Navigating relationships can be tough, and sometimes (okay, most of the time) hindsight is 20/20.
1. Trust your gut, but don't let past relationships impact your current one.
2. Just because someone seems ~perfect~, doesn't mean they're perfect for you.
3. And searching for a "fairytale relationship" just isn't realistic.
4. Don't invade your partner's personal privacy in order to find out if you can trust them or not.
5. But don't ignore the red flags.
6. A healthy, loving relationship isn't supposed to hurt you over and over again.
7. You can get into a relationship with people who have different interests and opinions from you.
8. And actions speak louder than words.
9. There will always be people who have negative things to say about your partner and your relationship.
10. But, if everyone in your life doesn't like your S.O., it could be a major sign.
11. And look, maybe don't get back together with your awful ex.
12. Don't compare your relationship to the stuff you read in books or watch on TV.
13. And know that you may be on a different timeline than other couples, and that's okay.
14. Understand that caring for yourself is NOT selfish.
15. Remember, your body is beautiful and is not an object made to please someone else.
16. Don't make someone your priority, if it's obvious they won't do the same for you.
17. And know that you can't change how someone feels about you, and that you should be with someone who appreciates you for who you are.
18. It's okay to say no. It's okay to stand up for yourself.
19. And never stay with someone who does things to teach you a lesson or punish you.
20. Always make quality time with your partner a priority.
21. And if you're both really busy, it's okay to plan some awesome date nights at home.
22. People hurt in different ways and can love more than once.
23. And last but not least, it's okay to want to be in a relationship, but try not to spend so much time stressing out about it.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
Keep in mind that in a relationship where physical, emotional, or substance abuse is an issue, seeking professional help is essential. If you've experienced any of these, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline, 800-799-7233, or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA), 1-877-726-4727, for help.