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Sex + Relationships

Collegiettes Weigh In: The Biggest Lessons We Learned From Our Past Relationships

Whether your last relationship ended on good terms or on the rougher side of things, break-ups are difficult on everyone involved. But there’s a lesson to be learned here among all the hard nights and pep talks with your girlfriends. So instead of writing off your last relationship as a complete waste of time, check out what these collegiettes learned from their most recent break-ups, and consider yourself the wiser for it.

Don’t neglect your friendships

“I learned from my last relationship to never put a guy before of my friends. Guys come and go, but friends are forever.” –Kimberly, The College of New Jersey ‘13

Cheaters never win

“One LIFE lesson I’ve learned from relationships: Never forgive a cheater… or less you won’t be able to forgive yourself for letting someone back in your life who betrayed your trust.” -Sidney, Hofstra University ‘14

Communication is key

“The first lesson was a loss of communication; we stopped expressing our feelings towards each other until they grew too big to contain, and then it was one big blowout resulting in a break-up. The second lesson was resentment.” -Nicole, George Washington University ‘13

Love yourself

“If there is one thing that I have learned from my past relationship it is that if you aren’t comfortable, confident, and happy with yourself you will not be happy in a relationship.
If you aren’t happy and confident with yourself, do not jump into a relationship and hope it will make these feelings change. You will just end up hurting your significant other because he will think it is his fault and that he cannot make you happy.” -Leta, Purdue University ‘12

“Know that you always deserve to be treated well and with respect, no excuses.” –Elyssa, Carnegie Mellon University ‘10

“Make yourself happy first.” -Beth, Clemson University ‘14

“I would say the biggest lesson learned for me is make sure you are happy, be honest with yourself. I was in a relationship where I felt if I broke up with the guy he would stop trying to succeed, so I continued in the relationship. It finally got to the point where I was extremely unhappy, my friends where sick of it, so they stopped hanging out with me and my parents and my relationship was the worst it had ever been. Breaking up with him was hard because I do still care about his well-being, but it was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. So, moral of the story a relationship is suppose to make both partners happy, if you aren’t happy get out of that situation it will be better in the end.” -Chelsea, Oklahoma State University ‘14
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Know when to walk away

“The biggest lesson I learned was that the only person keeping you in a bad relationship, is you. You have to have the strength to walk away from a guy who doesn’t treat you well, which is a lot harder than it sounds. It might suck being on your own for a little while (maybe even a long while), but there’s no doubt that you’ll be better off than staying with someone who doesn’t appreciate you.” -Quinn, University of Pittsburgh ‘13

“Just not to hang on to it just because it’s ‘the norm’. I have met several girls who are still with their boyfriends just because ‘we’ve invested too much time into this relationship to let it go’ – bearing in mind they are so unhappy in so many ways.” –Annabelle, University of Nottingham ‘13

There’s a learning curve

“Your first serious relationship is a whole entire learning process. You get an idea of what type of qualities you like in a guy and how to get past qualities that you don’t necessarily love. It also isn’t too fun to go through your first break-up, but by learning what you like in a guy and what it’s like to be in a relationship, it prepares you for future relationships.” -Lauren, Saint Michael’s College ‘15

“I’ve learned that time spent apart truly does allow people to change for the better. My high school boyfriend and I definitely loved one another, but neither of us was mature enough to have a ‘serious’ relationship. We had a nasty break-up but a year and a half later we were able to reconnect and discuss everything that went wrong between us. If you think about how much you mature and change over the course of a year you have to give someone else the benefit of the doubt too.” –Mackenzie, Suffolk University ‘15

Let yourself be vulnerable

“The biggest lesson I learned from my last relationship is to be unafraid to let yourself be open and vulnerable. The last guy I had dated lasted for three months. This is because I followed this internal rule where I couldn’t date anyone for more than three months. Crazy, I know. But hear me out. In three months, I could still develop a decent relationship with a guy, but we wouldn’t be anything too serious. So after three months, I usually break up with the guy and we still remain on good terms; neither of us would be hurt. We broke up because I was selfish: I didn’t want to see myself get hurt. But instead, I still think about what could have been. So going forth into future relationships, I’ve tossed aside that stupid “three month rule.” If I like him, I should at least have the courage to see my relationship through and stop suppressing my emotions. If it doesn’t work out between us, then it doesn’t work out. At least I tried, instead of running away and giving up on the relationship early.” -Elizabeth, UC Berkley ‘13

Ask for space after the break-up

“So my biggest lesson learned is that you can’t be friends with an ex especially right away. My ex and I broke up 3 months ago and he wanted to be friends so we tried it. One person will always end up getting hurt (in my case him) and it’s not fair or fun for either. So a clean no contact break-up is the best.” –Katie, Western Michigan University ‘13
 

Jessica Salerno is a senior Magazine Journalism major at Ohio University and originally from Westerville, Ohio. In addition to writing for Her Campus Jessica also writes for the Her Campus Ohio University Branch and plays club soccer. She has an obsession with online shopping and candy, and loves to hang out with her family. Jessica hopes one day to have a career in online or magazine journalism.
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