Dating is hard! Every time you think you finally have it figured out, you learn the hard way that clearly you don’t. Lucky for you, we’ve compiled some of the best dating advice people have shared so you can learn from their experience and mistakes.
Hopefully, that makes your journey a little bit easier, but who are we kidding? Dating will be hard no matter what.
Forget “Happy Wife, Happy Life”
“They’ve got it backward. There’s a reason that woman fell in love with you, and a reason she decided to marry you. And that’s you.
“The moment you give up your hobbies, passions, and interests, the instant you put your happiness aside to please her, you’ve stopped being the man she fell in love with. And if you’re unhappy, how the hell are you going to show her anything else? ‘Happy life, happy wife,’ my friend.” —Reddit / suuupreddit
The Moment You Know It’s Over
“How do you know when it’s over? Maybe when you feel more in love with your memories than with the person standing in front of you.” —Reddit / catherined_93
You can’t keep living in the past. If the present no longer serves you, you have to let it go.
Love Is Happiness In The Midst Of Chaos
“Love isn’t all romance and grand sweeping declarations of love, it’s simply being able to be happy to be with them even when things are going badly all around.
“If you find someone who can make you happy, even when the world’s gone to hell, you’ve found love.” —Reddit / Nambot
Would’ve been nice to have found them before a pandemic, but it’s all fine.
Life’s Better Shared
“Marry your best friend. That’s the person you love the most. Through hell and high water, marry the person who you know will be there for you. No matter what’s happened. Because we all need a buddy.
“Life is hard. It could be worse. But that person who lifts you up? That’s your mate. That’s your love.” —Reddit / xiccit
Plus, it’s always nice to have someone to cuddle up with on movie nights.
Learn To Forgive
“Above all else, forgive, forgive, forgive. Humans make human mistakes. Don’t mistake ignorance for malpractice.” —Reddit / xiccit
Just make sure you also draw a line on forgiveness. If they make the same mistake too many times, that’s a different story.
“Marriage is not 50/50. It should be 100/100.”
“If you are in a relationship (not just marriage), be willing to put in 100% of the work. Yes, both people need to do their part (and you should be wary of anyone that doesn’t want to put in 100%), but there will be times where you have to do a lot more than your partner. ” —Reddit / TF79870
Life gets in the way sometimes, and partners have to be ready to take turns picking up the slack out of love during the times their partner can’t keep up.
Talk It All Out
“If you can’t talk about something, then you might be in the wrong relationship.” —Reddit / tacomalvado
A healthy relationship should provide you with a safe space to bring up your concerns, needs, and desires, and have them be heard, received, and worked on.
“Learn To Argue Constructively”
“Do not argue when you are tired, hungry, or driving a car. If now isn’t a good time to argue, write down the topic or email yourself. Every two weeks, go through the things you’ve not talked about.
“Remember, your goal isn’t to win against the other person, it is to collaborate and solve the problem. This means you should each start by listening to the other person and making sure your body language and responses make them feel listened to.” —Reddit / [deleted]
Don’t Feel Pressured To Get Married On A Timeline
“Don’t get married just because that’s what everyone else around you is doing.” —Reddit / something4222
We’re all on our own timelines and paths. If you do it out of fear that you’re running out of time or because everyone else is, you’ll likely regret it later and feel stuck.
Love Is A Choice Made Every Day
“Every day I wake up and I choose David again. The feelings I have for him are real and profound, but feelings don’t make up a relationship. Choices do.
“I choose to be with him. I choose to put off my wants for his needs. And he chooses to love me the same way.” —Reddit / [deleted]
Love is lost when you stop actively choosing it and just go through the motions.
You Both Need To Make Each Other Happy
“You’re only as happy as the least happy person in the relationship.” —Reddit / starcaster
That mentality results in a relationship where both parties genuinely try to keep each other happy rather than be selfish and just keep on taking for themselves. How can you be happy when the person you love is not?
“Easy Does It”
“Too often we get caught up in fear-based needs to control our partner. This pull becomes a destructive compulsion that corrodes the integrity of the relationship.
“It replaces respect and compassion with anger and resentment. It destroys the quality of our lives and over time, the relationship.” —Reddit / SonaBacha
If you trust them, then you shouldn’t feel a need to control them in the first place.
In Sickness And In Health
“Two things. First, look at how they treat their family members. If you stay with this person, they’ll eventually treat you that way.
“Second, watch what they do when you’re sick and do it for them. This is more specific, but often people care for you the way that they want to be cared for.” —Reddit / terminalvelocit3
Watch out especially for the second, as some will just want to be taken care of and never return the favor.
Check In On How You Feel After Leaving Them
“If you exhale deeply and relax after every time you leave your partner, like a stone is lifted off your shoulders, it’s time to end it.
“This is great for those people who are hopelessly in love and chase the idea of a person and are blind to everything else.” —Reddit / Sarge324
Listen to your gut, it usually knows best.
It’s Better To Go Through A Bad Breakup Than To Stay When You Shouldn’t
Reddit user oneEyedWinker shared a German saying that roughly translates to: “It’s better to have an end with horror than a horror without end.”
Even if leaving is hard, it passes, and the first step is the hardest. Staying in something toxic, however, is never-ending pain…until the moment you do leave.
Don’t Bottle Issues Up Hoping They’ll Go Away
“Be honest. If you aren’t happy or have doubts, tell your SO. That way, you can work out what is going on and can possibly fix issues before they really do become dealbreakers.” —Reddit / lasleeth
It’s always better to tackle issues early on. The longer you leave them, the more they carry weight, and the harder they become to fix. Plus, your partner might end up feeling blindsided.
Think Of Growing Love Like Nurturing A Flower
“When you like a flower, you just pluck it. But when you love a flower, you water it daily.” —Reddit / wickedsteve
Once you get past the honeymoon phase, the love is still there, but how you nurture it and grow it, rather than expect to go back to how things were? This is what’s going to make the difference.
It’s Okay To Splurge Sometimes
“It was my 1-year anniversary with my girlfriend. I’m always a little tight on cash, but my mom told me ‘money comes and goes, but memories are forever’ and I went through and bought my GF tickets to The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway.” —Reddit / CAPS_LOCK_OR_DIE
Don’t be afraid to spoil each other every once in a while. Experiences and date nights strengthen bonds, make a relationship more fun, and keep things exciting.
Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself Too
“Learn to take care of yourself, before someone else.” —Reddit / DeerAT.
If you’re not happy or okay, how can you on top of that make sure someone else is? It will drain you and wear you out, and eventually, that will reflect on the relationship, too.
You might start to resent them for taking up all your energy. Take time away at least once a week to focus on yourself.
When It’s Done, Be Thankful You Got To Experience It
“Don’t be sad that you’ve experienced love and now it’s gone; be thankful you’ve experienced love in the first place.” —Reddit / finanseer
Don’t look at breakups as failures, time wasted, or just pain. Instead, take the memories, learn the lessons, and be glad that you got to know how it feels, and hold onto that until you get to experience it again!