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22 people share the biggest lesson they learned from their first romantic relationship.

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In a rare show of emotional vulnerability and profound insight from people on the internet, Redditors are sharing the lessons they learned from their first girlfriend or boyfriend, and the responses are truly quite moving.

After sifting through the funny ones ("My first girlfriend made me realize that I'm gay") and the obvious ones ("Don't get too attached to their mom"), here are the most interesting ones. This post might as well be called "These internet strangers went through heartbreak so you don't have to!" (Just kidding, of course you have to experience heartbreak. It's a crucial part of being alive.)

1.

Getting into a relationship for the sake of being in a relationship is the worst reason to be in a relationship.

Likewise, liking someone because they like you is the worst reason to like someone.

You want to date “a person”, not “their company." -mox0716

2.

That people aren't thinking as negatively about you as you fear they are. I was and still am a pretty anxious person, and my first boyfriend was so patient, kind, and open with me. It really taught me that not everything is about me and how to focus on someone else without inserting your own insecurities. -frollojavert

3.

Sometimes the way people behave in relationships have nothing to do with you, or me in this sense. I dated a girl who went from guy to guy to guy and I realized that I was a small bump on a road to her finding out who she is and dealing with the things she needs to grow up and be a beautiful person. I’ve done the same to woman. I hope this makes sense. --Red_Owl-

4.

The first girl I called my girlfriend? 5th grade, I learned that holding hands makes your palms real sweaty. Turns out body heat is a real thing.

First serious girlfriend: I learned that women really want sex too. In that relationship it was the opposite of the stereotypical jock and cheerleader where the jock is pressuring the girl to do more, I wasn’t ready or comfortable and she was very pushy.

TLDR: body heat exists, and women can be vicious. -Frognab97

5.

Being alone is better than forcing yourself to be with someone you don't love. -Ill-Sorbet3843

6.

Two people can be amazing on their own but if they don't have a lot of common interests then it's kinda hard to get a relationship going. -beneralkenobi

7.

That screaming at each other during arguments is not healthy. -get-bread-not-head

8.

Just because you treat someone well doesn’t mean they’ll return the favour, and the amount of people you can trust in this world is a lot less than you think. -danielson_105

9.

I'll give two lessons:

-That "feelings" will fade away and what takes a relationship to be strong and healthy is the everyday, conscious commitment to love one another. We've been together for almost 8 years and have crossed various stages in our lives, since highschool, college, and we're still together as she studies for med school and I as I pursue my career as an accountant. We wouldnt last this long if its just due to being "excited" for each other, which we actually still are haha, but its because of always making time and being committed to support each other no matter how busy we are, while still giving enough space.

-Consistent small things are far more valuable than big monthsary or anniversary efforts. We get so busy and stressed by our own individual "career paths", but we always find a way to squeeze in our love, either through a sweet long message, or even just a simple cup of coffee and staying up late. Love is consistency in small efforts, not by giving grand things that are just once in a blue moon. -oinkzter

10.

Never send sexy pictures with your face in them. Doesn't matter how in love you are, people get cruel after break ups. -TTK94x

11.

You can’t make someone love you simply because you do so much for them. Doormat is not a good look on anybody! Also listen to your gut. -lmarie1990

12.

Even if they say they love you, they don’t always mean it :( -MadLadMark

13.

That you should never take any relationship for granted - you always need to make efforts and work towards keeping a happy relationship with the ones you love.

Didn't do it back then (at least after some years), but at least it taught me how to do it for future relationships, so I guess that's nice.

I also learned that being in a happy relationship means that you (as well as your partner) need to make compromises from time to time - because nobody is always on the same page with everything. But in the end of the day, if you want to be a team, you need to make it work. Once somebody is not willing to do that, the relationship is going down the drain ... -acaziah

14.

Lust is VERY easy to confuse with love.

My first girlfriend was not a bad person by any means. But looking back we were insanely incompatible and had little in common besides a sense of humor.

But at the time (16) I thought I had found the girl I was going to marry someday.

Was devastated when we broke up even though I was the one that did it, but three weeks later I was right as rain. -03throwaway03

15.

Being cheated on can be funny as well as hurtful.

A friend of mine learned to play my girlfriend’s favourite song on his guitar (kiss me by sixpence none the richer), allegedly at the end of the song he looked into her eyes and said “well, kiss me?”, she subsequently kissed and shagged him.

That was the most cringe shit I’d ever heard, even at the tender age of sixteen, that definitely softened the blow. -BurbankElephants

16.

Your happiness isn’t their responsibility. If you can’t be happy with yourself you aren’t going to magically be happy just because you are with them. They may distract you from your unhappiness or mask it for a time. However it will eventually go downhill if you are relying on them to keep you happy. -sayadama

17.

If you join her friend group while you're her boyfriend, then the relationship ends, you're gonna have no friends. -juneauboe

18.

How important pillow talk is, it takes little effort and seems minuscule but it can mean a lot to the other person and really strengthen your connection with the other person. -ODIFIO

19.

You're never 100% compatible with the other person. You just have to find out if you can live with that 5% incompatibility, and if you don't think you can, you need to leave ASAP. Don't wait several years, hoping things will be different or that you will change your mind. -MajorVezon

20.

I cheated on my first girlfriend. I regretted it thoroughly and have never done it since, nor will I ever do it again. I came to the conclusion that cheating on your partner does not make you unfaithful....it makes you dishonourable and that's far worse. I have a very detailed idea in my mind about what it means to be an honourable person and this is where that idea first took root. -ant_exe

21.

That when everyone around you is saying that you guys are just the perfect couple and despite no real relationship problems something in your gut is telling you something is wrong, you should listen to that gut feeling.

That relationship ended 17 years ago and I'm still dealing with all the fallout.-peanutbutterfascist

22.

If he punches you once, he's probably going to escalate that behavior.

Luckily for me, when he punched me he did it in front of my best friend who then proceeded to kick the crap out of him. He never punched or otherwise physically hurt me again. But as I live in a small town and everyone knows everyone else, I've heard through people who still know him that he has been divorced 3 times because he keeps beating up his wives.

A person who hits other people probably won't ever change. If you're in a relationship where your SO hits you, please reach out to whatever resources are available to help you get out. It won't get better and you don't deserve it. The National Domestic Violence Hotline in the US is 1-800-799- 7233. -sai_gunslinger

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