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When I got back together with a romantic partner I'd broken up with, I felt a lot of judgement from people around me. They asked me why I would do such a thing when there are so many fish in the sea.
The truth is that there's no real reason I got back together with him. I could ask myself why I did it, and I could label myself or try to turn back the clock. But it happened, and I believe that there was a reason.
Our relationship eventually fell apart, but I learned a lot from it, and for that I am grateful.
Here are six lessons that taking my ex back taught me:
1. Love is not enough.
Don't get me wrong, love is magnificent. Love can make amazing things happen. Love is the foundation of a healthy relationship. However, if your future, happiness or health are at stake, it's not enough. When a relationship is going through a difficult time, love by itself won't keep the relationship intact. Respect and considerate behavior also do.
2. When someone says that they understand you, they will try their best not to make you cry.
We often say that the person we love understands us like no one else does. If your partner really understands you, they have no reason to make you feel badly about yourself. People who understand you are aware of how they can impact your life, and for that reason won't intentionally bring pain and agony upon you.
3. Just because you miss something doesn't mean it's good for you.
We all have that feeling of emptiness when we decide to eliminate something (or someone) from our lives. That doesn't mean that what we let go of was healthy for us. We're creatures of habit, so it only makes sense that we will miss something that we've become used to. Missing someone isn't an indicator of whether you should give someone a second chance; how they treat you is.
4. Everything in life changes and evolves, including people and relationships.
I'm a sucker for nostalgia, and I often find myself getting stuck in the past and wanting things to be the way they used to be. The truth is that things will never be how they once were. It isn't possible to recreate the past in the present. Things change, and in that process, people grow together or they grow apart. The energy spent forcing things to be how they used to be can be spent on more significant and progressive aspects of your life.
5. All of your friends and family can't all be wrong about one person.
Sometimes our desire for things to go our way distorts the truth. Your family and friends have your best interests at heart. If they all disapprove of your relationship, that's a red flag. It might be phrased through judgement and command, but their concern is something to listen to. They want you to be loved the way you deserve to be loved.
6. Someone's love is not owed to you by the amount of time you've invested in your relationship.
You may have given many years and invested a lot of time into a relationship, but that doesn't mean that you're owed someone's love. Mutual love is easy. Sometimes it requires work, but constant work is exhausting. A relationship shouldn't be a burden; it's a beautiful blessing that two people want to give to one another.