1. You get to learn that your interests aren’t the only interests in the world, and that there are so many fun, cool things you would have never thought to try if you had stayed by yourself.
2. Because of trying new things with the person you love, you become less afraid overall of putting yourself into new situations and unfamiliar activities.
3. You get immersed into a new social group, and have a whole new network of people to get to know and possibly establish your own lasting relationships with.
4. You meet someone else’s family and realize, through doing so, that your family isn’t totally weird and that everyone has their issues and their quirks.
5. Eventually you learn to put your partner’s needs before your own in some cases, and realize that compromising and understanding are not signs of weakness.
6. Someone else can finally (tactfully) point out the things you are doing that are hurtful, things you might not have even known you were doing.
7. You learn to fight clean, and to separate the things you are actually angry about versus the things you know will hurt them the most.
8. Relationships can put a spotlight on the things you want out of another person, and the things you need someone to bring to a relationship.
9. You get to learn another human being so intimately that you realize they are just as complex and full of surprises as you are.
10. With the knowledge that your partner is actually a full-fledged human being, you start to notice that every single person you pass and interact with every day is just as deep and interesting.
11. You learn to trade off your social calendar — some days it’s going to be hanging with their friends, some days with yours.
12. At least in the beginning, you become more organized, because you don’t want them to see your messy car, room, apartment, or overall lifestyle.
13. You learn to see yourself through someone else’s eyes, even in the moments that it might be unflattering.
14. Between the two of you, you find more motivation to do things out of your respective comfort zones, because you have someone else encouraging and depending on you.
15. You establish a level of trust that enables you to be honest about things you might never have told anyone in your life.
16. When you want to say something really hurtful, often your love for your partner will cause you to stop and reflect on what you’re going to say.
17. You learn to take more pleasure in spoiling your partner than in spoiling yourself, and end up treating each other with enough attention and kindness that you don’t feel like you’re depriving yourself.
18. You start to look at everything as a potential date, and not categorizing things as “date nights” or “regular nights.”
19. The sex you have can become more complex, more adventurous, and more fulfilling, the more comfortable you become with someone.
20. You learn to become more confident in your body, because you have someone who loves you the way you should love yourself reinforcing you every day.
21. The two of you can learn to be chivalrous — regardless of gender — and learn what it means to be kind and compassionate to someone in a romantic way.
22. You take more risks, knowing you have a cheerleader in your corner.
23. The baseline of happiness you get from a good relationship allows you to be much happier for everyone else, even when their success has nothing to do with you.
24. You do things that you might not want to do — like going to a concert, shopping, or on a camping trip — because you know that the other person will be happy. And you learn to find the good in these moments that you otherwise would have overlooked.
25. You understand, after getting through a serious breakup, that it’s not actually the end of the world, that life goes on regardless, and you’re okay being independent if you need to. It just takes time.