As life-long learners connecting with people all over this big blue planet, we gain many lessons from being in both healthy and unhealthy relationships. The way we define love as a society may change over time, but the way it feels in your heart will always be the same.

Being in a relationship can give you emotional lessons as well as social knowledge in the form of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.

After you have been with someone for a while you can learn to pick up on your partner’s body language habits, facial expressions and what they mean.

You learn to use your emotional intelligence, which is the ability to detect another person’s emotional state, which is a valuable social skill to have.

7 Life Lessons You Learn From Being In A Relationship

1. We can choose our emotional state

A couple who is going through a difficult time, for example, with the illness of a loved one, often has to go about the usual business or earning money, paying bills, and caring for a family. The stress of having to cope with a setback while also needing to keep moving can be a burden.

One significant life lesson you learn from being in a relationship is to choose your mood. Sure, you may have a sorry situation to recover from, but hanging your head only brings down those around you. Making the best of a bad situation is an excellent life lesson that love teaches us.

2. The moments of pain are worth all of the joys

These setbacks are just that, a temporary moment of disappointment. The laughter, joy, smiles, giggles, jokes, euphoria, hugs, snuggles and more all make these sad moments as temporary as the pain from a needle when you get a shot. It hurts for a moment, and then you’re all protected.

Related article: 6 Signs You’re In A Relationship With Your Soulmate

3. People are capable of change

Aging, choices we make, experiences we gain, how can we not change over time? People rarely change their core beliefs, values or traits that they’ve had since birth but they can change their attitudes, behaviors, thoughts and beliefs, no matter their age.

Related article: 7 Things A Strong Woman Will Never Tolerate In A Relationship

The key to being able to change someone is for that person to be willing to change. Can you change your partner, not really but you can reward them by praising things that you like them doing. This reinforces the positive behavior as long as they like the reward.

This type of Pavlovian behavior psychology has been around for decades and it is still relevant today. Anything that activates your brain’s pleasure center can act as a reward for reinforcing good behavior. That could be food, sex, a ‘Thank you honey,’ or anything that your partner loves.

4. The past can only affect your attitude if you let it

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts studying relationship lessons and attitudes of optimism vs. pessimism found that peoples experiences in their own dating relationships predicted whether or not they were optimistic or pessimistic about future love relationships.

In other words, if your parents had it rough, you will too. But people in relationships have learned the life lesson that they are in control of their behavior in the here and now and they won’t let the past affect how their present relationship progresses.

5. Learning to compromise will help you all through your life

You never get to control the remote? How about the room temperature? Isn’t it your partner’s turn to do the dishes There will never be a day where everything goes your way when you’re part of a couple and that’s one life lesson that people in relationships have learned.

That’s because by being in a relationship they have learned to compromise. Peaceful harmony cannot exist between two grown adults who have different tastes, preferences, likes, and dislikes all the time. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to compromise in order to live with a partner in a relationship.

6. Forgiveness is powerful healing magic

Researchers studying the effects of a 6-week counseling program to help forgive someone who has wronged you. When participants completed the program, their mental health improved more and they had more forgiveness toward their exes than the control group did.

7. Love changes over time

The initial fire and passion from a relationship’s beginning may have faded, but the emotions become more intense, deep, and primal than ever. The heart muscle becomes stronger as it is exercised, and even through deep emotional connections we increase our heart rate slightly. Stronger hearts can love more deeply, and that’s one heart-healthy life lesson you learn from being in a relationship.