An important part of relationships is learning things about yourself that you didn’t already know. In a relationship, you are your true self. The person you’re with is exposed to things about you that others may not see. Relationships allow you to acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and improve as a person. My past relationships have opened my eyes to things about myself that I wasn’t even aware of. It allowed me to grow and not make the same mistakes in the future. Here are a couple of the most important things I’ve learned from my ex.
Comprehension is key, not communication.
It doesn’t matter how many times you reiterate something: If a person doesn’t want to change, they won’t. If a person doesn’t listen to you the first time, you shouldn’t be wasting your breath constantly saying the same things over and over. They heard you the first time. They just weren’t listening to you to understand why whatever you came to them about is bothering you. It took me a while to learn this, but I’m glad it finally stuck. It doesn’t matter if you find a thousand ways to get the same message across: If a person isn’t getting that point then it’s wasting time.
You shouldn’t have to beg to be treated right.
I wanted the person I was with to treat me right, but it seemed like I was constantly begging for the treatment I deserved and shouldn’t have had to ask for. There are so many people out there that will treat you the way you deserve to be treated without you having to say a word. It took months of being single and finally getting into a relationship where I was treated like a princess before I realized that I shouldn’t have ever had to ask for basic things that I deserved out of the relationship.
You have to be your own source of happiness.
Of course, the person you’re dating is going to make you happy, but they shouldn’t be your only source of happiness. I learned the hard way to never put your own happiness in the hands of someone else. It will always lead to you being hurt in the end. Put that sense of joy in your own hands. Give yourself the most power when it comes to your happiness.
Some relationships only happen as lessons.
My last relationship taught me that sometimes the sole purpose of some relationships are the lessons that you get out of them. You won’t have learned these exact lessons any other way. It hurt when I came to this realization because I figured out that no matter how hard either one of us had tried, the outcome would’ve remained the same.
If you’re not coming out of a relationship or moving forward in a relationship without learning something then you’re doing it wrong. Everything in life is a learning experience. Whether it be something big or small that you learned from it, the goal is to come out smarter in some way. I’m grateful for the past relationships I’ve been in because they allowed me to improve myself. Can you say the same?
By Cierra Lemott, Senior, Brooks College Prep
Instagram & Snapchat: @cece.kodak
*This article is made possible by the support of Chicago Dating Matters Initiative. #DatingMattersChi