i can't believe i went so long being so miserable.
Marci Marci 9 years
I learned that when a man really cares about a woman he'll move mountains for her, and *that* is the man to wait for.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
You can love many people, but it doesn't always mean they are right for you (for a lifetime).
Indigo4320 Indigo4320 9 years
I think one thing I've learned so far is you have to learn to pick your fights. You aren't going to agree on every little issue, and he's going to do things that upset you. But if you forget the good aspects and focus solely on negative issues you'll only hurt the relationship further. You have to think about what you want in a guy...think about what you don't, and take a good long look at your guy and see if you can accept the things you consider flaws. Don't carry past relationship problems into a new relationship...leave all of your baggage at the door and let this guy have a real shot at winning your heart. Perfect doesn't exist. Sometimes giving in and saying you're sorry first is all that's needed to get over an ugly fight...pride is impossible to fight with.
erratic-assassin erratic-assassin 9 years
I learned: *if it's over, IT'S OVER. don't try to force something that isn't there. *don't take whatever a guys says so personal. they barely know u. *it's okay to be dumped. smile and take it for what it was. *dont EVER think that cheating is in any way's NOT. *Mom gives GREAT advice on love. *dont EVER let anyone call u a slut or anything along those lines. punch em!
arlyle arlyle 9 years
So true! It you're not happy or someone is hurting you...TELL THEM! That was my biggest mistake. I was so busy worrying about them feeling bad that I ignored the fact that I was miserable.
alltherage alltherage 9 years
all good advice. i learned so much and will prob repeat: dont settle listen to ur instincts speak up for urself dont settle! be independent and be clear on what you want. end things when u know htey are working out. be yourself. theres more of course :)
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