It isn’t always pretty.
Throughout my life, I’d been loved, been cheated on, treated as a princess and treated like crap.
Even though I’ve been in many relationships, each one is a whole new experience that’s taught me something new about love — what it’s like, what it should be, whether it’s worth your time.
In this post, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tough love quotes that resonate with me and shows you what I’ve learned about love.
1. All relationships go through hell, real relationships get through it.
No matter what kind of relationship you have, you’re going to face difficulties. Sometimes it’ll be an outside factor beyond your control. Sometimes it’ll be an internal conflict between the two of you. Whatever it is, you need to make a choice:
You can continue arguing until one of you gives. You could walk away and pretend nothing’s happened. Or you could work together and settle your differences by listening to each other.
Oftentimes, the strongest relationships come from those who consistently work together through the tough times and do what they can to help one another.
2. It’s not about finding a perfect person but learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.
If you always hold high expectations for your perfect match, you’ll be unhappy forever. Because no matter who you go out with (even if you think they’re Mr. or Ms. Perfect at first), you’ll start nit-picking at their flaws. Maybe one eye is droopier than the other. Or maybe they mumble when they talk. It could be worse, but what’s more important is accepting someone as they are. The fewer expectations you have for someone, the better your relationship will be.
Sure, you can teach them where they can do better, but don’t expect them to hit the bullseye for perfection for every aspect in life.
3. Love is not who you can see yourself with. It is who you can’t see yourself without.
Sometimes, life pivots into the dark clouds and the next day, your partner is gone — overseas, in another city. Or maybe they’re swamped with so much work that there’s barely any time to see you, let alone for themselves. This doesn’t mean you should give up this relationship straight away and go for someone who can actually be physically there with you. Love isn’t about the distance. It’s about making things work, so you can still be a part of their life. Usually, the people who’ve successfully held a long-distance relationship are often the most devoted.
4. Without communication, there is no relationship. Without respect, there is no love. Without trust, there is no reason to continue.
There’s a reason why we want a partner — it’s to completely expose our most treasured memories, our darkest past, our most inner feelings and be understood by someone who gets where we’re coming from. Someone who can reciprocate back and share their own experience. There’s no negative judgment. No lingering skepticism. No coldness. Just an attentive companion you can bet your entire life’s savings on to be there when you feel like you’re falling apart.
5. You lose yourself trying to hold onto someone who doesn’t care about losing you.
Breakups — it happens. And while your ex has already moved on, you’re stuck in the past, reminiscing about every little thing you two have done together and wondering what went wrong.
The truth is, people change or quit. Or even more painful, they stop talking to you, permanently. The only solution to relieve your broken heart is to start occupying your time with things you love to do, people you care about, and new activities to try. If you focus on yourself and make it a habit to improve yourself every day, you’ll be a better match than the average.
6. Life is not about constantly fighting to keep someone in your life. It is about constantly fighting for a better life together.
Love shouldn’t be selfish. You shouldn’t keep asking for your partner’s attention. You shouldn’t force them to make them think you’re their only world. If you really care, you’d set your emotions aside and do everything within your power to help them de-stress. Encourage every decision they make. Work with them to achieve a better future. It’s more productive working towards a better life together than to hold your partner down for your own contentment.
7. Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.
Raising your voice only escalates the argument.
Understanding why the argument started in the first place allows you to resolve your arguments better.
8. The best person to talk to about the problems in your relationship is the person you’re in a relationship with.
One of the reasons why people even choose to be in a relationship is because they can spill all of their darkest secrets, intimate desires, and problems to the other without being judged or looked down upon.
So if you can’t even talk how you’re feeling or what you’re struggling with your partner, what is it the point of even being in a relationship with them? You might as well be acquaintances.
Remember, the person you’re with only wants the best for you and cares about you. Don’t neglect him/her based on your unstable emotions.
9. A great relationship is about two things. First, appreciating the similarities, and second, respecting the differences.
No matter who you meet, they’re going to be unique. Of course, you click better with someone who has a similar mindset, interest, background as you, but the relationship goes even deeper when you both can respect your differences — personality, flaws and all.
10. If you’re in a relationship and you’re not feeling the need to become a better person, if your partner does not inspire you to be an epic individual, then you shouldn’t be with that person.
Relationships should never feel stagnant, boring or meaningless. That’s why it’s important for both partners to motivate and help each other become a better person so that your life will feel more fulfilled and happy.
Look at your relationship now. Is it one that revolves around growth or one that revolves around comfort?
11. If you find someone who makes you smile, who checks up on you often to see if you’re okay, who watches out for you and wants the very best for you. Don’t let them go. Keep them close and don’t take them for granted. People like that are hard to find.
The people who sincerely care about you will always do everything in their power to help you, even if it means skipping out on their favorite TV show, canceling a meet-up, or pretending to call in sick for work.
These are the people you should keep and be grateful for because you won’t find anyone else like them in the world.
12. Far too many people are looking for the right person, instead of trying to be the right person.
Looking for the ‘right’ person usually ends up in disappointment, because they end up not being who we expected them to be.
Trying to be the ‘right’ person builds our individuality, our confidence, our capabilities in this world — things people admire most.
13. Never make someone a priority who only makes you an option.
Everyone has their priorities set. If someone keeps rejecting your invitation and making some kind of excuse to not see or talk to you, it’s probably because you’re not their 1st priority.
Don’t let someone treat you this way. If you’re truly important to them, they’ll do whatever they can to be there with you.
14. The easiest kind of relationship for me is with 10,000 people. The hardest is with one.
Everyone can build a relationship with anyone. You talk, swap contacts, and keep in touch once in awhile.
But a relationship you’re committed to for the rest of your life? You must consistently be patient, supportive, and give love whenever or not it’s needed.
15. You know you’re in love when you don’t want to fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
Ever had so much excitement you couldn’t sleep or stop thinking about the person you really like?
Well, that’s love.
16. Don’t worry when I fight with you, worry when I stop because it means there’s nothing left for us to fight for.
We often associate fighting as a rip in our relationship, when in fact it’s a work in progress towards a stronger relationship. We learn to express what bugs us. We learn to see our faults. We learn to negotiate a reasonable solution with one another.
What we should realize is that it’s often not the fighting we should be concerned about, but our lack of ability in recognizing the reasons behind the fighting in the first place.
17. The only person worthy of your love is not one who overstayed in the relationship without a single change, but one, who appeared like an angel, and used a single day to make a million changes.
It’s not how long someone has been in a relationship that defines how ‘worthy’ they are as a companion, but rather how determined they are to improve every.single.day.
Tiffany Sun is fighting to rebuild her life by doing the things she never dreamed of doing. Now in Southeast Asia, writing her journey. Check out her website, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
This article was originally published at Tiffany Sun. Reprinted with permission from the author.