20 Dating Tips People Wish They Knew When They Were Younger

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Dating is one of the hardest things any of us have to go through. It’s safe to say that most of us hope to be with that special someone, some day. But it takes some real time and commitment, and often a lot of heartache.

We here at Diply had a long talk about some of the relationship advice we wish we could go back in time and give our younger selves, and we thought that it might be fun to share some of it with you. Below, you will find 20 pieces of wisdom that the people who work here have learned the hard way but are glad they know now.

Take it for what it is and hopefully you can learn from these too!

1. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.

This is key to being in a relationship of any kind. While you will never stop growing and learning things about yourself, it’s important to be at peace with yourself. You will have bad days where you don’t know what you were thinking, but you have to love you. Besides, if you don’t love you, it is going to be really hard for someone else to. This also means that you have to stay true to yourself when you are in a relationship — you shouldn’t change the fundamentals of who you are for anyone.

1. The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.
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2. Don’t rush things.

You don’t need to feel like you’re in a hurry to get somewhere you may not be ready to be. Just because it may seem that the other people in your life are getting engaged or in serious relationships, doesn’t mean you have to be too. Never do something just because you feel like you have to. If you’re in a relationship, don’t worry about making it into something it isn’t yet. One of the best things you can do is to not put too much pressure on a relationship, new or old, to become something it’s too soon for it to be. As the old saying goes, go with the flow. You’ve got lots of time.

2. Don't rush things.
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3. Remember that no one is perfect.

No matter how much you may want to be, or want your partner to be, no one is perfect. This is key. In any relationship, no matter how good, someone is going to drop the ball every once and while and it will suck, but we are all only human and it happens. Trying to think that they are perfect is only going to set you both up for failure. In moments like these, it is important to hold onto the fact that there are no perfect people in the universe and that everyone makes mistakes. Remembering this about your partner will go a long way.

3. Remember that no one is perfect.
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4. Don’t be afraid to make the first move.

I know it’s scary! But for all you know, they could be waiting for you to do the same thing! If you want to kiss them, do it. If you want to tell them how you feel, then you should! What happens if both of you wait and miss out? The worst thing the other person can do is say no, but at least then you’re not guessing.

4. Don't be afraid to make the first move.
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5. You don’t need a reason to break up with someone.

You don’t need a reason to break up with someone other than you don’t feel the same anymore. People will come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime (or so my mother says), and sometimes it just happens that you fall out of love, or your feelings weren’t exactly what you thought to begin with. They don’t need to do something horrible, and no one deserves to have their heart broken, but it happens. Remember, though, if they’re not right for you, you’re not right for them.

5. You don't need a reason to break up with someone.
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6. Actions speak louder than words.

It is a saying you have heard over and over again, but it’s true. People can say all sorts of things, but sometimes you have to believe the way they treat you over what they say. Your best bet is to be honest with yourself about how the situation is making you feel. If you don’t believe them, or feel they don’t do what they say, you’re probably right.

6. Actions speak louder than words.
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7. Don’t try and change someone, but don’t expect them to stay the same.

If you go into a relationship thinking that the person you are with is someone you can change, it isn’t going to work out. However, people do change, in their own time as they grow older and learn new things about themselves and the world around them. You can’t expect someone to be the same person they were a year ago or years before that, just as you are not the same. The trick is finding someone to keep growing with.

7. Don't try and change someone, but don't expect them to stay the same.
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8. Be careful with advice from others.

Sometimes, it’s nice to be reassured by your friends and your family because you value their opinion. However, it is important to be careful with the advice you are given. No one knows you better than yourself, and no one knows what it is like to be in your relationship the same way you do. Support is really important, and it’s always great to have it, but make sure the decisions you make for your relationship are your own and your partner’s.

8. Be careful with advice from others.
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9. Have real conversations.

If you are going to be in a serious, healthy relationship, it is important that you can actually talk to the person you are with. Being vulnerable is important, and so is being honest. But not every conversation has to be about your relationship. Find things that you can discuss that you are passionate about, and learn from each other. Communication is key. If you can’t talk to each other, then you’re going to try filling in the gaps yourself and that could create problems that aren’t even there.

9. Have real conversations.
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10. Just because one person didn’t want to be with you doesn’t mean that no one ever will.

Breaking up and having your feelings hurt is really hard, but you have to remember that just because one relationship didn’t work out doesn’t mean you’ll never have another one. You learned what you needed to, and you’ll know how to do it better next time, but it may happen a few more times. That’s what dating is all about. It is hard to let someone go, but sometimes it is a necessary part of growing up.

10. Just because one person didn't want to be with you doesn't mean that no one ever will.
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11. Take the time you need to feel better.

If you do break up with someone, take the time you need to feel better. You cannot force yourself into feeling okay if you’re not, and that’s okay. Sometimes, it takes time to get over something, but it will matter less and less each day until, finally, you can remember the good times fondly. It is key not to rush yourself. It will get better.

11. Take the time you need to feel better.
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12. Be best friends.

Before anything else, you and your partner should be friends. You have to be supportive of one another when life comes with the good and the bad. If your relationship is built on a foundation of friendship, you will be able to talk with each other about anything and be open with one another in a real and healthy way. You can be silly or serious, but most importantly you will be there for each other.

13. Be respectful of your past relationships.

It is hard in the moment not to be upset with someone when something ends, but always remember that that was someone you cared about at some point. Keep their secrets and don’t say or do things out of anger because you should hope they will do the same. You don’t have to be friends, but you also don’t have to hate each other.

13. Be respectful of your past relationships.
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14. A “perfect” person may not be perfect for you.

Just because someone seems perfect, a “good on paper” person, doesn’t mean that they are the person for you — and there is nothing wrong with that. Just because someone seems like they are a good partner or the perfect person doesn’t mean that you are going to like them any more or less. Sometimes, the best feelings come from things that don’t always make sense.

15. Don’t stay somewhere just because you are comfortable.

There is a big difference between being in a healthy, loving relationship and being a relationship that is comfortable. Being with someone is just as much a choice as it is a feeling, but if the feeling isn’t really there anymore but this person has become all you know, that may not be the kind of relationship you want to be. You shouldn’t stay somewhere because you are comfortable if you are not happy.

15. Don't stay somewhere just because you are comfortable.
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16. Listen as much as you talk.

This is a big part of being friends with your partner. There are going to be times when all they need you to do is listen to what they have to say, whether it is about your relationship or things in their life that they have on their mind. So pour a drink, sit some place comfy and just be there for them. It will go a long way.

16. Listen as much as you talk.
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17. Don’t forget your friends.

This is key! No matter how invested you are in your relationship, don’t forget your friends. They were there for you before the relationship and will be there for you during and after, if it comes to that. It is important that you and your partner both have your own lives. No matter how amazing your partner is, you can’t get everything you need from one person, so it is important to nurture your other relationships as well.

17. Don't forget your friends.
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18. Be appreciative.

It gets easy to put your partner on the back burner when life gets busy, but make sure you’re appreciative of them when you can be. You have to work to keep the spark going and everyone shows their love in different ways. So, if you know they’ve tried really hard at something or you’re just glad to be around them, tell them. It will go a long way in keeping your bond strong.

18. Be appreciative.
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19. Don’t put more in than you are getting out.

Whether you’re seeing someone or are well into your relationship, make sure that you’re not putting more into the relationship than you are getting out of it. You will burn yourself out and not have a lot left over to move on with. You should both be working at it and growing and learning, but if you are constantly putting in more than you are getting out, then it may not be the healthiest relationship.

19. Don't put more in than you are getting out.
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20. Keep your relationship private.

While you should always have someone you feel you can talk to about things, it is important to keep your relationship to yourself. Not everyone in your life has to know what is going on in your private life. It is nobody’s business other than yours and your partner’s.

20. Keep your relationship private.