Breaking the Pattern: 7 Lessons from Failed Relationships
Having unsuccessful romantic relationships in the past should serve as a way to learn from our mistakes. Being right the first time around isn’t easy. And in fact, being “wrong” offers you a chance to discover more about other people and about yourself.
With each relationship you can learn new things about love, betrayal, about what hurts you and hurts others, or about what you’re willing to do or sacrifice for your significant other.
It hurts when relationships fail, but we should always keep the knowledge obtained from it. In fact, there’s nothing like an romantic failure to get to know yourself better and learn about your attitudes and beliefs.
It may be difficult to do, but it’s necessary to analyze what went wrong. To look within to realize what you’ve done wrong or what can be improved in order to obtain a broader point of view and do it better next time. This way you avoid repeating the same destructive patterns that broke the relationship up.
Whether it’s about picking a partner, communication, attitude or any other problem, knowing where the problem lies will help you grow as a person and find a healthy partner.
The patterns in our decisions
Your life experiences can make you choose a partner similar to what you know. If you’re accustomed to seeing one type of relationship around you, you’ll choose the same patterns because it’s what you know.
You may be doubtful. You may see that this pattern doesn’t make them happy. You may even think you can change it or settle for thinking that it’s just part of being happy or being an adult.
It might even be that these relationships make you feel sick, and you’ll look for the complete the opposite, as if that could make you escape the world that oppress you. But deep down you should know that, though it’s different, things won’t go any better for you.
To learn from these mistakes, the key is to identify the pattern that’s determining your options and figure out if these decisions are based on your experiences.
7 things to learn from your past relationships
1. Waiting too long
Sometimes one person is more committed than the other and thinks that it should be reciprocated. But for relationships to work, both people need to have the same level of commitment. The other person isn’t obligated to reciprocate. Instead, it’s something that should be earned.
2. Not seeing the signs
Some people tend to ignore the clear signs that a relationship is going through a rough patch, or signs which warn that their partner isn’t made for lasting or positive relationships. The love, need and desire for the relationships to work, or the desperation to keep them going, blinds their understanding and don’t let them see the obvious.
3. Giving up too soon
Time is necessary to understand what’s happening, understand the reason behind certain things and see what you’re doing wrong. Giving up too soon can lead to a fear of intimacy or the inability to recognize that people can change over time, when they value the love in their relationships. The struggle against the urge to breakup and the development of patience and understanding can save a relationship.
4. Going a long time without love
Going a long time without love doesn’t justify settling for less. We are all worthy of being loved and we deserve a partner who truly loves us. There’s nothing worse than staying in a relationship in which you don’t feel loved or valued. These kinds of relationships, ones in which demands for love aren’t met, won’t last.
5. Having too much emotional baggage
Past painful experiences can become a heavy load if you don’t leave your sorrow behind. You have to forgive yourself and not carry your regrets, guilt, shame, rage, or pain with you when starting a new relationship. If you do, all of that will keep you from getting the most out of new relationships. It will make you have constant doubts, about yourself and your partner.
6. Settling for less
Failing in romantic relationships can hurt your self-esteem to the point where a person could get used to settling for what they have. This includes settling for a person that treats them badly, considers them inferior, or treats them with inequality.
It’s a mistake to think that’s what you’re meant for and that you can’t aspire to more in life. And when you start new relationships, you fall into the same patterns, because it’s better than having nothing. But that’s not true. You don’t have to settle. You have to learn to read the warning signs with this kind of people and avoid them at all costs.
7. Admitting that you’ve made mistakes
Admitting that you’ve made mistakes in your relationships can be hard. It’s easier to blame the other person. But admitting responsibility and our own failures is a vital part of knowing what to do and not do the next time. We have to stop playing the blame game and focus on what we need to change, on what contributed to the relationship’s failure.