You are allowed to swipe right on someone, exchange two or three messages with them, and decide they are not what you were looking for at all.

You are allowed to show up for a first date, realize the spark you hoped would send shocks through your spine is nowhere to be seen, and decide against scheduling a second date.

You are allowed to get into a relationship with someone, figure out you are in two completely different places in life, and break up with them even though they are a great guy you never wanted to hurt.

You are allowed to walk away from the wrong people — and you are allowed to date the wrong people.

You are allowed to accept a drink invitation from someone you cannot get off your mind, someone you know would be bad for you. You are allowed to have a little bit of fun, even though you know the night is more likely to end in a one-night stand than a happily ever after.

You are allowed to kiss boys on the lips even though you are never going to see them again. You are allowed to jump from relationship to relationship when none of them feels right. You are allowed to have casual, carefree sex.

You are allowed to experiment with different love stories — and you are allowed to stay home and skip the drama too. You are allowed to be single for large gaps of time. You are allowed to choose the single life over hookup culture. You are allowed to make your own decisions about your own heart and your own body.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a hopeless romantic who is only looking for a serious, committed relationship or someone who is happy to go with the flow. No matter what your intentions are, you are not going to get it right every time. You are going to break hearts. And you are going to have your own heart broken.

One day, you are going to ruin a relationship with someone you will end up referring to as the one who got away. Another day, you are going to chase after someone who you will end up referring to as your biggest mistake.

No matter how hard you try to do the right thing, no matter how high you raise your standards, you are going to fall for the wrong people. You are going to make mistakes when it comes to relationships. You are going to screw up.

Heartache sucks. So does breaking hearts. But you cannot spend too much of your time worrying about the past. You never wanted to get hurt. You never wanted to hurt anyone else either. But it happened. You have to accept it. You have to move on from it.

You are not a bad person for breaking up with someone. You are not unlovable for getting broken up with.

You are going to find love. You are going to find your forever person. And when that happens, you are going to make mistakes with them too. You are going to screw up. And they are going to screw up. But you will be able to work through your problems. You will be able to make your relationship last, regardless of your mistakes. TC mark

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