12 Women Share The Crucial Dating Advice They Wish They Could Give Their Younger Self

Drew Patrick Miller

1. “Demand honesty from the beginning.”

–Cassandra, 35

2. “Make sure he’s not asking you to take him back simply because he can’t find anything better. Be very, very careful about this.”

–Erika, 28

3. “Absolutely do not compare your relationship to anyone else’s ever. Everybody’s love life is supposed to be different, that’s the nature of the beast.”

–Janelle, 31

4. “Games seem fun and exciting short-term. But long-term, they will make you absolutely miserable.”

–Alicia, 30

5. “If a guy wants to be with you, he will be with you. Don’t let him (or yourself) make any other excuses for it.”

–Cristina, 34

6. “He can make you very happy, but he cannot be the only source of your happiness and contentment. You need a life outside of him. That is absolutely key to your happiness and to the health of your love life.”

–Joan, 31

7. “Have standards, but while in a relationship, also remember that you are not perfect.”

–Leah, 33

8. “You’re not going to change him. Stop thinking you’ll be different than anyone else that’s ever dated him.”

–Whitnie, 29

9. “Look for someone you can talk to. Attraction will be there, but not during every moment of your relationship. So it’s important to find someone you feel connected to outside of looks.”

–Deirdre, 30

10. “If he’s already making you feel insecure in week two, shut it down.”

–Cynthia, 34

11. “Stay active, do a lot of different things, have hobbies outside of work. That’s going to highly increase your chances of meeting people.”

–Mallory, 28

12. “Be yourself. You don’t want somebody to fall in love with a person that isn’t you. The reality always comes out.”

–Rachael, 32 TC mark

Kim Quindlen

I'm a staff writer for Thought Catalog. I like comedy and improv. I live in Chicago. My Uber rating is just okay.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

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