Home Featured Four Lessons In Love We Always Learn The Hard Way

Four Lessons In Love We Always Learn The Hard Way

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Clearly, Here, Something Is Being Learned The Hard Way

Everywhere we go there are people looking to tell us about relationships. There are the psuedo-self-help books by people like Steve Harvey. There are the preachy movies from people like Tyler Perry and T.D. Jakes. There are blogs like this one here. And then there are our closest friends always ready and willing to impart advice. Sometimes the advice is great, sometimes, not so much. The perpetually confounding nature of relationships between men and women inspires us all to share what we’ve learned in relationship success and failure. Despite our unparallelled access to vicarious experience and wisdom, no matter how many books or blogs we read and no matter how many Tyler Perry movies we watch, some lessons in love are only learned the hard way. Here are a few I’ve learned along the way.

Long Term Long Distance Relationships Don’t Work

Raise your hand if you’ve tried a long distance relationship? Thought so. We’ve all been here. Despite the advice of all of our friends and everyone who’s ever attempted one, at some point in our lives we all try it out. They all have the same beginnings: you randomly and unexpectedly meet someone who is absolutely perfect … except for the little fact that they live far away. When this happens for the first time in our lives, we all tell ourselves the same thing: We can make it work. I’ll visit one month for a weekend and you can visit the next month for a weekend and if we happen to fall in love, we’ll cross that bridge when it comes. Even now, it sounds totally plausible, but if you’ve been in a long distance relationship before, you know it’s not. Most long distance relationships end one of two ways, either the love becomes too much and you decide to separate because neither person is willing to move. Or, more commonly, you realize that doing all of the things one must do to make a serious, committed, long term relationship work is impossible without the day to day inspiration of actually seeing the person you’re working for. At some point, something has to give. In order for any long distance relationship to have a chance, there has to be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel. There has to be an understanding that at some specific point in the future, there will be no longer major distance between the two of you. Absent that, these sorts of relationships are doomed to fail.

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The Toughest Break-Ups Are the Ones Without Reason

There are a million reasons why a relationship might end. Sometimes a relationship will end because of infidelity. There aren’t many things more hurtful than when someone betrays the trust that exists in a relationship. Relationships also end because one person treats the other egregiously poor. Some people just don’t make good mates; maybe they’re selfish or mean-spirited, arrogant or abusive – whatever it is, breaking up in these sorts of situations is still hard and still damaging. While relationships ending under these sorts of circumstances are extremely unpleasant, nothing is worse than the relationship that just seems to end without reason. In a matter of weeks, a relationship that was progressing and maturing productively can disintegrate into nothing. One week you’re looking out into the future and seeing the same thing and the next week you can’t remember what it was that initially brought you together. Ending that sort of relationship is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. Sitting around for hours trying to come up with a reason to end a relationship that has no major deal-breaking issues present was for me, much more difficult and emotionally draining than ending a relationship where something unforgivable had occurred. When a relationship ends without reason it’s hard to escape the feeling that the whole thing was just one big waste of time; like there was no point in starting it to begin with. It’s easy to wish that all of our relationships ended without major drama, but the truth is the relationships that end without drama can sometimes be much more painful and much more difficult to get over than the ones that do.

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The Grass Isn’t Always Greener On the Other Side of the Fence

When I was in 8th grade I had a great girlfriend. We’d gone out for a few months (a pretty long time in junior high) we looked great together and we were pretty compatible. But there was this ninth grade girl that I really liked. I’d always had a crush on her but at that age, it’s nearly impossible for a boy to date a girl who’s older. We’d flirt here and there but nothing ever came of it till one day, fate found us alone in the basement of our school’s auditorium. We made out and it was awesome. I told my best friend and eventually it got back to my girlfriend. She broke up with me. Nothing became of the ninth grader and I. I realized then that when it comes to love, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side of the fence. While there was genuine attraction between the ninth grader and I, the societal norms and expectations that told me to quell that attraction (the fact that she was older and the fact that I had a girlfriend at the time) only compounded and magnified the attraction. In the end, I was left lonely, wondering where it all went wrong. No matter how happy you are, there will always be other attractive people on this Earth. You can’t let their attractiveness have any influence on your relationship. For some this may mean avoiding people you find attractive altogether, and for others it may just mean not telling your best-friend when you explore that attraction.

“He Who Loves Least Controls The Relationship”

I recently had a conversation with a good friend about this paradoxically confusing but unwaveringly true phenomena. The healthiest relationships are the ones where both individuals love each other so much that they’re both more concerned with their mate’s happiness than their own. But as many of us have learned from experience, not all relationships are like this. Sometimes in a relationship, though both individuals care deeply for one another, one person cares a little more, feels a little deeper, loves a little harder. In a marriage you’ll find that your love has an ebb and flow, sometimes you love each other just the same, sometimes you’ll find yourself loving a little more and other times your partner will be the one loving a little more; in the end it should all balance out. If you’re not married however, recognizing who loves least, when they’re loving least, and how big the gap is between how you’re loving each other is essential. There’s no greater feeling of failure than when you’re the one loving the least and you’re watching this person you care deeply for cling to a relationship you both know is dying. Equally heartbreaking (I Imagine) is the prospect of knowing you harbor unshakeable, unconditional love for someone who doesn’t feel for you as deeply as you feel for them. The complexities of the ebb and flow of love are impossible to understand or comprehend unless you’ve been there, experienced them and learned them the hard way.

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I was listening to Miguel’s “Hard Way” when I started writing this post. It’s a really dope song. The lyrics give us a peek into a particularly hurtful point in a relationship while the chorus tells us that for him, this sort of hurt is common; the sort of lesson he only learns the hard way. In my experience lessons learned the hard way have been the most valuable lessons I’ve learned. Have you experienced any of the above? What lessons has love taught you the hard way? Oh… and if you’re not familiar with the song peep it here: Miguel – Hard Way

***Tomorrow, Dr. J is dropping a gem on called: Has Emo Rap Gone a Little Too Far? Next week I’ll be back and I’m going to be discussing five men and women on the dating scene we all hate. Stay tuned this week, and we’ll talk next Monday.  Till then… stay low and keep firing.***

Comment(94)

  1. Long Term Long Distance Relationships Dont Work. I've had two of these and for the life of me can't figure out why I had to go thru that twice to learn my lesson. Whats even more frustrating is realizing how ridiculously incompatible you were with a person AFTER the fact. Like, you knew all these things about him/her beforehand that were CLEAR indications that yall had no business with each other but still tried anyway.

    1. I'm with you! After a long distance relationship is over it seems like you have some moment of clarity where you realize it never was meant for things to work with that person. In my experience, the distance revealed to me a side of her that I'd never seen before. I didn't even know that was lurking under the surface.

      I never ventured to try the long distance thing more than that one time. I'm curious, what made you give it another go?
      My recent post Not Every Woman is Strong Enough to Date a Rapper

  2. I was ready to disagree with you on the first point about distance until how you ended it. I think people can be in a long distance relationship as long as there is love there and the idea that a future is possible….because someone will move. Need a target or goal.

    The other things, I generally agree with you. We all learn with time though.

  3. Yeah man…long distance sucks. At least for me it has'nt worked out. I used to travel so much that it was the only option for someone who really wanted to be with me. My final LD relationship ended almost exactly a year ago when my ex accepted a 6 month assignment in Europe that was extended to 9 months. That was the nail in the coffin. It was hard enough being in different states. Different continents was ridiculous. At first travelling to see each was romantic, but then jetlag and phone bills were out of controll. I tried to hang in there because we had a plan that he would move to my state to be with me, but all that distance was too much for both of us. I'm not jaded. For some people, like those in the military it works great, but now I'm only open to exploring relationships with men who live in the same city as me.

        1. LOL! Ok, then try switching you routing and going to new places, or same places at different times. You're bound to meet some new prospects 🙂

  4. It's hard to single out one particular lesson that struck a chord because in the interest of full transparency I've experienced all 4 lessons quite vividly. But since the comments so far have dealt with LDRs- here are my 2 cents:

    Every relationship I've had has involved some form of long distance; Yup- Every. Single. One. In middle school, our summer camp romance was snuffed out with the return of the school year . In high school I was dating an older guy, and he left for college before me. In college, my boyfriend and I got job opportunities in different cities and had to part ways. And with each failed relationship, I found a stronger resolve to try harder, call more frequently, send more care packages, be more communicative, visit more often the next time around. But you hit the nail on the head- the key to long distance relationships is seeing a light at the end of the tunnel. Long distance relationship must be built and fortified with the premise that it will not always be long distance. I don't care if the long distance period is 3 weeks. I don't care if it's 13 years. There has to be some finish line in site. It's just a fact of life. Let's say for instance you're running to get physically fit. I guarantee you'll run further, faster, and more focused if you give yourself a finish line rather than just deciding you'll run until you get tired. You have to give yourself some type of finish/destination to keep your commitment to the task you're achieving. "Just till the end of the block." Done.

    The one that resonates the strongest in terms of lessons learned the HARD way is "He Who Loves Least Controls The Relationship." Traditionally this is a lesson that I think is stressed to men more frequently as their counseled even from a young age "Man, don't love these h*es." But it's an unspoken rule even among some women. We're supposed to 'want you, but don't need you' as we find the right balance between being supportive of our man, and being needy. So we tread the Tightrope of Relative Affection, constantly fighting our natural tendencies just so we don't scare you off.

    I'll never forget the first time I fell in love (HARD)- and all my friends (male and female) chided me constantly that I should NEVER be the one to drop the '143 Bomb' first. I was told that if I let a man know that he had me, he wouldn't put in the work necessary to keep me. And because I was young and impressionable- I refused to say 'I love you' first. And it got to the point I didn't say it at all. I was so committed to preserving my own dominance and independence to prove I wasn't going to be 'that girl' that I unintentionally forfeited many opportunities to show my man how much I loved and appreciated him. I've learned the best feeling in life is falling in love and the worst is not having the person you fell for there to catch you. In love, people are more afraid to fail than they are inspired to fly. It's unfortunate. But it's true.

    1. “So we tread the Tightrope of Relative Affection, constantly fighting our natural tendencies just so we don’t scare you off.”

      *le sigh*

    2. This was a great comment, appreciate you sharing.

      As far as relative affection is concerned, I don't think it's such a bad thing. I think both men and women should keep their minds out in front of their hearts until you're both ready to jump all the way off the bridge. Tempering affection doesn't necessarily mean withholding it. A lot of times, doing so can help see clearly the differences between love, lust and infatuation – as they all, at varying points in a relationship can look similar.

      I had a woman tell me she loved me first once. Didn't turn out so well. I can see, therefore, where women's trepidation comes from in dropping that bomb first. The thing I think a lot of people do wrong is, they tell a person they love them before they really do. You both should be telling each other how you feel through your actions before the words are ever uttered. If the actions speak for themselves, most times the words will follow when they're supposed to.
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

      1. I’m a member of #teamnofear when it comes to feeling the love and sharing it. I simply cannot go through life afraid that somebody is gonna get more love than me. The joy of life is in giving love, not getting it. I figure, if I say I love you first, and he never really gets there, or is afraid to express it, at least ive increased the amount of love in the world. I get infinity points. I like to imagine how his life is better because of my love, and all the people he deals with are better, and so on… And I grin at my love legacy. 😀

        1. I'm a member of #teamyougofirst, lol.

          You say I love you first. You take me to see your family first. You buy me something expensive first. You let me drive your car first. There's a whole list…

          Reciprocation is what I thrive on. If I'm not getting love, I'm not thinking it or feeling it.

        2. "You say I love you first. You take me to see your family first. You buy me something expensive first. You let me drive your car first. There's a whole list… "

          wow, that shit cray

        3. Why I gotsta be all that, lol…

          I reciprocate…almost immediately. For instance, with my bf, I knew he was there…and I was there too. We'd arrived. So, I asked probing questions that created the moment for him to tell me. Then, after I said, "Man, I knew it!!!!!", he laughed…and I said it back. He told me his Sis wanted to meet me. We met…had a great time.I then invited him to accompany me to a close friends party to meet "my circle of trust" and invited him to xmas dinner at my Mom's which is out of town. Out the blue, he insisted that I drive his car home from an outting…then, I let him drive my new car off the lot.

          Reciprocity…

        4. lo l i get what you saying but damn that's so unnatural, no? Like if you love him just say it..or you're ready for him to meet ya parents then get it poppin

          what are you afraid of?

        5. Well, Mr. SD…the answers to your questions are: Not for me, nope, & nope, lol.

          I am naturally way too prideful and protective of my feelings to allow myself to be emotionally invested in a relationship alone. If that makes me too fearful, I'll be that. But, I am fully aware that men are not as emo as women…usually. So, I don't think/connect/feel, etc. ahead of where a man shows me he'd like to go. And, at the moment that I feel that I'm getting ahead, I fall back a bit…and I'm honest about why if he asks me why I fell back. Then, I let the man's answer determine how I proceed.

        6. It sounds like you want him to lead and you'll followup with reciprocation and I guess if that works for you then rock wit it…Personally I've gotten the most out of relationships when its all open…you wanna fart?? FART, you wanna tell me you love me? SAY IT BABY! You can't cook? SAY SO, we'll order out…by the time you rethink how i said what i said you thought I said so you can prepare ya answer Im all confused and you probably will be too..lol

          I'm not knockin ya hustle, we all do what works best for us, so shout-out to you!

        7. LOL!

          Just cause I don't go leaping off emo cliffs without making sure somebody's at the bottom…ready and prepared to catch me…doesn't mean I don't fart when I need to or admit my true feelings. It just so happens that I truly feel that if we are in a relationship…together, then we should be progressing together or as close to together as possible. And since its harder for men, typically, to leap emotionally, I look for signs that his shoes have left the ground first, lol.

        8. lol I cant be madd @ that..BUT one of these day I want you to walk to the edge of that cliff – look left – look right and JUMP! but don't look down..Its the best shit in the world.lol Eff whose there to catch you..he just might stop you before you jump and say lets do this together….just the fact that you was willing to go inn could have sealed the deal!

        9. This sounds like a good movie, lol…

          Iono, yo…seems reckless to me! I'm the type that won't even ride a motorcycle, lol…

        10. I just 'liked' your comment. This is me ALLLL the way even tho i don't actually have a checklist…lol but i'm totally #teamyougofirst. I don't feel/do nothing in 'absentia'…there has to be something there first for my head to even think in that direction.

          I'm definitely NOT #team143bombfirst….no pressure cos i'll always wonder if you said it back cos i said it first.

          #Reciprocity!! altho sometimes this 'trait' tends to lead to 'tit for tat' which isn't always a good thing but that's another story. lol

        11. I'm glad you feel me, lol…

          #teamyougofirst has been working since I started this manfriend thing at age 11, lol. I'm 30 yrs old. I've never fallen in love with a guy and not had his love returned. I'll take those stats and continue to do me. May not work for others. But, its clearly working for me. Clearly…

      2. It's funny, I spent most of my dating years on team "YouGoFirst", and with my husband I def had the upper hand initially…but once he had my nose open I was done. I said "I love you" first. He was waiting until our vacation to have a "moment" and I just blurted it out over dinner one day.

    3. "In love, people are more afraid to fail than they are inspired to fly. It's unfortunate. But it's true."

      That line right there is WHOA! Your entire comment was interesting. I appreciate you sharing your experience. I can't imagine if all my relationships were long distance. That would have made for some unique experiences.

      It's wild that some people are more concerned with fear than hope when it comes to love. I wonder if that stems from the hurt experienced from past relationships.
      My recent post Not Every Woman is Strong Enough to Date a Rapper

      1. Fear is a dream killer, put the ug in ugly, Satan’s favorite weapon. They say money is the root of all evil. They lied, its fear. Ain’t you heard the opposite of fear is love? Both can’t exist at once.

  5. Apparently, I’m on the short bus as I have yet to learn my lesson and I keep repeating these and their variations over and over again. I’m thinking my best bet is going to be, that once this current situation comes to it’s end, I am done. Spare me the, “hang in there, the right one for you is out there somewhere.” I’m coming to accept that right one or not, I just don’t want to go through this anymore. The work its taking to be a whole, somewhat emotionally healthy human being is in and of itself overwhelming. Tossing in the work it takes to create / maintain a relationship doesn’t seem to be something I’m good at.

    1. This is why I like that Miguel joint I dropped in the post so much. It's a song about how prone we can be to making the same mistakes over and over – especially when it comes to love. The one thing I will say is, while I never experienced extreme heartache, I do know what it means to be in a relationship that fails. Of course, we try and take something from every situation we find ourselves in – so that these experiences are not complete failures, if success is a long, happy affair, I've fallen short way more times than I've succeeded. In love… that's the way it goes tho right? We fail a whole bunch of times before we succeed. There really aren't too many ways around that.
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

  6. Me and mine must be thr exception to all of this. Bc I’ve been in a long distance relationship for over 4 yrs now, which just became a “close proximity” relationship 3 months ago. And the girl I was with before my now fiancee I was with for 2 yrs and its was fairly easy for me to break up with her but I knew it wouldn’t last for ever and I knew the grass was greener where I am now. And I wouldnt say that I love her more or she loves me less, but I’m more affectionate than she is. And its cool. But neither has more “power” or “control” over the relationship. She I guess u just missed me with this post. Or maybe I’m the 1%…

      1. When we first started dating we were 2 hrs apart and we saw each every 2 wks for the wknd. 6 months into the courting stage I moved back to NY which made us a 12 hr drive or 2 hr flight away and we saw each other every 3 months, 2 if we were lucky, for a year. Only spent like 2 or 3 days together at a time tho. After that year I moved to ATL where she was 2 hrs away from me again. After that yr she tried to move to atl but couldn’t find a job and she had to go stay with with her moms for a year which then made of 4 hrs apart. Finally now she lives around the corner from me. 5 min away.

        I ain’t saying that it was easy but that doesn’t mean it can’t work.

        1. That first 6 months of dating must have been something else, lol. I mean, it must've been some kind of awesome that y'all were willing to endure the 12 hr drive year…

          Only twice that year?! WOW…

        2. Idqk what it was but when I met her I had a crush on her, which was completely weird for me. With that we talk for a little while I had a girl at the time so nothing serious. And after a while I was willing to see if the grass was actually greener. Thank God yes it really is. And it still is. I think anyone could do it if they found “the one”. and trust me I wasnt looking for the one nor the two. It just happened.

  7. “Equally heartbreaking (I Imagine) is the prospect of knowing you harbor unshakeable, unconditional love for someone who doesn’t feel for you as deeply as you feel for them.”

    Purgatory. Pure torture.

  8. “He Who Loves Least Controls The Relationship”
    Real talk. None of that other stuff has happened to me though. I've had opportunities for LDRs. Obviously, I didn't take them. We weren't serious anyway. I was in junior high and high school for crying out loud! I know a woman who actually married a dude who is long distance. That just seemed so azz backward and like you said, everybody told her that wasn't the move but she did it anyhow. She's still married (and unhappy) but she had to learn the hard way. Anyway, back to the ebbing and flowing you were talking about. That mess is real. I wish somebody had told me because I thought things were doomed when it happened but we rode it out and are doing great now. I think what kept us together was coming up with a goal and working as a team to achieve it.

    1. I had a moment when I realized the power had shifted slightly in our relationship, and my hubby had the "upper hand" – I felt really vulnerable. I am more comfortable when he chases me just a little, even though technically I'm already caught.

      1. I guess I was the one who had the upper hand at that moment. It was scary for me because my husband is great and I felt like my feelings weren’t justified. It’s a confusing experience but I learned a thing or two about us.

  9. I actually do better in long distance relationships for some reason. I agree there should be light at theend of the tunnel but i've got chracter flaws that make a LDR work for me. First, i'm not into being completely enamored with someone to the point of desiring to spend constant time with them. Second, LDRs afford me the ability to maintain focus on things outside of my relationship. I find that when two people are living in the same city or close to one another, they spend way too much time working on their relationship. The distance has always given me the opportunity to focus on other things i've got going for myself. Anyone who knows me knows that i'm a strong believer that most women want a man who's got something going for himself, but as soon as they agree to be in a relationship she wants some of his time… even if that time is already taken. I refuse to slow down and a LDR makes this easier for me. Third, I get constantly annoyed by people so with the distance things are great because I have less time to get annoyed and want to capitalize on all the time. Fourth, as a Libra and only child, "I reserve the right to fall off the face of the planet for a few days without notifying anyone. This is my god given right." You can't do that when you're in the same city, either you'd have to hole yourself up in your apartment and hope she doesn't stop by since your ignoring her texts and calls and requests to spend time, or you have to be hiding out at your mama's house (which defeats the purpose of falling off the edge of the planet). In LDRs it's easier to just say later, "Hey I was busy with work or with things, I wasn't intentionally ignoring you." She can't really prove it one way or the other and it wasn't like it really stopped her grind.

    I can go on for hours about the grass just might be greener but I think the better way of putting it is… All that glitters is not gold. Like i'll be honest with you, i've had some sh*tty jobs before and I could tell when a better one was coming about. But let's say my old lady ain't got a big ole booty and I see one and I want that, it may not work out. However, you can be in a long term relationship and working to grow something, you can sit down with another person in a conversation realize that maybe you're not with the right one. Maybe there is something better out there for you. I feel like i've hopped around a bit and each time i've decided to move on i've always done so with the intent on dating a chick better than the last. And if i've hopped from one ship to another, I was very sure before hopping. VERY SURE.
    My recent post My First Blog (The Final post on The Book of Jackson)

    1. Good points Dr. J…….I enjoy having time to myself also so I can relate to that…..as I said in my comment for some folks this works well…but just because it works for one person doesn't mean it will work for another…..different strokes for different folks.
      I don't necessarily want to be in a long distance relationship and spending quality time is important to me, however, I like men who have their own lives.

    2. I hear you on many of the benefits of a long distance relationship. Actually, Mrs.Most and I were long distance for the first 6 months of our relationship. It worked out because it forced us to get to know each other absent any sort of physical attraction. We really got to learn each other during that time.

      My point is, I think there are benefits, like we anything, but long term – it's not the ideal situation for sustainability.
      My recent post The Millennial Manifesto: How 80′s Babies Can Save the World

  10. I feel you on most of this, but the jury's still out for me on long distance relationships. The best relationships I've had have been LDR's – I tend to thrive in a situation in which I don't see Mr. Max all the time. That probably says something about me, but we're not going to go there this morning.

  11. Great lessons learned Mr. Spradley. The fact that you know them so well speaks volumes to your growth and maturity as a man…*mad props* *smile*
    I think long distance relationships can work but not for everybody….like they say everything ain't for everybody.
    For certain people this type of relationship works best for them. There are married folks who live apart for a significant amount of time due to their jobs or one partner who travels a lot for work.
    But again it takes certain type of people for this to work and they have to have a clear "understanding". I think where folks make the mistake is seeing it working for one couple and automatically thinking it will work for them…no so.
    Now all the other ones your "On Point", especially number four. I think that has a lot to do with maturity and growth and your reasons for loving the other person.
    Honestly I don't think love should waver….it should be the same 24/7 365. Now you may not like what your partner does sometimes, but that love should never change. My love for the folks I love does not waver or change no matter what….do I not like them sometimes….yes…but do I love them the same yes….which is what maintains that bond and makes it everlasting….(but hey thats just me).
    That last one is one I've seen in several marriages that have ended up in divorce. I think if people were "loving each other right" then this wouldn't be a problem and there would be much less divorces.
    Cause in cases where this happens where the woman "runs things" and the man is a "yes man" and giving more as soon as all that stops, the women is typically quick to kick the man to the curb when she is no longer in control…….to me that is Not "Real Love".

  12. I learned my lesson on all of these but the one that rings out the most for me is "The grass isn't always greener" and "Breaking up without a reason"
    When my now husband and I broke up, I dated but somehow no one seemed to be "the one". See when we broke up it was "Without a reason". We were young, and neither was really ready for a true committed relationship. It was so hard to get over him…I never had closure. When we got to a point where we could sit and talk about things about a year after the breakup, we became friends. Fast forward to the grass not being greener. I dated men who were "better than him on paper (i.e. better job, more status etc.) but I realized just because they SEEMED to be a better catch on paper, that didn't make it so… The grass is only greener on the side you water and mow the most.

    My recent post Thanks and Giving

    1. I wouldn't say he loves me more or I love him more. What I will say is that we genuinely are concerned with each other's well-being. I do things with him in mind and it appears he does the same. I'm not going to say moving from a "me" mindset to a "we" mindset is easy, but it is doable once you learn some of the afore mentioned lessons. Great post!
      My recent post Thanks and Giving

  13. The Toughest Break-Ups Are the Ones Without Reason. I see the focus is on LDRs but this is the category that interested me the most. I agree not having a reason to break-up is the hardest break-up. I've noticed that for whatever reason men/women feel the relationship must deteriorate to the point where you're throwing venomous words at one another before a relationship can end. I've preemptively ended a few relationships because I realized the relationship wasn’t going to have a happy ending but sometimes not having a reason to break-up is the same as not having a reason to stay together. I wish more people understood that before going the route of passive aggressive, cheating, or worse. I also don't think any (good) relationship was a waste of my time regardless of the final outcome.

    My recent post A One Woman Man

    1. "I've preemptively ended a few relationships because I realized the relationship wasn’t going to have a happy ending but sometimes not having a reason to break-up is the same as not having a reason to stay together. I wish more people understood that before going the route of passive aggressive, cheating, or worse."

      Me too…and me too…

  14. 1.They dont work damn *deletes photos of SBM.org crushes*. Actually I feel long distance relationships can work in certain instances. Ultimately if intimacy isnt a big deal to you and also as long its established that "one day u gon meet" (rozay voice).

    2. Idk why this is but the exes i miss are the ones that haven't given me a good enough reason to rule out. What ifs are THE worst.

    3. Nothing like going onto the other lawn and seeing how yellow it is and looking back at yours realizing it doesnt look too bad. I've ended relationships for some dumb reasons, however i dont think i've ever attempted to trade up.

    4. I wouldn't say its who "loves more" but really who is least afraid of ending the relationship. When one becomes "Toosecure", that's when they become a little more reckless during arguments, don't think about consequences of their actions and essentially become oblivious to the prospect of you getting fed up with their BS.

    Honorable Mention:

    5. Sequels suck- With the exception of The Dark Knight, most sequels suck. You either try to recreate the original or stray too far from it. When couples actually break up (and actually date a couple people in between, not like a lil break) and get back together it almost never works. You may miss them at first so you ignore the signs but eventually you will see that once its broke its never works like it should again

    My recent post ItzTrizz617: I stay forgetting to water my houseplants… #closedmouthsdontgetfed

        1. I never liked it because they seemed upset at each other the whole time. Like, not that lighthearted ribbing they had in the first one, but genuinely, "I wish I wasn't making this movie with you right now." And that just made all the insults seem real and unfunny. Plus, it was like 8 hour long. I just pretend there wasn't a sequel and enjoy the first one.

          **Sidenote: I've noticed that the sequel is almost always walk, but sometimes, if it becomes a trilogy, the third movie redeems itself. Lethal Weapon is an exception, because 1 and 2 were awesome, 3 was wack, and 4 was funny/decent. Die Hard is another. 1 was EXCELLENT (and maybe my favorite action movie), 2 was horrifically bad, 3 was funny/decent, and 4 was…WTF? I could go on. Don't get me started on movies. 🙂

  15. great post. I was jamming to Hard Way just Saturday, its definitely one my favorite songs on Miguel's album and I so can relate to the lyrics. I agree with all of your points, especially the last but I'd say the failure of knowing you love the most and that love not being enough is worse than being the one knowing you are loving the least… either way, it ends. I agree in ebb and flow but you're right, I guess when you're married you have more of an incentive/desire/focus to get back to that mutual love.
    My recent post I’m not quite sure as to what is going down…

  16. "He Who Loves Least Controls The Relationship" – i hate this fact because its so true..but it typically has the one who loves most feeling like ish…God forbid that other person is carrying insecurities into the relationship..its a train wreck waiting to happen

  17. i've tried a ldr even though i said i would never do it. it ended the way i imagined it would if it did end which leads me to point number 2. those breakups are the worst. you just can't put a finger on why things have changed. they just did. you find yourself looking for an exit strategy and feeling guilty because the other person didn't really do anything to warrant it.
    My recent post Strange Fruit

  18. I don’t think any relationship is a failure or a waste of time. They all made me who I am and since I am awesome….well, there you go. It’s all good. I usually give more, cause I enjoy giving, and I love harder because its more fun, I cry hard, but tears dry quickly and I jump back on the roller coaster, throw my hands up and scream wee! Let’s go again!

  19. Great post…and I def agree with your list. LDR – Imo, it depends on whether or not the distance is doable (2-4 hrs by car). The hardest lessons for me to learn were:

    1. Great friendship does NOT necessarily equal a great relationship – Sometimes, after crossing the line, you realize that you were great friends cause you weren't in a relationship.

    2. Real love takes time to develop – I'm a feeler and it took me a minute to learn the difference between infatuation and love. Not understanding the difference caused me to hurt a few feelings.

    3. Never pass up what you need for what you want if what you want isn't also what you need – I was 17 so I can't be too mad at myself, lol. Man, but if I knew then what I know now. What you need can always become what you want…but the reverse is always a gamble.

      1. Yeah, well…it took me a 7 yr marriage, 2 kids, and a divorce to get it. I'm sure you don't wanna learn like that though, lol.

        I beseech you to get it ASAP…

  20. Enjoyed the read.
    Let's see. #1 My first and only LDR turned into an engagement and us moving in together after he graduated college. It was very tough but I agree an end point is defniitely needed. We didn't make it to the altar cause moving in with him taught me he was a insecure nutjob but that's a whole other topic. At this point I steer clear of LDR's more b/c I am very spontaneous and I want someone I can hit up and be like let's check out this new restaurant.
    #2 I personally have not had a lot of these. For me usually the relaitonship has run its course or smtg has happened.

    1. #3 I have never had a grass is greener sort of situation now that I think about it. But I tend to glamorize my man in my head. All his good qualities are magnified and his bad are minimized. So in my mind the other dude can't do what my man can. Of course those walls come tumbling down once reality meets my rose colored view of him. But that's another topic.
      #4 This is the pits. I have been on both ends of this stick and you know what I hate to say it but at this point I must be the one more detached. Someone mentioned above about not saying I love you first and for me that's what it is. Let him spill his guts first cause I am tired of my feeling not being returned

    2. My LDR turned into a No Reason Break Up after he relocated closer to me (from 5 hrs away…driving). Smh… I mean, there were reasons…but I was choosing not to work through them…for no real reason other than I just really didn't want to.

      Rough. Rough. Rough. The confusion…the guilt…

      Never again.

        1. Yeah, Mika. I can't even explain it other than to say I just knew he wasn't it for me. He was the same guy for the 3rd time, lol. Different names, all three birthdays within a two week span…I needed something else. And after getting out of a 7 yr marriage with same guy #2, I just wasn't gonna waste anymore time with same guy #3 trying to figure out what I already knew…that type of guy doesn't work for me long term. So, I let it go…

          Maybe I can explain it, lol…

  21. Definitely tried the LTLD thing…TWICE. It was with two different guys, they are the best and worst relationships of my life to date, and they tie for being the longest relationships at 18 months.

    After the best one, I said I wasn't going to date anyone further away than a block. Preferably someone in my building. Maybe I'd even find a roommate and hope something developed that way. Anything but dealing with another guy again who was watching the clock for when he had to leave. After the worst one, I thought relationships in general were to blame and dabbled in the no strings attached world. I'm still dabbling, though I'm definitely not an enthusiast.

    I have serious trouble with the "he who loves least…" one. I fall extremely easily. Dude calls more than once in a week, paired with being attractive, perhaps calling me "love", and steady texting, and I'm hooked. Seriously. Like, I fail at the "playing it cool thing". I'm either not hooked at all or I'm full steam ahead. It's a problem, as you can imagine. If I was a character in "He's Just Not That Into You", I'd be "Gigi", hands down. I keep thinking I'll run into a dude who's the same way, acknowledging the chemistry and running with it. But, alas, that has yet to happen, and less than a month from my 27th birthday, I've got to change.

    The change: Let it go. Just let it all go. Hoping every dude is "the one" was NOT working. Thinking "the one" no longer existed and being jaded and bitter was NOT working. And I haven't bumped into anyone accidentally, when I least expected it, as everyone says happens. I mentioned it in WIM's post, but all the stress and auditioning aspects of dating/relationships finally got to me. Unless I find someone absolutely perfect, that also thinks I'M absolutely perfect, it's just not something I can handle right now. So I'm pushing it all under the rug. Admittedly, my least practiced skill, but I just HAVE to.

  22. I was never really a LDR person – we can talk and vibe but until we move closer you do you and I'm gonna do me, lol. Break-ups without reason are horrid, but I never really put them into the category of a break-up, I just thought we stopped talking. That mess is how my phone etiquette got started off, If we've been seeing each other for a couple weeks/months then I'll call you twice – if I don't get a call back after that second call I'll never call you again. Never really had "grass is greener" syndrome, for the most part I didn't have a fence, and when I did I was too wrapped up trying to tend to my own brown bald and patchy garden. Now that whole "He Who Loves Least" is the TRUF! I didn't know how much of an advantage that was until I lost it…dang this "caring for someone other than myself" syndrome!

  23. Love the points and the breakdown. And each one of them is right on point and correct! Great choices. I hope you'll do a follow up to this one. Love (or rather those I have loved) have taught me a lot especially in the last few years. And yes, it was definitely the lessons learned the hard way that have been the best things and have catapulted me into making changes and looking at myself. Taking notes and really trying to figure things out after the whammies that have occurred really have made me a better woman
    My recent post Volume II : Things My Exes Have Taught Me…Yellow Brick Roads Do Exist

  24. I heard this quote once “The grass may be greener on the other side but believe that the water bill is high there too.” I commend you on creating an honest genuine post. The long distance relationship section hit home the most. I found myself in a long distance relationship with short term goals. The two mixed together resulted in a disasterous breakup. We weren’t proactive about the hardships we would face over time. I learned the hard way that absence does not always make the heart grow fonder. Great post!

  25. I've experienced both sides of "the grass is greener". Ive seen women leave me only to have the "oh sh*t effect". Ive also broke things off and found out that all that glitters aint gold like Dr Jay said, however I do always end up in a better situation for the most part.

    You summed up LDR's perfectly, but there are exceptions and as long as there is a PLAN, all will be well. You just have to be secure and be focused on each other. If you aren't about that, then don't make it anything past a fling.
    My recent post Infographic: Black Friday Shopping Stats

  26. Oddly enough, all my relationship except for one have been LDRs of sorts and i don't mind them much at all. I think they are very doable but are a lot of work and the TWO people involved MUST be ready to do the work [seeing as i'm currently single maybe i should take a cue…? lol]. And as you rightly said, there must be a furture goal as to when the 'long distance' is no more.

    Never had the grass is greener effect. Doesn't mean i've never been the 'yellow' grass but at least not to my knowledge. Lol

    Breakup without reason…i've had one of those. I think there are or there is at least one reason. the dumper just doesn't want to or can't communicate the reason [whatever it may be] to the dumpee. You're right tho, they are the worst cos till date i still sometimes wonder what happened even tho i'm over it.

    "He who loves lest…" mehnnn if this ain't the golden truth!! Been on both ends and it sucks!!!! The good thing tho is i was able to put on my big girl panties and walk away with my dignity intact.

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