1. Acknowledge the fact that although a loving partner can bring you incredible happiness, joy, support, and comfort, they are not responsible for making you whole – that’s your job.
2. Remember that being in love as an adult is harder than being in love as a teenager – you have responsibilities and bills and a job and independence and an actual life partner now, and that’s a good thing.
3. Be realistic about what your needs are in a relationship.
4. But don’t apologize for having standards and believing that you deserve someone who treats you well and makes you happy.
5. Don’t try to compare your romantic situation to that of ANYONE else – every person’s life, personality, temperament, and romantic situation is entirely unique, so trying to compare your situation to someone else’s is just a waste of your time.
6. Remind yourself that infatuation is just an instant, addictive, and temporary high.
7. But that genuine love is a steadier, more evenly-paced sort of lasting comfort.
8. Remember that being single does not mean that there is anything wrong with you.
9. And it doesn’t mean that you are under any obligation to explain your ‘situation’ to people who want to know how you could possibly be ‘still single.’
10. Always stand your ground when you truly feel like you need to stick up for yourself in a relationship.
11. But also learn how to apologize, because it’s never going to be easy or pleasant to do so, even when you know deep down that you’re in the wrong.
12. The only way another person will change is if they want to; it’s not something you can control and that’s something you need to accept from the get-go.
13. Falling in love is easy; choosing to stay in love is the harder part.
14. Be completely honest with your partner, but also be completely honest with yourself.
15. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to remember that it is far worse to settle for someone that you know is wrong for you than it is to be alone.
16. Being alone does not have to mean the same thing as being lonely.
17. Make sure that you’re never falling in love with the idea of someone.
18. Whatever you do, don’t measure or make anything a competition; measuring is toxic to a relationship.
19. Never stop making the person you love feel appreciated, cared for, and respected.
20. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you need to change yourself in order to be loved.
21. Accept from the very beginning that if you want a lifelong partnership with someone, you’re going to have to make a lot of compromises.
22. Remember that passion and excitement are wonderful things to feel in a relationship, but that kindness and selflessness are often more important when it comes to making love last.
23. Be okay with the fact that although you will always love your partner, it does not mean you will always like them.
24. If marriage is in the cards for you, remember that your wedding day is just one single day out of thousands and thousands of days you’ll spend with your spouse.
25. Understand that experiencing emotional intimacy with another person is going to make you feel vulnerable, and that that’s a good thing.
26. Find the person with whom you can have a relationship in which compromises and selfless choices are not tallied.
27. Instead, find the person you trust enough to just know that they will make as many selfless choices for your benefit that you will make for theirs.
28. Don’t have a strict, unbending list of every characteristic you must have in a significant partner – be at least somewhat flexible.
29. But also, don’t feel weird about knowing what it is that you want.
30. Never miss an opportunity to tell someone that you love them.
31. And more importantly than telling them, show them.
32. Never forget that in order to love someone else, you have to love yourself first.