In a world full of superficial greetings and surface-level chatter, it’s of vital importance you confront truths that you may not like to hear.

When forced to encounter fears that otherwise go unacknowledged, you grow and adapt, making better use of your time on this planet and developing more meaningful relationships.

Instead of talking about the weather or celebrity gossip, start living a more fulfilling life. Be courageous–venture out of the known social scripts and start taking social risks.

Here are 20 brutal truths about relationships that everyone needs to read.

1. Every single person you love is going to die and you have no idea when.

Stop pretending that you have all the time in the world–because you don’t–and start creating the types of relationships you want.

2. You seek closeness with others to alleviate your fear of death and dying.

You enter and leave this world alone, then struggle for closeness to forget those facts.

3. You’re going to get hurt–it’s only a matter of when and how.

Whether it’s infidelity, growing apart, or the infinite number of other challenges, you are not the exception to the rule. Getting hurt is part of any close relationship.

4. You sabotage relationships so others don’t see your wounded inner child that’s still asking to be loved.

Ending relationships early is a great way to continue ignoring the deep wounds inside of yourself that are begging to get addressed.

5. You fall in love with an idea, not a person.

The fact is, you don’t truly know the person. Your brain fills in the gaps based on previous relationships and attachments.

6. You default to the needs of others because you’re terrified and don’t know who you really are.

You’re an insecure people pleaser because you’d rather get approval than address the root cause of your vulnerabilities and feel alone.

7. You settle for unsatisfying friendships because you’ve lost confidence and forgotten how difficult it is to make new friends.

Why else are you still meeting with that one friend you despise, or the one that you know is unreliable?

8. Your emphasis on achievement keeps people at a safe distance and protects you from facing your underlying fears.

Sure, keep telling yourself that your drive for achievement and keeping people at a distance isn’t rooted in what you didn’t receive in childhood. You’re only fooling yourself.

9. You stay in unhealthy relationships because the devil you know is more comfortable than venturing into the unknown.

When you only know one way of connecting and getting your needs met, you’re willing to accept things you shouldn’t have to.

10. Your fears of being flawed and unlovable are the reasons you’re settling for hookups rather than relationships.

Disagree? You’re probably right–sex is just about sex, nothing deeper than skin-on-skin contact.

11. You’re always hiding something and those secrets prevent your relationship from growing.

When you keep major secrets from others, it has to do with shame and fear.

12. Your infatuation of the other person blinds you to their shortcomings, which always get expressed in due time.

To make matters worse, aside from overlooking all of the red flags to start your relationship, people also change over time.

13. You pretend that you’re listening to others, but all you really care about is getting your turn to talk.

This is why most conversations are unsatisfying and why you leave incredible conversations feeling vibrant and alive.

14. You use others as objects to satisfy your own desires because you care more about yourself than anyone else.

When you focus on what you are or aren’t getting instead of what you’re giving, your relationship begins to crumble.

15. You will never get the recognition you think you deserve and your requests of it poisons the relationship.

You’re too self-focused, which is the opposite of how you were when your relationship first started.

16. No matter how hard you try, you can never truly convey the depth of your love to someone else.

Actions, words, and time help, but there’s a gap that simply cannot be transgressed.

17. You manipulate others so that you can feel a sense of power and control that you lack in other aspects of your life.

Sex is never about sex; it’s about power.

18. You need people to hate, because without them, you don’t know who you are.

Shout out to your political opponents–without them, your standpoints can’t be defined.

19. Your fears of inadequacy are what gives people permission to make you feel powerless.

They’re just following your lead.

20. A life without relationships is a life devoid of meaning.

We are relational beings with needs for deep and fulfilling relationships.

Stop wasting time and start transforming your relationships to get more out of life.