16 Most Brutal Truths About Relationships, As Told By People Who Learned The Hard Way

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Relationships aren’t like the fairytales we’ve all grown up with. In fact, the ups and downs of modern-day dating are so different from Disney romances that many people have a hard time comprehending. People are always looking for answers when it comes to love and relationships.

One person took to the internet to get some clarity and asked people on Quora, "what is the brutal truth about relationships?” This inquisitive person got a ton of answers. While this question received over a hundred responses, here are 16 of the best of those brutal relationship truths.

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Here are the 16 most brutal relationship truths, as told by people who learned the hard way:

1. Texting doesn't equal a relationship.

"If someone only wants to text you online and never makes any plans to see you. Know that this is all the relationship will ever be. You’re a time filler and you are not the only one they text. If you are looking for something more, move on."

2. Hard work pays off in a relationship.

"My brutal truth is that relationships require work. So much work. Difficult work. They require that you truly and honestly assess YOUR OWN behavior, not just your partner's. They require that you compromise. (I mean it, actually compromise) They require admitting when you are wrong. I know, this can be very difficult."

3. Every relationship is different.

"Just because people used to stay married to their high school sweetheart until death doesn't mean that behavior applies to society today. Most of the beliefs of “being together forever” came from older generations not having access to communicate with anyone outside their immediate proximity and network of current relationships. Introduce the internet, and BOOM - we are free to be who we want."

4. You eventually need to get over your commitment issues.

"The brutal truth is that it takes a commitment that people of today just can't hack. A relationship without commitment will never survive. One must be all in if it's to last."

5. No one is perfect.

"The brutal truth about relationships is that once we enter into them, we discover how imperfect our partners really are. The question is can you deal with their imperfections regardless?"

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6. We're all a little selfish.

"The most brutal truth about relationships is that all relationships are based on mutual convenience and self-interest. The concept of unconditional love is fiction, which does not exist in the real world."

7. You have to pay attention to warning signs.

"The warning signs were probably there all along, but you just didn’t want to see them. One of your friends or family probably even tried to warn you, but you didn’t listen. Your spouse probably didn’t suddenly become the kind of person who cheats or abuses you or is bad with money. They were probably like that the whole time, you just didn’t see it or didn’t listen."

8. You can never totally know someone.

"For me, the most brutal truth about relationships - both romantic and platonic - is that you might think, tell, and even convince yourself that you truly know a person when in actual fact you will never know all of them."

9. Relationships require more than love.

"Love is not enough to maintain a relationship. You need respect, friendship, companionship, understanding, trust, honesty, and communication."

10. Happiness comes from the inside.

"Happiness can never be found in another person. If you are not happy already, starting a relationship with someone will eventually spread your unhappiness to them."

11. Nothing lasts forever.

"Everything is temporary. No matter if the relationship has a duration of 10 minutes or 100 years, one of you will leave the other at some point."

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12. You have to relax and things will get better.

"The brutal truth is if everyone could learn to sit back, relax, trust, and let one another be, relationships would last. It is unfortunate though that most of us bring past experiences and beliefs with us into our new relationships."

13. Sometimes you need to move on and improve.

"That you need to move on if it’s not the right person. And to keep looking, while improving yourself, redefining and self-tuning what is important to you (not to the world) in order to find what and who will make you (truly) happy and at peace with yourself and others, this special relationship that will make you grow together, and will make you feel like you’ve won the lottery every day you see that person by your side."

14. Maybe monogamy isn't the answer.

"That human beings were simply not put together to be in 50+ year monogamous relationships. Most people are in denial about our promiscuity and constantly point to the outliers who managed to make it a lifetime together without cheating/betrayal and/or separation."

15. You could always get hurt.

"The brutal truth about relationships is they all may come to an end. We can’t control if they do or don’t. No matter how convinced we are that we’ve found our soulmate, they have the ability to hurt us in the worst ways possible."

16. Being selective makes a difference.

"The brutal truth about relationships is that many end in divorce, separation or splitting up because people are not fussy enough about who they get involved with or do not try hard enough to make it work."

No relationship is ever the same and there isn’t one answer to romantic success. However, if you come to terms with the brutal truths about relationships, you have a better chance of surviving the ups and downs. If you view your relationship realistically and plan for the bumps, you can enjoy the beauty of the journey too.

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Shannon Ullman is a writer who focuses on travel and adventure, women's health, pop culture, and relationships. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, MSN, and Matador Network.