Patti's Blog

7 important love lessons I learned from my last relationship

PattiStangerAndDavidBefore you hear it from anyone else, I wanted to let you know myself — David and I broke up. It’s unfortunate for a million and one reasons and obviously hard and sad for both of us. Parts of me wish neither of us had to go through this. At the same time, I realize that this relationship and break up had to happen because I needed to learn a lot of lessons I never would have been able to learn without dating David. And I wanted to share those important lessons with you all.

And I know there are going to be haters out there saying nasty things about how I can’t be a matchmaker if I don’t have a man myself. To those trolls, I say kiss my weddings! That’s right. I have hundreds and hundreds of happily married couples who never would have found each other if it weren’t for my matchmaking. I’m a human and I own my issues. I’m back to being single and I’m still looking for my forever guy. But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m incredibly good at my job. I excel at setting people up and helping them fall in love. Look, how many Pro Football Hall of Fame coaches have scored touchdowns in the Super Bowl? Coaching people into winning the big game is a different skillset than winning the big game yourself. I’m really good at being a love coach. In fact, I’d say I’m one of the best. But, at playing the love game myself? I’ve got some work to do and I’m chipping away at it. I know I’ll win my game soon, but until then, I’m going to keep being the best coach I can be.

And now, on to the 7 lessons I learned from my last relationship.

1. Find someone who speaks your love language

I recently read The Five Love Languages and it was a game changer for me. Seriously, as I was reading certain chapters, I could feel my entire life pivot. I discovered that my love languages are gifts and touch. And I’m never going to be able to fall in love and be happy with a partner who doesn’t fulfill those needs. David’s love languages were time and words of affection. And he was great at speaking those love languages. A woman who spoke them back would be so happy with David. Unfortunately, time and words of affection aren’t what fill my love tank. I learned that I need to find someone who can speak my love language if I want to truly fall in love.

2. Opposites might attract, but they don’t last

David was opposite to me in so many ways and at first, that’s what really attracted me to him. He was rugged and I’m a mush at my core. He’s a country mouse and I’m a city girl through and through. He’s a homebody and I’m out and about a lot for my job. He’s financially prudent and I’m beyond generous. Don’t get me wrong, of course we had shared interests like working out, photography and movies. At our centers, though, we were completely different people. Different can feel sexy and dangerous and compelling, but at the end of the day, you need to build a life with someone who has the same vision for their life as you do. David and I just didn’t share that.

3. Share your spirituality

This goes along with the above, but it’s so important that I had to separate it into its own point. You have to be on the same page spiritually with your partner if you want to work long term. I’m spiritual in so many different ways. I meditate, go to counseling, attend retreats, do biofeedback, the spiritual works! David isn’t spiritual. He taught me a lot about nutrition and fitness and tried his best to get into spirituality with me, but it didn’t take with him. He dabbled, but wasn’t feeling it. And there was a huge disconnect between us because I couldn’t get on his level and he couldn’t get on mine.

4. You do you first, always

This sounds selfish, I know. But, it’s not at all. If you want to be a good partner, you have to be happy and fulfilled. I was brought up by a mother who taught me to be a giver and put your man first. Become indispensable to him and that’s how you build a relationship. But, that’s not how it works at all. You have to take care of yourself and make sure that you’re happy and your love tank is filled up regularly. Then, you can think about making your partner happy. But, you first, always!

5. You always do date your father

I honestly never thought the aphorism about dating your father was true because, well, because it’s kind of gross. But, David was so much like my father that I can’t believe I didn’t see it coming from miles away. And unfortunately for me, my father isn’t the type of person I want to date. For some women, and I mean this in the least heeby-jeeby-inducing way possible, dating someone with their father’s traits isn’t a bad thing. But for me, it’s just a no go. Figure out what your daddy issues are and be on the look out for what’s a daddy red flag.

6. Look at your charts

I know not everyone out there is into astrology, but I’m here to tell you that it’s really, really valuable and can help guide a lot of decisions in your life. I’m a Gemini and David’s a Virgo. Those two signs have a lot of chemistry between them, which I certainly felt with David. But, with a Virgo comes a lot of criticism and it’s the sign of the bachelor. Commitment is hard for them. Plus, Geminis just aren’t as grounded as Virgos are and when it comes to how to live a life, that’s a big divide. For my next guy, I’m looking at our charts right away and believing what I see.

7. Everything happens for a reason

This is something I’ve always believed, but now more than ever. Life is long and everyone’s on their own path. That means that there is no race because we’re the only ones on our paths. There’s just no one else to compete with. All you can do is chip away at the work to make yourself the best version of yourself that you can be and keep learning the lessons your path puts in your way. If you can do those two things, you’ll be moving along your own path at a perfect pace and wind up with everything that’s supposed to happen to you. I know that my path is going to lead me to my forever guy. Every relationship brings you closer to your forever relationship. I just need to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

And I just want to end by saying that even though these lessons are important and I’m grateful for them, breaking up with David is still an incredibly hard thing for me. He’s an amazing guy and we remain very good friends. We shared a home and dogs and were truly a loving family together. Those are hard things to say goodbye to. I’m so thankful to David for all of the enrichment he brought into my life and showing me that I can happily live with a man. This wasn’t a break up due to a lack of love, that’s for sure. It was opposites attract from the very start and I did feel a lot of love towards him. Just not the right kind of love between the right two people. I wish David the best in life and love and I wish the same for all of my readers. Love you all!