Among the ups, the downs, the way, way ups, and the oh-no-do-we-need-to-break-up downs, it’s no secret that relationships are tough. But the sweet reward of being loved and getting to love someone in return is what inspires all of us to navigate these choppy waters. Sometimes, though, we need help figuring it out. We asked the Cut’s readers to anonymously share the best relationship advice they’ve ever received. Below, their pearls of wisdom.
1. My mom, who has been with my father for 47 years, once said to me: “I’m not always in love with your father, but I always love him. And I’m always surprised when I fall back in love with him.” I’ve been with my husband for 12 years. Because of my mom’s advice, I don’t panic when we’re going through a tough time; I look forward to falling in love with my husband again. And that moment is usually not sexy, like when one of our kids vomits in the middle of the night and he gets up to help me clean it up and then touches my foot with his foot when we finally climb back into bed. That’s love.
2. That I cannot choose to prioritize the desires, whims, or life choices of a significant other at the expense of losing my sense of self. If I become the best version of who my partner wants me to be (or who I think he wants me to be), I’m camouflaging all those wonderful parts of me that exist with or without that person.
3. When you get married, make sure the person you choose is someone you’d not only want to marry but also to divorce. For me, it highlights the importance of choosing someone who is gentle, caring, and good-hearted not only in the good times but also in the bad times.