real life

What my last relationship taught me.

Coming out of a relationship, off the back of a break-up that was harsh, heart-breaking, hurtful and extremely messy, the time for drinking lots of gin, going to lots of parties, becoming a recluse, engaging in some deep reflection… is now.

Because I have learnt. I have learnt that self-awareness and consideration are vital to making a relationship work. That taking someone for granted is one of the worst things you can do to a person you love. That manipulation is an unfair burden to the person being manipulated, but also an unfair reflection of the person doing the manipulating. And that the way you end a relationship has the power to drain love, and fracture a once-un-fracturable sense of deep, deep regard.

As you can see, I’m doing okay on the reflection (gin drinking) front. But this isn’t about me.

Women from around the world, of various backgrounds, cultures and life experiences, are sharing what they learnt from their last relationships. Jumping on the #LastRelationshipTaughtMe handle, some of them are funny, some of them are heart-breaking, all of them are insightful.

We've done our own crowd-sourcing at Mamamia, and looked to the lessons our past loves have taught us.

Why?

Because examining to the way past relationships have made you feel, act, respond, learn, equips you with the knowledge and power to face new relationships in a healthier, more in-touch manner.

It allows you to build a clearer idea of what you really want from a partner, and also the ways you can improve as a partner yourself.

Most importantly, through this reflection, you become smarter, stronger and an expert at drinking Negroni.

Here's what we've learned:

I learnt it's okay to put yourself first, and that not wanting to hurt your partner doesn't necessarily mean that you love them. It's okay to let go when it's not doing it for you. - Sam, 27.

It's sounds really cliche but I just learnt to trust my instincts more. If all of your senses are telling you it's not right for whatever reason, you should trust that and go. - Annie, 24.

I learned once a liar, always a liar. Little lies indicate big lies. Don't be stupid and believe the bulls**t, explaining it away because you like the guy. Honesty - or at least the ability to admit they haven't told the truth and are sorry - is golden. - Jacqueline, 40.

I learned that your relationship, and anything that happens to it, is between you and your partner. You shouldn't concern yourselves with what other people think, or stay in a relationship you don't want to be in, because of social pressure. - Genevieve, 27.

I did a year long thesis on love and relationships where I interviewed old men. The biggest lesson I learnt was the importance of finding your intellectual equal. Such an epiphany. From what I heard...people who did meet their intellectual equal never ran out of things to talk about. They appreciated and valued the same things. They never belittled or spoke down to each other. And their relationship was based on a mutual respect. - Sophie, 25.

Finally, there's also this gem from an avid Hot Cheeto lover (apparently they're like Twisties, but spicy). Regardless of the snack-type, truer words have never been spoken:

Watch next: The Mamamia Staff share the moment that they knew their relationship was done.