Experience is a faithful, if not brutal, teacher, and almost everyone has a nugget of wisdom that they wish they could share with their younger self. If your dating life has a few challenges, then save yourself some frustration and take this as an instruction guide from Future You.

Don't Assume Your Partner Will Change

Sure, they do/don't want kids now, but that can change, right? After all, you'll have an unlimited amount of time to wear down their objections once you're married. They'll come around to your position, and once they do, they'll see that you were right all along. Everyone wins!

Or maybe they're really bad at chewing their food, or they make inappropriate jokes in front of your grandmother. The bottom line is that there are a million ways that we can all grate each other's nerves. While you and your partner may eventually adapt to each other's preferences, that's a process that can take decades, if it happens at all. Save yourself some trouble and assume that your partner will never change. Can you live with their personal values, goals and idiosyncrasies? Can they live with yours?

You Need to Break the Rules

We've said it before, and Future You is saying it now. Dating only those who are your "type," being reluctant to make first contact and pretending to be endearingly coy may end up costing you more than you're willing to pay. Once you've identified your relationship goals, don't be afraid to jump in with both feet, even if that requires accepting a last minute invitation.

Overcome Your Fear of Rejection

There's a sports analogy that states that you miss one hundred percent of the shots that you don't take, meaning that while you may risk failure when you take a chance, you'll definitely miss out if you don't even try.

In dating, your ego and fear of rejection can be your own worst enemy. It may stop you from approaching the man or woman you want, possibly sabotaging your chances of happiness with them. Summoning your courage and asking them out on a date does not guarantee that they'll accept and that you'll live happily ever after. But not asking them guarantees that you'll never have that opportunity.

There Is Happiness after Heartbreak

Maybe you've been with your partner for a month, or maybe you've been with them for half of your life. Either way, the ending of a relationship can be devastating, especially if you assumed that you and your significant other would be together forever. While it may take months or years to feel okay again, you can be certain that at some point, you'll get there. The pain will eventually dull and disappear, and you will have the opportunity to meet someone wonderful.

Date Around to Find Out What You Want

Few 20-somethings know exactly who they are and what they want from life, much less what they need in a partner. Take some time to get to know yourself and your goals before you commit to one person. Date a lot of different types of people and don't exit the dating pool too soon. Not only does this provide valuable dating experience, but it can help you learn more about yourself and identify the qualities that matter to you.

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