You can draw lessons  from failed relationships

Laina Makuzha

Love by Design

Sometimes relationships just don’t work as planned or expected, and it’s not necessarily any reflection on the individuals experiencing it. “Why does it hurt so bad,why do I feel so sad, thought I was over you, but I keep crying when I don’t love you….so sang Whitney Houston, who also sang in a different song: “Where do broken hearts go..”. It seems disappointment and heartbreak lingers and steals joy from so many wonderful people. 

These songs come to mind especially when I hear of relationship disappointment or heartbreak overwhelming someone to the extent of contributing to some people taking their own lives, or a jilted partner committing a crime of passion. But why does it hurt so bad and how can one neutralise the impact and pain of heartbreak? Pain aside, what can one learn from a relationship that didn’t work our. I tend to agree with the notion that no relationship is a waste of time. The fact that there’s always a lesson to be learnt in a relationship means you don’t have to walk away feeling like a loser — there are life long lessons to be drawn from the experience, if you so choose.

When I came across a quote that says “No relationship is a waste of time, the wrong ones teach the lessons that prepare you for the right ones,” I thought wow, if we could approach relationship challenges that way, perhaps there would be less heartache  or at least the ‘recovery’ process would be a little easier, perhaps there would be less pain when a relationship breaks down.

How often have you heard someone complaining about “wasting time” with a guy or lady with whom  it doesn’t work out in the end? Well, while it may seem like the months or years you spent with the individual who ends up just being another ex is wasted time, that’s not necessarily the case. In the case of those still dating, most people you meet aren’t going to be “the one,” tight away, but that doesn’t mean getting to know them has to be a waste of time. The sooner you start believing that, the sooner you’ll be able to appreciate the process of dating for what it’s supposed to be — fun and a process of searching to understand what you really want .If you’re a believer, it’s a time to be seeking the Lord’s   .

Courtney Hardwick, a  passionate lifestyle writer and digital marketing copywriter in Toronto, Canada gives some tips on how to turn that heartbreak into life lessons that can prepare you for your best life and true life partner. One of the tips she gives is  to realise that nothing lasts forever.

“Just because a relationship didn’t last the rest of your life like some kind of implausibly epic romance novel doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth experiencing. Would you say a job you had for five years was a waste of time? No, because you learned at least a thing or two while you were there, so it couldn’t have been all bad”.

In the dating maze, there’s joy and heartbreak and there are people who feel they are not into all that relationship stuff, as a way of protecting themselves  from hurt. 

Understandably, sometimes it can be a decision stemming  from having gone through several disappointments. I however think rather than be too hard on yourself, just take stock of what has gone wrong, heal, learn the lesson and move on to create your happiness ,rather than give up on it.  One way to look at it is  that sometimes you  just don’t know what you want until you find it, so don’t kick yourself over how many times a relationship has not worked or how long you’ve been searching  for “the one”. 

“A lot of us are still just trying to figure who we are and what we’re looking for. As convenient as it would be to know exactly who we’re searching for in the sea of single guys, we don’t. That inevitably means we’re going to have to kiss some frogs before we meet the so-called prince,” says Hardwick.

Sometimes experience is really the best  teacher. In some cases we learn by experiencing something.

“Sure, everyone told you not to date the bad boy who still lived in his mom’s basement, but did you listen? Sometimes we won’t believe something is a bad idea until we experience the fallout. It’s silly, but it’s life.”

 Hardwick adds that sometimes you figure things as you go, for instance you’ll figure out your deal breakers through relationships.

“You might have thought you could date a guy who was a workaholic, but when you realise he’s never around, and you’re never his priority, you might see that you’d prefer someone who can kick back and relax every once in awhile. Now you’ll know what red flags to look for before you’re in too deep.

You’ll know what not to do next time. So that’s a lesson right there.

A failed relationship isn’t always about what the other person did wrong or how he or she wasn’t right for you. Sometimes you’re the one that ruins a good thing, but hopefully you can learn from those mistakes and become a better person, and better potential partner, in the process.

Another positive aspect to draw from a failed relationship is that you’ll start to understand yourself better.

“Not only will you figure out what you want in a relationship, but you’ll start to understand why you want those things. A lot of the time, relationships fail because you decide you deserve something better. Or just something different. You’ll be unwilling to settle for less, because you’ve come this far, so why give up now?”If you think about it, something brought you together, so you  must have had some good times together.  Its almost as if right after a break up ,we generally tend to dwell on all the horrible things about a relationship. But you were with that person for however long, so you must have liked them at some point, right?  That feeling is always exciting at the time, so have hope that you will feel it again with someone new.

“Dating is 99 percent trial and error,”says Hardwick, adding:  “We’re all just out there giving the wrong people a chance until we happen to stumble upon the right one..””

There’s no time limit for finding love, as long as you still have breath in you. You can fall in love any time, at any age, no matter how many failed relationships you’ve had in the past. Probably hard to believe I know. But true. nonetheless. I would love to hear  your thoughts  or experiences on this.

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