It’s All Part of the Journey
For many of us, the pain of a failed relationship lingers a lot longer than we are comfortable with. We may struggle to move on because so much time and emotion was invested into the other person.
Finding someone new may seem like such a daunting task that we’re afraid to even try. However, each failed relationship is an opportunity to learn and grow.
What you learn is unique to your own experience in life, depending on your goals and desires. There is always something valuable to gain, even from the worst relationship or ugliest breakup.
Recognizing what those lessons are will help you on the road to recovery and toward having more fruitful relationships in the future.
Loss Takes Time to Process
Just as a physical wound takes time to heal, so too do the emotional ones. It’s important to acknowledge that everyone gets through grief and loss in their own time.
Any type of loss, including a failed relationship, will seem completely awful at first. Over time, as you gradually adjust to the changes in your life created by the loss, it becomes slightly easier to deal with the pain.
Some wounds will scar and never go away completely, which is okay too. If you accept that which you cannot change, coping won’t seem like such a burden.
Remind yourself there will be good days and there will be bad days, but it’s all a part of the grieving process. Loss does not function in a straight line.
Your emotions will fluctuate depending on your level of acceptance, external triggers and how well you’re taking care of yourself. Eventually, you’ll let go completely and allow yourself to move on.
Then you’ll be in a place where you can start over with someone new.
Love Yourself First
When a relationship ends, you may experience self-doubt and even self-loathing. Whether or not you were the one who initiated the breakup, you may wonder if you’ll ever find someone again.
Although initially you may place the blame on yourself or the other person, doing so is counterproductive to moving on with your life. Recognize your mistakes and what you could have done differently, but don’t get down on yourself.
Feelings of inadequacy and insecurity often come up during the loss of a relationship. However, they often signal something deeper: a lack of self-love.
Instead of relying on your own ability to pick yourself up and make yourself feel good, you may have looked to your partner to validate yourself. If you feel unloveable or hopeless after a breakup, try to focus on building up your self-esteem and doing things that make you feel good.
This is your chance to regroup and figure out who you are as an individual. This might involve going back to your roots and rediscovering yourself, or starting on a completely new journey of self-discovery.
Past Loves Are All Teachers
Even the most poorly matched people have something to gain from each other. You may realize that you both struggled with similar, or perhaps opposite, issues.
If you were constantly anxious or apprehensive about your life, you might have attracted a partner who also had anxieties about the same things. If you had trouble feeling safe, your partner may have had a savior complex.
Perhaps their ability to cope with these struggles modeled to you how you could deal with your own in a healthy manner. Conversely, perhaps they were unable to properly deal with their struggles, and so were models of what not to do.
Based on your own personal shortcomings that were revealed to you in the relationship, you might come to realize some areas you need to work on. Likewise, based on your partner’s shortcomings, you can think about whether those were ones you can deal with in a partner, or whether you should avoid such traits in future relationships.
Past loves were all put in our paths in order to show us things about ourselves. Don’t ever think it was a waste of time, no matter how short or long the relationship lasted.
We’re all on our own paths, with unique lessons to learn, trying to become the best version of ourselves.
Forgive Your Ex… and Yourself
Have you ever heard the expression, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die?” It’s a reminder that staying angry or holding a grudge only damages ourselves.
Anger often stems from our own expectations of another person, and their failure to meet them. In a sense we’re all walking around with unrealistic ideals of how other people should act, especially when they’re around us.
Instead of focusing on what your ex wasn’t or couldn’t provide for you, take the time to acknowledge and change your perception.
Were they doing the best they could considering the circumstances? Even if they weren’t, what good does it do you to constantly try to understand why?
Forgive them, and forgive yourself for your own mistakes. Don’t carry your pain and frustration around with you like unnecessarily heavy luggage. Let go of the past and move on with your life.
Chances are they’re doing the same, whether you like it or not.
Finding happiness and peace after a failed relationship is all a matter of perspective. Even if you don’t believe it yet, view the situation as a learning experience.
Now is your chance to reflect and reset your goals. If you view everything in life as a stepping stone toward becoming the best version of yourself, and toward finding those people who bring out the best in you, you’ll be much happier in the long run.
mindbodygreen (What You Can Learn From Your Failed Relationships)
Lifehack (8 Lessons Learned from Failed Relationships That No One Will Tell You, so I Will)