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5 Lessons About Relationships I Wish I'd Known In My 20s

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The last 20 years of my life have seen many ups and downs in romantic relationships. I’ve had amazing connections, and I’ve had blistering heartbreaks. As I was thinking back on my 20s and early 30s the other day I made a short list of the lessons I wished I had known 10 years ago. These lessons really helped me in my life, and trust me it took some hard knocks to learn them. But now comfortably in my late 30s, these lessons have guided me to a much deeper sense of peace in relationships.

 1. Good sex doesn’t necessarily mean a good relationship

You can have a fantastic (and I mean fantastic) physical connection with someone who is not right for you. It’s very easy to mistake this kind of chemistry as a “sign” that you are destined to be together. And when your intuition tells you something is off, you ignore it because it appears there’ a physical spark. So enjoy great physical connections, but realize it’s only one of many aspects that create a good relationship.

2. You’re better off alone than with the wrong person
If you’re with a person who doesn’t treat you well, makes you feel stupid or insignificant, or just feels wrong, listen to those feelings for they are trying to tell you something. There is nothing more empowering than learning to love being on your own. Not only are you better off emotionally, but also you can choose to be with someone who is right for you rather than feeling you have to be with someone who is wrong for you.

3. Stick with your convictions and morals
It’s easy to throw your morals out the window when you want to make something work with a partner. If you feel yourself needing to compromise important ideals and morals just to be with someone it’s worth taking a look at what is motivating that feeling. You should be able to be yourself with someone who you love and who loves you.

4. Take things for what they are
Enjoy the people you meet in relationship for who and what they are. Not everyone you meet is destined to be a long-term partner, but you can have some wonderful experiences with people who come into your life for a short time. Learn when it is time to let go and move on or when it is time to stay and create something deeper with someone you really care about.

5. Love yourself and you can’t go wrong
As cliché as it sounds, work on loving and caring for yourself. Invest in your own happiness, your feelings of worthiness, and your health. Move your body, learn to cook, travel, create, do things that make your heart soar and that make you feel good. Not only does this make you feel better, but it energetically draws people to you who are on the same wavelength. Then there is greater potential for meeting someone you click with in many amazing ways.

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