It can be hard to get over the pain of a failed relationship, especially if it was a long and generally happy one. But those feelings of sorrow can give way to great wisdom. These are 5 lessons you can take away from your failed relationships.
1. It’s important to let go.
It can be brutal to let go of someone that you’ve broken up with, or who have perhaps left you. But it’s important to know how to let go. Past relationships can help teach you that lesson. It’s hard, but it has to be done.
2. You can only change yourself, not your partner.
I was once with someone who cheated. I knew they cheated, but I stayed and tried to work on it and figure out the why. In the end, we figured out why they cheated, worked hard at solving those problems – and I still got cheated on. The lesson I had to learn was that you can’t change people. You can try to help, but you can only truly change yourself.
3. You don’t need someone to complete you.
I left that relationship and I’m happy I did. I slept on a friend’s floor for a few weeks. I found my own place. I found solace in friends, hiking, and sometimes the bar, but I was left feeling empty and isolated. It was hard. But in that time, I realized that I was a complete person. I didn’t need anyone to complete me. In the end, I came out of it stronger.
4. You don’t own the people in your life.
This goes back to the #2. You can only change yourself, and you don’t own the people in your life! You don’t own your partner. You can’t force them into things. You can’t issue them ultimatums. You don’t get to control them.
5. We all need to take time for ourselves.
In a relationship or out of one, we all need to take time for ourselves. Being in love doesn’t mean you have to be with them every minute of the day. You don’t need to merge your identities. Enjoy your moments together, but spend some time apart too.