It's easy to think back on past relationships and remember only the negatives. You catalog your mistakes and dwell on the time you wasted with someone who left you with emotional baggage, a broken heart and little else.
But what if instead you looked at a split as an educational experience (albeit a really painful one) that taught you valuable lessons about what you want and absolutely don't want in your next relationship? Earlier this week, Redditors did just that, sharing the most important lesson they've learned by way of heartbreak.
1. "You need to preserve your own identity and your space. Embrace your individuality, pursue your interests while sharing some of it as a couple."
2. "I learned that in order for someone to hear you, you have to talk, and in order for something to change, you have listen."
3. "You need things in common, but not common interests -- those will change. You need common values. Take stock of what's important to you, what's right and wrong in your world. Find someone who agrees with that and everything else will come together, more or less."
4. "Never assume malice when stupidity will suffice. In other words, never assume your significant other is up to something if they could possibly just be ignorant of the fact that it looks like they are up to something."
5. "You can't love enough for both people."
6. "Even if it doesn't work out, marriage and a divorce can make you a stronger and kinder person."
7. "You're not obliged to set yourself on fire in order to keep somebody else warm."
8. "Don't let the fear of being alone lead you to deny what you really want. Hold on tightly to personal integrity."
9. "To recognize and show appreciation for the love given by that other person in your life on a daily basis. They need to actually hear it. I should have said it more often."
10. "You have to ask yourself: 'If you were someone of the opposite sex, would you date yourself?' That kind of made me take a look at my own bad habits and behaviors in a different light. Now when I have a fight or a disagreement in my current relationship, I try to make sure I respond in a manner I would want my partner to respond in."
11. "Humor and IQ will last longer than good looks."
12. The petty nuances which make your blood boil are the things you miss when your ex is gone."
13. "There is nothing wrong with being 'picky.' Some things are tolerable and of no consequence and some things aren't. The trick is finding where the line between tolerable and intolerable lies for you."
14. "You are in control of your own happiness. You need to be happy with yourself if you are to be in a healthy and happy relationship."
15. "Be a thinker in your relationship. Common sense should rule, not your heart."
16. "Don't disregard the red flags. I was insecure, naïve and thought I was being judgmental. Nope. He was a jerk and we had nothing in common."
17. "That you should only be with someone that genuinely, freely, and entirely wants to be with you. Begging to be noticed is not healthy."
18. "Communication in an argument isn't about convincing your partner that you're right. It's about understanding."