Opinion Column

A decade of love lessons learned

AMY CHAN, amyfabulous.com

Recently turning 30, I've done a lot of reflecting on the last decade of my life. Here are some of the lessons I learned about love.

1. Love yourself first, the rest will follow

I spent a good portion of my life trying to find someone to make me feel complete. But I didn't love myself first - and nobody would be able to fill that void. I learned that if I didn't work on loving myself and getting healthy, I would continue attracting people who were unhealthy. Because two people who don't love themselves first can't join and magically create a healthy relationship. I stopped blaming that men were jerks and looked inward. If I wanted to meet the 'right one,' first I'd have to be the 'right one.'

2. Invest in the people who care about you - not just your boyfriend

Many think that only your romantic partner can be your soul mate and invest all of their love and energy into that person. But friends can be soul mates too. They enrich your life, your heart and your soul. They aren't meant to be on-call when your boyfriend is busy. Nor are they meant to be time fillers because you're single again. Whether it is a boyfriend, a sister or a friend - have balance in the people you make an effort with. Invest in the people who care about you and you will end up with a life of wealth and love.

3. You will have your heart broken, and you will survive

Heartbreaks suck. They are unfair, unjust and often unforeseen. But they do teach you a lot about yourself, about what you want, and most importantly, what you don't want. They give you opportunities to grow and practice compassion and courage. Perhaps the heartbreaks are necessary to prepare you for the person you are supposed to end up with.

4. If your values don't align, it won't be long until you collide

I've learned recently that the most important thing to look for in a partner is an alignment of values. That's the root and foundation of everything else that will follow in the relationship. If your partner is doing life with a different set of morals and values compass - it won't be long until your paths collide instead of complement.