Don't make the same errors I did.
If I'd only known that the guy I used to date (for more than three years) wasn't the right one for me, I would have been able to spare myself from so much heartache. But love, as those of us who have done it with reckless abandon probably know by now, is nothing if not a gamble.
There are risks involved every step of the way, and even if I was brave enough to risk everything in my fight for my own version of "happily ever after," it didn't guarantee forever. In fact, this man turned out to be Mr. Wrong, leaving me with a scarred soul and some valuable lessons to share in the hopes that you'll avoid the same mistakes:
1. Fireworks and sparks are great, but they don't mean you've met "the one."
The moment I met him, he set off bells and whistles in my dull life, which made me think, "This guy is it!" only to realize that he was actually the opposite of what I believed him to be. Don't get carried away by the sparks, because they don't last. They aren't a surefire sign that the rest of the time you spend with him will be magic.
2. Ignoring warning signs is foolish.
Justifying his mistakes because "He's not perfect" is acceptable if he did a sh*tty thing once or twice. It's what I used to do. But if he treats you like crap and you still turn a blind eye all in the name of love, you're on your way to relationship hell.
3. Having "20/20 vision" will save your life.
See him for who he really is instead of making him someone he's clearly not. This will save you from spending time with the wrong guys and prevent you from creating a Mr. Right version of each one.
4. Trust your gut instinct.
You have those nagging feelings inside of you for a reason. Do not ignore them.
5. Know your boundaries — and stick to them.
When you love someone so much, you sometimes compromise your standards, thinking doing so will make your relationship stronger. It won't. Plus, if he's really "the one," he won't do anything that'll prompt you to step on your own boundaries.
6. Not even the best kind of love can make him the man you want.
7. Put a deadline on how long you'll play the waiting game.
You can't wait for him forever, despite how strongly you believe he's the one for you. Because the truth is, it shouldn't take a guy forever to make you feel he's worth waiting for. He'll get his act together sooner than later if he doesn't want to lose you. If he doesn't, that's him telling you he's not worth wasting your time on.
8. Starting over isn't as hard and scary as you think.
Most of us would rather stay in an unhappy relationship because we've already invested in it and we have this screwed-up notion that leaving puts all our efforts to waste. It's true to some extent, but if it's as clear as the morning sun that you've mistaken him as a forever love, recognize that you made a mistake. Don't give into the fear that it would be too late for you to begin again, because it won't. Trust me on this.
9. It pays to stick to your non-negotiables.
Remember how you were once lenient on your relationship requirements in an effort to give the guy you liked a chance? Doing this is the reason you don't recognize the wrong man for who he is. So no matter how much he deserves a chance after all his misses, bail out. Don't look back. You'll thank yourself later.
10. Settling for less than what you deserve is the biggest decision you'll regret.
When you've been with someone for a long time, you become comfortable with the kind of love you get. You begin to think it's what you rightfully deserve. But the truth is, the authentic Mr. Right will go out of his way to make the mundane extraordinary, the boring exciting, and the simple special for you.
Don't be fooled by accepting anything less. Either he finds you first, or you go find him, which isn' postsible if you don't open your eyes to see that Mr. Right has always been Mr. Wrong from the start.