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30 Things You Learn About Love By The Time You're 30

It gets worse, guys. (And also so much better.)

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1. You need to start with yourself.

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Know yourself. Appreciate your gifts and understand and accept the flaws you cannot change. Work on the ones you can. Be the best version of you before seeking the best version of someone else.

2. Hearts are broken, but not destroyed.

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If you put yourself out there, you will, inevitably, at some point or another, have your heart broken. It will hurt. You will grieve and you will become angry and your pride will take a beating. But some day, both slowly and seemingly all of a sudden, the pain will stop, and you will love and be loved again.

5. There is no such thing as "The One."

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You may indeed find the one person who is willing and able to grow with and alongside you through the years, through challenges and joys and losses and quiet. Or you may not. You may, instead, find many "Ones" to love and be loved by. Don't sweat it.

7. Love is work, and it is hard.

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Give the people you love your time and your effort, even during the bad times. Don't be afraid of the struggle. Sometimes you need to know when to stay and fight.

8. Love will not solve relationship problems.

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You need more than love to pull through tough times. You're going to need to cultivate patience, empathy, and the ability to know when to concede. And, sometimes, things become broken beyond repair, despite your best intentions. Don't attempt to put a salve on a broken limb -- move on.

13. Love will surprise you.

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Don't close yourself off or harden your heart to possibilities. Doing so won't protect you from being hurt and will only shut you off from someone different and new.

18. And know that, the louder the performance, the quieter things are backstage.

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You don't need big declarations and demonstrations when you both know you have the real thing.

21. And do not mistake attention for love.

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Some people just love the idea of love. Whether you are there, or someone else is. Don't be a minor character in someone else's play.

28. And frightening.

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There will be pain and hurt and illness. There will be scary moments, and downright ugly times. This is what you sign up for. This is a part of it.

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