10 Things You Learn Dating the Wrong Guys

Some lessons you just have to learn by making mistakes.

People might have even tried to warn you, and it did no good–you fell, you fell deep, and you got hurt and it was more than skinned knees. But you live, and hopefully you learn.

1. Always trust your gut.

He stopped saying “I love you” first. You tried to talk to him about it but he would only brush it off and you would, for a time, convince yourself that you were just being paranoid. Less than two months later, you were done.

Always trust your instincts. Your brain knows you. It has seen and felt all experiences you’ve ever had, and many that those close to you have had. If it’s setting off alarms, pay attention. Above all, do not lose faith in yourself, or your ability to know yourself.

2. Unconditional isn’t unrealistic.

“But nobody’s perfect!” is something you regularly tell yourself when you’re settling in a relationship. Of course we all have flaws, and it’s cool that you recognize some of your own areas for improvement, but not all flaws are compatible with each other. You want someone who has flaws that mesh with yours, and who you can not only help but be helped by.

I used to think it was unrealistic to expect someone to love me unconditionally—if I told them about my history of depression, or just how much I loved my dog (aka too much), or some weird, irrational judgement about something—they might think we weren’t compatible, or they might think I’m angry, or difficult, and not someone they want to be with. Is that a sustainable way to live in a relationship?

3. Fireworks are nice, but not necessary.