1. It should not come at the cost of your other relationships.
There is always a certain isolation involved in falling in love. The two of you have this ~amazing connection that no one else can understand~, and there is going to be that unhealthy-but-inevitable thought that goes through your head about “Why am I even bothering with friends or family or coworkers or going outside or eating, when I could just be cuddling in bed with the love of my life every second of every day?” But a good love is one that encourages you to take all of the warm fuzzies you are stocking up in your heart, and sprinkle them all over the other people in your life who are deserving of your love.
2. It doesn’t automatically mean that the other person feels the same way.
That’s the thing about falling — you’re just kind of flailing downwards out of the sky, flopping around like an amorous dying fish, expecting that you have some kind of a parachute strapped to your back. But sometimes you have no parachute, and are just falling by yourself, and are going to land on some jagged emotional rocks when all is said and done. It’s easy to assume that the feelings are reciprocated — and that they ultimately want the same kind of things that you do — but it’s important to never assume that such is the case until you have actually communicated about it.
3. Nothing is worse than keeping it all bottled in.
Aside from the fact that it’s pertinent to find out whether or not the object of your love loves you back, it’s just generally important to tell people how you feel. The feeling of keeping your affection for someone painfully bottled up is akin to filling yourself with helium to the point that you afraid you are literally going to burst apart at the seams. Torturing yourself by insisting that you not be honest, lest you look like a real human being with emotions and flaws and shit, only ends up hurting all parties involved.
4. It’s easy to mistake being in lust for being in love.
If it’s been a long, long drought for you, and you are finally graced with some wet, hot American Genitals, it’s easy to feel a facsimile of the throes of love. You are consumed with them, you are endeared by everything they do, you can’t stand to be away from them — but the “them” in these scenarios may just be that quality D. Suddenly not being lonely anymore, combined with getting some tip-top pipe lain on a regular basis, is a recipe for feeling like you have real affection for someone, when really you just wanted a warm body to spoon with.
5. Love is not an automatic cure for all of your other problems.
The thing is that, even if you feel like a good dose of love is going to transform your life from “acceptably mediocre” to “face-meltingly satisfying,” it cannot help with everything. If your job sucked before, it will still suck. If you were not doing well in school before, it actually might exacerbate that problem. Falling in love is like being intoxicated, and though it may effectively dull the rest of your problems, it doesn’t get rid of them. So it’s important to keep an eye on the other things that need tending to in your day-to-day.
6. You are not on the magical other side of some invisible fence now.
There is nothing worse than the people who get into a relationship and suddenly transform into some two-headed monster that only speaks in variants of “We” and “Us,” and who regards the world through a lens of “Cute, Charming Couples” and “Sad, Stinky Singles.” Don’t be like them.
7. If you can feel yourself becoming a different person, it’s not worth it.
At the end of the day, you don’t know if it’s going to work out. Even if you have really strong feelings for this person — like, Romeo and Juliet-style codependent shit — that does not mean that it’s going to be in the cards for you two. And the worst thing is to leave a relationship feeling like you transformed your whole being, only to be rejected. To lose your sense of self, or of self-worth, because it was better to pretend to be the person they want to date, is about as degrading as it gets. If you can feel yourself changing to suit their desires (and you can always feel it, even if you don’t want to admit it), you need to get out. It’s just not worth it.