From birth to adulthood and through old age, we are taught many lessons in life. "Things We Wish We Learned Sooner About" aims to openly discuss the life lessons within multiple subject we wished we learned sooner. Let's have a look at important lessons about love, dating, relationships (including marriage) and even sex that we wish someone told us about sooner.
Growing up, each of us had influential people in our lives; those people who would give us great advice (even if we didn't want it). Maybe for you it was your mother, your father, an extended family member, a friend, a neighbour or even a stranger.
People teach us throughout life on a variety of topics including how to ride your first bike, how to talk to people, how to play fair, etc. Sometimes there are aspects we wish we were more well-advised on before jumping into the pool; this time we're talking about the dating and relationship pool.
After discussing with numerous people, here is my never to be complete list of things we wish we learned sooner about love, dating, relationships and marriage.
Many of us got "the talk" at some point in our lives (although some of us didn't). Whether it was from our parents, sexual education in school or curiosity in the library (yes, they still exist) or on the Internet, a good portion of people got an ear-full or eye-full of information about the birds and the bees.
But what if we didn't? Oh, the awkward feeling of being with a new partner and secretly comparing experience levels mentally, wondering if you're as "skilled" or as "well-practiced" as the person you're about to do the dance with.
I could go on but one of the points I would like to bring across here is that if you didn't get "the talk", don't be ashamed to look up information or ask questions. It's not shameful or perverted and you shouldn't be embarrassed. We all do it whether or not you think it or have witnessed it. The more you know, the more comfortable you'll be and that benefits everyone.
2. Sharing emotions
Whether it was during our young kindergarten lives or later on, we learned that "sharing is caring". Whether we find this a cliche or not, it completely applies to personal relationships. When I attended We Day 2011 in Downtown Toronto, I learned a very important lesson from Mr. Patch Adams:
"Love is an emotion but, if you're good at it, it is an intelligence"
You can't expect someone to love you more than you love yourself. If you don't love yourself, this will lead to bigger problems in your relationships. You also can't communicate with others any more sincerely or positively than you can be honest, optimistic or sincere with yourself.
Share your emotions with yourself so you may share them with others and they may share with you.
This is how we grow together.
3. Jealousy leads to nowhere
How many times have you been in public and seen a couple with one of the partners acting very jealous. Maybe you were in a club or bar and witnessed a girl flipping out over a boy dancing with another girl. Maybe it was in a restaurant or public place and a man was arguing with a woman over re-adding an old flame to Facebook or her cell phone.
How many times have you yourself wanted to start an arguement because you were slightly bitten by the jealousy bug over something your partner said or did? Looking back, did it create the same negative atmosphere each time? Was anything positive ever accomplished from such an arguement or discussion? Likely not.
You're going to hear this line many times but it shouldn't lose its rank in your mind; relationships require trust.
If you trust the one you're with, you should have very little to be jealous about. If anything, people might just be jealous of you for having such stable shared emotions and actions as a couple. Communication is also key here. If something is making you uncomfortable, don't dwell on it or let it build up in your mind.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
4. Changing someone (or the lack of)
It's one of the many lessons certain mothers try to teach their girls but they usually end up having to learn it themselves once they're on their own; you can't completely change your partner just because you want to.
If a person, in their mind, does not fully believe in or feel up to the change that one wants to take place, it is very unlikely that this change will happen at all.
Accept the person you're with for who they are but if you can't without putting yourself or others in a negative or dangerous situation, they're not the right person for you. The truth can hurt sometimes but not as much as the frustration that comes from impossible (lack of) change.
5. Leaving is an option.
This one cannot be stressed enough.
No matter who you are, where you are or who you are with, leaving is an option. Period.
Talk to someone you trust, especially if you're being abused (emotionally, physically or sexually) and find the strength in yourself and through others to be able to do what you need to do; leave.