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10 Things I’ve Learned About Love

I’ve been single for well over a year. And, in the 10+ years I’ve been dating, I’ve seen a lot. I’ve fallen in love and out of love, experienced heartbreak, been to couple’s therapy, cohabitated, been in long-distance relationships—and so much more. And now, I’d like to share a few things I’ve learned.

  1. It’s a much more bonding experience to get angry and work past it together than to never get angry at all.

  2. I have a tendency to fall in love with who I want someone to be rather than who they are. This never ends well. I’m working on seeing (and appreciating) others’ true selves.

  3. To authentically know someone, I have to know them over time—through all four seasons, through major life events, through traumatic experiences, and so on.

  4. It’s okay (and normal) to grow apart.

  5. Unless I constantly examine and evaluate societal standards for romantic relationships, I will inevitably fall back on them. These standards are inherently white supremacist and probably don’t serve me. So, it’s best to stay vigilant. 


  7. I do not want anyone else to be the center of my world nor do I want to be the center of anyone else’s. I am the center of my own world.

  8. Traditional markers of a relationship’s success (marriage, children, living together, buying a home, and so on) say very little about how fulfilling a relationship is. In fact, it’s easy to use these things as replacements for intimacy rather than doing the (much more difficult) work to achieve real closeness.

  9. As much as I learn about someone by meeting their friends and family, I learn WAY more about them by seeing how they behave around my friends and family.

  10. Though romantic love is often seen as the most meaningful type of love, family love, friend love, creative love, self-love, and all other types of love are just as valuable and crucial and powerful—if not more.