10 Things You Learn From Your First Relationship

by Mikaela Gilbert-Lurie

First relationships don't typically result in lifelong love stories, but that doesn't mean that they're worthless. In fact, as awkward and bumbling as your first relationship was (or maybe yours was graceful and perfect and mine was just like that because I'm awkward), you undoubtedly came away from it a wiser person — or at least, that's the thinking behind the growing Reddit thread: what did you learn from your first relationship?

The question was posted yesterday by a Redditor who goes by the name "Slavin"; so far, it has received more than 1,100 responses. Clearly, people have opinions about what they learned from the first people they dated, with the advice ranging from the lighthearted ("Always get your sweater back after it ends, even if it takes five years") to the deeply earnest ("Don't go into a relationship trying to change someone").

I find that thinking about what you learned from a relationship is a really good way to not regret it, even if it didn't end in wedding bells. It's really hard not to feel like you wasted however many number of years dating someone when things don't work out in the end; however, learning more about yourself, what you want in a partner, and how to be the best version of yourself are all important steps in becoming a more complete person. Your relationships aren't all just building up to the endgame of marriage: each one of the people you date adds to the fabric of your narrative, and that's certainly not a waste of time.

Here are 10 of the best answers to the question, "What did you learn from your first relationship?"; head on over to AskReddit for more.

1. Long Distance Is the Worst

Oh boy, do I feel this one hard. I spent my first year and a half of college in a long distance relationship, and I couldn't agree more deeply with this poster: Never. Ever. Again.

2. Loving Someone Is Not the Same as Being Their Mom

To be honest, I'm jealous that this person learned that so young.

3. Dating Is a Balancing Act

Everyone experiences this in a relationship at some point or another, and it's such an important thing to learn. There's always give and take in a relationship, but it should never be one-sided.

4. Don't Be Anyone's Secret

Yeah it does.

5. Loving Someone Doesn't Always Mean You Should Be With Them

This is another one that's so hard to learn: loving someone and being right for someone are two very different, and sometimes mutually exclusive, things.

6. "Vulnerability."

Sometimes the simple answers are the realest.

7. Liking That Someone Likes You Isn't Enough

I wish more than anything that I had known this in high school. I wasted an incredible amount of time on boys whose attention I preferred to their company.

8. The Right Kind Of Protection Is Imperative

A very good thing to know. Now go get yourself some lambskin alternatives.

9. Your Friends Are Everything

Huge shoutout to all the people who take care of their brokenhearted friends even after they've been ignored in favor of a significant other. You the real MVPS.

10. You'll Be OK

When you're in the throes of first love, everything feels like the biggest deal in the world. It's probably not, and you'll definitely look back on it and be OK. Take it from someone who claimed she would "never be happy again" after she and her first boyfriend broke up.

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Images: Scotch Broom/Flickr; Reddit (10); Giphy (4)