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9 Things You Should Know About Love When You’re Still Young

9 Things You Should Know About Love When You’re Still Young

Who doesn’t love love? It’s one of the best, purest emotions out there. This means, of course, that it has the most drama connected to it. Everyone worries about collecting a lot of relationship baggage while they’re young, but the truth is it’s going to happen regardless of how you try to avoid it. Instead of trying to prevent lots of missteps, read these tips and find out what you should know about love when you’re still young. Find comfort in knowing that everyone goes through these things, and we all make it out on the other side.

1. You’ll make mistakes.

It’s ok to make mistakes when you’re young – especially in love! Love isn’t a rational feeling, it’s something that makes you feel the highest of happiness during the good times, and the lowest of sadness during the bad times. You’re going to date people you shouldn’t; you’re going to have arguments that aren’t worth having; and you’re going to say the wrong things during these fights. It’s ok because you’re going to learn from each of these mistakes, and that will make your true love that much sweeter.

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    2. You can be selfish.

    It’s normal to be selfish when you’re young, because you need to figure out who you are and what you want from life. It’s acceptable to break up with someone over something that might seem a bit petty just because they don’t seem right for you – because they probably aren’t! When you’re in your teens and twenties, you need to focus on yourself, because you need to discover who you are and what your career will be. You need to work on things like this, including loving yourself, before you try to make a partnership work for the long haul.

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    3. You can be single.

    And you should be! Too many young people think they always need to be in a relationship. If you have this mindset, then you’re more likely to date people who are bad for you just so you’ll be with someone. It’s ok to be single! No one is watching you and keeping track of how long you’re single versus how long you’re in a relationship. It’s important to be single so you can focus on your own life; when you do find that special someone, your relationship will be that much better because it will be special. You’ll be a well-rounded person, and you won’t have a history of hopping from relationship to relationship with no substance.

    4. You’ll fall in love with the wrong person.

    This is the hardest lesson to learn, because people rarely seem wrong for you at the start of a relationship. When you feel the sparks and the butterflies, you can’t imagine that someone could be bad for you. But they can be, and they will be, and you need to learn how to identify this in others. Your partner might be a great person; they don’t have to be mean or abusive or inconsiderate! They can be kind and still be wrong — for you. You should be with someone who brings out the best in you, who is sweet and encouraging and compatible with you, not who you think you should be with to make anyone else happy.

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    5. It’s ok to fall in love.

    So you’ve met the wrong person, and maybe you kind of even know they’re wrong for you, but you can’t help it — you’re falling in love. That’s ok! It’s good to let yourself feel things for others. If you’re too hesitant to fall in love, then you might never let loose enough to find your special someone. Love is a beautiful feeling, and it’s never wrong to feel it for someone as long as you believe it’s true.

    6. Live and love in the moment.

    Never chastise yourself for falling in love. When you feel something in the moment, you need to let yourself feel that emotion completely. Fall in love, daydream about your future, and, as hard as it may be to do, let yourself get hurt. You’ll learn from all of these moments and all of these emotions. It seems like you’d look back and kick yourself for having a crush on someone who was so obviously wrong for you, but you’ll see the past through rose-colored glasses and be glad that you experienced as much as you did.

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    7. You don’t need to have a timeline.

    When you’re young, you get so used to people asking what you’re majoring in or what you want to be when you grow up that you start planning out your whole life. It seems more stable to think “I should be married by the time I’m 25 so I can have kids before I’m 30,” than to fly by the seat of your pants. But the truth is, those timelines rarely work out. If they do, it might just because you feel pressured to stick to them. What if you’re dating the wrong person when you’re 25, but still feel like you have to get married to meet your goal? Scrap any timeline you have in mind. Life is going to throw you curveballs whether you have plans or not, so see who you meet, who you fall in love with, and go with the flow.

    8. Don’t put others before yourself.

    When you’re older and in a committed relationship or marriage, there will be times when you need to put your own wants on the back burner and let your spouse reach some of their personal goals. It’s ok to put others before yourself if you’re being supportive and not letting your own needs and wants fall to the wayside, but it shouldn’t become a habit. If you’re in a relationship where your partner constantly needs to be the center of attention and won’t let you have interests of your own or time to yourself, you need to get out of that. Realize that it’s not only acceptable to put yourself first, but it’s necessary when you’re young and still have so much growing and learning to do.

    9. Love yourself.

    You’ll fall in love with good people and you’ll fall in love with bad people, but above all, you need to love yourself. If you love who you are, then you’ll be more open to loving others. Love is always a great thing to share, but loving yourself also means you won’t have to find that love in others. You can love someone without needing something from them to feel validated. Loving yourself is the most powerful love you can experience.

    Featured photo credit: Kelley Boone via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on July 8, 2020

    How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

    How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

    Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

    For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

    But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

    It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

    The Importance of Saying No

    When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

    In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

    Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

    Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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    Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

    “The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

    When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

    How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

    It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

    From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

    We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

    And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

    The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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    How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

    Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

    The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

    1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

    Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

    2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

    Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

    3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

    When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

    6 Ways to Start Saying No

    Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

    1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

    One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

    Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

    2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

    Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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    Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

    3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

    Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

    Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

    4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

    Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

    Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

    5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

    When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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    6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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