There can be a silver lining after a break up. A few of my friends have insisted that their relationships were a waste of time. I too am guilty of seriously questioning what it is that I saw in my exes. I felt that my time had been wasted and it couldn't have meant anything as it didn't last. In hindsight I became more self-aware, learnt my strengths and weaknesses and discovered what I want from a relationship. I read an interesting piece in Glamour recently and wanted to share what I took away from the article. Here are 6 lessons you’ll learn from your previous relationships.
1. You discover what you will and won’t tolerate. Whether it’s abusive behaviour (mentally, physically) a disrespectful partner or someone who cheats. Once you’ve gotten over the heartbreak you can determine what kind of behaviour you’ll accept in future relationships. I guarantee everyone has made a mental note of certain behaviours they don’t want rein acted in future relationships.
On the flip side you’ll also remember the good treatment you received whether you had a man who was chivalrous (yes they do still exist), showered you with compliments. Or communicated well and hope to find some of those qualities in the next person you date.
2. What you really want out of a relationship? Deal breakers vary for each individual but there comes a time when you need to know what you are willing to compromise on. Are you a person that wants to get married before having children? Are you willing to move country for a job? Does your partner need to have the same religious beliefs? Ideally these are the kind of questions that need to be asked before embarking on a serious relationship. Hence the importance of knowing what YOU want out a relationship and what you can offer in return.
3. The Blame Game as Kanye West sang. Once the anger and animosity has departed you can take some time to reflect on the role you played within the relationship. We all make mistakes and a mature person will take the time to reflect on their actions and how they may change them in future partnerships. Even if you weren’t to blame for the split I’m sure there are things you could have done differently. I.e. been more supportive, more trusting, stop being so critical, compromised more. There's always room for improvement within us.
4. Trust your intuition, if only I’d taken heed to my own advice it would have saved me some heartbreak but would have also prevented certain experiences that have enabled me to grow. That nagging feeling in your gut is often your sub conscious trying to warn you that something doesn’t feel right. In future if something feels wrong you may make the decision to follow it up.
5. Most women want to make the relationship work and will walk over hot coal to try and save it. However some relationships aren’t worth fighting for. Yes we want there to be a happy ending. We don’t want to be alone and the dating process can be long and tedious but if the underlying feeling is you’re unhappy then maybe it’s time to call it a day. There’s nothing wrong with calling it quits if it’s compromising your happiness.
6. You really can’t change people! We hear this time and time again but people still go into relationships thinking/hoping their partner will change. Whether your man eats, breathes, sleeps computer games or refuses to help with the house work. You have to decide whether he’s not for you and you go your separate ways or to accept him flaws and all. It won’t help the relationship if the behaviours you accepted in the beginning are suddenly a problem 6 months down the line. Keep your expectations in check.