Do you cringe when you look back at your past relationships? Instead of being bitter about your previous mistakes, look at the brighter side and remember the life lessons your experience has taught you, starting with these 11 on our list!

Embrace your individuality.
Remember to preserve your own identity even when you’re in a relationship. You shouldn’t be too dependent on your man–learn to pursue your own passions.

Learn to tell the difference between hearing and listening.

These are two very different things–one hears to respond and listens to understand. Always keep your ears and your mind open when discussing certain issues with your man.

Don't sacrifice your personal integrity.
You don’t have to compromise your non-negotiable issues or lower your standards just to save a relationship.

Nothing is wrong with being picky.
If the guy you're dating has abominable habits or if you just don't like him that much, then don't feel pressured to agree to a second date.

Be vocal in expressing your feelings.

It’s important to recognize what your partner does for you. Don’t be afraid to be open about your feelings for each other– if you don’t voice them out, he might think that you don’t appreciate him.

Take control of your own happiness.
For a healthy relationship to happen, both parties in it should be happy independently. Being too reliant on your partner for your own happiness may lead to expectations and disappointments.

Common sense should rule.
While it’s nice to fall in love, being in a relationship shouldn’t only be about emotions. It’s important to be a "thinker" at times–don’t let your feelings cloud your mind and impair your judgment.

Don’t ignore the red flags.

Once again, it’s a battle of heart and mind. No matter how long you two have been dating, if he keeps making you feel insecure, is abusive, or takes you for granted, then it’s time to walk out the door.

Communication is key.
Two people who keep arguing without hearing each other out will never come to a viable solution. Relationships are a two-way street.

Focus on common values.
While it’s good to have common interests, it’s also essential to find common ground when it comes to what's right and wrong.

Unsuccessful relationships make you stronger.
You may feel defeated after every failed relationship, but with all the lessons you learn from them, it also makes you wiser, stronger, and hopefully a better person.

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SCREENCAP: 500 Days of Summer/Fox Searchlight Pictures (2009); GIFs:

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