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    21 Things People Wish They'd Known Before Their First Relationship

    "Heartbreak is inevitable. However, it will be the most important pain you’ll ever feel."

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what they wish they'd known before their first relationship. These are the lessons they've learned.

    1. It’s more important to be you than it is to be your S.O.

    "It’s more important to be you than it is to be your S.O. I beat myself up thinking I wasn’t good enough for my first boyfriend for 2 years, then finally dated him for 2 years. Those years I was doing more to make him happy and less to make myself happy. When I went to college, and I decided to do stuff that I wanted and join activities, he got angry and I realised that I wanted to do things with my friends and be myself." — museluvr

    2. Try not to be jealous of their past.

    Comedy Central /

    "Try not to be jealous of their past. You might not be their first love even if they’re yours, and that’s okay." — rowenap

    3. You are still in charge of your own body.


    "My first two boyfriends complained if I didn't keep up a rigorous waxing routine as hair was 'unattractive'. It made me feel incredibly insecure, not to mention the damage it did to my skin. I now realise they had no right to dictate whether I shaved, waxed or went natural." — mkrobertson92

    4. Honesty is key.

    Facebook: Squintz83

    "Honesty is key. If you aren't happy, tell them. It's better to have a day of sadness from breaking up than live months feeling constantly miserable. They are likely to feel better if they know the truth too. And, if you aren't comfortable with telling it, then it's likely the relationship isn't a good one anyways." — chloesiemens13

    5. Don't get fixated on when someone is going to tell you they love you.

    Paramount Pictures /

    "Don't get fixated on when someone is going to tell you they love you. Words are just that words and they are easy to say. Focus more on what a person actually does which is an indication of how they really feel about you. It's way better to have someone who knows you have had a terrible day run you a bath and bring you a glass of wine while they cook dinner than to have someone say they love you every 5 minutes." — nicolab4013c17a0

    6. Trust your gut.


    "ALWAYS trust your gut. Our emotional spectrum and intelligence as humans has evolved just as much as our physicality, and that feeling of your stomach doing backflips isn't reserved for just physical threats anymore. If something doesn't feel right down to the marrow in your bones, don't screw yourself over by rationalising or excusing or over-analysing. Trust your instincts, get out, and move forward. You will thank yourself later, I promise." — caitlina4c00b0abb

    7. Heartbreak is inevitable.


    "Heartbreak is inevitable. Whether it’s through breaking up, or something else. At some point your heart will break and it will be the worst pain you’ll ever of felt. However, it will be the most important pain you’ll ever feel." — rosiek456c59c14

    8. Respect for both yourself and your partner is important.

    Comedy Central

    "If I'd had respect from my first boyfriend, the relationship would have been better, but if I'd had more self-respect I'd have known that it's not worth sticking around in a relationship where you aren't appreciated, especially when you're young." — mailrlwelch

    9. Never base your relationship on what you see from other people.


    "Never base your relationship on what you see from other people/online/etc. Every relationship is different and unique and if you expect things to be how they are from other people's relationships you're bound to be disappointed." — mcmenimen54

    10. Ignoring red flags won't make things better.


    "Ignoring red flags won't make things better, only harder later on. My first relationship was an emotionally abusive one, but we were 'in love', so I figured if I just ignored all of the fairly obvious signs eventually things would get better.

    Spiralling into depression and having to do months of therapy after the breakup proved that ignoring the problem did not, in fact, make it go away." — cailinj14

    11. Don't start panicking if you're not as "lovey dovey" as you once were. / Via

    "To not start panicking if you're not as 'lovey dovey' as you were originally. That doesn't always mean the end of a relationship, just that things are transforming into a different type of relationship past the initial infatuation. Take a breath first and assess your feelings and don't be afraid to talk about it." — melissadcyoung

    12. You deserve 100%.

    "Just because someone is nice to you 99% of the time, doesn't mean they can be rude, absent, or demeaning to you 1% of the time. Know that there is someone out there who will give you 100% respect at all times and that you deserve better." — alyssam4f0d093e4

    13. There’s no rush.


    "There’s no rush. Even if you’re a late bloomer and everyone else around you has coupled up, don’t rush it. Let it come naturally and allow yourself to enjoy the build up. You’ll thank yourself later, even if it doesn’t work out in the end, because you’ll be dating someone because it makes you happy and not because you feel you have to." — julim4d635ba19

    14. You don't have to be perfect.

    "I remember thinking that I had to be perfect to have a bf. I was stunned when my first love chose someone for her personality over me with my perfect hair and makeup. And I was floored when my roomie’s friend confessed that he’d fallen in love with me. This guy had seen me at my worst and he loved me as I was. I realised that people don’t fall in love with mannequins." — suzannel46f36ed04

    15. Don't take it too seriously.

    Screen Gems

    "Don't take it too seriously. Its all for fun. Once its not fun anymore, end it. Just because you're (probably) young, doesn't mean that manipulation and gaslighting are okay. Hormones can make things confusing, so just have fun!" — originalbentley666

    16. You can't change them.


    "You can't change them, and never try to. You're in a relationship for THEM, all of them, not just the bits and pieces you want out of them. You're human and they're human. Let it be, and learn to work with their 'faults'. They should learn how to work around yours too." — WhatTheFreak

    17. If someone wants to be with you, they will be.


    "If someone wants to be with you, they will be. I spent years making excuses for a fair weathered partner: 'He loves me but he's young and needs freedom. He wants to be with me but he's got a lot going on with work right now.' I knew that when I wanted someone, I gave it my all, but didn't feel the need to expect the same from a significant other. You're worth time and effort. If someone is making every excuse to NOT put in that time and effort, they don't want to be with you." — Lauryn.E.Lugo

    18. Don't lose your friends.


    "Don't lose your friends! It can be easy to get caught up in everything at the beginning of a relationship but still keeping your friends is extremely important. Even if the two of you end up together for the rest of your lives, having friends outside the relationship is very healthy for you and the relationship as well! You also never know when you are really going to need their support!" — bree-nb

    19. Never compromise your future for anyone.


    "I was on the verge of going to a great school and I turned it down for my first love. Who repaid my devotion by cheating on me and mentally abusing me. If they are meant to be, they will wait. If they try to talk you out of it, or threaten to ditch you, then it’s better to drop them now." — kristind11

    20. Be accepting that it may not last forever.

    Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Animation Studios

    "I know that sounds pessimistic but it’s so easy to get giddy and carried away thinking your first love will be your last that any heartbreak can be unbearable. Live for the moment and enjoy it, it may work out but if it doesn’t it’s not the end of the world...there’s someone (or more than one!) for everyone!" — kfraser1990

    21. You don't have to stay.

    New Line Cinema

    "My first long term relationship lasted six years when its shelf life should have been about one or two. But we were in love and I felt my desires weren't a priority so I stayed until I couldn't take it anymore. If you aren't happy, something ain't right. No relationships are perfect but you shouldn't dread time together or feel like you are sacrificing core interests / personality because the other person isn't the right fit." — Brittany Keeperman, Facebook

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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