James Michael Sama explains the 15 most important love lessons guys learn as they mature.
As we get older, the hope is that we also become more mature. As we become more mature, our perspective on most subjects will change. The hope is that this will also be for the better. One of the largest areas of life that this happens in, is love. Self love, love of another person, love of family members and friends – just love in general.
We will experience sadness, happiness, heartbreak, rejection, and about every emotion across the spectrum; some that we didn’t even know we had.
But, this is precisely where the maturity and perspective comes from. Here are a few things that the passage of time will teach us about life and love.
Appreciate the gift of time.
Time is our most valuable asset of all. It is a limited commodity for each of us. Maturity will teach us to appreciate it when someone spends their time with us more than when they spend their money on us. Money can be gotten back, time cannot.
You can handle it.
We all face tough times. Heartbreak, ends of relationships, challenges in life. Things that make us say “I don’t know if I can handle this.” We use this as an expression to define the significance of a situation – but if you are reading this right now then you have a 100% success rate at handling tough times in your past, and you will be able to do it again in your future.
It is better to be single than in the wrong relationship. When we combine societal pressures to be in a relationship with an often misconstrued idea of our own self worth, the result is usually a negative relationship that we shouldn’t be in at all. As difficult as these relationships are, they can teach us a valuable lesson if we let them: It is better to stay single and only accept the love you deserve, than it is to settle for negative relationships along the way.
Just. Be. Honest.
When we are younger, we all want to have fun and are a little more carefree. But as we mature, we understand the value of just being up front and honest about what we want. In the same vein, we appreciate it all the more when someone does this for us in return. There is a time in one’s life when there is no interest in games or dishonesty.
Stop trying to change people.
This is a hard lesson to learn, but over time we will eventually realize that it is impossible to ‘fix’ someone who does not want to be fixed. The next time you think about changing somebody – think about how difficult it is to change yourself.
But, speaking of changing yourself, I do think that while we cannot change a person, we can be their reason to want to change. But it needs to come from within.
People probably aren’t really paying that much attention.
So, stop caring what they think. They are too wrapped up in their own lives to put much thought into yours or meddle in your relationship. And if they are, who cares anyway?
If you hold onto your past, you will never experience your future.
History only repeats itself for people who refuse to learn from it. In order to move forward and accept happiness in our lives, we need to be willing to leave the past behind us. We should pack up the lessons it taught us in a carry-on and bring them along so we don’t make the same mistakes again, but cut the string on the dead weight.
The windshield is larger than the rearview for a reason – it’s good to glance back at where you have been, but if you focus on it you will surely crash.
Relationships take work, but they shouldn’t be work.
Not everything is going to be sunshine and rainbows and little bunnies hopping through fields. There are going to be challenges you face in life and in your relationship. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that everything is going to be easy and should flow completely naturally for the rest of your life and that you’ll never have an argument.
But, the good should outweigh the bad. You should feel as though your teammate is enhancing your life, not complicating it. If it feels like it will crumble if you don’t spend every waking moment trying to make it work…then let it crumble.
He or she should put in effort to make you happy.
Great relationships are not about give and take – they are about give and give. You will know you’ve found the right partner when they continue to show you how much you mean to them, long after they’ve got you.
It is important to live your own lives.
It’s easy to get caught up in the allure of someone new during the beginning stages of a relationship. You might want to be around them constantly, which is great if the feeling is mutual! But over time as the relationship evolves, it is important for both people to remain individuals and have their own lives. Co-dependence is not the foundation you want to build for a healthy relationship comprised of two happy, fulfilled partners.
You cannot rely on someone else to make you happy.
People who search for happiness in a relationship [when they haven’t yet established it in themselves] never seem to find it. Why? Because you need to get your own life in order first, and then share it with someone. If you are not happy being single, you will not be happy in a relationship.
Some people unfortunately just kind of suck.
If you are anything like me, you will always want to see the good in people and search high and low in order to find something great about them. There will be people you come across who seem to make this task impossible. Accept them for who they are and allow them to go on their merry way without you. Life is too short to allow that negativity into your life.
Intelligence is sexy.
Sometimes, things just don’t work out.
An ended relationship doesn’t always have to be someone’s fault. It doesn’t have to be a catastrophic event or seen as a failure. There are times in life where two people just don’t mesh well together intimately, and the sooner we accept this, the sooner we can move past our heartbreak.
You deserve love and affection to be mutual.
Recognizing our self worth is perhaps the most important thing that can happen as we mature. I have always said that this is the only true path to setting our standards properly, because we will be unable to do so if we haven’t first identified and decided what we deserve. You deserve the love, effort, and respect that you willingly give to your partner to be given right back to you.
Don’t worry about having to hold on to someone you love. If they love you back, they’ll be holding on to you, too.
Originally appeared on James M. Sama’s blog