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Love Advice: 10 Lessons Your Own Experiences can Teach You

love advice

Although given with the very best of intentions, the wise words of family and friends can’t help you more that the love advice you give yourself.

In the immortal words of the song “Love, is a many splendored thing.” Whilst anyone who has been truly and deeply in love would be hard pressed to argue against this simple, although somewhat glib, statement, they would also probably tell you that it is also a very confusing, difficult and evolving thing that takes a lot of awareness and hard work to maintain.

And the truth of the matter is that no matter how much you read on the subject of love, no matter what sage advice you seek from those who are proficient in that particular arena, there are certain lessons that you will only ever learn from experience.

What is love?

A very simple question to ask that has, unfortunately, only very complex, contradictory and confounding answers, which even then could easily be disputed or argued against. All we truly know about love is that it happens. It happens in all kind of environments, between all kinds of different people from different backgrounds, at different times in life and in very differing ways.

And this is why there are some lessons that can only be learned from experience – because no two people or their situations are ever identical.

Love advice only you can give yourself

The following list provides a few examples of exactly what some of those crucial advice and love lessons might be.

#1 Your type. The human mind, spirit, emotions, etc., consist of diverse and multifarious layers within a spectrum stretching from the obvious to the deeply subconscious, the part of us that governs love seemingly existing somewhere in the vicinity of the latter.

And this explains how people often fall in love with those who you would never have thought were their types, those who such people themselves probably never thought of as their types either, until cupid’s arrow struck and they fell head-over-heels in love with them.

The fact is that love operates in a place so deeply hidden within us that we are never truly aware of the influences that persuade it to make its decisions. You might think you have a type, a particular look or personality that you feel is a suitable match, but love will teach you that it has its own selection process of which you can only ever hope to understand. [Read: 9 reasons your ideal partner wish list isn’t working for you]

#2 Love is tough. It is. Forget the romance movies with their rose-tinted glasses approach to the whole question of love as, unfortunately, the world doesn’t operate that way. When you fall in love with someone, you create a dependence that involves a lot of sacrifice and compromise, in order to make it work as well as you want to.

When you’re in love, the lesson a lot of the time is about giving parts of yourself up, so that you can continue to pursue the new found object of your desires. And that is a lot more difficult than a few sentences or passages can even begin to describe. Only experience can teach you that particular lesson.

#3 Know thyself. You might think you have a familiar, if not intimate, understanding of your innermost workings, but just wait until you fall deeply in love. Everything you know about yourself will be turned on its head, twisted, opposed and subjected to a torrent of emotional bewilderment.

For a start, you will be subjected to emotions that you have never experienced before, never even knew you had, emotions such as jealousy, dependence, anger, sympathy, empathy, and fear. Your emotional state will be more brittle and vulnerable than you ever could have imagined, and this in turn, will teach you a lesson about yourself that you would not have otherwise experienced. [Read: 19 sure signs you’re starting to fall in love with someone]

#4 The one and only. What’s the one line that you hear in romance movies all the time? “How do I know if it’s true love?” And the answer is nearly always something along the lines of, “If it is, you’ll just know.” And that’s exactly it.

There are no words to explain what being in love really is, and chances are that if you need to ask that question, then you’re not in love. There is no series of tick box questions that you can go through to discern the truth on this particular topic. The only way you’ll know that you’ve met your one and only, the love of your life, is when the experience of being in love tells you so.

#5 Nothing is as important. Well, that may be a little bit of an overstatement, but only just. When you are truly head-over-heels in love, everything else, all those events and happenings that seemed like such a world-shattering importance, suddenly kind of fade away into insignificance.

All you can think about is the object of your affections, and no matter how level-headed a person you are, no matter how practical or down to earth, your confidence in your ability to remain so in the face of any emotion will be sorely put to the test by the experience of being in love.

#6 Love is all you need. More song titles to describe the point, as they do that so well, but when you are truly in love, you don’t need anything else. You find that all your plans for money, career, or any other kind of advancement suddenly seem petty and childish.

All you want out of life is to get to spend it alongside the man or woman who has, in a flash, turned your life upside down. Likewise, big romantic gestures, gifts and pledges seem to have little value anymore. You both find more romance in a flower stem tied as a ring around the finger or a wine stain on a shirt as a reminder of your time together, than in any amount of jewelry or other expensive gifts. Another lesson that only the actual experience of being in love can teach. [Read: Is love real? 10 happy signs that fuzzy feeling is all too real]

#7 A farewell to pride. You can’t be prideful and be in love also, the two just don’t go hand in hand. When you’re in love, all that you care about is the object of your desires. And things that you previously thought of as important in your character and the way people perceive you no longer matter in the slightest.

#8 Expect the unexpected. Love is no observer of convention or time. It doesn’t matter how inconvenient your particular situation is for love or what boundaries there are that you’d prefer to observe. Indeed, love almost seems to get a kick out of putting such boundaries to the test. But get ready for the unexpected. It can happen at any time, in any place, with even the most unexpected of people, no matter how disciplined and controlled you like to think you are. [Read: 10 things that will bring your soulmate closer to you]

#9 A change of attitude. Does it annoy you when people talk with their mouths full? Does the way some people breathe when they sleep set your teeth on edge? Do you just hate it when people ask pointless questions?

Well, be prepared to have such dislikes swept aside because – and I’m sure you’ll disagree with me, if true love isn’t an experience you’ve yet had the pleasure of – when your loved one commits any of these minor social crimes, you will suddenly find that your former pet peeves have transformed into the cutest and most adorable mannerisms that you’ve ever had the pleasure to witness.

#10 The best medicine. And true love really is. This final lesson that only the experience of true love can teach is that no matter how bad your day has been, no matter how down or under the weather you feel, just one flash of a smile or a kind word from the one you love, and you’ll feel like you could take on the world again. And that really is a beautiful thing. [Read: 9 ways you and your partner bring out each other’s best]

Although the subject of love is one that has been the focus of poems, books and songs since the first men and women made eyes at each other, there can never ever be a replacement for the love advice you learn from your own experiences.

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David Cullen
David Cullen
David Cullen is frequently described as erudite, insightful and witty – but only by himself and only after several large glasses of Rioja....

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DISCUSSION

5 thoughts on “Love Advice: 10 Lessons Your Own Experiences can Teach You”

  1. Sea says:

    In 2010, my doctor told me that I was positive for HIV. I thought that I had my life ruined forever. I was in a depressed state for 3 years. It was just this 2015 that I have truly came to my senses and knew what my life calling was. I knew that I have had the calling to spread the disease! I am hot as eff and I truly want to be of service to this world. I now know that we have these kinds of diseases to control the world’s population. The world is just so over populated now. The best way to truly get rid of the excess population is by killing it. What better way to kill somebody than to let them die in a natural, painful and slow death? I would say it’s natural because I know this is nature made. This is how it was meant to be. I started having unprotected sex with any guy I come across with and also a couple of women. SO far, I have been with 144 en and 123 women and I’m pretty sure that at least 90 percent is positive now. I would be doing the world a huge favor controlling the population and all. You should all thank me. If you want to end your life, just give me a call and I will let you die a slow painful death but give you pleasure first, of course.

  2. Eustace says:

    Oh love! People may call it the best feeling and something that makes them alive. Give me a break! Humans can live without love and I say that with capital CAN. Because seriously what can love give to you that will make you live. Water? Food? Air? None of the above. Only headache, heartache, misery and problems. When you marry, you have to take care of your partner, you split what you have earned with your own hands in the name of love. I can survive alone. So to all those haters who tell me I should find myself a partner. Well guess what, I shouldn’t.

  3. Quirkt says:

    Our own experiences can teach us the value of ourselves. We have been broken so many times, that we have to learn how to make advice for ourselves. I think we in the dating world, have been plagued with so much hatred sometimes in our own selves because of the past emotional heartbreaks we have had in the past. No one is perfect, so why would we expect a perfect someone to fill our lives? We have to live our own lives and not depend on anyone to be happy.

  4. admit says:

    My girlfriend and I have been together for a few months. Most things are great and we’re pretty happy. She stays over pretty frequently, but last night she found a box of tampons in a drawer in my bathroom. They’re not her brand and she swears she didn’t accidentally buy them. I honestly have no idea how they got there or who they belong to. A caveat; I’m a guy in college – I’m not a sleeze bag but I’m not a total saint so I’ve been with a few girls. Prior to this relationship, I can MAYBE think of a girl or two who would have shoved them in there and left them but I can’t pinpoint who – it’s been awhile. The weird thing is, she’s used that drawer before (as have I on occasion) and never noticed them. I’m dumbfounded and she was pretty pissed. This morning she sent me a photo of a long hair (longer than hers) on the bathroom counter. The color was the opposite of her hair. I’m a clean guy and I’ve cleaned my bathroom 100 times over since we’ve been together so it’s super strange. At this point I literally don’t have an explanation. I’m 100% faithful and I’d never violate her trust like that – they have to be from someone before her obviously. Is the hair thing confirmation bias at this point? She’s pretty pissed. Is trying to explain things going to make things worse? I don’t really know what to do.

  5. syncopate says:

    When you let love grow naturally, it’s the most amazing thing.

    Don’t have arguments through text.

    You can only help a person who is willing to help himself. And in that vein, sometimes the best help you can offer is just a bit of space…

    Patience is probably one of the best qualities you can have. I really got a chance to develop my patience and some of the greatest things came of it!

    The most wonderful thing in the world, for me, is feeling like you are totally understood and accepted by someone else. When all is said and done, the most meaningful thing my ex and I experienced were our great conversations. That’s what I learned about relationships in general. But seeing how my ex conducted himself in daily life also taught me a good deal about myself: Sometimes people hurt you, but the way you respond to that hurt is totally, 100% your own choice. The knee-jerk reaction for most people is to respond in a way that would shoot the pain right back at the person. But the reaction that brings the most peace is the choice to forgive. You control your emotions – your emotions don’t control you. You can choose to forgive at any moment. My ex was super intuitive. He could guess so much about you based on a simple conversation; could look into your eyes and see your deepest secrets. It felt so good when he understood everything going on in my head without my telling him, so I tried to return the favor – I paid really good attention to his habits, mannerisms, and stories in an attempt to understand him as completely as he understood me. I was successful. I’m now a MUCH more perceptive person (practice makes perfect) and I use that skill on everyone I meet (practice makes permanent). So it’s much easier for me to relate to people now. And people confide in me more often. I like being in a position like that – perfectly placed to help people. My ex was so very passionate. He worked so hard for his dreams. He inspired me to discover my own passions and work for them, consistently. Life has become so much more colorful. After the breakup, I became depressed for a long time. But at some point, I decided that I didn’t WANT to be sad anymore. So, I told myself that every time I started to think bad thoughts, I would just forcibly think, “Thank you”, instead, until I felt the bad thoughts subside. Sometimes I ended up saying “Thank you” to my reflection for as long as forty five minutes at a time… but it worked. I learned how strong the mind is. And I learned about the healing power of gratitude. But despite that, I eventually became bitter. Then I read this quote and it struck me: “Do you take pride in your hurt? Does it make you seem large and tragic? …Well, think about it. Maybe you’re playing a part on a great stage with only yourself as audience.” – John Steinbeck. Learned that everything, EVERYTHING, is temporary… so enjoy things while they last. Seek out the positive and choose to pay attention to that. Became a much better person through dating my ex. He’s a fantastic person. Hope that one day we can be friends again. Hope that one day I’ll find another guy who I grow to love just as much, and who can teach me just as many valuable things about life.

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