Relationships with other people can often be messy and sometimes they get messy to the point where you get lost in all the fuss.

You end up wondering what the hell is happening and you end up in such a dark place having no idea how you got there in the first place.

We all enter relationships with other people hoping for the best, but what happens when ‘the best’ doesn’t happen? What happens when instead of getting what you hoped for or what you deserved, you get your heart broken?

After I’d been through a lot in my life and after I’d had one too many heartbreaks, I learned that I can’t continue walking through life constantly rushing into things and ending up falling flat on my face all the time.

When I finally learned to allow myself to see beyond the pain that other people gifted me, I learned a few valuable things in life.

Here are my 11 most important lessons…

11. Nobody is perfect or the way you picture them at first

This is where I make most of my mistakes. I keep thinking that people are the way they present themselves at first.

And I never bother to look beyond their first layer, I never scratch to see what’s under the surface. Sometimes there is more to people than we see at first, be that better or worse.

Nobody is perfect and everyone has flaws. Perhaps those flaws aren’t displayed at first, but they are there and once all the excitement decreases, you’ll be able to see them.

At the end of the day, we’re all bound to show our true face to others eventually, so before you allow yourself to fall in love with someone, make sure you scratch under the surface and know who they really are.

10. You are way stronger than you think you are

Every time I got my heart broken, I thought this is it, this is the one that will break me completely, this is my end and from this one, I won’t be able to recover.

And guess what? After each heartbreak, I recovered. Sometimes it took me a while, but eventually, I’d always put the shattered pieces of my broken heart back together.

At some point in your life, you’ll think you’ve come to the end of the road. You’ll think how life couldn’t hit you any harder and you’ll think about giving up so many times.

And when this happens, think about how many times before you have been in that situation and yet you’ve managed to pass through it.

You are way stronger than you think because you’ve been brought into this life to be a fighter and not a person who gives up. Give yourself some credit for that.

9. Only those who truly care for you will be there for you on your hardest days

When I was the most down, it wasn’t those people I thought would be there who were actually there for me, but those who truly cared for me. Those who I thought should be there for me couldn’t stand the phase I was going through, nor did they bother to try and understand it.

They said that I was either being too dramatic about it or that I should just snap out of it. On the other hand, the people I wouldn’t have thought of being there for me at first were actually the ones who held my hand when I needed it the most and who helped me get back up.

Just because you deserved for some people to be there for you in your darkest days, it doesn’t mean that this is the way it’s always going to happen.

And that’s okay. Pay attention to those who stuck by you even when you were not fun to be around because those are the people who truly care about you and those are the only ones who matter.

8. If the feeling is off, you’re allowed to say no

God knows how many times I was broken by the people I had bad feelings about in the beginning. But despite what I felt, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and ended up drawing the short straw.

Whenever you don’t feel like welcoming someone into your life—don’t. You’re allowed to say no, regardless of what those people did for you, and regardless of how much they like or love you, if the feeling is off.

Even if it may not make sense or if it may be a bit selfish, you owe it to yourself to make yourself happy.

7. Always respect yourself to walk away from those who are just hurting you

For a long time, I had this habit of giving myself the most to those who were hurting me the most. I kept thinking if I gave them more love, they’d choose to hurt me less, but I was wrong. I only ended up getting even more hurt for not walking away when I should have.

No matter how much you love, love is never an excuse to stay in a toxic relationship. Love should never be an excuse for allowing someone to treat you poorly or tear down your self-confidence.

Always respect yourself enough to walk away from those who are just hurting you. Don’t give your best to those who did nothing to deserve it.

6. Everything that happens to you in life will either teach you a lesson or destroy you—but the choice is always yours

Life kept throwing curveballs at me and I kept stumbling over them. Everything that happened to me always cut my heart like the sharpest blade.

Every time I wasn’t loved or when I wasn’t treated the way I deserved, I despaired, even at the smallest inconvenience. Then I opened my eyes and realized I couldn’t continue walking through life afraid that something bad would happen or allowing everything to affect me.

When I learned to look beyond the pain I was going through, that’s when I started growing.

Everything that happens in your life happens for a reason. And everything that happens will affect you, but it’s up to you to choose whether you’ll use it wisely or let it break you.

You need to be wise enough to learn when to let go of certain things, and you need to understand that not all people who walk into your life were meant to stay and not everything you want in life is the same as what you need.

You need to start turning each thing that happened to you into a lesson and not a setback.

5. If someone truly loves you, you’ll know

God knows how many times I stuck by someone, mistaking what they gave me for love. God knows how many sleepless nights I’ve had because I wasn’t sure if the person I was with loved me or not.

And God knows how many times I was broken by someone who I thought loved me.

See, when someone loves you, you’ll know. There won’t be second-guessing, there won’t be nights when you can’t fall asleep because your mind is busy wondering if someone loves you or not, you won’t be confused or unsure.

When someone truly loves you, they’ll do everything in their power to make sure you’re aware of that. They’ll make sure you feel special and loved. That’s the only truth.

4. Just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean you’re meant to be

I’ve held on to so many temporary people in my life that I forgot how those who are meant to stay look. I kept living with this illusion that all those who come into my life are meant to stay.

I kept thinking that all those I love will love me back. But this couldn’t be further from reality.

You know, sometimes life sends some people your way so they can teach you certain things and then you need to let them go. Don’t waste your days or all the other opportunities by holding on to relationships that aren’t meant to be.

Let go of temporary things and temporary people so those who are actually meant to stay can have a free spot.

3. Just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean they’ll be good to you

I had this idea in my head that if I didn’t want to hurt someone, they also wouldn’t do anything that would hurt me. I thought if I loved someone, then they wouldn’t do anything that would harm me.

Little did I know that by loving people, I was giving them the ultimate weapon to hurt me—my heart.

Not all people you love will always love you back. Not all people you’re good to will be good to you back. Sometimes those you give yourself the most to will actually hurt you the most.

And sometimes no matter what you do, you can’t make some people love you. It’s because they are wrong and no love in this world that you give them will make them right.

2. Not getting what you want sometimes might be the best thing that happens to you

I can’t even recall how many times I was cursing destiny and the other higher forces for denying me the things I wanted.

How many times I was sad and how many times I cried myself to sleep for not having the people I wanted in my life or for not being loved by the people I loved, just to have life show me that each time I actually dodged a bullet with them and that not getting what I wanted was actually the best thing that could have happened to me.

Sometimes you don’t think clearly and you wish for yourself the things that might be toxic to you. Oftentimes, things that you want aren’t exactly the things you need or are actually the things you should be running away from.

Know that each time you’re denied something you wanted it’s because something better is headed your way.

1. Just because you didn’t get what you deserved, it doesn’t mean it will never find its way to you

The most times I was wrong was when I wanted certain things or people and I wanted them there and then. But that’s not how life works, you know.

Whatever is destined to be, will be. Whatever is yours will find a way to you sooner or later. Desperately sharking toward it won’t change a thing.

So the best thing to do is to let things happen when they’re meant to happen. Don’t rush anything and don’t force anything, let alone love. When the time is right, you’ll get what you deserve.