The first #real relationship you have is both the sweetest, best thing in the world, and the hardest, most soul-crushing thing in the world. Caring for somebody deeply is exciting and crazy in all the right ways, but learning all the lessons about heartbreak the first time ’round feels impossible until you make it through. A recent Ask Reddit thread asked people to reveal all the lessons they learned from those first relationships, and all of them are so, so real.

 “You can convince yourself anything is fine if you don’t think you have any other options.

 “When trust goes the relationship follows after.”

 “How incredibly important it is to find someone that is of, or around, the same emotional and mental maturity as you. Also don’t ignore red flags. If there is recurring behavior that gives you pause, listen to that feeling.”  “Your partner is your best friend, but shouldn’t be your ONLY friend. that’s okay.” 

 “That an end to a once beautiful relationship is something you can recover from.

 “You’re far better off finding someone you’re compatible with than trying to mold the first person who shows interest into someone you’d actually want to date.” 

 “The thought process directly following an orgasm is a surprisingly effective gauge for how much you love a person.

 “People can totally mean something when they’re with you, but have different priorities when you’re absent.” 

 “Long-distance sucks.” 

“You can, and will, get absolutely furious over shit that don’t matter. Talk about your issues, it helps in the long run.” 

 “Just because you’ve invested so much time into a person doesn’t mean you have to stick with them after you’ve fallen out of love with them.” 

“There are worse things than being single.” 

 “Someone can claim to be completely in love with you one day and wake up the next day wanting nothing to do with you. And it’s not always your fault.” 

 “You can’t just fix someone’s problems for them no matter how much you care and no matter how much it hurts to see them suffer. The best you can do is be supportive.” 

“Try to be the partner you would want to have.” 

“Broken people will be a good fit for other broken people. But it can hurt like hell.” 

 “It hurts less to have a hard conversation now than to put them off.

“Don’t fall too hard too fast. We dated seriously for three years, but got emotionally serious way too fast. The fizzle was hard and fast on my end.” 

 “I deserve more than I always believed.” 

 “Don’t put in more than you get back.

 “Equal ambition is a necessity to success in a relationship.”

“All the love in the world isn’t enough.” 

“You have to be happy together and happy when you’re apart.”